Review The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself: Racial Myths and Our American Narratives by David Mura

The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself: Racial Myths and Our American NarrativesThe Stories Whiteness Tells Itself: Racial Myths and Our American Narratives by David Mura
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself – Racial Myths and Our American Narratives, by David Mura, is a collection of essays aimed at showing how white America is brought up to believe a set of ideals about itself that allows systemic racism to continue and proliferate, even among those whites who consider themselves as liberal thinkers.
Muir’s essays are often a bit dry, but that can be forgiven as much academic writing cannot hope to be riveting material. His essays cover contemporary news stories such as the police killings of Philando Castile, George Floyd, and Daunte Wright, to slavery, the founding fathers, and Abraham Lincoln. Muir also compares the differences in how blacks and whites tell stories.
In the section titled “Racial Absence and Racial Presence in Jonathan Franzen and ZZ Packer,” I felt Muir strays from a factual analysis of his subject and loses objectivity, albeit briefly. However, I felt that the subject of this particular essay, Franzen, wrote something that Muir did not find believable but was not precisely on the topic of whiteness in literature.
Regardless, I feel this is a must-read for anyone who wants to see positive change from the current divisive rhetoric in today’s political and social arena.

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When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes AirWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“When Breath Becomes Air” is a beautifully written memoir about redefining life goals when even the most meticulously laid plans suddenly change. While the author writes this in response to a terminal diagnosis, we can apply the lessons he imparts in this book to situations where we are confronted with a life-altering event.

This book was simply breathtaking in its prose, never letting the medical jargon get in the way. The book made me laugh and cry, and while it is sad, it is also incredibly uplifting and hopeful.

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Anxious People

Anxious PeopleAnxious People by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fredrik Backman has a way of developing characters that pull you into a story and don’t let go. For those who have trouble with timelines that are not exactly linear, this might be a hard read, as Backman delivers information from various parts of the timeline out of order. Just as in real life, character development happens in this out-of-order sequence, so at first, I did not care for many of the characters. Still, as I got to know each of them, I began to understand just what this story is about, and I could not put this book down, reading it cover to cover in one day.

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Notions and Nightsongs Trumpet Recital

Join me for an afternoon of Notions and Nightsongs, in person at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church, 229 South Market Street, New Wilmington, PA 16142, at 3 pm, Saturday, June 11, 2022.

I will be joined by Nancy Zipay DeSalvo on piano for a program of pieces by Purcell, Hummel, Turrin, Peasley, and Everson. This is the same program we performed in April at my first Master’s Recital.

I hope to see you in person, but if you are unable to attend in person, I will be live streaming the event at

Junior Recital

Over 30 years later than first intended, then delayed even more by a pandemic, please join me for a live stream of my Junior Recital from Westminster College’s Wallace Memorial Chapel in New Wilmington, PA on Sunday, August 9 at 4 pm. Due to the pandemic, I am only allowed a few people into the chapel for the event, so I will be live streaming the recital on Facebook. Click here to find the event page/livestream.

The program consists of works by Kent Kennan, G.F. Handel, Peter Meechan and an arrangement of a traditional Irish melody arranged by Phil Snedecor. Here is a link to the pdf file of the program: Tim Hering – Junior Recital Program

I will be joined by Mr. Jeff Wachter on piano (and organ), senior trumpet major Vincent Buell, and Associate Professor of Trumpet, Dr. Timothy Winfield.

I may still have a few seats available in the socially distanced, mask-wearing audience in Westminster College PA’s Wallace Memorial Chapel, so if you would like to attend in person, drop me a line and I will see what is available!

Hope to see you online or in-person!