What Non-Fiction Are We Reading Now (Oct. thru Dec. 2022)?

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What Non-Fiction Are We Reading Now (Oct. thru Dec. 2022)?

sep 29, 2022, 9:44 am

Add your posts to this year's Q4 thread.

okt 1, 2022, 9:02 am

I just finished Zadie Smith's short book of essays written during the pandemic lock down entitled Intimations. These are really just musings, both philosophical and observational, made enjoyable by the author's personality and writing style.

okt 1, 2022, 12:37 pm

Dazzlin Dolly by Suzanne Slade I won from G.R.. It is a short book, fun to read but I think too pricey. Great illustrations. Failed to mention her song, Coat of Many Colors in her Timeline. It woulld be a nice gift along with the music for someone.

Redigerat: okt 8, 2022, 9:35 pm

My current horror reading is Mafia Democracy: How Our Republic Became a Mob Racket, by Michael Franzese. His thesis is that our government has come to function like the Mob, with officials and their machinery running schemes that control people's lives and channeling vast funds to their own personal coffers.

(Edited to fix touchstone)

okt 2, 2022, 10:14 am

Redigerat: okt 9, 2022, 2:53 pm

I Moved Your Cheese: For Those Who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else's Maze
Deepak Malhotra
3/5 stars
The author who wrote this book comes from Harvard Business School and discusses the book I Moved Your Cheese in where the topic of change is inevitable. However, Malhorta feels that we are more than mice in a maze and that we can make our own changes and create the life we want to live. Short but interesting.

okt 4, 2022, 1:03 pm

>6 JulieLill: When was that book written? Who Moved my Cheese is decades old.

Redigerat: okt 5, 2022, 1:37 pm

I finished Ar'n't I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South by Deborah Gray White. Professor White's study of the particular aspects of the experience of female slaves in the American south was considered a groundbreaking book when it was first published in 1985. Most of the previous studies of the slave experience had either focused especially on the male experience or had more or less failed to differentiate significantly between the lives of male and female slaves. The book is still held in very high esteem these 37 years later.

White delves in as detailed a manner as possible into the life of the female slave. Important factors were the value females had within the system for their ability to give birth to babies that had high monetary value to their enslavers, and the resulting pressure to continue reproducing. In the meantime, they were still expected to get their plantation work in, as well. Women were much less likely than male slaves to have the sort of plantation jobs and/or privileges that allowed them to travel between plantations. In addition, because of their value as baby producers, women were much less likely than men to be sold away. Because of this, female slaves' strongest bonds were often to be found within the community of enslaved women. It was to this community that women most often turned for support in times of troubles and for tending in times of illness. Most women's strongest identities were through their roles as mothers rather than as wives.

I've only touched on two of the many important main themes of this book. I will say that the writing style is a bit dry at times, academic in nature, but never to the extent that I was hindered in the reading. Also, when I ordered my copy of the book online, I didn't realize that there was a newer edition which features an additional chapter. So I would recommend anyone thinking of picking this book would want to pick that later edition.

okt 6, 2022, 12:49 pm

>7 LynnB: This one was written in 2011.

okt 7, 2022, 9:07 am

>9 JulieLill: that's interesting! I might check it out. Who Moved My Cheese was widely used in management training when it came out.

okt 8, 2022, 9:38 pm

I finished Mafia Democracy quickly and have moved on to Maggie Haberman's just-released tome, Confidence Man, which is going to be with me for a while.

