Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Good Book With a Bad Cover.

"Never judge a book by it's cover."~ American Proverb


My husband is at it again!  Yesterday while I was watching the latest Harry Potter film, my husband used one of his gift cards at Barnes and Noble.  Usually I feel safe when my husband is at the bookstore, instead of the hardware store (my husband thinks he can fix things, bless his little heart).  Now I can't trust him in either place.  I know what you're thinking, "how can purchasing a book be so horrible?"  Well, crack...

That's right, crack.  When your spouse purchases a book that is more addicting than crack; there's a problem.  The crack, I mean book, which my husband purchased is called, "American Grace:  How Religion Divides and Unites Us" by Robert Putanam and David Campbell, both of whom are political science professors at major universities.
The Pillars of the Earth
The US Surgeon General warns that this book is more addicting than crack.

Books are my crack and my husband knows this all to well.  Once I get addicted to a book, life as I know it stops.  The most famous incident involved Ken Follett's book, Pillars of the Earth, which is over a thousand pages long.  I began to read it reluctantly, but soon found myself so engrossed that I didn't go to bed until 2:00 AM.  Having dreamt about the book all night, I called in sick pretending to have a horrible migraine.  Addictions are brutal.  Luckily, I was working at a library and all librarians have struggled with the same addiction.

Putnam's book is a less potent crack, but still addicting.  "American Grace" covers contemporary religious culture in the United States, while exploring the complex dualism in American religion.  According to Putnam's research, Americans are becoming more tolerant of other faiths on a personal level, but more judgmental on the nation level.  In addition to an in-depth analysis of his survey findings and the historic origins of American religion, communal religious experiences are woven throughout the book  Thus, giving the reader a greater understanding of today's religious and political landscape.

 The only bad thing about this book is the cover, which looks like it was ripped off of a 1970's hymnal book.  Yes, it's that bad.  While I normally don't advise leaving the book jacket on (they make books difficult to shelve), don't take it off.  Otherwise, people may open the book expecting the lyrics from Kum ba ya.

I almost forgot, Federal law requires me to disclose if I was paid or received any compensation for reviewing this book.  While my book habit is expensive, I can say proudly that my husband bought this book on his own initiative.  After all, he does have good taste!


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