Literature books – Litary Wed, 29 Jun 2022 10:17:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Literature books – Litary 32 32 10 books to dig into this summer Wed, 29 Jun 2022 05:30:00 +0000

Victoria Spratt is a fierce journalist, activist and housing rights activist. From his days to the deceased Debriefingwhere she led a massively successful campaign to ban letting agent fees, to her job today as I popr Housing Correspondent, documenting the schisms in tenants’ lives made deeper by conservative Britain, there really is no one else to approach this very British beast.

Tenants is as much an astute political and social analysis as it is a moving and radical call to arms. Spratt traces the political ventricles that brought us to the crisis. With the dexterity of a surgeon’s scalpel, she highlights all the reasons why there is such a decent housing gap, finding the line between lofty issues. It is striking how this affects our whole being – the now wacky dream of home ownership, our sense of community, politics, health and social life are all laid bare in accessible work and supported by the research. The accommodation is, in Spratt’s own words, the basis from which we engage with society, with our community.

With millions of stories of tenants in crisis and extensive research she has been conducting since 2017, she distills a breadth of human stories. Tony faces expulsion rather than retirement, Limarra is not homeless enough” to get council support, and that’s a big issue for Kelly and her asthmatic son Morgan, with rented property away from their trusted doctor. A few months later, Morgan died.

You’ll walk out of this boiling book, but stay armed with Spratt’s clear vision for how we solve this crisis – and join a tenants union now!

Swann’s book and autograph sale hits history Tue, 28 Jun 2022 15:04:53 +0000

New York auction

NEW YORK CITY — Bidders’ curiosity was piqued by a book and autograph sale at the Swann Auction Galleries on June 16 that revealed a mother lode of historic gems. Important documents from world leaders, including a selection of more than 40 US presidential autographs from a diverse group of 20 presidents and first ladies, were on offer, led by an archive of more than 60 Woodrow Wilson letters written during World War II. world. Literature highlights ran the gamut, from a three-volume first edition of Charlotte Brontë’s work Jane Eyre1847, to a limited and signed edition of The Nobel Lecture by Bob Dylan, 2017.

The total bid was $551,775; the sell-out rate was 84%, and Swann hosted approximately 400 registered bidders.

The English writer Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), published under the pen name “Currer Bell” on October 16, 1847, by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, wrote a novel dealing with the formative years of the fictional Jane Eyre as she grows into adulthood and finds love for Mr. Rochester, the brooding master of Thornfield Hall. An immediate hit with Victorian readers, the novel revolutionized prose fiction by being the first to focus on the moral and spiritual development of its protagonist through an intimate first-person narrative. At Swann Auction Galleries’ book and autograph sale on June 16, the three-volume set sold for $23,750. The original edition was bound in full pebbled green morocco by Wood, covers with flowery corners,

Two major Nobel laureates in a group of photographers made up the sale’s second best-selling lot with Albert Einstein and Tagore Rabindranath depicting physics meeting literature in a photograph signed by the two men, which fetched $20,000. The photograph was also dated by Einstein. The 8 by 10 inch half-length portrait of Martin Vos showing the two in conversation was signed in the image, above the relevant portrait. In addition, it was signed by the photographer at the bottom right. During the summer of 1930, Einstein and Tagore met twice to discuss the nature of truth. The content of their discussion is published in an appendix to Tagore’s religion of man1931.

Recovering the same amount was an archive of more than 60 letters written from the White House during World War I by President Woodrow Wilson. They were signed, almost all as chairman, by the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and later by Edward N. Hurley of the US Shipping Board. Mostly typed and accompanied by an autograph letter, these were mostly business matters, including accepting his resignation from the FTC, discussing candidates for the FTC or the Red Cross War Council or other organizations, arranging meetings, discussing wartime commercial shipping issues – including a plot to destroy American and British ships – arranging assistance to other countries during and after the war etc.

Additional letters from 20th century notables were sought. Two letters typed in German signed “A. Einstein” to the aphorist Hans Margolius discussed the views of Kant, Schiller and Spinoza on ethics and superstition. Dated October 5, 1950, they were bid for $16,250. The first letter encouraged Margolius to publish his manuscript because it would reward bravery in confronting superstition, noting that Spinoza showed that we can be whole if we have understanding and, in a postscript, proposing to return the manuscript. The second pointed out that Kant and Schiller discussed Margolius’ distinction between the ethical act and the emotional motive that leads to the act and held that the emotional triggers of ethical action belong to psychology rather than to ethics.