okt 10, 2022, 12:43 pm

I finished Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants & Stars: Umpiring in the Negro Leagues & Beyond by Bob Motley. Motley certainly led a fascinating life. Motley was a Black man born in the early 1920 in Jim Crow polluted Alabama. His dream was to be a ballplayer, but his talents couldn't keep up with those dreams. When World War II broke out, Motley became one of the first African Americans accepted into the Marines and saw combat, and a lot of it, in the Pacific theater. After the war, Motley decided to stick with his dream of making a living in baseball, but now as an umpire, for which he felt that his combination of Marine toughness and natural flamboyance made him suited. In fact, after many years of umpiring sandlot and semi-pro games, Motley made it to the top of the profession, at least as it existed for African Americans in the 1950s, a job umpiring in the Negro Leagues. By the 1950s, Major League Baseball had been somewhat integrated, as more and more Black players had joined the Major League ranks after Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby and several others had first integrated the game in 1947. Umpiring, however, was another story. I guess the difference was MLB's willingness to have Black players, in positions, despite their obvious talents, of relative subservience to management, but not, as umpires, in positions of relative authority. In other words, it was one thing for a Black man to be able to strike out a white player with fastballs and curves, another for a Black man to call a white man out on a borderline pitch or a close play at first base. And not only were the Major League umpiring ranks still segregated, but even the minor leagues as well. Motley kept pushing, however, and eventually was hired as the second African American to umpire in the Pacific Coast League, a very high minor league. Many of the tales Motley tells are fascinating. His stories of umpiring behind the plate when the great Satchel Page was pitching are priceless. And many others of his recollections of events both on the field and off make this memoir well worth reading, particularly, though not necessarily exclusively, for baseball fans. This is, overall, an American story.

okt 12, 2022, 6:31 am

I finished the book The Death of the Artist. The author is one of the sharpest observers of culture, recognizing the trends, their implications, and their ramifications. In this book he looks at the ramifications of the economy and the digital age upon the artist, in part by interviewing hundreds of artists.

okt 12, 2022, 10:57 pm

I finished Toscano's Fanaticism and posted my review to LT. Next up is Apocalypse of the Alien God, where the author is a former classmate of mine.

okt 15, 2022, 10:29 am

I'm reading Beyond the Two-State Solution by Jonathan Kuttab

okt 15, 2022, 11:19 am

Finished The Archaeology of Beekeeping. Interesting and informative, but rather dry. Also the last chapter was disappointing, it aimed to cover depiction of bees & bee keeping in culture but excluded things like written sources, stamps and medieval manuscripts for no logical reason. This chapter could have been longer, the rest could have done with being shorter.

okt 16, 2022, 8:27 am

I'm reading Secondhand Time, and it's even more interesting than I anticipated. It seems that many Russians long for a cohesive national identity and they took pride in communism, which set them apart, even at great cost.

okt 22, 2022, 6:16 pm

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
by Jenna Miscavige Hill
4/5 stars
This is the fascinating true life story of Jenna Miscavige and her life in Scientology. She describes her and her family’s life and roles in Scientology, where life for children and adults are very different and highly structured from those on the outside. Children are harshly punished for disobeying and parents and children are separated at an early age and forced to work doing menial tasks. Definitely, a page turner.

Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story
by Chris Nashawaty
4/5 stars
This is the wonderfully interesting book on the making of the film Caddyshack. Nashawaty dishes all the dirt surrounding the production of the movie. Definitely for film buffs!

okt 24, 2022, 10:48 am

I finished The Age of the Crisis of Man. I confess to only understanding perhaps half of this book which is to say the book is not written for the lay philosopher. Terms were used without intelligible definitions. None the less there were interesting concept particularly in the reviews of Bellow and Ellison.

okt 24, 2022, 1:44 pm

>20 snash: Hm. Wishlisted.

okt 25, 2022, 9:37 pm

Earlier this month, I read US science writer David Quammen's new book Breathless, on the subject of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and what we know about it so far.

Today I received a new copy of last year's book Silent Invasion, by Deborah Birx, MD, also on the subject of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic books written by medical doctors are of special interest to me.

okt 28, 2022, 9:00 am

I'm reading Is There Bacon in Heaven: A Memoir by Ali Hassan

okt 29, 2022, 7:10 pm

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Irin Carmon
3.5/5 star
This was quite an unusual book about RBG. It talks about her life with her husband who ended up more of a stay at home husband but still working and supporting his wife, her law career and her eventual rise to Supreme Court judge. It was also quite a fascinating look at the juggling the nominees go through before getting on the court.

okt 31, 2022, 3:05 pm

nov 1, 2022, 12:38 pm

I finished The Background of Our War by The U.S. War Department Bureau of Public Relations. The U.S. War Department (now known rather euphemistically as the Department of Defense) put this book together immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor that finally brought the U.S. into World War 2. The War Department evidently assumed that cadets at the U.S. Military Academy (a.k.a. West Point) needed to be brought up to speed about what had been going on in the world over the past 10 years or so. The book contains a chapter apiece about the war up until that time. The Japanese invasion of China and other pre-Pearl Harbor activities in the Pacific get a couple of chapters, and there's a chapter each for the Nazi invasions of Norway, Poland and France, the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic, among others. There will be very little that's new here for folks who are up to speed on their WW2 military history, although the book might serve as a good primer for those who haven't read much on the topic.

