Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is a staple in most college’s introductory US history courses. In it, Zinn presents an alternative version of the United States focusing on our history from the view of the oppressed and overshadowed. For Zinn, history doesn’t belong to the victors.

Zinn is a Professor Emeritus in the Political Science Department at Boston University. He now has a graphic book coming out – A People’s History of American Empire. Apparently a documentary of A People’s History of the United States is also in the making.

A People's History of American Empire.

Howard Zinn tells history, in comic form;_ylt=AnaaEl.i.DrzokDRz7ZnIrJREhkF


New York Times Book Review has a funny essay this week mocking the questions included in the backs of books these days – There Will Be a Quiz.

Often the questions drift away from the book itself, as in one I read vis-à-vis “Pride and Prejudice”: “Have you ever seen a movie version in which the woman playing Jane was, as Austen imagined her, truly more beautiful than the woman playing Elizabeth? Who doesn’t love Elizabeth Bennett?!!”

He even takes a crack at writing his own odd ball questions.

If it took Odysseus 10 years to make a short trip across a microscopic body of water, why does everyone in “The Odyssey” keep insisting he’s so smart?


The Boston Globe released its picks for best books of 2007. I don’t want to sound critical, but it seems odd to release this in April.

Their picks include On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan, Cheating at Canasta – William Trevor, and Brother, I'm Dying - Edwidge Danticat. I have to add Danticat’s memoir to my must read list.

I only read one book in the Globe’s list. For additional reading suggestions, I would recommend The Dew Breaker by Danticat or The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor.

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