And a typewritten letter signed by Martin Luther King Jr to William A. Bennett Jr, American conservative politician and political commentator, contrasting the meaning of the term “dark-skinned American” as used in his own writings and speeches with the meaning of “The N-Word” as it was used historically filled a page and was dated Atlanta, January 18, 1966. It came out at $15,000.

A cut signature of George Washington, likely removed from a letter, confirmed the continued popularity of Father of Our Country-related material. Measuring just 1×3 inches, the undated signature made $10,625.

Each ending at $10,000 was a three-volume set by Herman Melville Moby Dick, or The Whale, profusely illustrated by Rockwell Kent, and an autograph letter signed by Henry David Thoreau. The Melville/Kent bundle featured the publisher’s silver-stamped black cloth on beveled boards and the original acetate dust jackets with parchment flaps. A limited edition, one of 1,000 unnumbered sets by Lakeside Press, 1930, this presentation copy was inscribed by Kent “To / Eleanor Netten / by / Rockwell Kent [flourish beneath]in pencil on the first free endpaper of the first volume.

The Thoreau letter was addressed to the editors of Putnam’s Monthly, Dix & Edwardsacknowledging receipt of payment of an installment from “Cape Cod” and dated Concord, June 2, 1855. “Your check for forty dollars on the Nassau Bank, in payment of part of “Cape Cod”, arrived safely security. Please accept my thanks for your promptness. The book, Cape Codpublished posthumously in 1865, contains Thoreau’s observations on a number of excursions he made to Cape Cod between 1849 and 1856. It first appeared as a series of articles in the during the summer of 1855 in Putnam’s Monthly magazine.

The prices shown include the buyer’s commission as quoted by the auction house. The firm’s next sale of books and manuscripts will take place in the fall. For more information, 212-254-4710 or

An archive of over 60 letters written from the White House during World War I by President Woodrow Wilson, all signed, and almost all as President, to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and later to Edward N Hurley, came out at $20,000.


This typewritten letter signed by Martin Luther King Jr to William A. Bennett Jr contrasting the meaning of the term “dark-skinned American”, as used in his own writings and speeches, with the meaning of the word “N” as that it was used historically was dated Atlanta, January 18, 1966. It came out at $15,000.


A cut signature of George Washington, 1¼ by 3¼ inches and undated, fetched $10,625.


Two great Nobel laureates, Albert Einstein and Tagore Rabindranath, in conversation were captured in this 1930 portrait by Martin Vos. The photograph, signed by both men, fetched $20,000.


An autograph letter signed by Henry David Thoreau was addressed to the editors of Putnam’s Monthly, Dix & Edwards, acknowledging receipt of payment of an installment from ‘Cape Cod’ and was dated Concord, June 2, 1855. ‘It sold $10,000.


English writer Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) Jane Eyre, published under the pen name “Currer Bell” 1847, a three-volume set, sold for $23,750. The original edition was bound in full green morocco pebbled by Wood, covers with flowered corners.


At $10,000, this three-volume set of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, or The Illustrated Whale, featured extensive illustrations by Rockwell Kent. A limited edition, one of 1,000 unnumbered sets by Lakeside Press, 1930, this presentation copy was inscribed by Kent “To / Eleanor Netten / by / Rockwell Kent [flourish beneath].”


Among the letters sought by 20th-century notables were two letters typed in German signed “A. Einstein” to the aphorist Hans Margolius discussing the views of Kant, Schiller, and Spinoza on ethics and superstition. Dated October 5, 1950, they were bid for $16,250.

Frank Moorhouse, Australian author and essayist, dies aged 83 | Australian books Tue, 28 Jun 2022 01:29:00 +0000

Frank Moorhouse, the acclaimed Australian author and essayist best known for the Edith trilogy, has died aged 83.

His publisher, Penguin Random House, confirmed on Sunday that he died that morning in a hospital in Sydney.

The author of 18 books, in addition to screenplays and essays, Moorhouse has explored Australian identity through the career of Edith Campbell Berry, a young woman who works as a diplomat in Europe, then in Canberra, in three novels published between 1993 and 2011.

Grand Days, set in 1920s Europe, was ruled ineligible for the Miles Franklin Literary Prize in 1994 because it was deemed insufficiently Australian by the judges, a decision which led Moorhouse to take legal action. Dark Palace, the second book in the trilogy, won the award in 2001, while Cold Light was shortlisted for it in 2012.

ABC journalist Annabel Crabb, a huge fan of Edith Campbell Berry, said: “I know she resonates with a lot of ambitious, energetic, imaginative, slightly shambolic women – I’ve always identified very closely with her. What was remarkable about Moorhouse was how he could write it in such an insightful way. His gender fluidity really stood out to him. He was a real artist. »

Born in Nowra, New South Wales, in 1938, Moorhouse was the youngest of three brothers. He decided on his future career at age 12, after reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland while recovering from a serious accident. “After experiencing the magic in this book, I wanted to be the magician who did the magic,” he said.