nov 2, 2022, 6:59 pm

Notes on a Cowardly Lion: The Biography of Bert Lahr
John Lahr
3/5 stars
This is quite an extensive book on Bert Lahr who was probably best known for his role of the Cowardly Lion in the film, The Wizard of Oz. Written by his son, the author traces his family life and extensive career on Broadway, in films and Vaudeville and the actors and actresses he worked with.

nov 4, 2022, 1:31 pm

I finished The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Everybody with an affinity for this sort of book was reading it when it first was published several years ago. I still owned my used bookstore in those days and I couldn't keep the book on my shelves. And I can understand why that was, now that one my reading group buddies assigned the book for last month's reading. It's a rags-to-glory tale of the group of mostly working class young men who endured personal hardships galore as well as a grueling training regimen of several years' duration to bring honors to themselves and to the University of Washington while rowing crew in an 8-man boat. Not only did they manage to defeat the upper class teams who rowed at Cal Berkeley and the elite Eastern Seaboard schools, but they went to Nazi Germany in 1936 and embarrassed Hitler by winning an Olympic Gold Medal. There's quite a lot that's excellent about this book. The story is certainly interesting, and Brown's research is impressive, indeed. His over-reliance on cliches in his prose, bugged me, though. People are "thrilled to the core," they decided to do things "here and now," they "marvel" at events and observations. These sort of glitches pop up several times per page. There were a few other factors that knocked the book down to 3 1/2 stars for me, but none of the other members of the book group for which I read the book shared any of my piddling concerns. Anyway, well worth reading, sez I.

nov 5, 2022, 1:39 pm

>29 rocketjk: Loved that book!

nov 5, 2022, 8:44 pm

I finished reading Apocalypse of the Alien God and posted my review. To follow it, I've picked up Silence.

nov 8, 2022, 9:19 am

Old Sparky: The Electric Chair and the History of the Death Penalty
Anthony Galvin
5/5 stars
This is an interesting book about the history of the death penalty, the electric chair and the people who underwent execution. Written in 2015, I would love to see this book added to include any changes in the death penalty and its outcomes.

nov 8, 2022, 10:04 am

>31 JulieLill: I loved that book too, and so did two friends I recommended it to. One of my very favorite books of 2021.

nov 11, 2022, 10:51 am

The Wolf Man
Kenny Abdo
3/5 stars
I thought this book was an adult book but it turns out that it is an easy reader book. But I did read it though I really wanted to read an adult book on The Wolf Man. This is one of a series of books on Hollywood Monsters for children. I will have to be more on alert when I order books. I am sure there is something out there about the wolfman and/or Lon Chaney on an adult level.

However, the most interesting part of the book was that the script of the movie was based on writer Curt Siodmark's Dresden experiences when the Nazi's took over. It did not come from German folklore.

nov 16, 2022, 2:35 pm

I finished The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein.

The Color of Law is another frustrating, infuriating and absolutely crucial study of racism in America. Richard Rothstein's central thesis is that most Americans (or at least most white Americans) believe that the widespread segregation of American cities and suburbs happened relatively naturally, the result of racism, yes, and of the economic forces that that racism produced, but not due to any overt official program of separation and exclusion, at least in the Northern states. Rothstein calls this the theory of de facto segregation. But as Rothstein proves convincingly and forcefully in his book's 240 information-packed pages, what we have had in America is and has been, in fact, de jure segregation, a condition created and maintained by over a century of overt governmental policies. These policies range from the widespread creation of public suburban housing developments like Levitown purposefully designed with strict "whites only" rules, the allowance and encouragement of redlining policies that kept white and African Americans apart and destroyed neighborhoods in the process, the refusal to offer government loans and mortgages to African Americans, the staunch refusal of law enforcement agencies to protect African American families trying to move into white suburbs from violence, the purposefully designing of urban spurs of the Interstate Highway System to destroy middle class African American neighborhoods and push black Americans further away from white suburbs. And that's a very short list of the occurrences and policies that Rothstein covers.

