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« August, 2011 »
Growing Up Amish

Enjoyed this coming of age tale of a young man growing to adulthood and having a sort of love/hate relationship with both his family and the community that exists within an Amish community. Ira Wagler is the son of a well-known Amish journalist and found hmself increasingly disenchanted with what he saw as his future. Not content just to head off for a few years of Rumspringa, Wagler leaves and returns and leaves again, narrating what his life is like all the while. He’s a bit of a mess through parts of it and it can be tough to read him giving the church and his loved one hope that you as the reader are pretty sure is false hope, but the narration is lively and even though it sort of ends abruptly [spoiler: he finds Jesus for real and for true and this enables him to finally leave for good] it is a quick and captivating read.

Cannabiz: The Explosive Rise of the Medical Marijuana Industry

An interesting look at the larger business concerns that surround the legalization of marijuana including some historical and cultural context, but mostly talking to the people who grow and sell marijuana for a job and what that sort of thing is like. I’m not sure if this book is more or less objective or if it just has a slant that I agree with, but I enjoyed this look at California’s struggled to legalize marijuana and what that’s meant in terms of trickle down effects with other industries. Readable and interesting.

Lost Bar Harbor

A poignant look at the “cottages” of Bar Harob that represented a particular place and time in the evolution of this popular vacation spot. Lots of lovely pictures of interesting looking homes along with the eventual “what happened” denoument.

The Passage

[review pending]

Castle Waiting

I half loved this and half sort of didn’t. It’s a great epic fairy tell full of fanciful characters, a lot of funny and wry jokes and some really great tales. However, for some reason the main tale sort of splits off about halfway through to become the secondary tale which, while also a great story, didn’t seem like the main story. So I kept waiting to get back to the main story which basically came back for a few pages at the end. Weird. Not a reason to not read it, just worth knowing it’s coming up.

Engine Summer

Crowley has written one of my favorite books and I was hoping there would be some of the same flavor to this earlier book of his. Instead, I found it confusing as if I were failing to grasp subtle metaphor after subtle metaphor and the whole book never really cohered for me.

Roadstrips: A Graphic Journey Across America

I didn’t read the description too carefully and I thought this was about road trips, but it’s actually a bunch of cartoonists, people you’ve heard of and a few you probably haven’t, talking about when they sort of had their “Aha!” moment about realizing they were American. The strips are distributed and introduced geographically and of course there’s a preponderance of strips about places you’d suspect cartoonists would live, but they’re all really interesting, reflective and of course really well drawn. Enjoyed this a lot even though it wasn’t about road trips after all.