Category Archives: Book Reviews

A man who isn’t afraid to speak

James Baldwin, an American novelist, essayist, playwright and poet

What an interesting man James Baldwin is!

A television interviewer once asked Baldwin to describe the challenges he faced starting his career as “a black, impoverished homosexual,” to which Baldwin laughed and replied: “I thought I’d hit the jackpot.”

This article at NPR tells us some about this fascinating, talented man and gives us a peek into his newest book, ‘The Cross of Redemption,’ which is a collection of several of Baldwin’s essays, speeches and articles.

He’s a man who has much to teach us on the subjects of race, homosexuality, tolerance, communication and observing so we can advance knowledge and reduce hate and fear.

“You give me this advantage,” Baldwin once wrote to his white audience. “Whereas you never had to look at me — because you’ve sealed me away along with sin and hell and death — my life was in your hands and I had to look at you. I know more about you than you know about me.”

Have any of you read him?  If so, do you have a favorite to recommend?  I haven’t yet read him, but I WILL!

fnord

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Filed under Book Reviews

Lessons learned from a novel

To Kill A Mockingbird was published on July 11, 1960.  The book was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962.

To  Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee. It was instantly successful and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936 — when she was 10 years old.  The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality.

The book has valuable lessons about an evil that needed to be brought into the open and defeated.  I’ve heard it said of this time, “We liberated not just black people, we liberated white people.”  Surely, Harper Lee contributed to this liberation with her book.

What defeats evil?  Is it kindness?  Could it be knowledge which seems to tame, if not defeat, fear?  Is there a lesson you learned from To Kill A Mockingbird?  How do the lessons the novel offers relate to problems in our world today — immigration, embracing the different cultures of all countries, fears of the unknown?  What other current issues could we relate to this timeless novel and the lessons it offers?

fnord

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Filed under Book Reviews, Life Lessons, Original writings

The Man Who Changed Glenn Beck’s Life (via The Glenn Beck Review)

I’m just checking out WordPress’ new “reblogging” feature.
I’ve always maintained that I’m not “anti” anything, but rather “pro” other things.
Sooo….this is my disclaimer. I’m not anti-Glenn Beck, I’m PRO-REALITY and TRUTH!

The Man Who Changed Glenn Beck's Life Cleon Skousen was a right-wing crank whom even conservatives despised. Then Beck discovered him. W. Cleon Skousen By Alexander Zaitchik (reprinted here with permission of the author) On Saturday, I spent the afternoon with America’s new breed of angry conservative. Up to 75,000 protesters had gathered in Washington on Sept. 12, the day after the eighth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, sporting the now familiar tea-bagger accoutremen … Read More

via The Glenn Beck Review

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Filed under Book Reviews, Conspiracies, hate groups, History, Media, Other blogs, Radical Rightwing groups, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

Books, books and more books…….

Our dear departed friend Steven has entered the world beyond. I could in no way replace him, but I am going to try to contribute more in an effort to keep this blog, which meant so much to him, alive and well.

Since we are all weary at this point, I am going to start with a few non-political topics, ones that meant so much to our fallen leader.

Everyone is aware that Steven was a voracious reader and books meant a lot to him. What better way to honor him than to discuss a topic that was dear to him?

So, what books to you like? What do you stay up all night reading? It doesn’t have to be your favorite or even something “high-brow” that will “wow” us with your worldliness! Just what are you reading now or what would you like to re-read in the future?

So, let’s hear it! Steven will be watching, so provide your reasons for your choice of literature,  lest it rain (!) on your head!

William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Truthful or Agenda Driven?

Does Joan Walsh have a point about these unnamed sources?   Is this another book that is clearly one of those that people will see what they want to see and disregard those parts that don’t fit their personal agenda?

Lilac

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/index.html?

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Filed under Book Reviews, Ethics, Media, Playing Politics

The Kennedy Assassination…

November 22nd is the anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  I was in Mrs. Boyd’s 4th grade class when our Principal shared the news that day.  I recall distinctly thinking, “What is going to happen, now?”

The day of the week in 1963 was a Friday.  Jackie devoted herself to orchastrating the funernal – she was 33 years old at the time.

My parents wanted me to stay in and watch the funeral.  I did, but was happy to get outside to play when I was permitted.  I remember we were playing outside climbing trees when a friend came outside and said, “Someone has shot Oswald.”

We replied “no, you dumb ass, Oswald shot, Kennedy!”  We were profane in the 4th grade.  Little did we know, how crazy things were.  I think the killing of Oswald, did much to promote the conspiracy theories advanced afterward.

Deaths of parents can be profound (I have not had one yet), but the death of JFK was the death of the future and hope.  It still saddens me greatly.  I hope our country never goes through anything like it again.

I recently finished the biography An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917 -1963 by Robert Dallek.  I would highly recommend it to those who haven’t read it.

Hey, you bloggers, have memories, thoughts, conspiracy theories, hopes, on this subject?

iggydonnelly

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Filed under Book Reviews, Democratic Party

Jon Krakauer’s Latest: Men, Testosterone, Machismo and Tragedy

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I have to be in a certain mood to want to read a Jon Krakauer book.  Usually, that mood is not a good one.  I greatly admire his work which include:  Into the Wild9780385522267[1]; Into Thin Air; and Under the Banner of Heaven.  Krakauer’s latest:  Where Men Win Glory:  The Odyssey of Pat Tillman was definitely worthy of this author’s attention and talents.  As I see it, the beat that Krakauer works is the intersection of Men, machismo, and testosterone and the likely result  of the collision of these  forces is – Tragedy.  There could be no better places to mine these ores than in the NFL and the disaster currently called Afghanistan.

In his own machismo struggle, Krakauer took the photo that graces the cover of this latest.

The story follows the divergent timelines of unrelated events.  For examples:  1) when Tillman was in highschool, Ramzi Yousef was doing this; 2) when Tillman was in college, Osama bin Laden was doing this. 

The forces eventually meet.  And predictably not to a good end.

This book troubled me almost as much as the Under the Banner of Heaven did. The intentional deceit perpetrated by our government about Tillman’s death in its unique way made the tragedy worse than in the earlier book. 

And… the criminals in this latest book have not been held accountable.

iggydonnelly

28 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Book Reviews