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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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review 2018-06-03 16:20
The Displaced - Excellent Anthology of Refugee Writers
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

Viet Thanh Nguyen serves as editor for a short but impactful collection of essays about refugees and the refugee experience. I read a lot about immigration. I'm not entirely unaware that many of these stories are actually about refugees, but it's interesting that people often morph themselves into "immigrants," when in fact most of our families came from a refugee experience at some point. My father's family came in dribs and drabs to both coasts (and ended up with numerous spellings of our last name) because of the potato famine in Ireland. Nobody calls our family "refugees" but they were. It was just an easier time to be that when they showed up and pretended to have degrees in things like medicine... (true, but much too long a, story) So, given all of that, it's a willful political act for these writers to reclaim the identity of refugee -- especially given their successes and acceptance now in their new homes.

The tragedy is how these new homes forced people in a variety of ways to deny their original national identities. Some are more obvious than others, but all carry an almost unexplainable burden to the individuals, and I'm pretty sure to their new countries as well. 

Many, but not all, of the writers are now living in the US, and all of them are successful, educated, prize-winning, feted authors. Interesting how willing countries are to claim these refugees now that they have proven their worth. They've come from all over the world and they have personal experiences that frequently left me tearing up. The overall effect is rather devastating. I'm not going to review each piece, because they are all worth reading more than once.

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review 2018-05-28 16:25
doesn't quite work for me
Beloved Lives - Marilyn J. Evans
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. And I gotta be honest here, it was very touch and go whether I would actually finish this! The story tells of April, and Mitch and Weston. April only has her say here, and I would probably have enjoyed in more if the guys had had a say. April and Winston have history, ancient history. And through time, they have, according to Weston, found each other and lived long and happy lives. But something doesn't ring true for April and she uses Mitch skill at hypnotherapy and past life regression to finally get some answers. Like I said, touch and go for a while. I got way past half way, and I still wasn't able to figure out what was going on, and where this was going. But I kept at it, hoping it would make sense at some point. It did, but only once it was all revealed in the book. It's not overly explicit, but there is some violence when they talk about how it all began. It's well written and I saw no editing or spelling errors. It just didn't work for me. But for a first time author, well done. 3 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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text 2018-05-16 16:07
REVIEW BY DEBBIE - Beloved Lives by Marilyn J. Evans
Beloved Lives - Marilyn J. Evans

She Must Choose Between Living Her Past and Creating a New Life 


April Robins is a mess. Her diet and wardrobe are disastrous, she's stopped exercising, and the nightmares are back—nightmares that started at puberty and didn't stop until she married. Now that she's divorced, the dreams are worse than ever, and April's malaise has her cat and her best friend, Trish, worried. 

April decides it's time to get her life back in order by running and eating better. She also agrees to attend a class Trish thinks will introduce them to new guys. When April meets the class instructor, Mitch van der Waals, an expert in the paranormal, she discovers they have a lot in common including a mutual attraction. When she and Mitch start dating, both cat and best friend approve. 

But when the hospital where April works as a medical technologist hires Dr. Weston, a handsome, new cardiologist, things get complicated. At her first meeting with Dr. Weston, April faints. As he shows more and more interest in her, she finds herself unaccountably affected by Weston, sometimes irritated, other times literally falling into a trance in his presence. 

April realizes Weston was a key player in her past lives as she struggles to find the root cause of her nightmares through past life regressions, sessions in the sleep lab, and strangely spontaneous trances. 

Does she have a choice between being who she is now and who she seems to have been over and over again? 

Solving the mysterious origins of the nightmares that have echoed down through April's many lives could be a matter of life and death, in this life and beyond. 

Readers of romance books about past lives like Angelfall by Susan Ee, The Immortal Rules by Julia Kagawa, and The Steward by Christopher Shields will love this paranormal romance and suspense book.

 

@DebbieReadsBook, #Paranormal, #Romance, 3 out of 5 (good)

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/04/20/Beloved-Lives-by-Marilyn-J-Evans
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review 2018-05-03 03:14
CHUD Lives! Tribute Anthology Review
C.H.U.D. LIVES!: A Tribute Anthology - Jonathan Maberry

I agreed to read an ARC copy of C.H.U.D. Lives even though I honestly couldn’t remember if I had ever seen the movie. I didn’t think it would matter too much if I hadn’t. (I know, I know. That was a horrible idea. But I thought “Its a book with stories about a cheesy monster movie. How much background info do I need?”) About halfway through the anthology, I rented the C.H.U.D. movie. I’m very glad I did, as some of the stories just really didn’t make sense with nothing to base them upon. The very first story, for example, D.O.G. W.A.L.K.E.R. from Robert E. Waters seemed really tame actually left me a little leery of the rest of the book. I’d even given it an initial rating of 2 out of 5. However, after seeing the movie, (specifically its opening scenes), I knew what the story was referring to, and suddenly I appreciated it a lot more. There’s a story that continues the story of George, Lauren, and Bosch after the end of the movie that you need the background for as well, I think. Gives the movie a bit of an alternate ending, if you will.

 

My favorite story from the C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology  was T.H.A.T.S. E.N.T.E.R.T.A.I.N.M.E.N.T. by Mort Castle. It doesn’t really fit in well with the rest of the book, given the way things are going today, it was a very fitting piece to include. I think they timed the inclusion right as well, as things had reached sort of a natural climax in the preceding stories and needed a bit of a breather.  And the stories section of the book ends on an explosive note with the story from Jonathan Maberry and Eugene Johnson, called Y.O.U. W.I.L.L. N.E.V.E.R. L.E.A.V.E. H.A.R.L.A.N. A.L.I.V.E. While I’ll admit I expected something a little bit more from this story, I couldn’t deny that the ending felt pretty good!

 

This is an anthology jam packed with names that most readers will recognize. For the most part, the A-Game is definitely brought on the stories. The introduction by Dave Drake is lovely, and Eric S. Brown does a great job with the interview with Andrew Bonime at the beginning, and the interview at the end with Parnell Hall. One of my favorite things about the  C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology  was the flow. It’s obvious that a lot of work and thought went into this book, and it paid off in a big way. While I might not be a fan of every story in the book, I’m definitely a fan of the book as a whole.

 

I think that for true C.H.U.D. lovers, the  C.H.U.D. Lives!: Tribute Anthology  is a must-read. Other readers will enjoy it as well (especially once you’ve seen the movie!)

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.

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