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text 2018-11-01 21:46
Nonfiction November
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine - Lindsey Fitzharris
Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus - Monica Murphy,Bill Wasik
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly - Anthony Bourdain
Fear: Trump in the White House - Bob Woodward
My Own Words - Wendy W. Williams,Mary Elizabeth Hartnett,Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Lethal Guardian (Pinnacle True Crime) - M. William Phelps
Dangerous Ground: My Friendship with a Serial Killer - M. William Phelps

I just haven't been able to read lately. Migraines are the worst. So I finally saw a neurologist and he was pretty flabbergasted by why nobody was taking this seriously. He took me off the Topamax and prescribed Aimovig, which is a monthly injection. And of course Tricare put a screeching halt on that, saying it's too expensive and demanding a pre-auth. A pre-authorization is basically the doctor making a case for why I need it, as if the doctor prescribing it isn't enough. Now I'm waiting for my damn insurance to say it's okay for me to have this lifesaving medicine so I can function like a human being again. If anyone ever says the military have good benefits, tell them to bite you. Our insurance is only good if you have a cold or a sinus infection. When there is something really wrong, they lose their shit.

 

Anyway, I should be listening to my audiobook of Spinning Silver but I don't even have the motivation to start it. I really want to read a lot of these nonfiction books I got. I'm in a slump.

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review 2018-10-09 05:21
Review: Read & Riot- a Pussy Riot Guide to Activism

35068832

 

Written as a stream of consciousness, Nadya shares her experiences and thoughts on the state of things and how we as individuals can still have our say and try to make a difference in the world.

 

It's a fast read and easy to digest, with each chapter (aka Rules) broken into three segments: Words, Deeds & Heroes.

 

Words covers various topics like Questioning the Status Quo, the Prison Industrial Complex and What Putin Has to Do with Trump.

 

Deeds encompasses things we can all do- Dadaism, If the Kids are United, Art in Action and Pussy Riot Church (a Russian church that was more like a mini-mart or a venue hall).

 

Heroes explores the figures who've influenced Nadya's life and outlook- King, the Berrigan Brothers, Bell Hooks, Emmeline Pankhurst and Aleksandra Kollontai.

 

Equally intriguing is the recommended reading list at the end of the book, which offers up some pretty good stuff to feed your head and free your mind.  If nothing else, you'll end up with a crash course on activist ideas and a view from the front lines delivered by a person who's still there.

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review 2018-09-14 13:42
Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
Fear: Trump in the White House - Bob Woodward

Released on the anniversary of the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil that spurred the "War on Terror", effectively destabilizing the Middle East and causing one of the largest human tragedies in the world, this book deals with a growing disaster that not only involves the U.S., but the entire world as well.

This book shows us the aftermath and consequences, some that we knew about and some that were kept a secret until now, of putting a childish, entitled, narcissistic, incompetent, selfish, tantrum-prone sociopath with a short attention span and apparent learning disabilities into one of the most important, powerful and pivotal roles in the world.

“The president has zero psychological ability to recognize empathy or pity in any way.”
(Reince Priebus)

 

“I don’t care about any of that.” [...] “I don’t give a shit about that.”
(Donald Trump)

 

 

It feels strange to say I liked a book like this one, but I did. I loved the journalistic narrative style of short, concise sentences, and of reporting facts without getting into speculation, gossips or rumors (as another author quite failed to do earlier this year). Maybe it is Woodward's clout as an investigative reporter, maybe it's the fact most of the revelations in this book weren't that new, but I believed it (I'm also not part of the blinded base, so that probably helps) and I'm sure that if push came to shove, Mr. Woodward had more than enough evidence to back everything up despite constant denials (which only make things worse, if you ask me).

And then there's the tempo. The pacing is important no matter what you write or read; be it an article, a puff piece, a novel or a non-fiction book. And Mr. Woodward (unlike the author of the book that came out at the start of the year) has the pacing and tempo down pat. Except for a few passages here and there involving military strategies and positions, this non-fiction book was quite a page turner. A train-wreck you cannot help but be drawn to and watch to see what happens next.

It reads like a thriller, a piece of fiction, which, I guess, paints a sad picture of the world we currently live in.

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text 2018-09-11 23:40
Fear: Trump in the White House - 17%
Fear: Trump in the White House - Bob Woodward

I don't suppose I could use this for the Halloween Bingo Doomsday square? 

...

...

Just kidding!

...

...

(sort of)

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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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