What Books Have You Read Recently


Missouri Ozarks, heart still in the Ruby Mountains
I just finished "Churchill Wanted Dead Or Alive" by Celia Sandys, his Granddaughter. Next up is "The Bunker" by Charles Goldstein. Both were Christmas gifts from my Sister in Law, Nancy Davis.


Curmudgeon in training
Finished Seven Days in May last night.
Good book. As usual, it was much better than the movie.

Next up on the want to read list is Vanished.
Both books were written by Fletcher Knebel in the '60's and are political fiction.


High Steppes of Eastern Washington

Just finished Hillbilly Highway by Max Fraser. Not a book for you if your people are not from Appalachia, you have an interest is social anthropology, or country music (1925 – 1975). Feel free to go to the next post if you wish.

12 million Okies and Arkies moved to the west coast beginning in the mid-1920s. Lots of books and movies about them. 18 million Blacks moved to the northern cities from 1880 through 1945 from the deep south and piedmont. Hundreds of books and TV shows and movies about their experiences. 20 million Hillbillies left Appalachia between 1919 and 1965 to work in OH, MI, IN and IL. This is the only scholarly work documenting their story and experiences. Other than a few movies about country singers, there is nothing until Hillbilly Eulogy by my cousin J.D. Vance.

This is an interesting but hard read, as parts of from his PhD dissertation and some from a post-PhD paper. Well researched and documented with a hundred pages of reference. But also first person stories of life and the times.

Chapter Six is very interesting as it traces the music from the ballads of the hills to “Old Time” music to what became “Country Western” and then morphed into the commercial “Nashville Sound”.


Active Member
I enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy. Several of my antecedents came to Arizona from NW Arkansas after the Civil War. Hardscrabble people. My grandmother in that line would not stand for anyone using the term Hillbilly.


California's Central Coast Amid The Insanity
Finished "Retribution", by Max Hastings, detailing the '44 and '45 war years against Japan. As it has been with every one of his books, I learned a lot.

Sometime in '24, at age 13, my wife's grandmother and her (grandmother's) father drove from Arkansas to California, and ended up working in Southern California orchards.


Active Member
Not too popular when I was growing up either. From KY you were a "briar hopper" or WV a "ridge runner".
Not too popular when I was growing up either. From KY you were a "briar hopper" or WV a "ridge runner".
If you are not from Appalachia most will not realize the difference .or even worse to me use the term hillbilly. And on a more serious note the series of volumes (12 0r 13) I think, of Fox Fire. might be of interest.

Jeff H

NW Ohio
..."rifle making" one, #4?
#5. Still have that one somewhere, but have lost track of the others.

My paternal Grandmother, from Kentucky, once told me that "y'can't win fer loozin' - move from Kentucky to Ohio and yer an F'in' hillbilly. Move from Ohio to South Carolina and yer a GD yankee." She wasn't complaining - she was making the point that there was no point in doing so. What others think of you is a pathetic excuse for not doing right and doing well - with what you've got.

SAW Hillbilly Elegy and it hit so close to home and was too real - it was scary, so I never picked the book up. Made me feel like Glen Close should have been at one of my family reunions.

I need to seek out Hillbilly Highway.

That was an incredibly informed and insightful review. Thank you.


Well-Known Member
i didn't read as much as i could, but i finally got done with Hotel Chelsea by Jeremy Bates.


Curmudgeon in training
Finished Vanished by Fletcher Knebel.
It was OK. Not great but OK.

Next up is a book I read back in the late '70's.
Shogun by James Clavell.