Of interest, if a bit warmed over and not entirely satisfying at times.

VIRTUE SIGNALING

Marking the 20th anniversary of his blog, the bestselling science-fiction author gathers posts from 2013 to 2018.

Scalzi (Head On, 2018, etc.) is never shy about speaking his mind. A socially liberal independent and self-declared “Rockefeller Republican” who no longer votes for the GOP on the national ticket, he includes several posts on the buildup to the 2016 election as well as some composed during the Donald Trump era. The previously topical pieces, particularly those written when it was assumed that Hillary Clinton would become president, taste bitter and are not exactly useful now that their moment has passed. But there are also a number of strong posts on being a feminist ally and the evils of harassment, assault, and prejudice of all kinds. (His 2014 post on Jian Ghomeshi has taken on fresh relevance now that the disgraced Canadian media personality has resurfaced.) The other posts filling out the book include film reviews and musings on pop culture; anecdotes from Scalzi’s past that express his deep love for his family, friends, and felines; and some extremely useful bits of life advice sparked by current events (the one about how to make a sincere apology is particularly clear and helpful). The author is skilled at distilling liberal anger into cogent arguments and talking points. Sadly, his posts regarding politics in the science-fiction community have been omitted from the book. Perhaps he doubted their wide appeal, but given that his readers are likely part of that community, it seems a shame that he failed to include any of those posts, particularly the ones regarding harassment at conventions, which many regard as helping to set new policy. The blog-post format can also feel abrupt on the printed page. However, what the book suggests is that it would be interesting to see Scalzi write a series of long-form, wider-ranging essays on evergreen topics. Perhaps he might also share more about his writing process.

Of interest, if a bit warmed over and not entirely satisfying at times.

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59606-894-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Subterranean Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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