At 20, he married his childhood sweetheart, Wendy Halloway, who would later work in journalism in London after the marriage disintegrated. Moorhouse himself went into journalism and became involved in activism and labor unions.

His first short stories were published in the late ’60s. Many of them followed the same group of people in what he called a “discontinuous narrative…so that it wouldn’t be considered a failed novel.” I decided to pretend it was a literary form I had tinkered with.

Along with Clive James, Germaine Greer and Robert Hughes, Moorhouse became a member of the “Sydney Push” – an anti-censorship movement that protested right-wing politics and championed free speech and sexual liberation. In 1975, he played a fundamental role in the development of copyright law in Australia, in the case University of New South Wales v Moorhouse, which found that the unsupervised use of photocopiers infringed the authors’ copyright.

Moorhouse wrote prolifically and with irreverence and humor about his passions – food, drink, travel, sex and gender. Early in his fiction, and later in his 2005 memoir Martini, he wrote candidly about his own bisexuality and androgyny. In his writing, he said, he wanted to explore “the idea of ​​intimacy without family – now that procreation is not the only thing that gives meaning to sex”.

In 1985 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to Australian literature and he received several scholarships, including King’s College Cambridge, a Fulbright scholarship and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. Her novel Forty-Seventeen won the Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal in 1988.

Professor Catharine Lumby, the author of a forthcoming biography on Moorhouse, had put the finishing touches to the book last weekend when she heard the news of his death.

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“When someone of his caliber dies, it feels like they belong in the public,” she said. “I was a huge fan since I was a teenager, but we met in the 90s and started discussing biography in the early 2000s.”

She said he was “very in touch with his feminine side and was so supportive of young female writers. He really understood women and wrote the female characters so well.

“But he wasn’t just a writer – he was an activist who fought against censorship, he was very active in women’s liberation and gay rights, and was at the heart of copyright reform in Australia And he had a fascination with the good life – he loved martinis and all the rituals around it, how you make it perfect, who you drink it with, it spoke to a greater love of life.

“He had a very dry sense of humor and was a wonderful conversationalist – always in a restaurant, I don’t think he ever cooked himself. It was a privilege to have known him.”

Op-Ed: Republicans Ban Books About Historical Truths Their Own Leaders Have Apologized For Mon, 27 Jun 2022 10:00:53 +0000

On a recent outing, my wife and I attended a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit called “Righting a Wrong”. In the modest confines of a single room at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, the exhibit chronicled an epic tragedy: the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants as suspected traitors during World War II. world.

The exposure made it clear that none of these people ever turned out to be disloyal. On the contrary, more than 30,000 Japanese Americans served in the US military during the war. Those who remained held in our country’s de facto concentration camps formed communities with their own newspapers, sports teams and arts programs.

The national shame of Japanese incarceration has long been recognized by a bipartisan consensus. In 1976, Republican President Ford revoked Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order that had authorized wartime imprisonment. Twelve years later, an even more conservative Republican president, Ronald Reagan, signed into law a bill authorizing the payment of reparations to the 60,000 formerly incarcerated people of Japanese descent who were still alive. One of the exhibits in the Smithsonian exhibit quotes Reagan at the signing ceremony:

“Yet no payment can make up for those lost years. So what is most important in this bill is less property than honour. For here we admit a wrong; here we reaffirm our commitment as a nation to equal justice under the law.

Given these formal acts of contrition, one could be forgiven for believing that the injustice of Japanese incarceration in America is settled history. Some of us, after all, are convinced that the immorality and treachery of the Confederacy and its slave system are also beyond rational debate.

But earlier this month, a small school district in Wisconsin delivered the latest example of two intertwined threats to history: the purge of books that dare to critically look at the American experience and the mobilization of right-wing zealots in local school boards.

On June 13, a Muskego-Norway District School Board committee in suburban Milwaukee turned down a request from educators there to teach Julie Otsuka’s novel about Japanese incarceration in a middle-grade English class. advanced for 10th graders. The reasons largely boiled down to complaints that the book, “When the Emperor Was Divine,” is not impartial. This excuse reminds me of an observation by Holocaust survivor, novelist and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel: “Neutrality helps the oppressor. Never the victim.

I happen to know Otsuka’s book very well. I wrote about it in 2005, in a column about high school English teachers who studied the book. What I knew then has become even truer since. “When the Emperor Was Divine” is widely embraced by schools for the same reason books such as “To Kill A Mockingbird” are taught – it’s a literaryly luminous work that forces readers to confront bigotry and injustice.

