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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,Founding Fathers

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 future, 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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review 2017-11-09 17:42
Review: Check These Out by Gina Sheridan
Check These Out: One Librarian's Catalog of the 200 Coolest, Best, and Most Important Books You'll Ever Read - Gina Sheridan

Pretty much a book about books; each book recommended had it's own page along with a description of the book and which patron to recommend the book to. I picked this up at the library because I decided that starting in 2018, I will be working on my masters degree in library and informational sciences (right now I am just deciding on where to apply and what requirements I need to meet). So I figured a book by a librarian who surveyed other librarians about what they recommend to their patrons can come in handy.

 

And yes, it is handy, but most of the books aren't to my taste. However, I have to give credit to the author for the balance in diversity in the books she chose to highlight in this book - whether from authors of color, to authors from the LGBT* community, books about mental illness, disability, social issues are all there alongside more well-known authors/books. The author also chose to devote a chapter to audiobooks and another to graphic novels, so she wasn't snobby about format. There is also a chapter on YA novels, with the caveat that these YA novels would be good fits for adult readers who enjoy YA, so she wasn't snobby about patrons' reading tastes either. The book did lean more to fiction than non-fiction, but some recent non-fiction reads were recommend for the writing styles were as engaging as some fiction reads.

 

There were books from the cannon of English Lit (Shakespeare) and modern classics (O. Henry), but also some works dating post WWII all the way through to the early 2010s. Alas, no genre specific chapters were written, so no romance, mystery, sci-fi books were recommended - the author stayed pretty firm in mainstream fiction/literary fiction section of the library. Still I made a list of the books she recommends and that seemed interesting to me (there were a few that I have already read) so I could add them to my TBR pile.

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url 2016-02-22 20:41
Storify of @quartzen's obscure SFF book recs

There are several titles listed that I'd like to track down at a later date.

 

I don't know that I'd consider a couple of these to be "obscure," but maybe that's just because I've actually heard of them.

 

The ones I know, even if only vaguely:

 

5. Mary Gentle's Golden Witchbreed - I haven't read it, but I've cataloged it for my library so I know I already have easy access to it.

 

10. Nahoko Uehashi's Moribito - I've read this and watched the anime based on it. I preferred the anime but remember liking the book well enough. I need to reread it at some point, and then tackle the second book in the series.

 

17. Steven Brust's Jhereg - I read this as part of my readers' advisory class. I don't remember much about it except that it was fun.

 

19. Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown - I own this but haven't read it yet.

 

22. Andrea K. Host's Stray - Another one I own but haven't yet read.

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text 2015-01-03 01:00
"I’m SO Glad I Read This" List of 2014
What She Didn't Know - I. Ronik
Move the Sun - Susan Fanetti
Stone Cold Knockout (House of Pain Book 1) - Lavender Parker,Katy Farrell
Happiness in Jersey - Jacinta Howard
The Hook Up (Game On Book 1) - Kristen Callihan
Broken Open (Hurley Brothers Book 2) - Lauren Dane
Alex - Sawyer Bennett
Hard Time - Cara McKenna
Hitched - Karpov Kinrade
All I Want - J. Daniels

Here are my “best of 2014” reads, in no particular order.  This list could be longer but I’ll stick to my top 10.  

 

All but two of these contemporary romance novels are written by new-to-me authors (at the time) that I’ll be stalking…cough…following in 2015. I highly recommend these books/series or the author in general for their writing chops.

 

A common denominator among these books is the presence of well-drawn, developed characters and an engaging plot. Read more

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text 2014-06-30 15:17
How to be Awesome at Giving Book Recommendations in Four Simple Steps

Image via Tumblr

 

It can be really hard to get friends to want to read your favorite book. With these 4 steps, you’ll not only learn how to spin your favorite book, but also how to make genuine recommendations your friends will love!

 

1. Discover what they love about what they read. This one’s an easy first step because of one fact: everyone loves to talk about something they love. Try digging deeper than “What’s your favorite book?” and ask “What do you love about your favorite book?” instead. Did they love it for the setting? The character development? The narration style? Details like these can help you give better recommendations.

 

2. Study what they have already read. Does your friend love a specific genre? Find a book in that has some of the same tropes or themes and they might be more willing to try it. Do they love a specific author? Show them a book written by one of that author’s mentors or protégés. If you know what they generally read and have got a book you think they’d love, tell them why! Isolate what your book has in common with their interests and you’ve hit gold.

 

3. Remember/share what made you fall in love with the book. You know that rosey memory of the moment you knew you were in love with a book? That’s the memory to share. Yes that twist toward the middle and that big reveal at the end were great, but let your friend discover those on their own. No spoilers!

 

4. They might not like it – and you have to be ok with that. This one sometimes gets forgotten, but it’s crucial: not everyone is going to love the book you recommend, and that has to be ok.  

 

The important thing is not to let that discourage you! When you talk about the book they didn’t like, try to get a feel for what made it so tough to get into; this information is crucial to making better recommendations. Be nice about it! There’s no need to argue just because they didn’t enjoy a book. By telling you what they didn’t like about it, they’re helping you get a lot better at giving recommendations.  

 

Are you famous for being a great novel match-maker? What tips would you suggest on how to give great recommendations? Let us know in the comments!

Source: quirkbooks.com/post/how-be-awesome-giving-book-recommendations-four-simple-steps
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