Finished these three:
I had never heard of Daniel Beer before but this book is a very well written and thoroughly researched glimpse into the stuff that used to get one dragged off to Siberia. I had no idea of the sheer extent of the land itself, and the book takes you into the life of the land and the suffering that happened in it. The sheer scale of the whims of the Tsars are appalling and extraordinary and you get a real sense of the enormity of the landscape that allowed such horrors to flourish. You also get a real sense of how easy it was to simply cover these things up - a tsar would be ROASTED on Twitter today I can tell ya! I really recommend this book - totally worth it.
I was wary of this -that's me being a snob - as it had been on Oprah's book club list. That'll teach me! This lovely work unfurls over a few months, charting the emotions of a community as it comes to terms with a pending execution. It's gentle, fierce, pitch -perfect. You'll be able to taste the cornbread and rage. Another one I recommend.
Even after finishing this book, I was not sure of the target audience. Anyone who didn't eat meat would read it and say, 'well, exactly - that's why I don't eat meat!" So in a way, there's little point in someone who doesn't eat meat reading it. Someone who DOES eat meat would more than likely read it and get irritated by the overly dramatic horror that is scattered about in barely disguised hectoring dressed up as philosophical debate. After reading this book, I read some things about the author that were less than flattering - absolutely loads of people wrote quite acerbic things about his other books and I thought oh aye, I can really believe those reviews if he carries on like this all the time. I did learn quite a bit, having said that. I thought I knew a lot about the meat industry but the US meat industry adds some extra horrors in the race it has to provide the most meat to America for the least amount of money. Appalling is an understatement. Did you know that euthanized animals go to make petfood? Snookipuss might one day be eating Fluffytail. I'm not saying that's wrong -in fact environmentally it's great, yes? But there is so much that consumers don't know about their food that I think would stop them dead in their tracks if they saw the killings. Anyway - it wouldn't be for everyone. But what the hell, give it a go!