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text 2017-06-23 18:23
Friday Reads - June 23, 2017
The Bull Rider's Homecoming (Blue Thorn Ranch) - Allie Pleiter
Ellis Island - Kate Kerrigan
Hell on Wheels - Julie Ann Walker
A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo) - Sarah Mallory
Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson

For the last week of June, I have a full load to read. All new, fresh reading to juice up my reading mojo.

 

Friday Free Read/COYER Summer 2017: The Bull Rider's Homecoming by Allie Pleiter. This is on my COYER reading list so I figured kill two birds with one book. I have read another book by this author that I enjoyed so I am hoping for another great read.

 

BL-opoly Read/Pop Sugar Challenge: Ellis Island (Ellis Island #1) by Kate Kerrigan. Irish immigrant to NYC during the 1920s satisfies the prompt "book written/about refugees or immigrants".

 

RB Bingo: Hell on Wheels (Black Knights, Inc #1) by Julie Ann Walker. Still trying to find a book that fits in the "Never read genre/subgenre" square. I bailed on the rock star series when it became clear the series was about all the other employees of the band and not about the band members. This book is a combination of motorcycle club and military romance, which are other niches I don't read. Thank goodness for OverDrive.

 

COYER Summer 2017: A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo #1) by Sarah Mallory. This is the first in a trilogy. I am kicking myself for reading that kidnapped romance when I could have just waited for COYER to start and used this book instead.

 

Random Pick: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson because it is due back to the library at the end of the week.

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text 2017-06-09 15:09
Friday Reads for June 9, 2017
Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson
Poison Pills: The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal - Tom Nesi
The Silent Governess - Julie Klassen

My son and I have been suffering from severe allergies the last week or so. I am hoping two library borrows, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson and Poison Pills: The Untold Story of the Vioxx Drug Scandal by Tom Nesi will help me power through the Benadryl fog I have been under. I have a BL-opoly roll for tomorrow to help round out my weekend reading; plus I am taking my time reading The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen, which I reserve for Sunday reading.

 

Have a happy reading weekend!

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review 2017-01-22 14:40
Recent Non-Fiction Reads
Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany - Norman Ohler
Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson
So You've Been Publicly Shamed - Jon Ronson

Blitzed:

A highly informative and gripping read about Nazi Germany and the significance of drugs during World War II. Drugs didn´t fit in the idealogy of the Nazis, but despite banning them, one substance with a highly addictive potential became the drug of the people: methamphetine. The sheer possibilities of a drug, which would keep the troops awake for days on end, were just to promising to pass up on and it didn´t stop with the troops: the methamphetin chocolate for the wifes at home really made me shook my head.

My favorite part of the book, though, is the chapter about Hitler and his personal physician Theo Morrell, who pumped the Führer full of various drugs. Everyone ,who ever wanted to know how much a human body can endure, should read this chapter, it´s unbelievable.

4,5 stars.

 

Just Mercy:

Bryan Stevenson is an inspiring personality. Being the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, an institution which provides helps for prisoners, who have been wrongly convicted of crimes or didn´t get a fair trail in the first place, he gives hope to the hopeless.

Stevenson tells of different people he has helped throughout his work with the initiative, the main narrative being about Walter McMillian, a black man who has been wrongly accused of murdering a white woman, eventhough it is clear from the beginning that Walter couldn´t have done it.

This book will make you feel angry and heartbroken. Angry because of the racial bias and the injustice that gets inflicted on these people. Heartbroken, because Stevenson describes his clients in a compassionate way so that you see them for what they are: Human beings with hopes, dreams, feelings and the ability to redeem themselves. A highly recommended read.

5 Stars 

 

So You´ve Been Publicly Shamed:

To be honest, I´m scared of social media. And this book didn´t help to overcome my anxieties. Jon Ronson takes a hard look at the phenomenon of public shaming. One false tweet on Twitter, a disrespectful post on facebook, making things up in a non-fiction book you are writing ... all these things could lead you to being publicly shamed.

Ronson has interviewed a variety of public shaming victims and some of these stories really made my stomach turn (I admit it, I cannot feel compassion for the dentist, who has butchered the lion). I missed, however, the perspective of a person, who participated in the actual public shaming of a person (for example Justine Sacco). Why does someone participate in an act of public shaming? Do they feel sorry for said person, when they are getting death threads? Do they feel responsible for destroying a life? Or are they perfectly okay with it because they feel safe behind the wall of anonymity in the internet? 

I sorely missed this perspective, but nonetheless I really enjoyed listening to this book (Ronson himself narrates it and he is excellent).

4 Stars

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text 2017-01-05 12:53
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 299 pages.
Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson

"My work with the poor and incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Finally, I´ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the priviliged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned."

 

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review 2016-09-19 08:14
"Each of us is more than the worst thing we've done."
Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy

by Bryan Stevenson

 

The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent—strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering.

I need to come back and write a proper review for this, but in the meantime, I just wanted to say that this is without doubt the most powerful, emotional, heartbreaking, and uplifting book I've read this year.

Not only is the material as agonizing as it is inspiring, but Stevenson is also an extremely gifted writer, and the story he tells is captivating. The only reason I took so long to read it is that I had to keep putting it down whenever I started crying because I was in the gym and it was embarrassing. I could only make it through a chapter or two at a time.

If you live in the US, this is really a book worth reading. I'll leave you with an excerpt from one of my favourite moments in the book:

We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt.
[...]
Being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion.
We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity.
[...]
We’ve allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We’ve submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
[...]
I am more than broken. In fact, there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness create a need and a desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can't otherwise see; you hear things you can't otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.

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