The years leading into the American Civil War and the early days of the battle are viewed from the perspective of a an English diplomat stationed in CThe years leading into the American Civil War and the early days of the battle are viewed from the perspective of a an English diplomat stationed in Charleston, SC. This is a unique perspective unlike any that I have explored before. It brings an enlightening international perspective to a situation that is not often considered so broadly in our culture. I flew through this book even as most of the action centered around events I thought I fully understood. ...more
This should be required reading in every high school. Told through a series of personal stories from Bryan Stevenson's career as a lawyer working forThis should be required reading in every high school. Told through a series of personal stories from Bryan Stevenson's career as a lawyer working for justice and equality in the south and throughout the country, Just Mercy confronts issues of racism, poverty, and the flaws of our criminal justice system. Stevenson formed the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that seeks to provide "legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners denied fair and just treatment in the legal system." His book explains his work and lays the groundwork for understanding social justice in terms of the legal system and reminds us not to forget our humanity, compassion, and mercy when considering crime and punishment. And it is even larger then that, the flaws inherent in our system of justice lead inevitably toward wrongful convictions and harsh punishments that unfairly affect the poor, racial minorities, and the most vulnerable among us. It is a deeply affecting work and will, I hope, stay with me throughout my life....more
This book was so highly reviewed that I have been looking forward to the chance to read it for weeks. Everything about it calls to me. Nature, beautifThis book was so highly reviewed that I have been looking forward to the chance to read it for weeks. Everything about it calls to me. Nature, beautiful writing, biography and memoir, human-animal relationships-these are a few of my favorite things. I just couldn't make it through this book. There are gems in the writing, which is rich and deeply reflective. However, I found that I just don't care about falconry. I don't care about the terminology and the old rich men who wrote about it. Without any interest at all in falconry, you are left with an overwhelming grief over the loss of a loved one and I just couldn't slog through it. I put it down about midway through. Good luck to those who venture beyond. ...more
Dreamland explores the origins of the opiate epidemic that has been tearing across the United States since the early 1990s. The author brings togetherDreamland explores the origins of the opiate epidemic that has been tearing across the United States since the early 1990s. The author brings together the story of modern prescription pain medication practices and the pill mills that entrapped people of all ages and economic statuses in a cycle of addiction with the story of the expansion of black tar heroin from small town Mexico into the US. A well-researched and thoroughly engrossing study of the topic, I challenge anyone to finish this book without sympathy and understanding for the people whose lives have been changed by the opium molecule.
The title of the book comes from the name of a Public Pool formerly in Porthsmouth, Ohio that has been closed down since the early 1990s. It is used to symbolize the decay of the hard-working, idyllic nature of small-town America as it has been hit hard by economic and social problems these past 30 years. Growing up in the Portsmouth area from the early 1980s until I left for school in 2002, I saw a lot of this happening first-hand. I have lost friends to heroin and pill addiction. The author captured the scene extremely well from the early days to now when it is finally becoming something that people are willing to talk about. I recommend this book to absolutely anyone--chances are you know someone who has been touched by this issue.
I just couldn't put this book down. It wasn't an amazing work of literature that will stay with me until the end of my days, but it was absolutely entI just couldn't put this book down. It wasn't an amazing work of literature that will stay with me until the end of my days, but it was absolutely enthralling. River pirates, civil war soldiers, and bootleggers--this book spans generations of turmoil and debauchery. If you are looking for a page turner with thrills, sadness, and interesting characters, you've found it. This is not for someone who can't stand a somewhat jumbled plot as some threads pick up then lead to nowhere before disappearing entirely. ...more
Though I rarely write reviews anymore I decided that I needed to gather my thoughts on this book. This is a varied work with moments of genius shiningThough I rarely write reviews anymore I decided that I needed to gather my thoughts on this book. This is a varied work with moments of genius shining between extremely overwrought and pretentious passages. I almost put this one down early on. I couldn’t take the love story, to be honest. It seemed forced and striving for something greater than ever made it on to the paper. However, I found that most parts not peppered with the name Amy were something remarkable. The stories of the POW camp and the cruelty that man can inflict on man, along with the justifications for those actions, are philosophical and intensely moving. I have never read anything quite like it and know that parts of it will remain with me. It’s a worthwhile read, if sometimes a struggle. ...more