Redigerat: nov 17, 2022, 9:07 am

>37 rocketjk:. An important book that I wish more people would read. I found the author's style rather dry, and I suppose that is a turn off for non-academic readers. It would be wonderful if someone like Isabel Wilkerson would cover the same material with a more user-friendly writing style.

nov 17, 2022, 12:23 pm

>38 vwinsloe: "I found the author's style rather dry, and I suppose that is a turn off for non-academic readers."

I know what you mean. It is definitely a straightforward presentation of facts, rather than what we've come to know as "narrative non-fiction." I come down somewhere in the middle on this, though. I did find Rothstein's presentation to be clear and straightforward, almost entirely free of the kind of academic jargon that often slows me down in these sorts of histories. So that was on the plus side for me. I found the information being presented so compelling on its own that I was OK with the somewhat dry style. Rothstein did make a couple of attempts to humanize the information by relating the particular experiences of individuals and families, but the history is so broad, as you know, covering over a century of an astounding multiplicity of governmental and judicial policies, that it's hard for me to see how Rothstein could have added too much of a individualized touch and still done the history justice. To be honest, I also appreciated the fact that he brought this book in at 240 pages, not including the notes.

It's interesting that you mention Wilkerson. I didn't find the writing in Caste to be that much different than Rothstein's, here. That's just me, obviously. We each will react differently to these things, and to each his/her/their own, of course. But perhaps you're referring more to The Warmth of Other Suns, which I haven't read but which I've been told is the easier read, stylistically. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander I found also to be relatively close to The Color of Law stylistically. I did find the more user-friendly writing style you're referring to in Heather McGhee's excellent The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.

Given the seemingly comprehensive nature of The Color of Law, I don't know that anyone will be making the effort to recreate the scholarship it contains just in order to provide a different writing style. I'd conjecture that a history that so thoroughly demolishes such deeply held national comfort-allowing misconceptions on such a crucial topic is likely to face a certain degree of tough sledding regardless of writing style. On the other hand, I see that over 1,700 LT members list the book in their libraries, though I don't know what's to be gleaned from that, exactly. More to the point, I guess, is the fact that, according to Wikipedia, "As of the December 20th, 2020 issue, the book ha{d} spent 32 total weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list." So somebody's reading it! Or, anyway, at least buying it. :)


Redigerat: nov 18, 2022, 7:25 am

>39 rocketjk:. Good to know that at least someone is reading it! I read both of Wilkerson's books, and the comparison that I am making I think is that stylistically, her books are not so sparse and factually condensed. I find that academic writers sometimes pack each sentence with so many factoids that it makes for a slow read to unpack everything. This does not make for popular appeal.

By your own comparison, The New Jim Crow is in more than twice as many libraries on LT, and Caste has roughly about 50% more. Of course, this would need to be adjusted by publication date, as The New Jim Crow is at least 10 years old. I did not find the style of either of these books to be so dense.

I have not read Heather McGhee's book, so I am putting it on my wish list. Thanks!

Redigerat: nov 18, 2022, 7:31 am

I'm reading All the Single Ladies. I've had this book on the shelf for a while, and I was prompted to read it by the massive turnout of single ladies voting Democrat in the recent US midterm election. I let it sit on the shelf because I had not expected any new information from it, but I am learning quite a bit that not only explains the recent vote but also changes to our entire culture.

nov 19, 2022, 12:30 pm

by A. Scott Berg
5/5 stars
I love A. Scott Berg and would read anything by him. He doesn't disappoint in this detailed and interesting book on the life and times of Lindberg which recounts his life, his tragedies and triumphs and his death. Highly recommended!

nov 20, 2022, 9:29 am

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World (Ann Shen Legendary Ladies Collection) by Ann Shen

nov 20, 2022, 9:40 am

>42 JulieLill: how does he write about Lindbergs support of Hitler? He was a known and life long antisemite

nov 20, 2022, 11:04 am

>43 Molly3028: All in all, I am disappointed in that book. The 100 women presented were interesting, and with short vignettes about each, the book is a quick and accessible overview that points the way to learning more about any of them. What bothered me was that so many of the women portrayed were from Hollywood and the American music industry. While we had some scientists and activists, the book seemed to portray women as having major influence primarily in pop culture.

