This is now one of my favorite books. I got it from the library out of curiosity. I've heard the criticisms that Keller was nothing without Anne SulliThis is now one of my favorite books. I got it from the library out of curiosity. I've heard the criticisms that Keller was nothing without Anne Sullivan. She was simply trained to parrot some phrases, and cued by fingerspelling to act out specific behaviors. Sure, some of her accomplishments were remarkable, especially in the time and place where she lived. I suppose I can understand how some people might believe all that.
What I hadn't realized was the level of resentment of Keller that's present in the disabled community. Because of her status as a paragon, virginal, selfless, uncomplaining, ever cheerful, she became nearly impossible for most people - regardless of ability - to live up to. It never occurred to me that disabled people were being told "why can't you be more like Helen Keller?" Of course they would resent that. Especially in this modern world where people are freer to speak their minds, where the disabled have more autonomy than before, why shouldn't they complain when things are hard for them? People complain when their latte is too hot; why shouldn't a person complain when they can't access basic necessities?
Anyway, Blind Rage is written by one of the Keller-haters. Georgina Kleege is a writer and college professor, and is also blind. She grew up hearing the comparisons, never feeling that she measured up. She unleashed some of her hostility in a one sided correspondence with Helen. As she did, she researched Keller's life. It wasn't an easy one.
The more she read and the more she wrote, the more Kleege came to understand Helen. To empathize. She doesn't and won't let Keller off the hook for her contribution to the Helen Keller Mythos, but she develops an understanding of where it came from and why.
There are wild leaps of conjecture, including the idea that Helen was most probably molested as a child. Kleege seems pretty convinced. I'm less so. Even with the disagreements, the writing is compelling. I read the book in a day - couldn't go to sleep until I was done. There's an urgency that just wouldn't let me go....more
Rhode Island Legends is a collection of stories of Rhode Island monsters, witches, ghosts, vampires and devils, with some aliens thrown in for good meRhode Island Legends is a collection of stories of Rhode Island monsters, witches, ghosts, vampires and devils, with some aliens thrown in for good measure.
M.E. Reilly-Green tells a good story, and the subject matter is interesting. I wish she'd included more information about how she came to learn about the story. She concedes in her forward that some of the stories are amalgamations of several versions. It would have been great to know which ones.
Many of the stories provide specific locations. It'll be fun to take this book along and find some of these places. Maybe we'll see a ghost or two ourselves!...more
Anyone who refers to themselves as "glib" has either a great sense of humor or an enormous ego. Buddy Cianci has both.
You can't live in and/or aroundAnyone who refers to themselves as "glib" has either a great sense of humor or an enormous ego. Buddy Cianci has both.
You can't live in and/or around Rhode Island and not know "Buddy." He turned Providence from a crime-ridden eyesore to a thriving and beautiful city. Even the people who hate the man appreciate the city's resurgence. And despite his felony conviction, there are a lot of people who'd vote him back into office.
In his entertaining and open memoir, he recounts his youth, his law practice and his terms as mayor. He brags about his high points (often with good reason), and talks frankly about his lows, including the investigations, scandals, indictments and the conviction that landed him in Federal prison for five years.
If you've ever heard his radio show, you'll realize that the book is written very much in his own voice. As Politico wrote, Buddy is "[b]eguiling, hilarious, with an excuse - and a joke - for everything." Is he snarky sometimes? Oh yeah. Sarcastic? Uh-huh. But that's Buddy....more
One of a series of my all-time favorite childrens books by Wende and Harry Devlin.
The Old Black Witch tells the story of the Old Witch who lives in tOne of a series of my all-time favorite childrens books by Wende and Harry Devlin.
The Old Black Witch tells the story of the Old Witch who lives in the chimney of tearoom owned by Nicky and his mother. In this episode, she decides to win a baking contest in town. It's good harmless fun, with great artwork and an amusing story....more