My kind of summer reading: Oliver Sacks's end-of-life memoir and Lorin Lindner's account of working with veterans afflicted with traumatic stress and how abandoned bird help heal a little.
Here are the most recent (May 2019) additions to my reading. Alex Kotlowitz and Gilbert King will cause you sleepless nights. Abdi Nor Iftin is harrowing but conciliatory while Mohammed Al Samawi presents a searing portrait of Muslim teachers' delibrate distortions of the Judaic faith.
As fond as I am of Gavin van Horn's book on the urban wilds (below), I am disappointed in Harrison Scott Key's memoir. He is a writer who seems to have little to say, so he writes about writing, specifically writing his previous (and first) book, which seems to have been a success in humor writing. So he gloats, perhaps justifiably, of his success--but the writing is anything but funny.
My latest entry in News Log mentions two recently-published extraordinary memoirs, Edith Eva Eger's The Choice and Abdi Iftin's Call me American. Each is is an immigration saga of courage and perseverance in the face of seemingly unsurmountable odds. See pics of dust-covers below.
The two books below offer fascinating insight into two instrumental founders of the United States. Taken together they round out a picture we've only learned about in bits and pieces--and often exaggerated ones at that, hence not really accurate. These books require patience and time to get through but it's an effort well worth it.
The books below are each awesome in unique ways. Michael Dyson examines discussions on race relations from the Kennedy administration to the Trump era. Sarah Bird's book is a novel built around the truelife of a young black woman, a slave until after the civil war, who is the only woman ever to have joined the U.S. Buffalo Soldiers. A richly imagined book, all the more remarkable since its composer is a white woman.
For anyone wanting an understanding of the seventies amazing musical innovations along with the hippy and anti-war movements, Goldberg's book (below) fits the bill, while Michael Hayden examines the disturbing state of affairs in the Trump White House, particularly as it pertains to foreign affairs.
Below are two very different reads: Brooks's is on the developing Hebrew monarchy as exemplified by King, David; Bizony's is on the insights on quantum physics as they developed over the past two centuries. Each book is interesting in its own way.
October 19, 2018. The two books below just came out. Both offer extraordinary insights. Read them both, or at least read reviews on amazon.com. If you want to know more about either book, peruse my News Log page; you'll find a description beneath the hunting story and pictures.
September 2018: In the last few weeks I have been reading these three books: two below, one to the right. I recommend you read them also. Fromm's The Art of Loving was first published fifty years ago and may appear dated to the contemporary reader, though I love it today as I did when I read it then. In lieu of reading the book, in the "Creative Writing Efforts" page you may read the essay I composed that summarizes Fromm's thought.
The book on Dying, Death, and Wisdom below Fromm's is without a doubt the most inspiring and heartwarming exposition on the subject--and I have read a lot of them, seeing as I am getting on in years.
Brittney Cooper's Eloquent Rage is pertinent reading for anyone who aspires to understand the role of black women in today's American culture, society, and family. A must-read on a par with Yvette Johnson's Song and the Silence, see below Cooper's.
It is mid-May 2018 and I am engaged in memoir writing. I found these two writers very helpful: Annie Proulx because her memoir is set in Wyoming; Yvette Johnson because she bravely shares family trauma rooted in social injustice. Both writers regret parental silence on family dynamics.
These two books below, Mental Health, Inc. and The Danger Within Us go with the earlier-posted, An American Sickness and Drug Dealer, MD. Absolutely required reading for anyone wishing to stay informed on health issues in the American economy.
The books below are a must-read for anyone wishing to understand 1) The drug culture in the US and 2) the religious culture in Saudi Arabia that yet again forbids women to drive their own cars. The women who defy the "Morality Police" pay dearly for their courage.
The twononfiction books below, checked out from the Livermore, CA, library, are discussed in the "News Log" page of this website. I highly recommend both to your reading. Each author has impeccable credetials, and the books are informative--though Niall Ferguson sometimes goes off on tangents, which makes the book into a tome. Luke Harding's is lively--you'll try to read it in one setting, though that's not quite possible.
This book on the importance of sufficient healthful sleep is a fantastic treasure that just recently appeared on the market. It discusses the problems of insomnia that plagues some family members I know. It even discusses narcolepsy, a brain disorder that affects my youngest son. Walker discusses the condition in accessible prose yet providing the latest in scientific research that's out there. I am deeply grateful to have stumbled upon this important contribution to our understanding of the mysteries of dreams, REM sleep, and other vital information. You, too, should read this book--it'll teach you things about yourself you never knew.
The two books below are required reading for anyone wishing to understand African American culture before and during the Civil Rights struggle. Actually, Henry Louis Gates goes further than that. Already his title, derived from Wallace Stevens's poem, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," alerts readers that they are in for an erudite yet humorous treat. The men whose lives he examines, from Ralph Ellison to James Baldwin to Harry Delafonte, come to life in interesting, informative sketches. A must-read!
When you read these two books in succession you will gain an understanding of America as viewedat home and abroad. I recommend augmenting that reading with the book on American economic inequality and the disappearance of the middle class--see Sitaraman, further below.
Sitaraman's study examines the disappearance of the American middle-class in terms of the constitution. He contrasts the US constitution, which he says was built on the premise of a lasting middle class, with "class-war" constitutions such as that of Rome, where a society evolved that stratified members into the super rich and the abjectly poor. However, our constitution was based on the premise of a lasting agrarian economy. When society changed into an industrial one, it made possible corporate overreach. Nevertheless this was kept in check by forward-looking presidents of either party: "trust-busting" Theodore Roosevelt and the New Dealers of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Unfortunately since the 1970s a different ideology has prevailed, largely through corporate financing of elections.
Both the North Korea book and the book about Isaac's hurricane are upsetting to read. The former account shows the extent to which North Korean propaganda induces North Koreans to despise Americans; unfortunately, the narrative suffers from the writer's unrelenting sarcasm. The tale of the hurricane that devastated Galveston in 1900 makes us rethink everything we've ever been told about the increasing dangers of rising sea levels: the dangers have been there all along--with thousands, sometimes millions of hapless residents perishing unawares.
The book whose dust-cover image is to the left is an extraordinary read. It provides not only the biography of Hermann Rorschach but also an overview of the development of the psychoanalytic movement from Freud on down. Formerly unknown: Jung sowing discord between Rorschach and Freud.
Great excerpt about the Nuremberg Nazis before trial, tested with IQ tests and Rorschach.
The two books below are must-read for anyone thinking of seeking a medial procedure. If that procedure includes pain management, read Drug Dealer, MD before you commit to any drug treatment. Inform yourself pronto of alternatives to opioids. American Sickness includes appendices displaying websites where consumers may educate themselves.
The books below Quantum Story have given rise to my most recent writing. Just beneath them are recent publications on American society and culture. Unbanking is required reading, and so is the story further below, on the Washingtons' attitudes about their slaves.
Please read The New Jim Crow, The Invisibles (about slaves in the White House), The Blood of Emmett Till, and Coates's book-length letter to his son.
Thinking Fast and Slow is a marvelous exposition on how our brains function, Also a must-read; Malala's story.