Book Log

Colleen Gordon

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Colleen Gordon
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Books I Read in 2021

January 2021
The Discomfort of Evening Mareike Lucas Rijneveld, translated (Dutch) by Michele Hutchison
    Very disturbing, gripping tale of a young adolescent whose dairy farming family becomes increasingly dysfuncional in its grief over the accidental drowning of its eldest son. 2020 International Booker Prize winner.
The Housekeeper and the Professor Yoko Ogawa
    Wonderful story, light and uplifting while, at the same time, richly poignant; and decorated with beautiful mathematics.
Behold the Dreamers Imbolo Mbue
    Immigrant angst - the good and the bad. Well told.
Improvememt Joan Silber
    Sweet, satisfying read. Authentic characters wonderfully woven together across time. Won 2018 Pen/Faulkner and National Book Critics Circle awards.
The New Wilderness Diane Cook
    With just a wee bit of a stretch, Cook pulled off a fine page turner.
Gathering Blue Lois Lowry
    Good story, well told. Escape from a loveless place, intolerant of the disabled.
The Sun Collective Charles Baxter
    Excellent. Timely. Authentic.
The Leadership Gap Lolly Daskal
    Interesting perspecitve. Encouraging. Not too sententious.
February 2021
Anxious People Fredrik Backman
    Great read. Fine blend of gaeity and profundity.
A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself Peter Ho Davies
    Timely, thoughtful, insightful memoir-novel. Recommended.
Last of Her Name Mimi Lok
    Wonderful stories, very well-told.
Unmasked Andy Ngo
    All about antifa. Well-documented with extensive notes and list of sources.
Bland Fanatics - Liberals, Race and Empire Pankaj Mishra
    Quite entertaining collection of recent essays of current relevance by a bright, well-read Indian Englishman.
The Ugliest House in the World Peter Ho Davies
    Eight great stories.
Countdown to Socialism Devin Nunes
    Important precautionary broadside.
March 2021
Communist China's War Inside America Brian T. Kenenedy
    Concerning broadside.
From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia Pankaj Mishra
    Essential read - to more fully grasp the origins and significance of the rise of Asia - especially now, China.
The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It
Warren Farrell, PhD, and John Gray, PhD
    Our boys need Dads! Important read for all Dads and Moms. See boycrisis.org
How to Pronounce Knife Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Stories to make one think, smile, weep.
Snow Country Yasunari Kawabata, translated (Japanese) by Edward G. Seidensticker
    Delicate, beautiful, powerful. From Nobel Prize winner Kawabata.
April 2021
The Home and the World Rabindranath Tagore translated (Bengali) by Surendranath Tagore
    Classic tragedy taking place during the Bengali Swadeshi protest movement in the early 20th century. Tagore was awared a Nobel Prize in literature.
Follow the Money, The Shocking Deep State Connections of the Anti-Trump Cabal Dan Bongino
    Cogent expose of major malfeasance in our federal government. Ouch.
Thousand Cranes Yasunari Kawabata translated (Japanese) by Edward G. Seidensticker
    Delicately told, powerfully poignant. From 1968 Nobel Prize winner.
Of Thee I Zing Laura Ingraham with Raymond Arroyo
    An amusing page turner, a bit hypercritical at times.
How Beautiful We Were Imbolo Mbue
    Important story to be told; and Mbue tells it so very well.
Fake Accounts Lauren Oyler
    Quite a refreshing ride, along a bright new trail. Promising debut novel.
Milk Blood Heat Dantiel W. Moniz
    Fine, memorable stories. A delicious debut.
I Live In The Slums Can Yue, translated (Chinese) by Karen Garnant and Chen Zeping
    Imaginative, dreamy stories from unique points of view.
May 2021
Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes Steven B. Smith
    Scholarly, thoughtful, hopeful. Patriotism is an essential American virtue. Let's nourish it.
Whereabouts Jhumpa Lahiri (translated her own novel from Italian)
    A fine collection of intriguing vignettes. A memoir of thoughtful, soulful introspection.
The Women of the Bible Speak Shannon Bream
    Beautiful. Inspiring.
