Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas? is a must-read for anyone trying to understand why so many red-staters vote against their own financial self-interests. It's also just a flat-out fascinating political book, and a true snapshot of these times we live in. Of a completely different ilk is The Order of the Poison Oak, young adult author Brent Hartinger's sequel to his great novel Geography Club, which dealt with the pain (and joys) of being a gay teenager in Anywhere, USA these days. Oak is even better than what preceded it, a touching, thoughtful, and often very funny tale of the sumemrtime trials and tribulations of Russel Middlebrook as he counsels a camp cabin full of 10-year-old burn survivors and discovers quite a bit about himself in the process. Both are highly recommended.

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