Friday, August 13, 2010

Not to dampen the discussion of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but we can entertain ideas for a new topic.  I think we can open our discussion beyond books, to documentaries, news stories and movies that take in the American Experience.  I see PBS makes quite a few of its programs available for viewing at its site.  The HBO series, Treme, is also great fodder for discussion with the first season available soon on DVD, or we can explore its historic roots in Fauborg Treme.  I can create a sidebar with links to posts for ongoing discussions if anyone would like to follow a particular subject over time without having to search through the posts to find the subject.

Also, please feel free to create your own posts on subjects that interest you.  Everyone has the ability to create posts.  If not, please forward me an e-mail address and I will invite you to be a contributor.


  1. Congratulations, George, on finding a new source. Most of what I go through these days hasn't been looked at either (or rarely), but that's because I appear to be the only one interested in it!

    Any book ideas for discussion here?

  2. I can best Freedom:

  3. Neither of these are history and one's not even really American, but I'm going to California at the end of the month and plan to take along Christopher Hitchen's memoir, Hitch 22.

    And, speaking of Freedom, I think I'll also take Franzen's new novel, which is already being called a work of genius (it comes out at the end of the month).

    I read Corrections with the NY Times group and while it seemed to accomplish what he set out to do, for me it wasn't as great as his fans argued. Still, I'm willing to keep an open mind and this seems like it will be a big novel this year. He's already on his way to the cover of Time!

    So I'll suggest those two to get us started.

  4. Av, be careful not to move your lips too much when talking back to Hitchens on the plane. No telling what the flight attendant might do.

    As for a book, what about Tony Judt's last, his letter to the youth of the world, Ill Fares the Land? To remember the rest of the lines of which that's the beginning:
    ...To hastening ills a prey,
    Where wealth accumulates and men decay.

    Did Oliver Goldsmith know what he was talking about? Did Judt?

  5. You're right .. Hitchens can be a real pain. But even when I don't agree with him (a lot of the time) he's so darned smart that the aggravation seems worth it. Plus, now he's dealing with a "battle" with cancer -- like Ehrenreich, he seems to get it right.

    Judt's last book is amazing, albeit short and sketchy in places. Another great one to read here.

  6. Will be incommunicado for a few days. This is a good time to offer up some suggestions for further readings so we can start a new book in September.

  7. How about something else off the beaten path:

    I still remember Mosca joking about wars over water, with people massing on the border with their water bottles in hand. I wonder if he still thinks that's funny?!

  8. Or for another provocative one, I really liked this, and it's short:

    This is more traditional, but loved this -- may be a nice prequel to reading Morris' final volume:

  9. I read a couple of books on Water, including one by Marc de Villiers,

    which I don't imagine he would be too happy to find out it has been googled, but I would imagine it reaches a wider audience this way.

  10. I would be partial to something about New Orleans at this point.

  11. Confederacy of Dunces? Never gets (too) old for some reason.