Wednesday, February 01, 2017

How did I get on these lists?

 Continental Ambitions

I get about four offers a day to review a book the marketer will send me. For all I know these marketers are all the same person, just using different names--Diane, Kathy, Louise, etc. Some titles are no brainers--fantasy, or murder mysteries, or an extremely obscure soldier of the Civil War. Easy to say No. I don't take those, and once made the mistake of accepting a bio of a guy who had been on the bachelor TV program.  I've been turning everything down (I've been sick), plus I have about twelve inches of books waiting for me to open them. But today's offer looked good. It was about Justice Scalia. How timely. But as I read through the summary, I see the author was going to club the reader (and Scalia) with liberal blather, fake news, and real bias. Not surprising when I took a second look at the publisher. So I responded to the poor woman who probably makes about $5/hr doing this from her home office. 
"Thanks for the offer—this looked good until I saw that [author] thinks Scalia’s philosophy was “flawed.” Nope and No. Norma"
Currently on my table, some opened, read part through, just waiting for me to stop reading my gift books from Mother's Day and Christmas.
"Navigating the road of infertility," by Chrissie Lee Kahan and Aaron Michael Kahan. King Kahan Publishing, c2016  This is really pretty good for a privately published book, and Mrs. Kahan is a school principal who is a good writer. Although it's about their struggles with infertility, it's mainly about their challenges with the foster care system.  They were willing to adopt an older child, even with learning problems, and ran into huge road blocks. The insensitivity of the "system" especially for the needs of the child surprised me, and yet didn't.  I used to chat with an adoption lawyer at Panera's and heard some real horror stories.

"Caught in the Revolution; Petrograd, Russia, 1917--a world on the edge," by Helenn Rappoport, St. Martin's Press, NY: 2016.  I was a Russian major in college so I also had a lot of Russian and Soviet history. Many of my professors had survived WWII and were children during WWI.  In 2006 we visited St. Petersburg (Petrograd, Leningrad).  This is so meticulously researched it's enough to make a librarian cry.  Due for book sales this month, February 2017.

"Continental ambitions; Roman Catholics in North America," by Kevin Starr. Ignatius Press, 2016.  I was ambitious to even accept this HUGE compilation (639 p.) about an era of history and religion of which I know nothing.  Not only am I a Lutheran (church history started 500 years ago for Lutherans), but it seems to begin in the middle of a thought, "Resistance grows against the genocide and enslavement of indigenous people." That's in 1511--before Martin Luther's 95 theses.  I'm in deep water here. So there is a lot of Spanish history and I think we studies some of this in 6th grade and in my college Spanish classes.  I've gone on the internet to review some of Starr's other titles, and he's impressive--State Librarian for California and professor of history at the University of Southern California.  This is a quality book--even has color plates.

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