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Jdscott50

Jdscott50

Joined May 2016

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Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik
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Queen Sugar: A Novel by Natalie Baszile
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Jdscott50
Song of a Captive Bird | Jasmin Darznik
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“I‘ll greet the sun again.
I‘ll greet the stream that flowed within me,
the clouds that were my tallest thoughts,
the aspens in the garden
that endured seasons of drought with me,
the flock of crows
that brought me the scent of the fields at night,
my mother who lived in the mirror and
reflected the face of my old age,
the burning womb
my lust has filled with green seeds.
I‘ll greet them all again.
—from “I Will Greet the Sun Again”

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Jdscott50
Swimming Lessons | Claire Fuller
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Best way to get over a bad book is to start a fantastic one...a reading companion helps.

CouronneDhiver I concur! Which one was the bad book? (Warn me, please!) 3y
Jdscott50 Nabokov's Favorite Word is Mauve (edited) 3y
15 likes2 comments
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Jdscott50
Seeing Red | Lina Meruane
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This is such a poetic, visceral journey. She describes her terror, her frustration with her boyfriend and family. Ultimately, we never see acceptance, only terror. It is the same kind of terror we see in Saramago's Blindness and even Day of the Triffids. It is a desperation and hope that her sight will be restored and near the end, a willingness to go to extremes to regain her sight.

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Jdscott50
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Short stories with a literary topic interspersed with intimate stories about the importance of public libraries. These libraries are based in the U.K. which have been threatened with closure or closed in a massive scale over the past 15 years. Ali Smith's stories and essays are intended to demonstrate what will be lost without them. Sometimes the only hope a person has is the public library. We see the many ways in these stories and essays.

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Human Acts | Han Kang
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The one stage in the process that you couldn't quite get your head around was the singing of the national anthem, which took place at a brief, informal memorial service for the bereaved families, after their dead had been formally placed in the coffins...Why would you sing the national anthem for people who'd been killed by soldiers? Why cover the coffin with the Taegukgi? As though it wasn't the nation itself that had murdered them.

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Jdscott50
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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"I felt then, and still do, that readers shouldn't be made aware of editorial interventions; they have a right to feel that what they're reading comes direct from the author to them." *cough* Go Set a Watchman *cough*

16 likes1 stack add
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Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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...this was a milestone in my education about publishing--grasping the fact that the act of publishing is essentially the act of making public one's own enthusiasm." Thrilling to read about how some of the great novels of the last 50 years came to life.

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When you have an ambitious 2017 reading goal, but all your holds come in at once...

Alicia Great picks! 3y
19 likes1 comment
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This one was rough, but one of my favorites of 2016. Over a 24 hour period, Younge tells the story of ten people killed by gun violence. He talks to the families, provides the background, and then the shooting. He tries to overcome how numb we have become to these shootings. Each death tells a story.

ralexist This one is on my holds list for the library and it'll be headed my way soon. To say I'm eager to read it seems wrong because stories with endings like this should never have to exist, but they are definitely stories that should be told. (edited) 3y
Jdscott50 It is good to be eager to learn more about it. Too many statistics and not enough stories. You will enjoy it. 3y
10 likes2 comments
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Jdscott50
Nazi Hunters | Andrew Nagorski
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These are the stories of the struggles and the successes of the Nazi Hunters. Many of the former Nazis are dead as are the men and women who hunted them. More important is the legacy that they leave behind. They remind those in the future of these atrocities. Those in the future should never forget these crimes, with the hope that they will never happen again.

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Iza's Ballad | Magda Szabo
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Nothing like reading and planning my TBR on a snow day...

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#libfaves16 #1 A Libyan dissident, Jaballa Matar was arrested by the Egyptian government and turned over to Qaddafi. His whereabouts were unknown. When he loses contact, the situation turns into an obsession. What happened to his father? Matar would spend over twenty years trying to find him. With the fall of the Qaddafi regime, he gets no resolution. In the end, he must accept the inevitable without any proof of what happened.

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#libfaves#16 #2 A child's sense of wonder is captured in these essays. Through the author's eyes, the world is a foreign, alien place. We can apply her narrow vision to view ourselves in these new and strange roles. We find the unique persistence of nature and discover how we can incorporate these traits into the everyday. We are transported by her voice. It is a wonderful opportunity to see the world anew.

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#libfaves16 #3 Didn't finish this before the end of the year. Wrapping it up.

We meet victims of Assad's secret police, Assad supporters, and the learn of the result of an endless war. It is living under the threat of being shot or killed by a bomb, but also the complete breakdown in government, where even basic services are no longer met. We see the destruction in slow motion. The book will be part of the testament of what happened before.

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#4 #libfaves16'What I took away from the book was the concept of mercy and forgiveness, that we have the power to forgive and wipe away past wrongs. It becomes a universal message of peace. We can treat each other with dignity, forgive those that trespass against us, and move forward. It is a powerful message for anyone and it is particularly good to hear this message from the Catholic Church.

