The Last Estate by Conor Bowman

The Last Estate by Conor Bowman is a rare miniature treat.  The book, little over 160 pages, contains multitudes.  It focuses on the story of Christian Aragon, the last surviving son of a Provençal vintner.  He is nearly seventeen in 1920 and the shadow of his older brother Eugene, killed in the Great War, looms large.  The hot summer has Christian conflicted by the opposing forces of lust and virtue, the former represented by the young geography teacher Miss Playben and the latter by the cantankerous Jesuit priest, Father Leterrier.  Fr. Leterrier tortures his students with interminable lectures about Holy … Continue reading The Last Estate by Conor Bowman

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Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam @ Joe Bob Briggs

The United States has a lot of problems.  On occasion, someone might have a bright idea on how to solve those problems.  This book, asserting it can fix all America’s problems, the GOP needs to offer an agenda that would help a pan-ethnic working class. Unfortunately, it seems that the people most in need of reading this book have not done so.  Arizona attempted to solve its immigration problem in the most nativist way possible, alienating the emergent Latin American cohort.  Republicans in Congress are defending the ecocidal terrorism and corporate incompetence of British Petroleum, meanwhile blaming regulation as the … Continue reading Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam @ Joe Bob Briggs

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A Confession by Leo Tolstoy

Near the end of his life, Count Leo Tolstoy wrote two lengthy essays on the topic of religion.  Hesperus Press includes these two essays, “A Confession” (1879 – 1882) and “What is Religion, and What Does its Essence Consist of?” (1902).  The edition includes a foreword by novelist and Orange Prize winner Helen Dunmore with an introduction by famed Tolstoy translator Tony Briggs. Tolstoy would revisit the religious theme in “Father Sergius” (written in 1890, published in 1898), an excruciatingly introspective tale of sensual temptation, religious duty, and personal mutilation.  With “A Confession” and “What is Religion?”, Tolstoy works within … Continue reading A Confession by Leo Tolstoy

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