The Tyranny of Big Tech Josh Hawley
    Must read. Big tech monopolies - Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter - are controlling us. Time to change that.
Minor Detail Adania Shibli, translated (Arabic) by Elisabeth Jaquette
    Stark, powerful, important story. Well done.
An Inventory of Losses Judith Schalansky, translated (German) by Jackie Smith
    Beautiful book. Gorgeous language. A real treat.
June 2021
The Road to Serfdom Friedrich A. Hayek
    Classic, erudite, cogent explanation of how socialism inevitably leads to totalitarianism. "The guiding principle that a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy is as true today as it was in the nineteenth century."
NeuroTribes, The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity Steve Silberman
    Excellent! Very readable, thoroughly referenced history of the development of our understading of neurodiversity.
The Stone Loves the World Brian Hall
    Very good stuff. Math, physics, astronomy, art, acting, people, family, relationshps.
Antiquities Cynthia Ozick
    Wonderfully appealing, charming tale tinged with mystery.
Unsettled - What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters Steven E. Koonin
    Must read for our times. The science is not settled. Though we ought continue to study and learn about our planet's climate and plan strategies to mitigate and adapt to changes, there is no clear climate emergency, as some of our politicians and main stream media might claim.
July 2021
Helgoland, Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution Carlo Rovelli
    Enlightened musings on quantum physics by a deeply thinking master of the art.
Passion and Affect Laurie Colwim
    Wonderful, insiteful, poignant stories.
Morningside Heights Joshua Henkin
    Not bad.
Attrib. and Other Stories Eley Williams
    Fun read.
Irreversible Damage, The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters Abigail Shrier
    Excellent analysis, thoroughly referenced, examining the cultish craze of acute onset gender dysphoria that is destroying the lives of too many of our adolescent girls. Social media, our schools, including our universities, our doctors and therapists are all failing to rescue our children from a pernicious, seductive ideology that claims to be able to help them as members of a new victim class.
The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories Cynthia Ozick
    Seven very nice tales.
August 2021
American Marxism Mark Levin
    A must read for all Americans.
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Ocean Vuong
    Grotesque. Gorgeous.
A Song Everlasting Ha Jin
    A timely, irresistible tale by one of our master storytellers.
How I Saved the World Jesse Watters
    Informative, fun read. Go Jesse!
American Estrangement Said Sayrafiezadeh
    Unforgettable stories, exquisitely well told.
Objects of Desire Clare Sestanovich
    Fine collection of stories that wander irresistibly in delicious directions.
Red, White, and Black - Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers
ed. Robert L. Woodson, Sr.
    Collection of educational, well-referenced, inspirational essays from our 1776 Unites project. Let's "ensure young people of all races become architects of their own future by embracing the founding principles of this exceptional nation."
When Harry Became Sally - Responding to the Transgender Moment Ryan T. Anderson
    Among children with gender dysphoria, 80 to 95% of them will naturally outgrow it. Let's be sure that our families, teachers, schools and communities help them with this and never push them in the wrong directiton.
September 2021
Twenty Grand, and Other Tales of Love and Money Rebecca Curtis
    Thirteen debut tales. Young woman angst, real and imagined.
The Breakdown of Higher Education. How it Happened, the Damage it Does, & What Can Be Done.
John M. Ellis
    Radical leftist activists, identity politics and a diversity bureaucracy have thoroughly corrupted higher education in our colleges. It is past time to demand reform. We must stop funding radical political indocrination of our youth, dismantle campus diversity regimes and reintroduce knowledge of and respect for our history and our Constitution.
The Nickel Boys Colson Whitehead
    Whitehead's novel paints a hopeless, gruesome racist picture of 1960's America.
Night Sky With Exit Wounds Ocean Vuong
    Poems. Sad, but true. Beauty in sorrow.
The Victorian and the Romantic Nell Stevens
    Delightful, warm, wonderful memoir, told as two, parallel, irresistible page-turners.
Everything Will Be All Right Tessa Hadley
    Very well told family story.