And what really bothered me were the illustrations! Everyone was nicely coifed with makeup and big, BIG eyelashes. Real women don't look like that! And if you are writing about women's contributions to history, you shouldn't make nearly all of them all look like the stereotype of beautiful.

Redigerat: nov 20, 2022, 12:43 pm

>42 JulieLill:
>44 cindydavid4:

I've always wondered why books published in Europe featuring his other wife and children have never been published here. I believe Reese met them.

Redigerat: nov 20, 2022, 1:05 pm

>45 LynnB:

I assume the words ~ Legendary Ladies Collection ~ framed her focus to include ladies of the distant past who were actually known to the public during their lifetimes.

nov 20, 2022, 6:55 pm

>44 cindydavid4: I think it is best to read the book and get your own views of what was covered in the book on that topic!

nov 20, 2022, 7:02 pm

>48 JulieLill: mmm, ok Ill take a hard pass. actually know a lot about his life through his wifes writings. Thanks tho

Redigerat: nov 20, 2022, 7:58 pm

>49 cindydavid4:
I found a website on him on that topic that might help clarify!


Redigerat: nov 21, 2022, 3:45 am

mmm interesting. I wonder if he really did have a change of heart, or if this was just his wifes way of clearing his name

heres another article, from a PBS American Experience series. Interesting that his name was mentioned along with Ford. FWIW.


BTW I see you are a fan of Bill Bryson. Did you read his one summer 1927? There is a great deal in here about Lindberg that might interest you. cheers :)

Redigerat: nov 21, 2022, 7:56 am

>45 LynnB:. There was another book on the same topic, She Caused a Riot, that may be more to your taste.

nov 21, 2022, 11:10 am

>51 cindydavid4: I did read Bryson's One Summer: America 1927 a few years ago and highly recommend it. Bryson is one of my favorite authors!

Redigerat: nov 21, 2022, 1:12 pm

Cool. Used to read his travel narratives, but soured on them when he became judgemental and rather mean. But I've been liking his nonfiction alot!

nov 22, 2022, 11:26 am

I just finished reading Silence by Jane Brox, and while I enjoyed it all right, it fell short of my hopes for it. I've posted a review.

nov 25, 2022, 1:34 pm

Dolls! Dolls! Dolls!: Deep Inside Valley of the Dolls, the Most Beloved Bad Book and Movie of All Time
Stephen Rebello
4/5 stars
If you have ever seen Valley of The Dolls, you’ll love this book that covers all the dirt in the making of this movie based on Jacqueline Susann’s 1966 book. Rebello thoroughly covers every aspect of the making of this movie!

nov 28, 2022, 9:17 am

Nora Ephron: A Biography
Kristin Marguerite Doidge
4/5 stars
This isn’t the first book I have read about Nora Ephron but she is such an interesting subject to read about and was such a success in her career with writing and film that not every book on her can contain all that we know about her. When I checked this out from the library I work at, one of the patrons saw that I had that book and she wanted to check it out too. I think Ephron’s life was not long enough for her fans, family and friends yet she will still be a role model to women everywhere!

nov 28, 2022, 9:25 am

Just beginning Something of Themselves: Kipling, Kingsley and Conan Doyle and the Anglo-Boer War but have also been dipping into a collection of essays, found in My Victorian Novel.

Redigerat: nov 28, 2022, 12:19 pm

I finished John Heartfield: Laughter is a Devastating Weapon by David King and Ernst Volland.