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Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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#5 #libfaves16 Yaa Gyasi's novel takes us through time. Two half-sisters, unbeknownst to one another take parallel journeys. Each story is told a generation apart. This holistic novel's beauty is told in small pieces. Each story is like a short story. Every twist shows us both the oppression in the colonization of Africa and the slavery in America. They swirl around each other like a DNA helix. A story of one people in two continents.

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Multiple Choice | Alejandro Zambra
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#6 #libfaves16 An experimental novel wrapped inside a test booklet. Themes of fathers, being a family man, and the Pinochet dictatorship are some of the themes. It becomes an examination of what you can add and take away as a writer. Does it mean the same thing or does that slight pivot alter it significantly?

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Thus Bad Begins | Javier Maras

#7 #libfaves16 Now we get into a little fiction. Reviewed this here a few weeks ago. Here is a brief recap. The main drive of the book is a marriage during the Franco dictatorship and its consequences. People both suffered based on deceptions and self deceptions. Only time solves these problems, but time lived during these difficult years are not wasted. They are the light and the dark that makes up ones life and darkness often reveals the light.

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#8 #libfaves16 What is brought to light is the frustrating examples of how nothing has changed in the last fifty years. One could read Baldwin's The Fire Next Time or Ellison's The Invisible Man and have the same stories with the same experiences today. Ward's book also expands on Coates' Between the World and Me. It isn't just one voice; it is so many.

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The Black Notebook | Patrick Modiano, Georges Borchardt
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This is the second Modiano book I have read and I am quite hooked. Most of the plots don't seem to lead anywhere, but the claustrophobic noir narrative is compelling. It is hard not to take the journey down the dark alleys of the mind. It is that journey and the possibility that makes it so interesting. There never seems to be a destination.

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#9 #libfaves16 Mathew Desmond's riveting and in-depth account doesn't simply take remote statistics or data, but shows the reality of people desperately trying to keep their home. They are people who are working hard, who have families, but have little resources to count on.

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#libfaves16 #10 Second-Hand time is Svetlana Alexievich's oral history of the Fall of the Soviet Union. It is perfectly timed as rumblings from Russia would indicate a second Cold(ish) War. While most celebrated the end of the totalitarianism, they immediate suffered in the collapse. Putin is someone too many have idolized to bring them back to their former glory. However, in that glory is rattling sabers.

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Iza's Ballad | Magda Szabo
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Finally starting this one after a busy week. A nice rainy Saturday for it too!

8 likes1 stack add
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March: Book Three | Andrew Aydin, John Lewis
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Finishing the series on this snowy Sunday!

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Thus Bad Begins | Javier Maras
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For Marias, the plot bookends the conversations and observations of his characters. The main drive of the book is a marriage during the Franco dictatorship and its consequences. People both suffered based on deceptions and self deceptions. Only time solves these problems, but time lived during these difficult years are not wasted. They are the light and the dark that makes up ones life and darkness often reveals the light.

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Thus Bad Begins | Javier Maras
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...we can't spend our lives listening to rumours, still less acting in accordance with their many fluctuations. When you give that up, when you give up trying to know what you cannot know, perhaps, to paraphrase Shakespeare, perhaps that is when bad begins, but, on the other hand, worse remains behind."

10 likes1 stack add
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Jdscott50
Thus Bad Begins | Javier Maras
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...even in a situation in which the winners ruled absolutely and completely crushed the opposition or their scattered and battered remnants, it suited them to be at least partly on good terms with everyone or to have them all partly in their debt, or at least not to be seen by anyone as their bitter enemy. They know that any such remnant will, sooner or later, regroup and recover enough to reorganize itself and reconquer..."

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Nazi Hunters | Andrew Nagorski
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Thought I would get some light reading in to get me through Election Day! Don't forget to vote!

Books_Wine_Repeat Good one! 3y
15 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Jdscott50
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Seduced by the call of the road, Melody Warnick's book is her attempt to love the place she is in. After several moves, she worries about settling down and place attachment for her children. However, she can't decide where to settle down. She ends up in Blacksburg, Virginia and is dead set on loving her adopted city. Her book is her plan to find where she belongs. She wants to unlock the secrets of staying put.

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Jdscott50
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What I really love about a collection like this is the ability to time travel in the past 100 years. We can see the impacts of World War I, The Great Migration North, Social changes of the 60s, and more. These stores include great names like Sherwood Anderson, John Cheever, Flannery O'Conor, and James Baldwin. Overall, a must read for those looking for a time travel Buddhist cat-nap Vonnegut)

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I was a little skeptical when I started reading this, but now I keep nodding at all these great points.

"When residents felt like their city offered a lot to do, looked nice, and welcomed all kinds of people, they felt most attached to it."