Woke, Inc. Vivek Ramaswamy
    Required reading for all Americans interested in protecting our democracy and economy. Wokeism is a dangerous new religion.
Speechless - Controlling Words, Controlling Minds Michael Knowles
    Required reading!
Beautiful World, Where Are You Sally Rooney
    Wonderful. authentic, modern, irresistible characters.
October 2021
Harlem Shuffle Colson Whitehead
    Interesting group of characters struggle to balance business and crime in this tense page-turner.
The Authoritarian Moment, How the Left Weaponized America's Institutions Against Dissent Ben Shapiro
    Courageously speaking truth to power. How can we stop the aggressive authoritarian leftist movement? Let's refuse to be silenced. Let's continue to stand up and speak out, and "refuse to acquiesce to the power hierarchy."
God and Man at Yale William F. Buckley Jr.
    Buckley demonsrates quite clearly that, by 1949, Yale was already indoctrinating its students with a socialist/collectivist, anti-religious ideology. (Today, it appears that 81% of Yale students identify as liberal, while only 4% belong to the often-oppressed conservative minority.)
November 2021
The Past Tessa Hadley
    Delicious descriptions. Memorable characters. Excellent.
The Long Slide, Thirty Years in American Journalism Tucker Carlson
    Collected articles with up-to-date introductions.
The List Patricia Forde
    Gripping nail-biter.
No Way Home - The Crisis of Homelessness and How to Fix It With Intelligence and Humanity
Kerry Jackson, Christopher F. Rufo, Joseph Tartakovsky and Wayne Winegarden
    Excellent analysis of California's expanding homelessness crisis. Maybe Houston's 'tough love' policy will be more successful.
Chicken Little, the Sky Isn't Falling - Raising Resilient Adolescents in the New Age of Anxiety
Erica Komisar, LCSW
    "Who we are, what behaviors we model, and how we relate to and care for our children impact them and their develpment more than any other factor." "You are your child's first line of defense against mental health and behavioral issues." Let's continue to learn and grow.
Kira-Kira Cynthia Kadohata
    Beautiful, heart-breaking Newbery Medal winner.
Cloud Cuckoo Land Anthony Doerr
    Superior page-turner. Several stories about a story woven wonderfully together.
Speaking of Race - Why Everybody Needs to Talk About Racism - And How to Do It
Celeste Headlee
    Unfortunately, many helpful suggestions about communication are largely buried under an overarching radical leftist, racial bias that threatens to inflame and divide. Headlee claims that "we are all racist" and that our society is "founded on systemic racism." Even that "making the world a safe and comfortable place for white people ... must be undone." Perhaps Headlee ought talk with and listen to Blexit Foundation's Candace Owens. Let's please stop forcing ourselves and others into racial groups. Let's, instead, look at each person as a unique individual gift, created in the image of God.
December 2021
No One Is Talking About This Patricia Lockwood
    Highly recommended, masterful autofiction. Internet, social media addicted writer is profoundly moved by personal family tragedy to become a better, freer version of herslf. Lockwood shines.
Inheritors Asako Serizawa
    High quality page-turner. Close look at selected, authentic, fascinating members of several generations of a Japanese American family.
At Night All Blood Is Black David Diop, translated (French) by Anna Moschovakis
    Well done. Senegal, World War I. War drives men crazy.
The Genetic Lottery - Why DNA Matters for Social Equality Kathryn Paige Harden
    None of us chooses the genetic and early environment that largely determine educational level, social standing and wealth. Harden refers to these as a matter of "luck." I prefer to say that our genes are a gift from God who teaches us to love one another, especially our most vulnerable.
Infinite Powers - How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe Steven Strogatz
    Fun, informative read. Yeah, calculus!
Small Things Like These Claire Keegan
    Powerful little piece of historical fiction, written with grace and elegance by a master.
Typical American Gish Jen
    Chinese immigrant misadventures. Well done. Good read.
Rescuing Socrates - How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation
Roosevelt Montas
    "The human good - the kind of life most worth living - is the cenral inquiry of liberal education." Excellent memoir and review of the value and impact of Columbia University's Core Curriculum.

Greg Gordon MD, CFII