Book Reviews #2

EDGARTitle: There is a River: The Story of Edgar Cayce (1945)
Author: Thomas Joseph Sugrue

Genre: Biography

I have been a fan of Edgar Cayce for many years.  I read a biography entitled Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet (2000) by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick many years ago.  But this book proceeds that book by almost 60 years.

Thomas Sugrue (1907-1953) was a skeptical journalist who lived with the Cayce’s for a while. During this time, he completed this book. His access to the information was first hand.

The book takes the reader through Cayce’s life from childhood until death. It is obvious to see where Sugrue left off because it seemed to go from a country walk with Edgar to a hastily written section about his later life and death.

Though that was no doubt added later. As well as case studies that are at the end of this book.  Those didn’t interest me although I looked at a few.

I would have given this book 4 out of 5 stars if it weren’t for the addendums. 

I enjoyed the more recent biography by Kirkpatrick better.

Neither of these books are for the mere curious, one would have to have a deep interest in Edgar Cayce and his works.


CitTitle: Citizen: An American Lyric
Author: Claudia Rankine
Genre: Poetry/Prose/Art

This was a ‘school read’.  I read poetry books occasionally.  This one was different, as it isn’t the type of poetry book I’m used to. This had poetry, prose poetry, artwork within.  Some of it was autobiographical, other stuff was commentary.

It is hard for me to say if I loved it or not. I didn’t mind it. I did find some interesting quotes by Rankine and other authors who she quoted.

She wrote stuff like:

“The past is a life sentence, a blunt instrument aimed at tomorrow.”

“Its motion activates its darkness. The pickup truck is a condition of darkness in motion.”

How I wish I could write stuff this breathtaking.

This book is about racism in American against African-Americans. But what Rankine is showing are the subtle ways that it occurs.  Sometimes she does go there…goes to the brutality of it, but often it is that whisper of racism that even the black person doesn’t see unless the look really hard.

Some of the pictures of the artwork were moving, some I just didn’t get. I enjoyed the book overall. Different that anything I’ve read in the past.

It also was a stage play at some point. That was probably very interesting.


About Liz Kelso
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