Far from distorting or exaggerating the truth to make his case, Otsuka constructed the book from the experiences of his mother, uncle, and maternal grandparents having been incarcerated. His research is so exemplary that I have given the novel several times to my graduate students at the Columbia Journalism School.

Now, however, Otsuka’s book itself has become captive – to Republican Party efforts to literally and figuratively whitewash American history and literature. The effort began gaining momentum two years ago with the introduction and passage of state laws banning the use of the “1619 Project,” an award-winning collection of articles and essays reappraising American history, economics, public health, transportation, and other topics through the lens of black slavery and Jim Crow.

That certain legitimate historians clash intellectually with the creator of the project falls within the norms of scholarly discourse. The statewide bans were something else entirely, an eradication effort. These laws anticipated more recent laws banning the teaching of critical race theory, by which right-wing activists essentially mean anything about racism that might cause a student to “feel uneasy, guilty, distressed or any other form of psychological distress,” as Florida recently explained. legislation, often called the Stop WOKE Act, has put it.

Censorship happens so fast it’s almost impossible to keep up. Between July 21 and March 31, PEN America counted 1,586 books banned in schools serving approximately 2 million students. The overwhelming majority of banned books featured non-white protagonists, dealt with racism, or addressed the LGBTQ experience.

Back in the Muskego-Norway district, hundreds of residents have called on the school board to reverse its ban on Julie Otsuka’s book. They might want to quote the recent words of beloved “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton: “Read the books they ban. This is where the good stuff is. If they don’t want you to read it, there’s a reason for that.

Samuel G. Freedman has authored nine books and is currently working on his 10th, on Hubert Humphrey and Civil Rights.

Karen Buley: Book diversity is more important than ever | Editorial Sun, 26 Jun 2022 17:28:00 +0000

Years after learning about my eldest son’s sexual orientation, I wrote a blog post in 2017: “Queer is not a dirty word.” Reflecting on my early years of parenthood, I wrote, “I wish I had known how to look up LGBTQIA books. This acronym was not part of my vocabulary at the time, but acceptance, empathy, love and tolerance were.

Recently, book bans and efforts to ban schools from discussing sexual orientation, gender identity and race have increased. The diversity of books is more important than ever.

During a meeting of the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on May 19 to “review ongoing efforts to ban discussions in K-12 classrooms about American history, race and LGBTQ+ issues, and to punish teachers who violate vague and discriminatory state laws by discussing these topics,” a letter, signed by more than 1,300 authors of children’s literature, was read from the filing. The bulk of the signatures were collected in less than 48 hours, and many more wanted to sign but missed the deadline.

The authors wrote, “Reading stories that reflect the diversity of our world builds empathy and respect for one’s humanity. At a time when our country is experiencing an alarming increase in hate crimes, we should be looking for ways to increase empathy and compassion in every moment. »

People also read…

Individual authors also express themselves. Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author, is also the National Ambassador for Children’s Literature. A pair of books co-authored by Reynolds, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism” and “You and All American Boys,” were two of the toughest books of 2020.

In a June 4 CNN article, he said, “There is no better place for a young person to engage and grapple with ideas that may or may not be their own than a book. These stories are meant to be playgrounds for ideas, playgrounds for debate and discourse. Books don’t brainwash. They represent ideas. You have the right to disagree with these ideas. Adults are not afraid of books. They are afraid of the conversations that young people bring home.

In 2015, Ashley Hope Pérez’s historical novel “Out of Darkness” was published to critical acclaim. Disputes and bans began six years later, making it one of the top 10 most contested books of 2021. When asked why she thought her novel was received so differently in 2015, Pérez said replied: “At the time, a national conversation about racism and radicalized violence was finally taking root. Now, however, there is a vocal minority of the American population that wants to shut down — and literally ban — discussion of racism as a historical and current reality. And books that depict various characters and their experiences have become targets in a proxy war. It’s not about the books; it’s about power: the power to tell stories and the power to silence them.

Award-winning author Shaun David Hutchinson’s memoir, “Brave Face,” and the novel “We Are the Ants” have been challenged and banned in Texas and elsewhere. In response to his father’s support for Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, he created a poignant “Dear Dad…” video.

“The truth is, I’m not interested in fighting parents,” Hutchinson wrote in an email. “Gay youth experience far higher rates of suicide and homelessness than non-gay youth, so the only fight I care about is providing honest, positive representation and convincing teens who identify as LGBTQIA+ that they are worthy of love, that they are seen, that their lives are precious and have meaning. I can’t imagine why an adult would stand in the way of something that could save the life of a young person.”

