No time to plow through David Halberstam’s 736-page book the Korean War? Or even Alan Greenspan’s 544-page justification of his economic policies? Here are one-sentence reviews of other nonfiction books recently featured on this site. A link to the full review follows each description. Click on the “Books in a Sentence” category at right for one-line reviews of fiction and poetry.
Four Days to Glory: Wrestling With the Soul of the American Heartland. By Mark Kreidler. One of the year’s best sports books brings unexpected drama and poignancy to an Iowa state high school wrestling championship and its emotional impact on two favored competitors and their families, coaches, teammates and fans. www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/08/07/.
Fowl Weather (Books I Didn’t Finish). By Bob Tarte. A Michigan writer’s memoir of life with 39 birds, ducks, geese, rabbits, cats, rabbits and other creatures, which didn’t live up to its billing as a book with a “Dave Barry on a farm” sensibility. www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/.
Here’s the Bright Side: Of Failure, Fear, Cancer, Divorce, and Other Bum Raps. By Betty Rollin. Illustrations by Jules Feiffer. Saccharine-sweetened mush from a former NBC correspondent who argues that “within each form of misery” there is “a hidden prize waiting to be found” but draws so few distinctions between, say, the pain of someone rejected by Harvard and a fourth-degree burn victim that it would be cruel to give this book to some people who are in physical or emotional pain. www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/08/21/.
How to Become Ridiculously Well-Read in One Evening: A Collection of Literary Encapsulations. Compiled and Edited by E.O. Parrott. Classic works of lit / Reduced quite a bit / In poems and prose / As fun overflows. www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/08/20/.
Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith. By Barbara Brown Taylor. An Episcopal priest tells why she left the parish ministry in a book that offers a rare portrait of the day-to-day challenges the clergy (including, in this case, a request from a woman who called to say: “Martha is sitting on the toilet and we are out of toilet paper. If I came over right now, could you write me a check to the grocery store so she can get up?”). www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/09/10/.
Looking for Class: Days and Nights at Oxford and Cambridge. By Bruce Feiler. The host of the popular PBS series Walking the Bible remembers his jolly good time in graduate school at Cambridge University in the 1990s (which, despite his title, gets far more space than Oxford). (Briefly noted.) www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/.
Love You, Mean It. A True Story of Love, Loss, and Friendship. By Patricia Carrington, Julia Collins, Claudia Gerbasi, and Ann Haynes with Eve Charles. Sept. 11 anniversary re-post of an earlier review of a memoir by four 9/11 widows, who talk about the coping in the aftermath of tragedy. www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/09/11/.
The Scorpion’s Sweet Venom: The Diary of a Brazilian Call Girl. By Bruna Surfistinha/Raquel Pacheco. Interviewed by Jorge Tarquini. Translated by Alison Entrekin. Raquel Pacheco writes about as well as Henry James would have run a brothel in this memoir of her experiences as teenage prostitute who became notorious for blogging about her clients. www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/08/26/.
(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.