Helmut Herzfeld was an artist and graphic designer who came of age as an artist during the fraught and chaotic days of 1920s Weimar Republic Germany. He changed his name to John Heartfield as a political protest against what he saw as the disastrous rise in toxic German nationalism that had already led to the insane, meaningless carnage of World War I. Heartfield was a founding member of the short-lived but extremely influential Dadaist movement and, along with artist George Grosz, is credited with more or less inventing the art of photomontage. It was obvious to Heartfield that German industrialists were manipulating the politics and economics of the day and criminally exploiting German workers. He became a lifelong Communist, a very early member of the German Communist Party. Heartfield turned his artistic talent, plus his anger, determination and sharp wit, to message-bearing graphic design, most notably designing dozens of classic covers for the weekly German Communist Journal, AIZ, or Arbiter Illustrierte Zeitung: in English, Workers' Illustrated Newspaper. His profoundly affecting and often savage designs took on the monied interests and, increasingly, the rising fascist movement, personified of course by the Nazi's. Heartfield portrayed Hitler as being not only hateful but corrupt, funded, as can be seen in the book's cover image, by the industrialists themselves as a way to keep the workers in line. When the Nazi's finally took power in 1933, Heartfield had to flee Germany, literally escaping out a window and hiding in a trash bin for seven hours when the Gestapo raided his studio. The AIZ set up shop in exile in Prague until the Munich Agreement in 1939. Soon Heartfield was in England, where his determined anti-Fascist bona fides didn't mean much to the British authorities, who interned him for being a German national and a Communist. Released after six months due to poor health, Heartfield remained spied upon and, to a certain extent. He moved back Germany, specifically, to the DDR, in 1950, where he was once again viewed with suspicion due to his 11 years in England, not being formally admitted to the DDR's Academy of the Arts until 1956.

I've only touched on some main points of Heartfield's astounding and fascinating life story. This book is mostly filled with large and colorful prints of Heartfield's most famous posters and book jacket arts. In many cases, we see the original montages flanked by the finished products including the use of shading and text that appeared in AIZ and elsewhere. I would be remiss if I failed to point out that his art was not only anti-capitalism/fascist, but also in many cases pro-Communism, in which he stongly and determinedly believed.

nov 30, 2022, 5:00 pm

>59 rocketjk: Soon Heartfield was in England, where his determined anti-Fascist bona fides didn't mean much to the British authorities, who interned him for being a German national and a Communist. Released after six months due to poor health, Heartfield remained spied upon and, to a certain extent. He moved back Germany, specifically, to the DDR, in 1950, where he was once again viewed with suspicion due to his 11 years in England, not being formally admitted to the DDR's Academy of the Arts until 1956.

Geesh sometimes you just cant win for losing.

dec 1, 2022, 2:44 am

>61 cindydavid4: Yep. Evidently it was only Bertold Brecht's intervention that kept Heartfield from being tried for treason by the DDR.

dec 4, 2022, 9:31 am

Paul Winchell
4/5 stars
Probably best known as a puppeteer and TV star, the rest of his life was a series of ups and downs especially regarding his mother. But he was also an inventor and friends with Dr. Heimlich. He consulted with him about using hypnosis during surgery and worked on an artificial heart. He also experimented on electric cars and was the first to develop disposable razors among other things. Highly recommended and very interesting!

dec 7, 2022, 2:20 pm

I finished Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs. This is an extremely well written and harrowing autobiography of a woman who, born in 1813, grew up a slave in North Carolina. Jacobs' book, published after her eventual escape to the North, became an important document in the abolitionist fight against slavery. Although not the first slave testimony, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was the first widely distributed slave account written by a woman. Jacobs provides a detailed, horrific picture of chattel slavery.

dec 10, 2022, 12:50 pm

Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret
Steve Luxenberg
4/5 stars
Steve Luxenberg knew that his mother was an only child but then there was an episode that occurred at the doctor’s office when she talked to her doctor about a sibling that was institutionalized when she was quite young. The author had never in his life heard of this sister of his mother. It wasn’t until his mother’s death that the secret came out. He started to research his mother’s family and uncovered the truth about the aunt who he never met. I thought this was quite an amazing story and thoroughly researched.

dec 10, 2022, 10:57 pm

how to stand up to a dictator author is a journalist from the phillipines and she spent several years due to her activism against the government. She won last years Nobel. Ive seen her speak and if she writes just at well, this will be an interesting read

dec 11, 2022, 7:56 am

I'm reading So You Want to Talk About Race, and so far it seems like a valuable addition to the understanding of race relations in the USA.

dec 20, 2022, 11:36 am

Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia
Natasha Lance Rogoff
4/5 stars
Rogoff tells her tale of working for Sesame Street in the 1990’s and trying to get the post- Soviet Russians to embrace a Russian Sesame Street to air in their country. I really enjoyed this book and the author does a nice job relating her time in Russia and the people she worked with.

dec 20, 2022, 5:57 pm

Greatly enjoying Margaret Atwoods new collection Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021 Ive been dipping in and out of it this last week and so far haven't found anything less than excellent. Doesnt matter where you start in this hefty collection, you will find gems of writing and food for thought.