Karen Buley is an author from Missoula and a library assistant at Hellgate High School.

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My Life in Books: Bernie McGill Sun, 26 Jun 2022 01:35:31 +0000 Bernie McGill is a novelist and short story writer from Co Derry. Her book The Watch House was nominated for the Ireland/European Union Literature Prize in 2019. Her new collection of short stories, This Train is For, has just been published by No Alibis Press.

List of Best Biblioracle Books of 2022 (So Far) Sat, 25 Jun 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Somehow, we’re halfway through 2022, which has resulted in a series of lists of the best books of 2022 so far, including from Barnes & Noble and Esquire.

Far be it from me to let anyone else have a head start on what books we should be talking about at the end of the year, so here is my “Best Books of the Year from Biblioracle (up to now) which is a better list than anyone Else’s Best Books of the Year list (so far).

“Ancestor Problem” by Maud Newton: I think we will consider this book a classic in the way it combines historical research, science, personal memory and philosophy. A fascinating and in-depth exploration of Newton’s family tree in the context of who we are and where we come from, unraveling some mysteries while introducing others. A book that keeps on giving even after reading the last page.

“The Race to the Top: Asian Americans and Whites Chasing the American Dream in Suburban Schools” by Natasha Warikoo: There has been a lot of heat without much light around affirmative action issues in elite college admissions. Here is an absorbing ethnographic work by Professor Warikoo of Tufts University that examines the complex power and social dynamics at work in a system where success seems both rare and an absolute imperative. Strikes a good balance between academic and popular audiences, so either group will be satisfied.

“Foreverland: On the Divine Boredom of Marriage” by Heather Havrilesky: The humorless growlers of the world have tried to convince themselves that an honest exploration of the ways in which those we are closest to can also be our greatest sources of frustration is somehow a problem, but they are wrong. . This book is a delight. Funny, honest and deeply romantic, Havrilesky does the world a favor by letting us experience his spirit and his marriage.

“Rethinking Fandom: How to beat the sports-industrial complex at its own game” by Craig Calcaterra: If you’re like me and love sports, but are increasingly dismayed by the “sports-industrial complex,” Calcaterra’s book will be a balm to keep that fandom going without shutting down eyes on the myriad problems and sources of exploitation on the ground.

“Look for” by Michelle Huneven: One of my ultimate comfort reads, Huneven manages to cast a spell that has you deeply invested in a committee’s ultimate decision to search for a new minister for a Unitarian Universalist congregation. These people dig into you as if they were your neighbors.

“Joan is fine” by Weike Wang: Wang’s dry wit in this story of an intensive care doctor dealing with (sort of) the death of his father is irresistible.

“Sea of ​​Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel: That this novel appears on the B&N and Esquire lists as well as mine speaks to a few things. First, St. John Mandel writes books that many readers look forward to. Second, Mandel responds to this anticipation, in a big way. Not quite a sequel so much as a companion to “The Glass Hotel”, “Sea of ​​Tranquility” is somehow both an enjoyable and invigorating read.

“Mouth to mouth” by Antoine Wilson: Just a delightful little work of psychological intrigue and suspense that delivers one of the most satisfying plot kicks I’ve experienced in years.

“House of the Devil” by John Darnielle: Framed as the story of a journalist researching and writing a true crime book about an alleged satanic murder, Darnielle turns the book into an exploration of memory, narrative and how the stories we tell depends a lot on who can do the telling.

John Warner is the author of “Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities”.

Twitter @biblioracle

Biblioracle book recommendations

John Warner tells you what to read based on the last five books you read

1. “The Woodland Boy” by Harlan Coben

2. “City on Fire” by Don Winslow

3. “Two nights in Lisbon” by Chris Pavone

4. “The Chain” by Adrian McKinty

5. “The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead

—Bill T., Chicago

I think Bill will be in Olen Steinhauer’s Milo Weaver series, in which a spy tries to get out of the game, but keeps getting sucked in. The first volume is “The Tourist”.

1. “60 stories” by Donald Barthelme

2. “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders

3. “Misplaced” by Dana Spiotta

4. “Away” by Hernan Diaz

5. “Sea of ​​Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel

—Mary P., Sacramento

Mary sounds like someone with an interest in fiction that tackles big existential questions obliquely, and Benjamin Labatut’s “When We Stop Understanding the World” seems to fit that mindset well.

1. “The Book of Form and Void” Ruth Ozeki

2. “A Separation” by Katie Kitamura

3. “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell

4. “No country for old people” by Cormac McCarthy

5. “The Cold Millions” by Jess Walter

— Bea P., Tallahassee, Florida

Bea is drawn to a good story with lots of intrigue, but she should also be attached to the character and even a unique author’s voice. For me, this is in addition to “The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick deWitt.

