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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

No middle ground for Sarah Palin, author

I have no idea how good, or bad, a writer Sarah Palin is. I've never read anything she's written. All I know is that, since quitting her job as governor of Alaska and unsuccessfully running for vice president beside Republican presidential candidate John McCain, at least three books have gone to print with her listed as their author.

The first two were "Going Rogue: An American Life," which is described as a "bestselling memoir from Sarah Palin, one of America’s most beloved and controversial political figures," and "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag," which promises that Palin's "reflections on faith, family, and patriotism will read like a bible of American virtues for anyone hoping to understand the truths that lie at the heart of the nation."

And now we have "Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas," a tome in which Palin "asserts the importance of preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas—in public displays, school concerts, pageants, and our expressions to one another other—and laments the over-commercialization and homogenization of Christmas in today's society."

Again, as I say, I haven't read any of these. What I find interesting, though, is the review status of Palin's latest book on Amazon.com. It perfectly represents the current U.S. political status, which is as polarized as ever in my lifetime (and I was born in 1947). As I write this, "Good Tidings and Great Joy" has 191 Amazon reviews: 77 give it five stars (the highest rating), 3 give it four stars, 2 give it three stars, 6 give it two stars and a whopping 103 give it one star (Amazon doesn't allow you to give a 0 or minus rating).

To recap: 77 give it a highest rating, 103 the lowest, and the other 11 are scattered somewhere in between. So at least Palin's blurb writers got one thing correct: She truly is "one of America’s most beloved and controversial political figures." And most everybody knows what side he or she falls on.