Monday, June 30, 2008

Mini Reviews

I’m an avid reader of the New York Times Sunday Book Review, especially the non-fiction reviews. After digesting the erudite summaries, learned opinions and academic analyses of the experts I am saved the bother of reading all these books.

Still, it takes some time to read the sometimes-lengthy reviews, so today, as a public service for those of you who are in a hurry, I’m going to quote snippets from a few of yesterday’s reviews.

Peter Dizikes, a science journalist, told us about “Microcosm – E Coli and the New Science of Life,” by Carl Zimmer:
If you must limit yourself to only one title on bacteria this year, “Microcosm” is a good pick.

Hey, Pete. Thanks for narrowing it down for me.

Holly Brubach reviewed “The Mysterious Montague,” by Leigh Montville:
His legend was born when he challenged Bing Crosby, a good golfer by all accounts, to a contest in which Crosby would play with his clubs and Montague with a shovel, a fungo bat and a rake. Montague won.

I wonder what Montague’s handicap was.

Now to insights provided by James Panero, managing editor of The New Criterion, who writes about “Apples and Oranges – My Brother and Me,” by Marie Brenner:
They both came from the same secular Jewish household . . . So how could she become a liberal journalist in New York while her brother turned out to be a Bush-loving, Wagner-listening, evangelical “right-wing nut” growing apples on the other coast?

I give up, Jimbo, how could this have happened?

Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, didn’t love a critical look at the Republican Party in “Grand New Party,” by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam. Ornstein hooks us into reading further in the first paragraph of his review:
One of the Republican Party’s most astute pols, Representative Tom Davis of Virginia, recently wrote about his party’s status among voters, “If we were a dog food, they would take us off the shelf.”

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Finally, Jack Shafer who writes for Slate, reviews “Right is Wrong,” by Arianna Huffington. Ms Huffington tells us:
McCain has been hijacked by the right-wingers! McCain is the Trojan horse the right desperately needed to put a faux maverick, faux independent, faux straight-talker imprint on the same ruinous policies that have taken us down this dark road.”

Okay, Arianna, stop holding back and tell us what you really think.

For more, you’re on your own.


Post a Comment

<< Home