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Send a list of the last five books you read and your hometown to

Enjoy the thrill of the unknown with new crime-solving mystery books Thu, 23 Jun 2022 23:38:04 +0000

A family secret he knew nothing about

Mystery books are fun and keep a reader hooked. The generosity of embarking on a crime story and the mission to solve a crime story is a feeling that only thriller lovers can experience. We are talking here about the masterpiece written by John Defelice. His Mystery Series books give you the thrill of solving a mystery in today’s complex thriller setting.

The perfect thriller fiction novel revolves around the main character. Johnny Paul was leading a simple life with a dream of being a professional baseball player and living an ideal life until he found out that his family was spending their lives under a curse because of a hidden dark secret.

Children’s Mystery Books author John has twenty-nine years of experience as a teacher. A resident of Saint Francis Village, Crowley, Texas. John spent nine years working on and finishing his first book, “The Clemente Spell”.

The Sandlot will easily draw viewers into the chaotic world of Johnny Paul, who was thrown into disarray when he discovered his family was cursed due to a dark buried secret. In Historical Mystery Books, John’s passion for becoming an author has come true. He knew he wanted to be an author since fifth grade.

Don’t miss the fun of a good murder thriller story of a horrible hidden secret that Johnny heard about; his family was cursed. He had no idea that events would throw him under the barrel and that his life would take an unexpected turn. John is also working on his new fictional novel, which hints at Christian Mystery Books. Click the link to grab a copy of this remarkable novel that is insightful and descriptive.

More info:

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Making History: Six Books That Embrace the 1970s ‹ Literary Hub Thu, 23 Jun 2022 08:58:33 +0000

It’s almost shocking to believe that what was once electric literature of the 1970s has now become historical fiction. Fifty years in the past, it’s no longer what we thought was cutting edge, though it was the era of women’s rights, gay rights, Watergate, the Vietnam War, and funds of bell.

Flash forward to today, and the books set in the 70s still bring to mind dramatic stories from American and world history that resonate powerfully. All fiction stems from human events, real or imagined, but historical fiction pays greater attention to the facts that create those events in terms of time, setting, and character. There is an accountability in place that calls on authors to invent fictional aspects around a central truth.

My selection of six defining books set in the 1970s era – now considered historical fiction – crosses continents and legacies, and each explores how the characters rise up to meet challenges and conflict as they confront cultural and other differences and explore the challenges inherent in that time, many of which, with their central truths, continue to resonate with me as I revisit them.


Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones and the Six
(Ballantine Books)

An immersion in the rock and roll scene of the 1970s in Los Angeles, Daisy Jones and the Six features the unlikely duo of beautiful, raw-voiced up-and-coming singer Daisy Jones and lead guitarist Billy Dunne of The Six. Individually, they experiment with drugs, sex and rock and roll. But when a manager suggests Billy and Daisy perform a duet on the Six’s second album, the song “Honeycomb” becomes an instant hit and Daisy is asked to join the band. “That’s what I’ve always loved about music,” says Daisy. “Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times so much as the words – the emotions, the stories, the truth – that you can let flow from your mouth. The music can to digyou know?” While at times this novel borders on familiar stereotypes, it captures the exuberance of a unique moment in our culture and creates a memorable, gritty narrative of this fictional band’s rise to power.

under the gaze of the lion

Maaza Mengiste, Under the gaze of the lion
(WW Norton)

Set in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1974, on the eve of the revolution to overthrow Emperor Haile Selassie, Mengiste’s first novel recounts what happened from several angles. The novel opens in a hospital operating room, where a boy who had been shot during the protest is undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound. Hailu, the doctor who operates on her, has her own complex story. His wife, Selam, is hospitalized in the building’s intensive care unit for congestive heart failure and refuses to seek treatment. His two adult sons, Dawit and Yonas, react to the political climate in radically different ways, one as a pacifist, the other as an activist. The unrest in the city escalates as starvation increases, torture becomes routine, and bodies rot in the streets.

