Perspectives on Better Sides of the World and Humankind

As we know, 2020 has been the living worst. A helpful balm for the seemingly endless parade of horrors this year has thrown at us is reading some facts about how the state of the world and humanity in general aren't as horrible as they might seem or feel. Let's investigate. First is Factfulness: Ten... Continue Reading →

A Little of Why We Love Dolly

She Come By It Natural collects author Sarah Smarsh's four long-form essays about Dolly Parton and the beloved singer's connections to feminism through her roots in rural poverty in Tennessee (it's better than I'm setting it up, but that's the basic premise). These essays were the result of a Freshgrass Foundation journalism fellowship Smarsh won,... Continue Reading →

The Working Poor of the Heartland

Book review: Heartland, by Sarah Smarsh Journalist Sarah Smarsh is a fifth generation Kansan who grew up with her family life centered around a wheat farm in the countryside, with Wichita being the closest big city. In her memoir, she chronicles generations of her family, particularly the strong but troubled women in her lineage, and puts... Continue Reading →

Many Voices Tell Stories of Inequality in America

Book review: Tales of Two Americas, edited by John Freeman (Amazon / Book Depository) Editor John Freeman of Freeman's (a literary biannual showcasing new writing) and executive editor of LitHub edits this new collection of essays, short stories, and poetry on inequality and by extension, the divisions of races, classes, origins and backgrounds, income divides, and other divisive... Continue Reading →

Down and Out in Dutchland

Book Review: Exiled in America, by Christopher Dum (Amazon / Book Depository) Sociologist Christopher P. Dum lived for a year in a residential motel, vaguely and anonymously located somewhere in upstate New York, observing and interacting with its residents to learn more about what brought them there and why they stay. That's the basic premise. As an... Continue Reading →

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