Mini Reviews: Russian Totalitarianism, the Appalachian Trail, Cults

Quite the mixed bag today, eh? Although I try to avoid hard reading goals or challenges, I do set myself a soft challenge of reading at least one big book of Russian history every year. It's one of my favorite genres anyway and there are so many that it's a good way to make sure... Continue Reading →

Memoir and Unsolved Murders in Appalachia

Book review: The Third Rainbow Girl, by Emma Copley Eisenberg (Amazon / Book Depository) Emma Copley Eisenberg looks back on her time in Appalachia, in West Virginia's rural Pocahontas County, and the connection to a notorious unsolved double murder of two young women that took place in the region in 1980. The women, Vicki Durian... Continue Reading →

Snakes in the Church

Book review: Salvation on Sand Mountain, by Dennis Covington "Snake handling didn't originate back in the hills somewhere. It started when people came down from the hills to discover they were surrounded by a hostile and spiritually dead culture." At some point last year, I read an article, I think either about a preacher getting arrested or else bitten and... Continue Reading →

A College Crime in Kentucky

Book review: Bluegrass: A True Story of Murder in Small-Town Kentucky, by William Van Meter (Amazon / Book Depository) After finishing Hillbilly Elegy, I was still in the mood to read about Appalachia, so Bluegrass seemed a good option to check off my reading list. I'm not sure how I found it, but I love stories from the lesser known... Continue Reading →

Appalachia and the American Dream

Book review: Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance (Amazon / Book Depository) Hillbilly Elegy is the memoir of a still-young man looking back at his childhood and his family's migration from impoverished, seemingly hopeless Kentucky to a moderately more hopeful Ohio. But like the old Russian adage that if you try to drink your troubles away,... Continue Reading →

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