Recent Books – Ove, Orphan Master’s Son, Bryson, American Nations, Hillbilly Elegy, Marauders

  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman. A touching tale of an elderly man dealing with the loss of his wife and the changes in the world around him. Definitely interested in seeing the movie, a great character.
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.  A life of adaptation and survival in North Korea.  A little fabulous at times but engaging.
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson.  I like Bryson, but his schtick wears a little thin in this one.  I’d read his earlier works.
  • American Nations by Colin Woodard.  Very good and topical read.  I don’t think the boundaries between the nations are quite as crisp as he suggests but his model is very helpful for thinking about how the different parts of the country are thinking about politics these days.
  • Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.  A nice companion to the American Nations book, a deep look by one person at the culture of Appalachia as they experienced it.  Even tho I grew up reasonably close to the author, the culture that I experienced was so different than his.    Bridging these cultures is hard.
  • The Marauders by Tom Cooper.  People making bad choices in the bayou.