What I’m Reading Right Now

Currently I’m juggling the following:

I’ve finally started
The Da Vinci Code, and I’ve got to give Dan Brown this much: he knows how to write suspense. The mystery and the distinct characters surrounding it do have quite an allure. Which is why all the falsehoods (Wikipedia’s article on ‘em is surprisingly long, but be careful—it is Wikipedia, after all) within are so inexcusable, especially considering Brown’s “Fact” preface in the front. And occasionally Brown wanders into displays of sheer idiocy like this line: “Langdon was always surprised how few Christians who gazed upon ‘the crucifix’ realized their symbol’s violent history was reflected in its very name: ‘cross’ and ‘crucifix’ came from the Latin word cruciare—to torture.” Uh, note to Dan: the torture Christ endured for our sins isn’t exactly an obscure part of Christianity…Bottom line: if Brown had instead prefaced the book with something along the lines of, “The following story takes creative license with several elements of history, religion and art,” I could probably give The Da Vinci Code a thumbs-up (at least so far; we’ll see how things go when I’m finished).

Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel—Why Everything You Know Is Wrong by John Stossel and The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Radicals in America by David Horowitz. These gems—the former on various falsehoods in all walks of life, the latter on demented college professors—are nice because they’re broken down into bite-sized passages that can be read & set aside without forgetting some important context that came before. Highly recommended.

At a thrift shop tonight I found
Reagan: The Political Chameleon. It’s a book written before the Gipper’s presidency by ex-California Governor Pat Brown. Once I finish the above, I look forward to reading how spectacularly wrong Brown, in retrospect, is with his assertion that “there is no need to qualify this view in the slightest: Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency would be a national disaster.” Also, this passage from the jacket got me thinking:

“What sort of man is Ronald Reagan? His philosophy has ranged the political spectrum—from left-wing Democrat during the McCarthy era, to capitalist spokesman for General Electric, to Goldwater conservative—changing colors as the chameleon does, constantly camouflaging himself to match his environment. Do Reagan’s beliefs truly reflect the man, or are they merely a method of matching the views of his current circle, with no more depth or profundity that the varying hues of the chameleon?”

who does the Left level that charge against these days? (Now, I don’t want to jinx anything, or prematurely make him into another Reagan…but we can hope…)

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