In The Mail

–> Glad News of the Natural World by T.R. Pearson

From Booklist

In this sequel to Pearson’s beloved best-seller A Short History of A Small Place (1985), a grown-up but ever feckless Louis Benfield leaves his native Neely, North Carolina, to work at the same New York insurance firm where his retired father enjoyed an illustrious 30-year career. But Louis soon becomes a casualty at Meridian Life and Casualty; he is better at fixing the boss’ appliances than at figuring the actuarial tables. Subsequent jobs range from the ridiculous to the surreal–car-service driver, background actor in commercials for tooth whiteners, hired handyman for a shady executive with bodies stashed in his Frigidaire. From expletive-spewing senior citizens to a tanned, tattooed blond who beds football players for sport, Pearson’s characters have the market cornered on quirks. Even minor cast members prompt major-league laughs, like one Alice Covens-Llewellyn, “who’d lately turned to Jesus and carbohydrates, had married a Baptist minister who was very nearly twice her age and had gained a parsonage, a hyphen and probably forty pounds.” Pearson has an uncanny knack for mixing melancholy and mayhem. Oozing with pitch-perfect satire, this gleefully peculiar offering reads like William Faulkner on wry.

Seeing how I like to read books in order, I plan to read A Short History of A Small Place before Glad News. But both look like books I will enjoy.

–> Roosevelt and the Holocaust by Robert Beir

From Publishers Weekly

Why didn’t FDR bomb Auschwitz? Why did he abandon the St. Louis refugees? And why did he allow Breckinridge Long and the State Department to pursue an anti-immigration policy? Aided by novelist Josepher (What the Psychic Saw), Beir, a successful businessman and amateur Roosevelt scholar, grapples with familiar accusations waged posthumously against FDR, intertwining Roosevelt’s career with memories from his own long life. Born in 1918, Beir lost a brother to strep throat and experienced anti-Semitism for the first time when he was 14. His parents’ wealth from a fabrics business weathered the Depression, and Beir became the first in his family to go to college. After Brown and Harvard Business School, Beir entered the navy and, serving in London, decoded messages from FDR to Churchill. “What did servicemen in Great Britain know about the Holocaust during this time? The answer, simply, was nothing,” he claims. Beir compares his father to FDR; both were secretive, imposing, prideful and elusive. Even though “great people are not great all the time,” Roosevelt “was not an anti-Semite. He was not responsible for the Holocaust,” Beir concludes, in a pedestrian account.

Beir has some big name blurbs despite PW’s “pedestrian” label. It certainly is an interesting subject.


–> The Constitution in Exile : How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land by Andrew P. Napolitano

Book Description

What ever happened to our inalienable rights?

The Constitution was once the bedrock of our country, an unpretentious parchment that boldly established the God-given rights and freedoms of America. Today that parchment has been shred to ribbons, explains Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, as the federal government trounces state and individual rights and expands its reach far beyond what the Framers intended.

An important follow-up to Judge Napolitano’s best-selling Constitutional Chaos, this book shows with no-nonsense clarity how Congress has “purchased” regulations by bribing states and explains how the Supreme Court has devised historically inaccurate, logically inconsistent, and even laughable justifications to approve what Congress has done.

It’s an exciting excursion into the dark corners of the law, showing how do-gooders, busybodies, and control freaks in government disregard the limitations imposed upon Congress by the Constitution and enact laws, illegal and unnatural, in virtually every area of human endeavor.

–> The Political Zoo by Michael Savage

Book Description

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the real national zoo!

As Aristotle said, “Man is a political animal.” Talk radio sensation and New York Times best-selling author Michael Savage is afraid that the ancient philosopher was all too right, and in ways he never could have imagined. In Savage’s funniest, most biting book yet, the nation’s fiercest independent thinker invites you to take a riotous tour through The Political Zoo-an outrageous look at today’s most prominent politicos and pundits as the reptiles, rats, and birds of prey they most resemble.

Animal by animal and cage by cage, Savage brandishes his irreverent wit to keep these beasts in check. Serving as resident biologist and zookeeper, Dr. Savage asks that you watch your step when approaching the widemouth copperhead Ted Turner (also known as Mouthus desouthus), do not feed the ego of stuffed turkey Alec Baldwin (Notalentus anti-americanus), and please keep your children with you at all times around wolf boy Bill Clinton (Fondlem undgropeum).

“The world of politics is filled with uncivilized, snarling, rapacious beasts that, like untrained mutts, raise their legs and urinate on everything we hold dear,” says Savage. And this sensational book is your guide for navigating the jungle of today’s animal-political kingdom.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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