When Hailu is ordered to treat a woman who has been tortured so badly that he knows she could not survive further interrogation, he gives her cyanide. After being thrown in jail and tortured for helping her kill herself, her sons join forces and take action. Mengiste’s ending to this story is deep and vivid, and I trusted his voice throughout to reveal many truths. Despite the violence, disruption, and crimes against humanity, the narrative is fluid and powerful.

go after cacciato

Tim O’Brien, Chasing Cacciato
(Broadway Books)

While the realities of Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne were very compelling in the context of the rock and roll scene, elsewhere in the world the Vietnam War had been a conflict from 1955 until the fall of Saigon in 1975. Veteran Tim O’Brien’s novel, which won the National Book Award in 1979, chronicles a non-linear journey by Paul Berlin who determined that being a soldier in Vietnam for the standard tour of duty involves constant walking, and if one were to put the whole march in a straight line, one would end up in Paris, where the AWOL soldier Cacciato goes, and Berlin begins to follow.

The novel opens with an incantatory litany of the dead: “It was a bad time. Billy Boy Watkins was dead, as was Frenchie Tucker. Billy Boy was scared to death, scared to death on the battlefield, and Frenchie Tucker had been shot in the nose. Bernie Lynn and Lieutenant Sidney Martin had died in tunnels. Pederson was dead and Rudy Chassler was dead. Buff was dead, Ready Mix was dead… The rain-fed fungus growing in the men’s boots and socks and their socks were rotting, and their feet were turning white and soft so that their skin could be scratched with a fingernail…” For people who weren’t in Vietnam and could never have imagined the cruel and haunting realities of participating in this war, O’Brien has created a necessary cauldron of reality that calls forth suffering and estrangement. that last a lifetime.

kushner flamethrower

Rachel Kushner, The flamethrowers

Walk in the The world of 1970s concept art, motorcycle racing, upper-class Italy, and the rampant kidnappings and terrorism that accompanied it. Reno, a young female artist from Nevada with a history of downhill skiing and motocross racing, moves to New York’s Little Italy to try to break into the art world. She becomes involved with Sandro, an older artist and heir to a family fortune of motorcycles and tires whose father, Valera, was a former World War I member of the Arditi, famous for attacking the enemy with flamethrowers. Are artists, as Valera suggests, “those who are useless for other things? Or is the answer to what Sandro believes: “Making art was really the problem of the soul, of losing it. It was a technique for inhabiting the world. So as not to dissolve into it. Kushner’s keen talent for choreographing conflict, his approach to the idea of ​​”speed” in its various guises, and his quest to understand what makes art and what makes an artist, make for an energetic read.

family run

Michel Ondaatje, Family run

The language of this fictionalized memoir is composed of a kind of transcendent poetry. Ondaatje, originally from Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) moved to Britain when he was 11 and then spent much of his life in Canada. In the late 1970s, he returned to Sri Lanka to trace the mythology of his Dutch-Ceylonese family and seek evidence of his ancestry.

He begins: “What started was the shiny bone of an idea that I could barely hold on to. I slept at a friend’s house. I saw my dad, chaotic, surrounded by dogs, all of them screaming and barking in the tropical landscape. Ondaatje walked the railroad tracks his family had trodden, went to homes, racetracks and harbours, and stood in the monsoons – where he learned they had been. “I wanted to touch them with words,” he wrote. The past he searches for circles around him, though he can never touch it clearly. This book inspires me every time I read it, or read sections of it, which can be enjoyed separately or linearly.

Colum McCann, Let the big world turn
(Random house)

Several threads intersect in this non-linear novel, which won the 2009 National Book Award. The story unfolds against the backdrop of acrobat Philippe Petit’s famous tightrope walk in August 1974 between the Twin Towers, and the author periodically returns to this event throughout the book. Of Petit, McCann says, “He was just moving. . . . He was both inside and outside his body, indulging in what it meant to belong in the air. Then there is a change of time and place to Ireland to meet Corrigan, a young monk, and his brother Ciaran, who soon land in the South Bronx in the 1970s in the middle of a decaying New York City.

As Corrigan tends to prostitutes gathering under the freeway and Ciaran tends to the bar of an Irish pub in Queen, a group of mothers gather in a downtown apartment to mourn their deceased sons at the Vietnam, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother shoots tricks alongside her daughter, and an artist witnesses a hit-and-run. These seemingly disparate voices come together to form a kaleidoscopic effect, creating a simultaneous vision of the city with its hopes, dreams and traumas. Part of the book’s beauty is evoked by continuous images of sky, earth, and McCann’s attention to risk, elegance, and bravery in tightrope walking.

]]> Gorham educators defend controversial posters, books dealing with sexuality Wed, 22 Jun 2022 15:37:38 +0000

Some Gorham educators are defending posters on gender identity and a coming-of-age memoir recently challenged by parents, saying the material prepares students for a complex world.

District community members, including at least two parents, argue that some of the books in the high school library are not age-appropriate for some students.

A parent has filed a complaint about college posters that discuss gender identities, claiming there has not been equal awareness about straight sexuality or the genders assigned at birth.

