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text 2018-11-14 23:36
Oh, crap!
Woman Suffrage and Citizenship in the Midwest, 1870–1920 - Sara Egge

Today I began reading Diarmaid MacCulloch's new biography of Thomas Cromwell. It's a book to which I had been looking forward to for awhile, and I had made it a point to carve out enough time to give it my full attention in preparation for my interview with MacCulloch himself next week.


Nevertheless, something was nagging me in the back of my head. A while back I had reached out to a historian named Sara Egge about featuring her book on women's suffrage in the Midwest. She responded positively, and I even received a copy of her book, but for some reason I didn't have an interview scheduled on my calendar.


Today I did what I should have done days ago, and I searched my account for our correspondence. Sure enough, it was there all right — we had agreed to do it this Friday! Now Cromwell is on the back-burner, as I'm scrambling to read Egge's (fortunately short) book in time for our interview. Clearly I need to work on my system.

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review 2016-10-05 16:10
The Mysterious Midwest: Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena in America's Heartland - Charles River Editors

Not a bad book, but the mysterious isn't really that mysterious. The stories in terms of history are interesting. Bonus point for including Native American history to a great degree.

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review 2016-06-25 01:07
The Warmth of Other Suns
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration - Isabel Wilkerson

Amazingly researched and written history of the African-American/black migration from the south to the cities of the north, midwest, and west. Wilkerson is a Pulitzer-winning journalist, and journalists doing history usually drives me crazy. But she knows her stuff, can research, and can write--and her journalism background is undoubtedly useful for doing good oral history.

Wilkerson follows 3 black adults who left the south for somewhat different reasons (to escape to safety after his activism was well known, to achieve his dreams of being a top doctor, and to escape a life of sharecropping), in different decades, from different places, and for different destinations. The three did not know each other and came from fairly different backgrounds (educated but trapped in menial work, well educated, and sharecroppers)--but all lived under Jim Crow and had dreams for themselves and their children.

This book should be required reading for all Americans. It is moving, depressing, hopeful, and more--all at the same time. And it explains a lot of things Americans see every day--from segregated neighborhoods to crowded southern restaurants.

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review 2016-05-08 06:00
Murdered by Words: Midwest Cozy Mystery Series by Dianne Harman
Murdered by Words: Midwest Cozy Mystery Series - Dianne Harman

Murdered by Words: Midwest Cozy Mystery Series by Dianne Harman is a fast reading cozy mystery. This is a change of pace for this author.

Kat Denham secretly writes as Sexy Cissy. She has a series of books called Lusty Women. I really enjoyed the story line & characters. I also enjoyed the recipes included.

There were a few typos that sneaked in. That's uncommon for this author. I gave it five stars because I read it in one sitting & I found it entertaining.

Carl Jennings the husband of Nancy, Kat's editor is introducing her at a country club function: "'It's good to have her back.'"

Kat couldn't believe the man smiling at her & saying those kind words was the same man who just a few minutes earlier had threatened to expose her if she didn't find a new editor.

She'd met Carl & occasionally seen him after she & Nancy became friends, but tonight she was seeing a side of him she'd never seen before."

I look forward to the continuation of this new series.

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EMF4G1M

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review 2016-01-13 01:28
The Good Food Revolution
The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities - Will Allen,Charles Wilson

More a biography of Will Allen than a manual (of any kind) for growing food, this book is inspiring and shows that hope is out there for underserved communities.

The son of parents that fled the south and sharecropping for Maryland, Allen still grew up helping his dad in the garden. Though his mother never achieved her dreams of being a teacher, she did get to see her son go to the U of Miami to play basketball. And Allen has successfully leveraged all of his "failures" into a different form of success. With his NBA career stalled-to-over, he played 3 years in Belgium (and his wife and kids went along).

When the basketball part of his life was over and the family was settled near his wife's mother in Wisconsin, he took a sales job. And did his best and succeeded. When he got bored, he switched companies, and again did his best and succeeded. And when he realized what he really wanted to do, he went for it. Back to farming, but with the goal of bringing fresh food to the urban poor.

In the process he has been nearly broke, he has given people chances, he has made great friends, he was been named a McArthur fellow, he has gotten grants and even support from Walmart (which he accepted, because refusing money will not help those he is trying to help).

I really wonder if Allen and Joel Salatin have ever met. They are trying to do very different things, but I think they would each approve of the other's goals, and of the other's methods. Both share the closed-loop ideal.

Most importantly, Allen has successfully spread his knowledge and shared it with those doing similar things across the south and in Michigan. It is exciting, though the whole process moves so slowly.

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