Monday, September 3, 2007

Summer Reading for Democrats

These past few months I read three great books: The Truth (with jokes) by Al Franken, The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Wellstone, and Homegrown Democrat by Garrison Keillor. I received Al Franken’s book for Christmas, but just started reading it in June. I read his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, and enjoyed it more than Truth. Lies is funnier. It’s probably good, though, that Truth is not completely hilarious, since Al Franken is trying to lose his comic image slightly as he runs for Senate.

Summers at the Carleton Post Office are slow, which is perfect for spending a couple of hours at the library every day during a shift. That’s exactly where I read Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Wellstone. I really enjoyed reading this book. In it, Wellstone talks about his experiences with grassroots politics and working in Washington, D.C. His words are sincere and inspiring. I recommend this book to all Carleton students who are not from Minnesota and are not familiar with late Senator Paul Wellstone and Professor of Political Science at Carleton College.

I also received Homegrown Democrat as a Christmas present last year, but just started reading it this summer, as well. I love this book. Garrison Keillor is a fantastic Minnesota author. Everyone who is from Minnesota should at least read one Keillor book. In this book, Keillor talks about his experiences growing up in Anoka, Minnesota and his years at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He talks about all of the experiences in his life that have made him a homegrown democrat. Let me share with you some great lines from the book:

“Republicans were those fraternity boys on University Avenue engaged in the manly pursuit of drunkenness and lighting farts, sponsoring the annual Pajama Parade and the Tunic Twirl, singing their raccoon songs, a bunch of glad-handers and blowhards who devoted more attention to their hair than to what lay beneath it” (83).

“Republicans have perfectly nice manners, normal hair, pleasant smiles, good deodorants, but when it comes right down to it, you don’t want them monitoring your oxygen flow: they will set it to the minimum required to sustain basic brain function, and then hand you a prayer card” (17).

Summer is not quite over yet! There is still time before classes start to read one of these great, fun books. Happy reading!

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