Some of the controversies will unfold in closed school board hearings in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, school staff who spoke to the American Journal defended the posters and the books.

Superintendent Heather Perry said the posters included biological gender and straight sexuality, covering everything under the umbrella of sexuality and gender.

“It’s very important that our classrooms are culturally appropriate,” said Grade Six teacher Meghan Rounds. “It’s easy to stick to one way of thinking, but it does our students a disservice. »

Gorham’s sexual health program begins in sixth grade. Materials like posters add to that program, Rounds said.

“We stock our libraries with age-appropriate texts,” Rounds said. “Certainly they may feature something different, they may highlight a gay protagonist or a black protagonist, but in all of these cases the stories are written and (categorized) as enlightened young adults by editors because they are aligned with cognitive development. of age.

George M. Johnson’s memoir “Not All the Boys Are Blue,” available in the high school library and some high school classrooms, has been banned from schools in at least eight states, according to the author.

Its detractors point to a detailed scene of two underage male cousins ​​and the moments leading up to and including the sexual activity.

The book is aimed at older students, said Brooke Proulx, social worker at Gorham Middle School. The quoted scene was taken out of context and does not glorify or promote same-sex cousin sex, she said.

“It is labeled as pornography, disgusting, without telling the whole story. This is a memoir,” Proulx said. “It was someone’s life experience, and there are other kids who have that experience or need support.”

Students “not in that category,” she said, can read the book and “understand and reflect on privilege.”

Resources regarding LGBTQ youth are becoming increasingly available, Proulx said. Only 10 years ago, it was rare to find books on these subjects. This type of representation is particularly important because gay and transgender youth are struggling with suicidal ideation at an alarming rate.

According to a study by the Center for Services for At-Risk Teenagers at the University of Pittsburgh, suicide rates are higher among trans youth and are often linked to feelings of invalidation. It revealed that transgender teens have “higher risks of suicide than cisgender teens”, with around 85% of transgender teens saying they are “seriously considering suicide”, while more than half of transgender teens have attempted suicide. commit suicide.

Books like “Not All Boys Are Blue” are “important when it comes to healthy sexual development so people don’t just find things online,” Proulx said. “We want the children to be safe.”

Parent Andrew LaPlaca filed a complaint about the book, but said he understands “Not all boys are blue” may be important to some students.

However, he says there is a lack of control over who has access to it. The book may be suitable for a high school student, he said, but he doesn’t think it should be accessible to freshmen.

“They have no policy in place to restrict mature content to 14 year olds,” LaPlaca said in an interview with the American Journal. “Maybe it’s fine for an 18-year-old, but there are 14-year-olds in high school and they have no restrictions.”

In addition to his pending lawsuit regarding “Not All Boys Are Blue,” LaPlaca objected to a graphic novel version of “The Handmaid’s Tale” available in high school. This book does not deal with LGBTQ issues but depicts scenes of rape, nudity, violence and suicidal ideation.

Her challenge to this book was dismissed by school librarians because, the librarians said, it has value as a feminist story, does not glorify rape, nudity, violence or suicide, and has been acclaimed by criticism.

LaPlaca said he still wants restrictions on mature content put in place for younger students.

Parents can now contact teachers and school libraries to let them know they don’t want their child to have access to a specific book, he said, but it’s up to them to remember individual requests parents and check their email.

A system for reporting when these books are checked out would provide additional security, he said.

“I’m not saying ban the books,” he said. “I am welcoming to everyone in the world, but there is a school responsibility to protect our children at the end of the day.”

LaPlaca also said he wasn’t sure his concerns would be taken seriously due to the district’s response to another parent, Eric Lane, and Lane’s request to remove the sexuality and gender posters. . Perry’s emails to staffers about Lane indicate the district may be trying to block Lane’s complaints and bias against him and other parents with the same concerns, LaPlaca said.

Lane, who filed a lawsuit alleging that Perry and the school department discriminated against him because of his Christian values, declined requests for comment from the American Journal.

LaPlaca, who says he was not allowed to speak or was sometimes interrupted at school committee meetings, said he and others felt like they didn’t have a fair chance.

“My complaint is about the policy and how it was handled, and how we can approach the program,” LaPlaca said.

Perry, however, said school staff are doing a good job of enforcing school policy, while excluding students from the program at the request of parents.

She said she was open to the idea of ​​the LaPlaca library restrictions and that the school committee will meet again in August to discuss it. She’s not sure that’s necessary, though.

“I’m conservative on personnel and capacity and want to make sure we’re focused on class and instruction,” Perry said. “Add that the capacity is not necessary if the parents effectively contact the school.”

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