Well Documented Examination Of How Class Is Used To Separate More Than Race In Modern Era. Seriously, this is one of the better documented texts I’ve read in quite some time, clocking in at about 37% documentation. And given its claims that some might find extraordinary – such as “In a 2014 analysis, one researcher found that the level of segregation between poor Black and affluent Black families was actually greater than that between Black families and White families” – the extraordinary documentation is needed in order to more fully prove the case, which Kahlenberg does quite well indeed here. As Kahlenberg notes early, zoning isn’t really something most Americans think about too much unless they happen to buy a piece of property (and how many of us actually do that these days??) and have some issue with the local zoning board. But zoning directly impacts the availability of housing – which is something quite a few Americans are worried about in the early part of the 2020s. Kahlenberg pulls no punches here, and shows how elites – no matter their Party or race – have been using these issues to overcome previous (and wrong and correctly outlawed) race-based barriers. As a white dude who grew up in the 80s and 90s in a trailer park, and whose wife once lived in a duplex – both forms of housing that are routinely being zoned out of existence in more recent years – I’ve been in and around this all my life, but Kahlenberg finally puts an academic focus on what I’ve observed “on the street” and shows that the problem is actually far worse than even I had realized. Truly an outstanding work, and one anyone concerned about the housing market or “social justice” needs to read. Very much recommended.
Solid Setup But With Slight Torture Of English Language. This is a tale that manages to tell its own complete tale… and yet also manages to setup a new trilogy for the Saunders twins that is perhaps at least as compelling as their debut trilogy had been. Once again, these twins writing together focus on twin primary characters, and once again having that real world dynamic really helps with the in-world dynamic. Reading the author note about their extreme aversion to twin studies as teens and seeing what they put the twins through here was particularly relevatory, but the social commentary on homeless camps here was also thought provoking and compelling, without coming across as overly preachy in real-world terms. The *one* irritating thing about this read was the presence of the trans character and the torture of using the singular “they” repeatedly – showing in novel form why a completely different and new pronoun really is needed there (perhaps “ze” instead, as some promote?). Note that the trans character itself wasn’t the problem, the singular “they” was, particularly as often as was used here – to the level of almost reading more as a sudden dose of dialect rather than the usual tone of the writing. Overall another great book from the Saunders Twins, and I for one am looking forward to the next entry in the trilogy. Very much recommended.
This week we’re looking at a book that has a slow start and a LOT of moving parts that ultimately all ties together into a satisfyingly suspenseful tale. This week we’re looking at The Lying Club by Annie Ward.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Slow Start Yet Overall Satisfying. This is one of those books that starts a bit slow and has a LOT of moving parts and thus can be a touch difficult to keep track of at times, even for those of us who like this type of setup. One where there is little action and it seems a touch pointless at times… until the back parts of the book where the action truly finally picks up steam and gets fairly suspenseful. And yet, by the end all is tied up neatly – perhaps a bit too neatly, and the epilogue is perhaps unneeded as well. Ultimately a strong book that arguably tries to do a bit too much – but still largely succeeds in telling its tale its way. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social and buy links.
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