This year’s holiday book list arrives a little early | the life of the valley


Inspirational girls, arousal review and Lee’s bio make the list

As someone who still believes the Christmas season begins after Thanksgiving, I used to post my annual list of book recommendations people could read while eating leftover turkey sandwiches.

Now, however, there is a supply chain issue (in case you haven’t heard of), so we’re going to take care of that today so you have time to get your books for those out there. are on your holiday shopping list.

In this year’s selections:

“Downeast” by Gigi Georges – This book is about tough, determined young women growing up in economically struggling rural Maine.

Subtitled “Five Girls and the Unseen Story of Rural America”, this work inspires you and immerses you in the stories of the protagonists.

These girls don’t want to “escape” their impoverished community, they want to make it better.

“Racism Awakened” by John McWhorter – A linguist from Columbia University and newly appointed New York Times columnist, McWhorter is definitely not one of the “awakened”.

He recognizes the existence of racism and he experienced it as a black man, but he worries about the damage that what he calls “the elect” are doing to America.

It describes how the Awakened Movement is like a religion, with its own dogmas and rituals, and even offers suggestions for how the rest of us can experience them.

“Hello Darkness, My Old Friend” by Sanford Greenberg – It’s my favorite of the year so far. Greenberg was a brilliant young student at Columbia in the early 1960s when he developed a disease that, after shocking medical treatment, took his eyesight off.

However, he refused to make any concessions to blindness and, with the help of his college roommate, graduated and pursued a successful career in business.

This roommate remains Greenberg’s best friend. Her name? Art Garfunkel.

“This is how they tell me the end of the world” by Nicole Perlroth – Okay, that’s probably not the happiest topic for the holidays, so maybe you get this one for your own edification. It is a very good book and its subject deserves to be known.

Perlroth covers cybersecurity for New York Times, and his book details the constant threats Internet saboteurs pose to our nation.

There are also independent hackers and state sponsored enemies (think China and Russia) who, if successful, could bring our nation to its knees in ways most of us do not. ‘would never imagine.

Most of us prefer not to think about such things, and that’s natural. But it’s good for us to know what threats exist so that we can encourage our government to do something.

There is certainly no shortage of warnings about the apocalyptic long-term dangers of climate change.

“The words that made us” by Akhil Reed Amar – Professor of constitutional law at Yale, Reed traces the arguments that the founders – and their successors – advanced in the development of the Constitution and its amendments.

Amar cleverly puts 18th and 19th century arguments in 21st century terms, such as explaining Ben Franklin’s “meme” – “Join or die”.

“Robert E Lee: A Life” by Allen C. Guelzo – Perhaps Lincoln’s greatest scholar, Professor Allen C Guelzo of Princeton examines Lee’s “lost cause” mythology without the simplistic, Manichean view of “awakening.”

Guelzo enters Lee’s relationship with his father, the eccentric War of Independence hero Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, who suffered a financial scandal and abandoned the family.

This abandonment has led Lee to always be obsessed with financial security and to always project an image of integrity and dignity, argues Guelzo.

The author finds Lee to be a skilled military commander, but less capable than the myth would suggest, often throwing the blame on his others for his own failures.

He argues that personal financial security more than a noble image of Virginia prompted Lee to take up arms against his country in a rebellion aimed at the preservation of slavery.

And no, Lee was not worthy of a pedestal.

William P. Warford’s column appears every Friday and Sunday.


Comments are closed.