I liked this review: "Series of essays written between 2004 and 2021 on topics related to social trends and possible future disruptions. Atwood is a big picture thinker. She takes an idea the relates it to other relevant subjects and themes, making her points along the way. Margaret Atwood’s essays are intelligent and witty. Her self-deprecating sense of humor shines through. She addresses issues such as civil rights, climate change, feminism, and literature. Provides a peek into the process of writing several of her books" (Castle Lass

Redigerat: dec 23, 2022, 11:10 pm

The Final Report of the January 6 Committee

dec 24, 2022, 10:48 am

>1 Molly3028: link pls

Redigerat: dec 24, 2022, 11:13 am

>72 cindydavid4:

When you Google the report, a number of links appear. I used the NPR site.

Redigerat: dec 24, 2022, 11:24 am

Im confused. the link Im looking for is the new thread. Im not looking for the jan 6 report, which I will do later. clarify pls thanks

dec 24, 2022, 12:46 pm

>74 cindydavid4:

This is the 2022 Q4 thread. You're posting in it.

I don't think the 2023 Q1 thread is up yet.

dec 24, 2022, 2:28 pm

>74 cindydavid4:

Sorry cindydavid4 ~ I didn't see the number 1 before the arrow in your post. I plan to start the new thread next Saturday.

dec 24, 2022, 3:50 pm

thanks. thought I was totally confused. all better now :)

dec 28, 2022, 5:23 pm

I was pleased with Occult Features of Anarchism and posted my review. I've now moved on to The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is.

Redigerat: dec 28, 2022, 9:26 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

dec 30, 2022, 3:27 pm

Just before the year's end I finished The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, C.L.R. James' classic history of the Haitian Revolution and biography of its brilliant and charismatic leader, Tousaint L'Overture. This is a fascinating, multi-dimensional history and biography of a chapter of history I knew very little about. The book was originally published in 1938. My copy was a second printing of the book's 1971 republishing with a new introduction and an appendix by the author.

dec 31, 2022, 3:57 pm

I snuck in one more before year's end. I finished Watch Czechoslovakia! by Richard Freund. This is a very short book, written in 1937, just months before the infamous Munich Agreement that allowed the German Army to occupy Czechoslovakia without a shot fired. The book is, at its heart, an examination of the conflicts within the country between the Czechoslovak majority and the German minority, the use that Nazi Germany might be likely to make of these conflicts, and the very important reasons why they would care. I could find very little information about the book's author. I did find a couple of contemporary book reviews online. Freund is referred to in one as an "Anglicized Austrian journalist" and in another as an "Anglo-Austrian journalist." At any rate, he seems to have known his business.

Freund gives a thumbnail sketch of Czechoslovak history and describes the geographic and economic factors that have made the country of such strategic importance in Central Europe throughout the centuries. As Freund wrote:

"Four points should be remembered: (1) the Western mountain arch, pointing towards the heart of Germany; (2) the 50 miles' gap in the northern range which, as the "Gateway of Moravia," has played an important part in the migrations of the European races for thousands of years; (3) the long sweep of the Carpathians pointing towards Rumania and Russia; (4) the Danube in the south.

The Bohemian basin with its mountain walls has been coveted by ambitious nations from the dawn of history, because its possession gives to a strong military power a strategic basis for operations over vast tracts of the European Continent."

The German minority in the country actually made up around 22% of Czechoslovakia's overall population. As Freund describes things, quite a few of their grievances were legitimate. But by time of his writing in 1937, he says that rather than working towards solving these problems, a nationalist German party, under the leadership of a Nazi sympathizer named Konrad Henlein, was much more interested in kicking up dissension and creating an excuse for the Nazi Army to take action. Freund describes the separate mutual defense agreements the Czechoslovakians had with both France and Russia, and talks about what these allies were likely to do in the face of a German incursion. Freund seems to have been able to imagine every eventuality other than what actually occurred, the Allies ignoring their own strategic interests by handing over the country to the Nazi's. Given the strategic military use Hitler and his generals were obviously likely to make of occupying the country, it's astonishing in retrospect that Neville Chamberlin could have ever supposed that the result of the Munich Agreement would be a significant period of peace.

jan 19, 2023, 4:49 am

where is the new thread link pls

jan 19, 2023, 9:47 am