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It Can't Happen Here
Sinclair Lewis
“The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal.”—SalonIt Can’t Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main St...

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Comment from [Reddit user] with 4 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished The Best Alternate History Stories of the Twentieth Century, edited by Harry Turtledove and Martin H. Greenberg. A lot of fun stories in this one; I liked the ones by Turtledove, Allen Steele, William Sanders, and Brad Linaweaver the best.

I finished Atlantis and Other Places, by Harry Turtledove. One of his short story collections, filled with some great little tales. I really liked the one about centaurs meeting humans for the first time.

I finished The Third World War, by John Hackett. Interesting speculation from the late seventies. I liked the bit on the home front the best. Generally he got many underlying trends right but got the ultimate results wrong (but isn't that all future speculation?).

I finished It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis. This book alternates between being gut-bustingly funny and incredibly disturbing. An utterly amazing portrayal of what fascism does.

I finished The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump, by Harry Turtledove. A fun little fantasy novel that I enjoyed a lot. Some very creative use of magic here.

I'm now on Inferno, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Only a bit into it, but wonderfully weird.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It's set in the Igbo region of Nigeria in the years after independence, and if any of her other books are this good she's liable to replace Alan Paton as my favorite African author.

Started: 1633, by David Weber and Eric Flint. Still set during the Thirty Years' War; still reads a little like fanfic, but it's fun, and the historical homework that went into it keeps it from being completely silly.

Still working on: Winter in the Blood, by James Welch.

In the on-deck circle: Culloden, by Trevor Royle, It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis, and Dreamland, by Sam Quinones.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Still working on McMafia, by Misha Glenny (about the expansion in organized crime since the end of the Cold War, a la "Lord of War"), and It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis (still relevant, but best in small doses).

I also started Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen, because once again, I have no self-control.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/


It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis. Pretty decent, although the tongue-in-cheek tone of the writing made it hard to take seriously at times. Even 80 years down the line, I do think it's an effective critique of real-life American society. (Also, I never did stop getting some of the characters mixed up.)

The Big Burn, by Timothy Egan. The second of his I've read this year, after "The Worst Hard Time"--this one isn't as powerful, but it's still a really cool read, about the 1910 wildfire in Idaho... and Montana... and Washington... and British Columbia. Also gets into Gilded Age/Progressive Era politics, and the development of early conservation policy. Would probably be a good companion to "Young Men and Fire" or "The River of Doubt."

Lady Cop Makes Trouble, by Amy Stewart. I had read Stewart's nonfiction books on botany, but apart from the dry humor of her writing (not laugh-out-loud like Mary Roach), this was Something Completely Different. It's a crime novel, set in 1915 and based on the historical Constance Kopp, sheriff's deputy in Bergen County, New Jersey. Would recommend for anyone who liked "Devil in the White City" or "The Poisoner's Handbook."

Started: Assassin's Creed: Heresy, by Christie Golden. This one's a popcorn book--I hardly know anything about the Assassin's Creed IP, but the premise of the book (following the career of Joan of Arc) is fun, and Golden clearly enjoyed doing her historical homework for it. I'm having a little fun reading all of Rikkin's lines in Jeremy Irons' voice. Anyway, I suspect the book's concept was originally intended for a game (AC 2 1/2?) that never got off the ground.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Just finished It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis and started The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth. Both seemed appropriate considering recent events....

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Started: It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis, for Banned Books Week. I also saw McMafia, by Misha Glenny at the library and snagged it, because I have no self-control.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

It's been a while. Here's what I've read:

  • A collection of Greek tragedies (16 plays), which included plays by Euripedes, Sophocles, and Aeschylus. All of these plays are really great and I can't decide on a favorite. My only issue with this collection is that there are three plays centered on Orestes reuniting with his sister Electra and killing their mother and her lover for killing their father. There are some differences between the three plays from the three authors, but I found it repetitive.

  • It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis was okay. I found the parallels between the events of the book, contemporary events, and modern events fascinating. Beyond that, I didn't really care for any of the characters in the book.

  • I just started reading The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen. Lady gets thrown off a cruise ship by her husband (not a spoiler, it happens on the first page). Spends the rest of the book figuring out why he did it, and seeking vengeance. It's kind of a sequel to Skin Tight, by the same author (the one about the Miami plastic surgeon).

Still working on: It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis. Still very unsettling.

Started: Game Wars, by Marc Reisner, about the illegal wildlife trade. I snagged this one at the library because I recognized the author's name--he also wrote Cadillac Desert, an excellent book about water usage and policy in the western US. (Appropriately, it's a little dry; Game Wars is a lot more fun to read so far.)

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/


Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero. There wasn't a lot of information in this that was new to me--although, as I mentioned last week, I enjoyed the discussion of how bears' evolution influences their behavior (including towards humans), and how their diets change seasonally. Would still recommend to anyone who's going to be spending time in bear country.

The Eyes of the Dragon, by Stephen King--this would be the high-fantasy book that I assume is connected somehow to the Dark Tower-verse. He wrote it for his daughter, and it shows--it's sort of rough around the edges, and the tone is a little off (compared to works like "The Hobbit" or "His Dark Materials"), but it's got heart. The narrator's personality is fun too.

Wrapping up: It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis. A lot of it seems almost quaint in the context of modern American politics, but some of the broader commentary on American society still hits pretty hard. Am still having trouble keeping the characters straight.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 0 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: The Reverse of the Medal, by Patrick O'Brian. This was book 11 in the Aubrey-Maturin ("Master and Commander") series, and it was largely espionage and politics. Wrapped up some plotlines from the last few books, series is still good.

Working on:

Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero. It seems to me like a lot of the current understanding of bear behavior, interaction with humans, and acting safely in bear country has come from the work of people like Herrero--which is to say, there's not a lot in this book that's coming as a surprise. The discussion of the (theorized) evolutionary background of black and grizzly bears, and how it may affect their behavior, is pretty interesting and potentially helpful. I'm also enjoying the discussion of how bears' diets change seasonally, and how that affects where they're likely to be encountered.

It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis. If I keep this up, I might actually be able to update my flair!