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review 2017-03-08 01:00
An excellent read for a very important part of history.
Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement - John Robert Lewis,Michael D'Orso

Rep. John Lewis has been in the news more and more recently, especially with the election and the new president. With the end of Black History month it seemed like a good time to read his book. 

 

Most of the book chronicles his work in the Civil Rights Movement. We get introduced to his early life and growing up and we gradually see him move into working with the CRM. These early parts were really interesting to me. It really hit home that it was (and remains) a body of work that required a lot of time, energy, labor, bodies (literally), emotional effort, etc. The participants spent years, decades putting work into the movement.

 

It hit home for me that movements like CRM isn't something that can appear out of nowhere but requires a large chunk of people in ways that are sometimes intangible. And even though we live in an age of people getting messages instantly and want things done right now, something like the CRM couldn't be accomplished in that way. It was definitely a book that has given me a lot of food for thought in light of current and recent events.

 

That said, I agree with a lot of the reviews that said it could have been edited more. As a chronicle it is a book that will probably remain critical and important for historians. But as a layperson who had read his graphic novel trilogy ("March") and had read some civil rights history very recently (and therefore it is relatively fresh in my mind), this was still easy to get lost in the myriad of names, group acronyms, etc. 

 

However, of course I don't mind regret reading it or buying it. It was an enjoyable read and I learned a lot. There are quite a few people who could really benefit from reading this. That said, it might be helpful if you've read his graphic novel trilogy as mentioned above and have at least a grounding in the CRM. The movie 'Selma' might also be a good compliment to this book as well. Already having that foundation made it easier for me to be able to put down the book when life got in the way yet still understand at what of history I had dropped off. Great if you need a long book, non-fiction read or want to read up on the Civil Rights Movement.

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review 2015-06-09 09:10
La magia del lupo
La magia del lupo. Cronache dell'Era Oscura vol. 1 - Michelle Paver

La magia del lupo, é un racconto ambientato in una foresta, il giovane Torak, ha appena visto spegnersi davanti ai suoi occhi il padre,esperto cacciatore, dopo essere stati assaliti da un orso indemoniato.

 

Torak cercherà più volte di seguire il suo destino e salvare la foresta dall'orso, ma vi saranno stolti che gli metteranno sempre i bastoni tra le ruote. Cercheranno addirittura di ucciderlo per addempire la profezia sull'uomo che ascolta.

 

Un racconto crudo dove Torak va a caccia, sbudella e cucina le sue prede in compagnia di Lupo, e scoprirà segreti su suo padre che cambieranno per sempre la sua vita.

Una storia semplice che fa trasparire dei temi importanti come quello dell'amore fraterno e della fiducia reciproca che rendono possibile l'impossibile.

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review 2013-12-17 11:45
Game Over
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

I'm sorry science fiction fans, for me Ender's Game was only OK.

 

I've finished the book some time ago but couldn't decide how I felt about it. There were lines, pages when I thought I'll just put it aside and let it go and other time I thought Hmm, oh wow, that's interesting point. It's been really long time since any book brought such contradictory thoughts.

 

Ender is a 6-year-old genius who is chosen to be world saver in upcoming war with aliens. The boy is taken from his family house to Battle School where he is trained hard beyond his possibilities. Ender is the best so he's also hated by other children, he struggles with other boys who bully and intimidate him. In those critical situations Ender reveals his dark side which is in odds with his inner feelings and leads to frustration and fear of becoming a monster, a sadist, a murderer, like his older brother. I felt really sorry for Ender but at the same time I just couldn't grab the connection with him as he didn't sound like a child, like a 6-year-old boy. It confused me and made me think of him as of total stranger and not character I'm bonded with.

 

Battle School brought Ender's many enemies and few friends with whom he trains. The description of battles and trainings were great and this part I really enjoyed.

 

But what the Game is really about? The story quite depressing and full of manipulations. Nothing seemed as it looked like, the adults in school were boys' guides, mentors and enemies at the same time. Not to mention the children who are quite terrifying with their big brains and deadly thoughts (there were moments where I thought of Lord of the flies).

 

Ender's Game has also a political aspect in which Ender's siblings pull the strings via net and false identities who are active in top world discussion panels. Thanks to their genius tactics they can influence the political and economic directions the world is heading. And this is the part which was the least interesting for me, it's just not my cup of tea. Like the whole science fiction, I'm afraid.

 

But then again, no one is perfect and not everyone needs to like everything.

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review 2013-10-11 14:55
Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength
Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength - Bill Phillips,Michael D'Orso I was never overweight until I hit my teens--then I struggled for decades with an increasing weight problem that got worse with every diet. I'd collect diets and diet books, Scarsdale, Rice Diet among others, all promising 20 pounds of weight loss within two weeks--and you know what, I succeeded in that. Problem was, that was a weight loss I couldn't sustain, not even long enough to get to goal weight and each time I'd fall away I'd get even fatter, until I was morbidly obese--over 250 pounds and a size 24. Maybe it's just I needed to change, but this book really made a big difference for me. I lost over 100 pounds. Over the years I've put some of it back--I had a bout of sciatica that caused me to stop hitting the gym and once I broke that habit I lost some of the good eating habits too--but only to a point. I didn't ever go back to my top weight--not even close. This stopped the yo-yo-ing and I'm well below 200 pounds--overweight, but not with the problems before this taught me to at least walk every day, use stairs, and eat somewhat healthier. And I know if I want, I could lose the rest again using this program. I'm not saying it's easy. The first two weeks of exercise were really hard for me. But I remember when I saw my first muscle, began to feel better and stronger. It is doable. Even for someone like me who is far from athletic. And I liked how it doesn't focus on calorie counting or weighing and measuring. You get a list of healthy foods, then a meal consists of a fist-sized portion of protein, a fist-sized portion of grains/carbs and lots of veggies. I find that a lot easier to live with than a program like Weight-Watchers.
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review 2013-08-08 00:00
Plundering Paradise: The Hand of Man on the Galápagos Islands - Michael D'Orso Plundering Paradise: The Hand of Man on the Galápagos Islands referenceOpening: Midnight is not yet an hour away, and already the streets ofPuerto Ayora are in flames. The fires cast flickering shadowsacross the shuttered fronts of the village’s shops and bodegas. Thebroad fronds of the coconut palms and the feathery branches ofthe flamboyant trees glimmer against the overarching blacknessof the Pacific sky.The flames are fed by rag-stuffed effigies of the politicians andbankers, the oilmen and fruit barons, the dealmakers and millionaireson the mainland who, as far as these islanders are concerned, are robbingthe people of Ecuador blind.
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