Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Couple Of Good Reads

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, by Jimmy Carter

• There was some controversy when this book came out, because it was thought to be too critical of Israel; and it is critical of Israel, but I don't know that I would say that it is too critical of Israel. None of the parties are blameless where the issue of peace in the Middle East is concerned, and Carter paints the subject here with broad strokes, based on years of experience as a principal player in helping in the effort to bring peace to the region. I've always read that there are two central issues at the heart of the conflict - control of Jerusalem and the right of return for displaced Palestinians; but Carter makes a strong case for a third - the continued encroachment by Israel into other lands (not just Palestinian lands, either - land in Syria and Jordan come into play, too).

Traveler, by Ron McLarty

• I found out about Ron McLarty on Stephen King's website, I believe, when McLarty's first novel, The Memory Of Running, was published a few years ago. McLarty has done some work reading audiobook versions of some of Stephen King's novels, and King saw fit to plug McLarty's first novel for the dust jacket. McLarty's first novel was excellent, but this new one is even better. It tells the story of Jono Riley, a Manhattan actor/bartender who grew up in Rhode Island and is drawn back there by the death of his childhood love. What he learns about his past while he's back in Rhode Island is a chilling tale, well told in an engaging narrative structure in this terrific novel.

Next: Roadshow, by Neil Peart (yes, that Neil Peart) - a book about the 30th Anniversary tour, and how he motorcycled his way through it.

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