Saturday, June 11, 2016

Want to Read a Good Book?

Being a hopelessly addictive reader as long as I can remember--it's hard to find good books to read these days. I go to my Library--which I love--and scour through the stacks. I used to pull the "New York Times Best Sellers" down and realized that means nothing. I guess when we have made the writer--not  author--of A Thousand Shades of Grey plus all her other very gray books--a very rich woman we are in very deep you-know-what. Looking at the Best Seller Lists often makes me know--deep in my heart--why Donald Trump is the "presumptive" Republican candidate for President. Bad, bad taste is in. I hear--but cannot testify to this fact--that whips and chains and dog collars and other assorted S&M items are flying off the counters. I guess if Donald Trump is elected we will all be cussing everybody out, punching people in the face people at church we don't like (including the preachers) --and telling women wearing the habib at the mall to go back to where they came from. 

But I digress. I'm supposed to talking about books that stir my heart and keep me going. So I recommend The Boys in the Boat. Many of you may have already read it--but I commend it to everyone. It is a big book. But don't let the scare you--it is worth plowing through. The  author--not the writer--is Daniel James Brown. And he is talented author unlike people who write about whips and chains and feathers. 

The book tells the wonderful story about the 1936 eight-member American rowing team that beat the tar out of everybody and went to the Olympics and spoiled Hitler's day or week maybe. Still in the Great Depression millions of Americans grabbed hold of this fine story. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers and poor farmers showed the world what beating the odds really means. This University of Washington eight-oar crew defeated elite rivals from California and Eastern schools and finally international teams that were supposed to win. The nation was riveted by their courage and guts and commitment to a larger cause than just self.  In the doing, it changed the lives of every boy that pulled those oars for their country. I was sorry when this big book came to an end. It lifted me up and carries me along still.

In this strange time of whips and cussin' and immigrant-bashing--I read this 1936 true story of what really does make America great. It ain't beating our chest and running over people and generally having a bad hair day--but it is the powerful truth that when we have the determination and the courage to join hands and hearts wonderful things happen to those involved. Read the book. Yogi Bear used to say "it ain't over 'till the fat lady sings"--which I would translate those words to: it ain't never over when the American people stand for something real and right and true. I closed the book and remember that terrible Depression that gripped us all. We made it though those troubled waters--and I do believe we will make it through these choppy days too.

--Roger Lovette /

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