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Home » Culture and Criticism

Tomato Nation Read-Along #13: Poll

Submitted by on November 8, 2011 – 10:29 AM17 Comments

It's that time again, boys and girls. We've got two books about religion from the last poll, plus a bunch of other goodies to choose from; celebrate Election Day by voting for our next book!

Which book(s) would you read along with? (You can pick as many as 3.)

  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion (Janet Reitman) / cultural studies (22%, 151 Votes)
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (John M. Barry) / history (17%, 119 Votes)
  • Jesus Freaks: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge (Don Lattin) / history (17%, 118 Votes)
  • Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Donald Zochert) / biography (17%, 114 Votes)
  • Blue Nights (Joan Didion) / memoir (7%, 51 Votes)
  • The Portrait of a Lady (Henry James) / classics (5%, 37 Votes)
  • The City of Falling Angels (John Berendt) / non-fiction (5%, 36 Votes)
  • Ball Don't Lie (Matt de la Pena) / YA fiction (4%, 28 Votes)
  • This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Drew Gilpin Faust) / history (3%, 24 Votes)
  • The Kennedy Imprisonment: A Meditation on Power (Garry Wills) / social sciences (1%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 323

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  • Krissarissa says:

    Such a joyful bunch, for some holiday reading…

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    "The TN Read-Along: When Henry James Is The Cheeriest Option, Something's Gone Horribly Wrong"

  • c8h10n4o2 says:

    I got The Great Influenza at the WWI Memorial Museum a couple of years ago. Totally engrossing stuff.

  • Hannah says:

    I made myself a note to get the Scientology book on Kindle as soon as I get home tonight, whether or not it gets chosen this time around (although so far it's looking good). I recently realized that Scientology is like one of the most elaborate car accidents I cannot look away from. in the New Yorker is fascinating to me.

  • Hannah says:

    Hah, that sentence with the link was supposed to start with "This piece." Fail–but at least the link works.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Ah, nothing perks me up like a nice flu epidemic!

    These all look great! Can't wait to crack the covers of the winner.

  • cayenne says:

    I have a thing for Plague Lit, and The Great Influenza was excellent.

    (hey, other people like celebrity bios – I don't judge…much. *cough* *Snooki* )

  • Another Elizabeth says:

    I actually have the Scientology book! I can participate in this one! And I can tell my story about how the "Church" threatened to sue me when I was 18! C'mon, pleeeeaase…

  • Janice says:

    Hannah-that New Yorker article actually lowered my opinion of Scientology. Pretty amazing, considering how low my opinion was before that….

  • MizShrew says:

    My SIL actually went to a Scientology um, "service?" a few years ago. I'll have to ask her about it again, but her description convinced me that these peeps are nuts. Which of course should make for an excellent read.

  • Jennifer says:

    I'm wondering if the pic of Tom Cruise is somehow priming us all to vote for the $cientology book now…

  • Sandman says:

    As a rule, I'm much more interested in fiction than in history, memoir, or biography, but what a hard choice this time – all of them seem at least interesting to me, and some could be fascinating. I think I might just have to read the Berendt book, whatever the result of the Read-Along poll. I now wish I'd included Venice in my recent Italian itinerary (OMG. Best. Trip. Ever.)

    The New Yorker piece is fascinating, in a "What is wrong with these people??!" way. My mouth kept dropping open in horror.

  • Megan in Seattle says:

    I do enjoy using the polls for reading suggestions! I read the Scientology book recently because it was on a previous poll. Was "Popular Crime" on a recent poll? Just read that…or most of it, anyhow. And I've read the Berendt book. So…the eternal dilemma: do I vote for something I've read (and inevitably determine that I read it too long ago to be of any use), or do I pick something that looks interesting?

  • Jaybird says:

    I read the "Laura" book many years ago, and while it was a pretty good read, I don't see it beating out the Scientology tome, because toenail-gnawing crazy beats pioneer factoids every time.

  • Nanc in Ashland says:

    I read the New Yorker piece when it came out and while fascinated and horrified I was also bugged that there was absolutely no mention of Paul Haggis creating one of my all time favorite TV shows. No love for Due South and the adventures of the Mountie, the Chicago cop and the deaf wolf?

    Ahem, not that TV was the purpose of the piece . . .

  • Andrew says:

    Has anyone read Blue Nights? What did you think? I generally really like Joan Didion, but I didn't care for The Year of Magical Thinking.

  • Meredith says:

    The Barry book on the flu is very good! It actually helped me decide to get my Ph.D. (well, if I'm reading this for *fun*…) All of the non-fiction looks like good times!

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