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Fantastic tales of book collecting


A pile of potential disasters

Review: "Apocalypse 2012" by Lawrence Joseph

Review: "A Son Called Gabriel"

Irish Catholic kid wrapped up in secrets

Memories of India's Villages

REVIEW: "Ruffling the Peacock's Feathers" by David Howard Day. A retired anthropologist harks backs to his Peace Corps days in Northern India in 1967 to create compelling, atmospheric tales of village life. (Review by KingChamp proprietor Thomas S. Brown)
Mayor Pete's Memoir -- or is it a resume?
REVIEW: "Shortest Way Home" by Pete Buttigieg. 

At first I was quite drawn to Pete's description of his industrial hometown and how its decline shaped his youth. Many of his descriptive passages are quite vivid. But by the mid-section and final chapters, I started feeling disappointed that Pete's memoir went only so far. He recounts some of the issues of his life but glosses over the emotions he must have felt. So I concluded this was a book written in a calculated manner to kick off his presidential campaign, even though he never once mentions his presidential ambitions. I think it is effective as a campaign autobiography, but it doesn't completely answer the question of "What makes Pete tick.?" That said, I found it more revealing than similar autobiographies by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. but not as revealing as I would have liked. As a gay man, I especially would have welcomed more detail about his coming out process and his early gay experiences -- I doubt he was a virgin when he met Chasten. But as a campaign document, I can understand why he had to go light on the gay content. I did appreciate the chapter about meeting Chasten and interactions with his future inlaws. That chapter alone made this book a keeper for me. Strangely, though, he says much less about his relationship with his own parents.
Some readers may get bored with Pete's recitation of the mundane challenges he has faced as mayor. Not surprisingly, the material is largely self promoting, although he does own up to a few mistakes he made. Overall, I would recommend the book for those interested in Pete's younger years and the development of his personality and values. However, it doesn't explain how he came to decide to run for president, nor what his priorities would be if by a longshot he gets elected.

(Review by KingChamp proprietor Thomas S. Brown)