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Cole's latest work is a collection of previously published essays focusing on books, movies, photography, personal experiences on race, war, and colonialism. The stories are interconnected only in that they are mostly reviews. A good review, however, can reveal the thoughts of the reviewer more than the author's work. We can see through Teju Cole's lens through his reviews. Overall an excellent collection of his work.

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Hilarious golden age comic featuring the eternal struggle of half-cat men and half-ray men. Will Dr. Muroid's plan prevail or shall he be foiled by Angel Catbird. Tune into this graphic novel, same Angel Catbird Time same Angel Catbird channel!

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When they meet in the street, male or female, if they‘re getting older they look at each other‘s faces a little ashamed. It‘s clear they want to say, Excuse me, I didn‘t mean to draw attention to mortality and gravity all at once. I didn‘t want to remind you...of our coming eviction, first from liveliness, then from life. To which, most of the time, the friend‘s eyes will courteously reply, My dear, it‘s nothing at all. I hardly noticed.

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“Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.”

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#fridayreads "...“add up to a picture of a man for whom an imaginative engagement with literature is inseparable from life.”

(Cole describing President Barack Obama comparing him to Jefferson and Lincoln as "readers in chief".)
— 2 minutes ago

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Jdscott50
My Life on the Road | Gloria Steinem
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I read this last year, but just saw her speak tonight. So powerful!

Overall, it is an in-depth study of Steinem's motivation and her mode of thinking. Every decision has a backstory, a personal history that inevitably leads to the decisions we make every day. She posits this question to the reader to do each can find their own path.

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55th book so far this year...

Atef Abu Saif describes terror in his book, The Drone Eats With Me. One has to wonder what the point is. Instead of a few dead, now thousands are dead, mostly Gazans. In reading this book, one can truly understand terror. Advanced weapons can kill at a distance. When will your time be up? Worse, as your family sits in fear, there is nothing you can do to protect them. You live on luck in a time of terror.

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Jdscott50
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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This holistic novel's beauty is told in small pieces. Each story is like a short story. Every twist shows us both the oppression in the colonization of Africa and the slavery in America. Even the story plots have a duality to them. They swirl around each other like a DNA helix. It is exactly that which keeps this story together. A story of one people in two continents.

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Sunday evening reading is always better with dachshunds.

Books_Wine_Repeat Cute dog! 3y
SharonGoforth Love that face!🐶 3y
CherylDeFranceschi 🐶❤️! Happy face! 3y
Jdscott50 Thanks! I think she is wondering why I am reading instead of petting her. 3y
13 likes4 comments
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Creole began to tell us what the blues were all about. They were not about anything very new. He and his boys up there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness, and death, in order to find new ways to make on listen. For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, italways must be heard. There isn't any other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness.

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“Photography is a fast art now, except for those who are too old-fashioned to shoot digital...for most of the art‘s history... photographers had no choice but to be slow. Film had to be loaded into a camera, the shot had to be taken with some awareness of the cost of materials, the negative had to be developed, and the print had to be enlarged. A certain meticulousness was necessary for photographs, a certain irreducible calmness of temperament.”

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Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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“We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So, when you study history, you must always ask yourself, whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.”

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It's like you're part of a disaster movie. You're not a lead character in the movie though; you're one of the background figures, the extras, being terrorized or falling prey to the disaster en masse. Your role is simply to engender terror in the viewers, and then to die.

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Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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“Yet another said that the sound had come from Esi herself. That she had gone out to be alone, to have her own private moment of joy with her baby before anyone came to snatch both joy and baby away. The sound, that slave had said, was of Esi laughing, which was why they hadn‘t recognized it.”

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Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi

“Yet another said that the sound had come from Esi herself. That she had gone out to be alone, to have her own private moment of joy with her baby before anyone came to snatch both joy and baby away. The sound, that slave had said, was of Esi laughing, which was why they hadn‘t recognized it.”

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Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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“You want to know what weakness is? Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.” My #fridayreads

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Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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“Since moving to the Castle she‘d discovered that only the white men talked of “black magic.” As though magic had a color....The need to call this thing “good” and this thing “bad,” this thing “white” and this thing “black,” was an impulse that Effia did not understand. In her village, everything was everything. Everything bore the weight of everything else."

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Collected Essays on being black in America.  Jessmyn Ward deals with heavy racism in high school (even including her US Representative). Isabel Wilkerson's fear for the next Nadir, a retreat of African-American rights and further emphasized by Carol Anderson's White Rage. One of the most moving essays is Garnette Cadogan's Black and Blue on how a black man cannot walk alone at night. These moving stories should open eyes and change perspectives. 

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Fantastic Read. Matar's obsession drives the book. His constant vigil becomes a thorn in the side of
the Qaddafi regime and those who would aid them. However, the most moving part of the entire work is on the contemplation on fathers. His fiction is filled with these ideas and concepts as well. "...no matter how hard we try we can never entirely know our fathers."