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text 2018-06-22 22:56
Book Recs Solicited: Freedom and Future Library
On Liberty and The Subjection of Women (Penguin Classics) - John Stuart Mill
All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002 - Salman Rushdie
The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives - Aleksandar Hemon,Marina Lewycka,Ariel Dorfman,Viet Thanh Nguyen,Fatima Bhutto,David Bezmozgis,Porochista Khakpour,Vu Tran,Joseph Kertes,Kao Kalia Yang,Dina Nayeri,Maaza Mengiste,Reyna Grande,Novuyo Rosa Tshuma,Lev Golinkin,Joseph Azam,Thi Bui,Meron Hader
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House - Michael Wolff
A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf
Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States - Thomas Jefferson,James Madison

You'd have to be living under a rock buried somewhere halfway down to the center of the earth in order not to be aware that in recent years our beautiful world has been shaken up by a number of crises the likes of which I, at least, have not experienced in my entire lifetime -- I can't remember any other time when I have so consistently felt the urge to put on blinders and wrap myself in a giant comfort blanket approximately 10 seconds after opening a newspaper (or its online edition), or 10 seconds into listening to the news.  Obviously playing ostrich has never done anybody any good, but God knows, it's getting hard not to succumb to the temptation. 

 

So what does a book lover do in order to keep her sanity, equip herself to separate fact from fiction (in news reporting, politics, and plenty of other places) and deal with rat catchers and fire mongers?  She turns to books, of course.

 

I've decided to build a "Freedom and Future" personal library, which will contain books which (1) have either deeply impacted my personal thinking or that I expect will come to do so in the futures, or which (2) provide valuable food for thought in today's social and political debate, both nationally and internationally; be it based on a profound analysis of the issues at stake (as a matter of principle or long term), or because even though they may not be of lasting significance, they contain a thought-provoking contribution to the current debate (even if they were not written with that express purpose in mind -- e.g., books about historic persons or events or books by long-dead authors).  I'm not expecting to binge-read the books added to this library, but I'm looking to add them to the mix with a bit more focus than I've been doing of late.

 

In the past couple of days, I've trawled my own bookshelves for books to add to the library, but this is one area where, even more than anywhere else, I'm looking for suggestions -- I can already see that I'm at risk of falling back on my old standbys, and that's the last thing I want to do here.

 

So, tell me: What books have recently made you sit up -- or which are the books that you've come to turn to and trust for guidance and inspiration?

 

These can be fiction or nonfiction, and books from any or all types of genres (I only draw the line at splatter punk).  As the first part of my new library's title indicates, liberty and freedom rights are a focus, but I'm really looking for food for thought on all the issues that I think are going to determine the path human society will be taking (hence the "future" part); including, in no particular order:

 

* Liberty and freedom(s) (of opinion and press, movement, association, worship, the arts, etc.),

* Equal access to justice and judicial independence and impartiality,

* Equality and empowerment (gender / sexuality, race, etc.), and the plurality of society;

* Poverty / the increasing gap in the distribution of wealth,

* Education (general, political, etc.);

* Funding and freedom of research and science,

* Protection of the environment,

* Democratic institutions and processes and how to safeguard them,

* Xenophobia, war(mongering) and the preservation / restoration of peace,

* Persecution, migration, and internal displacement,

* Free trade and globalization,

* Technological advances,

* Ethics -- in all of the above areas.

 

I'm adding a few books to this post to give you a rough idea of what sort of things I've so far added to this library -- please take them as very approximate guidance only, though.  It can be something totally different ... really anything that's jogged your brain or made you reevaluate your perspective on any of the above issues.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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text 2018-06-14 21:15
Reading progress update: I've read 81 out of 224 pages.
Bayly’s War: The Battle for the Western Approaches in the First World War - Steve R. Dunn

I had hoped to finish one of my other current reads before starting this, but a scheduling change for an interview made reading this my top priority. It's just as good as Dunn's last book (which I read for a podcast last year) and it's proving to be a quick read to boot, so I should have it well out of the way before I interview him on Sunday.

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review 2018-06-07 19:26
3.5 Out Of 5 "sharp-shooting" STARS
Gunslinger Girl - Lyndsay Ely,James Patterson

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Gunslinger Girl

Lyndsay Ely

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Seventeen-year-old Serendipity "Pity" Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six-shooters and perfect aim. She's been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great...

 

In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity's struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Gunslinger Girl is more Dystopian than Western…it's really a somewhat near-future USA devastated by wars and such, with a western feel or flair to it.  Think Annie Oakley (Pity does a sharp-shooter show) in a Revolution (the TV show) type of setting.  With plenty of intrigue and action, it sounds like this could be super cool.  

 

Which is exactly how I felt...but, I don't know what it was exactly, because I didn't connect with the story or the characters all that much.  Basically, it was okay, but it didn't blow me away.  It could be a case of "it's not you, it's me, though.  I have been feeling sorta reading-slump-ish lately.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.8/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.3/5

Addictiveness~ 3/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.8/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 3.8/5  Cliffhanger~ not really…

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Book Cover~ It's cool…

Narration~ 4 -Christie Moreau, she wasn't bad…

Setting~ Cessation, Future USA

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-06-02 19:36
James Mail Order Bride, Emmi West

I enjoyed this Mail Order Bride Romance but wish it was a little longer. I received this book for free and voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 4.5* rating. I must say that this is the only English version of her books I've found so far. She has several in German. It has a very sweet ending. The author explored a few mixed feelings at having to be a mail order bride.

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video 2018-05-30 20:02

This is set as a Western, but what if Nick Offerman was the third person omniscient narrator everywhere through all time? Terrifying.

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