Read 53 books by Dec 31, 2023. You're 84 books ahead of schedule. 🙌
Interesting Yet Only Tangentially Related To Title. This is a book primarily about plant pathogens and the history of the study of plants and specifically their pathogens, mostly centering on the roughly 200 ish years between the beginnings of the Irish Potato Famine in the mid 19th century to the bleeding edge research being done by Dunn and other scientists in the later early 21st century. Dunn bemoans the fact that the food supply of the world basically comes down to a dozen or so key varieties of key species in the beginning... while later backdoor praising that very same thing as saving the world from certain pathogens, at least - as Dunn claims- "temporarily". Overall the book, at least in the Audible form I consumed it in, was engaging and thought provoking, and despite being vaguely familiar with farming due to where and when I grew up, Dunn highlights quite a bit here that I was never aware of. Things that adventure authors like David Wood, Rick Chesler, or Matt Williams could use as inspiration for some of their stories - but also other real world events that could serve as inspiration to Soraya M. Lane and other WWII era historical fiction authors. Ultimately the book becomes quite a bit self-serving, highlighting work done by Dunn and his colleagues and friends in the years preceding writing the books. And yet, again at least in Audible form, there was nothing truly objective-ish wrong here to hang a star deduction on, and thus it maintains its 5* rating. Recommended.
Originally posted at bookanon.com.
Discover Yourself And Push Yourself Further Than You Ever Dared. This title of this review is pretty well exactly what happens in this tale of a forty something mother finally having enough and breaking away from the only life she has known as an adult. Along the way, we get the beautiful and sometimes charming waters and towns along the US Eastern Seaboard - and a *lot* of sailing terminology. The techno-babble didn't bother me too much as a *long* time reader of military technothrillers (where Clancy infamously spent seemingly dozens of pages on the first *nanoseconds* of a nuclear detonation in The Sum Of All Fears, among numerous other examples), but perhaps it could be more of a problem for someone whose experience is more exclusively within the women's fiction/ romance genres (where this book squarely resides). An excellent tale that almost begs for a sequel to more fully explore the new setting the characters find themselves in at the end. Very much recommended.
Originally posted at bookanon.com.
You're Gonna Miss This. When I think about this book and everything that happens in it, the thing that keeps coming to my mind is the old Trace Adkins song “You're Gonna Miss This”. You've got all kinds of things going on here - a 3os-ish woman who has just been dumped by her husband for a younger woman and then spends the next six months isolated in her parents' home, the feisty octogenarian grandmother with lifelong secrets of her own, and a charming small beach town where everyone knows everything and all will be revealed. While the song is all about children growing up too quickly, it is equally applicable to grandparents passing too quickly, and both themes are used superbly here. A very fun book with a lot of heart and a few gut punches, this book has pretty much everything anyone could want in a women's fiction novel bordering on the romance. Very much recommended.
Flawed, Yet Well Documented. This is a book all about how several corporations from the American South used *CORPORATISM* - not Capitalism, and yes, there is absolutely a difference - to remake the American (and, yes, global) economy and planet in ways both foreseen and not. Documentation-wise, it clocks in at about 28%, which is very healthy and perhaps slightly above average. Elmore transitions from company to company well, almost as well as the best transition between various groups I've ever seen - that of Power Rangers: Dino Thunder's Legacy of Power episode which gave a history of the entire franchise to that particular entry. There's a lot to learn from any perspective here, but the flawed title, referencing the left-academia boogeyman of capitalism -rather than what Elmore accurately describes which is corporatism - is indicative of the overall direction of the narrative. Mostly accurate - and, again, well documented - but from a leftist viewpoint that some readers may find off-putting. The overall tone is nowhere near as dry as some academic tones and even approaches the conversational, which makes for a pretty great read for anyone remotely interested in the subject.
Ultimately this truly is a seemingly solid history, if from a leftist perspective, and actually exposes something I suspect I've *known* of for a while without realizing the full extent of the problem - a problem Elmore exposes here while proclaiming it to be a great and beneficial thing - and that is the problem of lobbying not in Legislative Halls but in Corporate Boardrooms. Of lobbying interests attacking not elected legislators, but CEOS and others in power of corporations that, thanks to the corporatism described in this text, have power that in many ways rivals - and arguably even exceeds - that of elected officials. Thus, for these reasons and despite its flawed title and narrative, it is very much recommended.
PS: And for those like me who are contemporaries of Elmore - based on when he got his BA and when I got my BS and him discussing a few times - including the conclusion - that he grew up in "North Atlanta", just a few miles down I-75 from my hometown of Cartersville (referenced a few times when discussing the history of Coca-Cola, as it played a role there) - the book can be particularly interesting. Perhaps moreso when the reader happens to be, as a native Georgian, a big fan of back to back College Football National Champions the University of Georgia Bulldogs... and finds out that Elmore works for perennial whiner (in football at least) "the" Ohio State University. Ok, so this entire paragraph has little to do with the book, but this review is my *thoughts* on the book, and the proximity of Elmore as we were growing up - though to be clear, there were literally tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of teenagers roughly the same age and within the same 30 ish mile radius in the northern Atlanta general vicinity, and thus I am not in any way claiming to have ever so much as heard his name before - as well as our respective claimed schools adds a bit of spice to my own thinking about the book.
For those still reading... go pick up the book. Either pre-order if you're reading this between when this review is written on February 27, 2023, or simply straight up order it if you're reading this more than two months later and the book is now publicly available.
Originally posted at bookanon.com.