It is no secret that I am Jewish and pro-Israel, but I have many concerns about Israeli policies. Sayed Kashua is a columnist for Ha'aretz and an IsraIt is no secret that I am Jewish and pro-Israel, but I have many concerns about Israeli policies. Sayed Kashua is a columnist for Ha'aretz and an Israeli Palestinian, and he writes with prickly humor about the challenges of living as a minority in his country. This collection of his columns didn't change my mind as much as it gave me new directions in which to think and research. No matter how deeply you believe in a Jewish state, it is impossible not to have a visceral reaction when Kashua's children are treated poorly by Jewish Israelis. This is a powerful book that humanizes a conflict so deep and bitter it is nearly a cliche. I gave it four stars because some of the columns fell flat for me. I don't know if that is his writing, the translation from Hebrew, or my inability to understand some of the humor and commentary because it is specific to Israel. My guess is the latter. Highly recommended....more
I read The New Jim Crow last year. It was a painful and eye-opening read, but the book made me hopeful that we could make some changes as a nation, boI read The New Jim Crow last year. It was a painful and eye-opening read, but the book made me hopeful that we could make some changes as a nation, both in our laws and our attitudes. We could end mass incarceration; we could enlighten ourselves on race; we could remake a system that criminalizes the poor and people of color.
Just Mercy is Bryan Stevenson's account of his efforts to defend poor people on death row, children who are incarcerated for life, and mentally disabled people condemed to die in prison. He has improved the lives of many people and the book is meant to be hopeful, but when I finished it, all I felt was overwhelming sadness and quite a bit of hopelessness. His stories of corruption and abuses of power and blatant disregard for human rights clarified the differences between those of us who live in privilege and those who do not. I don't know how to change this terrible vein of our society so right now I am reading and listening and learning. ...more
I am not sure what I can say about this book that hasn't already been said. Coates writes a wrenching and extremely personal letter to his teenage sonI am not sure what I can say about this book that hasn't already been said. Coates writes a wrenching and extremely personal letter to his teenage son in which he outlines the individual and familial and social and political consequences of living in a black body. Every American should read this. It will make you angry and frustrated and sad, and still you should take a couple of hours to read and absorb Coates' voice. I have a copy if anyone wants to borrow it....more
A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew walk into a New York apartment...
Ranya, Suzanne and Priscilla are mothers struggling with faith after 9/11. They startA Muslim, a Christian and a Jew walk into a New York apartment...
Ranya, Suzanne and Priscilla are mothers struggling with faith after 9/11. They start a writing project that will explain the commonalities of their religions to children, but quickly realize they share values, but not necessarily interpretations. Thus launches the Faith Club, a multi-year project in which the women read, research and explore their own faiths and share findings and questions with each other.
In some ways, this is a 4-star book. All three women confront their own stereotypes and cherished beliefs and are very honest about their journey. Unfortunately, the writing is drab. This would be an interesting choice for a book club or even a Bible study group....more
My MIL recommended this book and I am glad she did. I've always been more interested in the print side of journalism and I didn't know much about RathMy MIL recommended this book and I am glad she did. I've always been more interested in the print side of journalism and I didn't know much about Rather's career, but this is more than just "Memoir of Stories I Covered." Rather covers the history of CBS television news and what he sees as its downfall after the network was purchased by Viacom.
Rather explains the chain of reporting that led to his CBS exclusive regarding Pres. George W. Bush and his military service (or lack thereof) during the Vietnam War. Viacom's corporate executives fought to keep the story off the air, then blamed the reporters after the story ran and the Bushies got angry. From Rather's perspective, he and other longtime correspondents were fired or otherwise removed not because their reporting was false but because CBS was less concerned with truth and more concerned with its corporate image vis a vis the Republican Party.
Some reviewers cast Rather as whiny. He does have several moments of "they were out to get me" and "I really trusted that person," but I also agree that Rather was screwed. He has a strong ego--it would be hard to do his job otherwise--but he also wanted to get the true story to the American people and was stifled by corporate TV. I would willingly read the other side of the story but his evidence is damning.
A few minor quibbles--the writing is choppy in places and a few news stories aren't explained well. For example, Rather explains how Rep. Charlie Wilson got involved with the Soviet war in Afghanistan, but lets the story dangle and assumes the reader is familiar with Wilson's story. Extra points because I only found a couple of small typos; it appears someone actual copyedited this book.
Recommended for people who hate corporatized news or are interested in the history of CBS, Rather or TV news. ...more
I read this years ago and it was a fascinating memoir about a young man who learns that his parents were raised as Jews and then converted to CatholicI read this years ago and it was a fascinating memoir about a young man who learns that his parents were raised as Jews and then converted to Catholicism. Fun fact--this is the same Stephen Dubner who does the Freakanomics radio show.
I don't remember when I read it but my grandmother gave me the rec and she died in 2004....more