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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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review 2016-08-20 15:52
Since You've Been Gone Review
Since You've Been Gone - Morgan Matson

Wow. This book was so amazing! I fell in love with the characters as soon as I met them. The way Matson writes is INCREDIBLE, I was quickly hooked on the story and it kept getting better as the book progressed. The plot of this book was easy to understand and follow throughout the book. The words flowed so nicely and smoothly, it was an easy read. The only con I can think of about this book is that some of the chapters were really long, but that's a matter of preference. I also give an A+ to the character development. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good friendship/adventure story.

 

-SH

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text 2015-05-30 16:00
You've got Mail

Started rewatching "You've got Mail" with my mother yesterday and will continue in a moment (Just going to finish my book). Isn't that just one fabulous movie? Love and books with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It's just such a sweet thing.

 

Ps. had to add some pics to the post! ;)

 

 

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text 2015-05-23 17:32
Reading progress update: I've read 60%.
So You've Been Publicly Shamed - Jon Ronson

This book was excellent and really made me consider a lot of my own life that was often steeped in shame. Unfortunatey, though, it was making me think about my past a little too much, so while I'd highly recommend it, I've had to set it down for the time being, with a definite view to picking it up again when I'm in a better head-space.

 

Initially this book examines shamings that have been in the public domain recently, such as the journalist Jonah Lehrer who fabricated quotes from Bob Dylan and then proceeded to include them in his book called Imagine: How Creativity Works. In the case of Jonah Lehrer, Twitter played a large role in his downfall and was of prime focus.

 

The book then went on to look at a few other people who's misdemeanor have been made public and the subsequent reaction to them.

 

It was so funny when Jon Ronson, the author, went to a workshop where the goal was for none of the participants to feel shame. In order to achieve this they just said whatever they thought, to hell with the reaction. I tried this out with my partner, so for example, if he said something that pissed me off I told him so, unlike my usual reaction of internalising what he'd said. It was really fun, but not something that's practical most of the time.

 

The book really made me think about how people's lives are affected by the often huge overreaction by the public to minor indiscretions. It's different if the said indiscretion actually harms anyone, but nine times out of ten it doesn't and it's simply a huge overreaction.

 

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text 2015-04-06 19:46
This book is next for me . . .
So You've Been Publicly Shamed - Jon Ronson

. . . Because of the book, Exit by Thomas Davidson, which I have almost finished.  

 

Over the weekend, I heard an interview with Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats) and I had added the book to my TBR; but now that I'm reading Exit I'm moving Ronson's to the top.  The conversation was thought-provoking and apropos.  Many of us have experienced or witnessed the phenomena of social shaming on public media.

 

 For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.

A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.

Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it.

 

One example he mentioned in the program was a scene in a restaurant. At one table is a woman having drinks with friends. Behind her is a table of men drinking beer and exchanging dirty jokes.  One of the women takes a picture of one of the men, and sends a Tweet with the opinion that the men are acting like mysogonists (that's a big paraphrase -- I can't remember the exact message.). Anyway, the Tweet went viral; people who knew the man saw the Tweet, and when the man returned to work on Monday, he was fired.  

 

The story didn't have a happy ending for the woman either, she received hate messages and death threats for months afterwards.

 

The moral of the story is:  well, you all know what it is.

 

(Update -- not quite next on my list after all.  I'm on the library waiting list.  Looks like it will be a few weeks.)

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

so I said no more updates on Exit, but now I'm cheating and tacking it on to my announcement of Next Book To Read.  Obviously,  this is where you skip it if you're tired of them:

 

   

 

In Exit, two people who have done nothing wrong are being persecuted by social media because of circumstances over which they have no control.  They are set up and falsely accused, and the entire world is jumping on the bandwagon.

 

an acquaintance who lives on the floor below them adds this to her Facebook page:

 

Don't know about anyone else, but I live below two terrorists. You see the news today? 2 terorists from Cambridge? That’s them. Her name is Rain. Yeah, Rain. Cringe, cringe, cringe. I don’t know her boyfriend’s name. Never asked, never bothered, never cared. But those 2 are all effed up. This morning I went 2 my parked car behind my bldg, 2 go 2 work (confession: I have a job), and saw them sleeping in their car!!! Its like uh November? Cold? Or should I say Novembrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr????? And she wakes up and wipes the steamy window, makes a circle and looks out. I was like OMG sh’es crazy. It gets better. When I come home from work, there’s like 2 signs in her upstairs windows. U can see it from the street. Get ready…signs sez…”WARNING These Premses are Protectd by CLOSED CIRCUIT TV 24 Hour Video Recording.” Yeah, honey, in yr dreams. The other sign sez…”WARNING All Supicious Persons & Actvities Are Immediately Reported to Our NEIGHBORHOOD WITCH.” Rain is an artist. ‘Artist’ is a polite way of saying ‘Hey world, I’m a effin’ nutjob.’ Artist? How about Fartist? LOL! Honey, u a terrorist. Like I said, I live right next floor to 2 FAMOUS TERORISTS. HEY WORLD – HER NAMES RAIN MOORE!!! RAIN RHYMES WITH INSANE!!! SHE’S THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITCH!!!

 

EXactly the kind of sensationalism that gets you noticed and shared, but also passing on a total lie, because you accepted at face value what you saw on other media.

 

Social Responsibility is a responsibility. (She said smugly.)

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