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christopher.horne has commented on (14) products.

Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington by Robert J Norrell
Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington

christopher.horne, February 21, 2009

This intriguing biography of Booker T. Washington provides much needed balance to the cartoon-like image that has been built of him in the past fifty years. BTW unquestionably was a complex man whose successes fueled education and prosperity for African-Americans that would never have occurred otherwise. Dr. Norrell shows that Washington was shrewd, not foolish, and that he acted with cold calculation to improve tangibly the lot of black people in a part of the South that was susceptible to no other approach.

In the Age of Obama, this book may be the first important sign that politically-correct thought does not have to dominate scholarship.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Ten Poems to Change Your Life by Roger Housden
Ten Poems to Change Your Life

christopher.horne, February 20, 2009

Roger Housden's "ten poems to change your life" is guaranteed to inspire, illuminate and educate. Having discovered Mr. Housden's analysis of Mary Oliver's "The Journey" in the July issue of O Magazine, I was moved to purchase this gem of a book. The author has a remarkable relationship with language. Each poem is an opportunity to discover the music of Housden's ability with words. "This is the self who slips through the cracks of the ordinary mind when the sentry is looking the other way. If there is one word that can describe its voice, it is the word authentic." His fluid and incredible visual style had this reader weeping. Without question, each poem is in, and of itself, special, but it is the author's lyrical interpretation that gives this book it's powerful voice. For anyone who is on the path of self-discovery, Roger Housden's work is a journey well worth the taking.
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(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Fool by Christopher Moore

christopher.horne, February 19, 2009

This is my first experience with Christopher Moore but it won't be my last. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is the funniest book I have ever read. There are parts; mostly the incredibly creative insults; that are side-splittingly hilarious. I had to try "Fool" a comdeic look at Shakespeare's famous tragedy "King Lear" told from the point of view of a rather minor character in Shakespeare's play, the Fool. Pocket, the King's beloved fool is shown to be pulling the strings of the events that unfold here, though for the most part with earnest intent. What we learn, is Pocket's back story and how he came to be a part of the King's court is as entertaining if not more so than the story of a stubborn elderly King who has to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. Unfortunately his favor falls on his evil daughters instead of the true one. Anyone who knows "King Lear" can probably see how this will end, but Moore's witty (if vulgar) humor, and satrical slant definitely make this story sharp and new. Most certainly, anyone who has enjoyed Moore's previous works will want to pick this up and devour it, and as a newcomer to Moore's work myself, I can genuinely say I have read "Fool" first but it won't be the last.
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(15 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)

Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love by Myron Uhlberg
Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love

christopher.horne, February 18, 2009

What a wonderful memoir this is, and a rare one. Although it is about a hearing boy being raised by deaf parents, to me the story is really a different one---one of a child adored by his parents. Although the burden of translation was a heavy one at times for Myron, shining through is the total love his father and mother had for him. His father especially showed his love in so many ways---by spending endless time with his son, by buying him elaborate presents on a working man's salary---I loved reading about the new toy train engines that came home every day in a row for a while---by watching him play football even when it involved a train trip, by telling him how the world worked and how it is for a deaf man in a hearing world, by taking him to see the Dodgers, by being there. There are so many memoirs about parents being cruel, but I have to hope many parents and families are like the one shown here, filled with love.
I was also struck by the description of the Brooklyn public schools in the 30s and 40s. They sound like a progressive and interesting place, with lots of arts and crafts and music and not just the three R's being pounded in.
I will look for Uhlberg's children's books.
Certainly recommended!
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves by G. Xavier Robillard
Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves

christopher.horne, February 17, 2009

G.X. Robillard has created a fast-paced; funny comic book into a novel full of bits of biting social satire. Through the medium of his character, a shallow, ambitious, two-dimensional super-hero who flies off the comic pages and onto the public stage, he provides a frame for his rapid-fire send-up of popular culture, the cult of celebrity life, politics, the arts, and the general steady decline of the West. Even though this could become annoyingl; there are so many trenchant gags,puns and little humourous pieces that the reader is ultimately charmed. In time, our hero even has room to learn to relate to a significant other -- a nemesis. Bravo.
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(5 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)

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