Marvelous. It's not just about race, it's about growing up, about age, gender, disability, religion, economic class, social and familial status, ignorMarvelous. It's not just about race, it's about growing up, about age, gender, disability, religion, economic class, social and familial status, ignorance and intellect, fear and trust. It's about discovering how often your assumptions and prejudices are unsubstantiated. It took me a while to get into it at first, but I'm glad I read it. I really love this book. I don't understand why between high school and college, no teacher ever had me read it before. This deserves to be in the pantheon of great classics- and it's a helluva lot easier to read than Moby Dick. I recommend it to everyone. Harper Lee wrote the ultimate novel of American values; empathy, compassion, community, and responsibility. Everyone who's decided that tolerance is a dirty word needs to read or re-read this book....more
Shoeless Joe is the novel that the Kevin Costner movie ‘Field of Dreams’ was based on. Once again I had a famous actor’s voice to use and once again tShoeless Joe is the novel that the Kevin Costner movie ‘Field of Dreams’ was based on. Once again I had a famous actor’s voice to use and once again the book is better than the movie. That’s a tall order in this case because ‘Field of Dreams’ is one of the greatest movies ever. ESPN rates it as the all time best baseball movie, even above ‘the Bad News Bears’ and ‘Bull Durham.’
The only things that make me cry are the Gettysburg Address and the scene in ‘Field of Dreams’ where Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) finally works up the nerve to talk to the ghost catcher, who’s a younger version of his dad.
Shoeless Joe is written in first person and it does include a lot of description, but its practically poetry and it’s mostly about Iowa. Ray’s father, who played baseball as a young man but never made it to the majors, owned a hardware store in Montana. Ray came to the University of Iowa for college, tried selling insurance, but was talked into farming corn by the girl he fell in love with and married in Iowa City. It didn’t take long for him to fall in love with the land too.
Anyone who’s seen the movie knows that it’s not so much about what Ray can do for Shoeless Joe and the other 1918 White Sox as it is about what Baseball does for Ray. This book is about guys figuring out how to have relationships with other guys. Something we guys aren’t always good at.
There are two major differences between the movie and the book. One is that Ray doesn’t just have to reconcile with his dead father, he also has an identical twin who ran away from home at fifteen that Ray hadn’t seen in twenty years. The other is that the character of the radical sixties writer played by James Earl Jones in the film is actually a real writer, J.D.Salinger.
When Bethany and I first saw ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, we went out and got a copy of ‘An Affair to Remember’ with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr because the characters in the ‘Sleepless’ were so caught up and influenced by ‘An Affair.’...more
Wow, this book is scary. It was written back in 1953 but it feels like it's happening today. This book follows Guy Montag, a fireman, only in the futuWow, this book is scary. It was written back in 1953 but it feels like it's happening today. This book follows Guy Montag, a fireman, only in the future, firemen don't put out fires, they start them. This book sucks you in so that you feel like you're going through all the things Montag goes through, and he goes through some mind-bending changes as he wakes up to how dead people have become in real life (it has a lot in common with "The Matrix" in that way).
Bradbury deals with teen violence, war, shallow entertainment and "info-tainment," the speed of modern life, consumerism, commercialism, sound-bite politics, endless and unjustified war, divorce, fascism, alienation and a million other things that we struggle with here in the 21st century. It really is frightening how prophetic he was- how much we've become like the world of the future he describes. Wide-screen High Definition, interactive TVs, iPods, well, except that everybody drives VW Beetles instead of SUVs!
The strongest message, I believe, is not so much against censorship, as it is Bradbury's scathing indictment of our society as consumers- we want to be pacified and entertained, we don't like anything that challenges us or makes us reflect on what is really meaningful. Who gives a crap about genocide in Darfur or social injustice, or political corruption when poor rich actresses are being forced into rehab?!
Of course, if you've never heard anything about this book before, I may as well tell you that it mainly deals with censorship and reading. It's short, fast paced and exciting. Hope you're not afraid of robot spider dogs with hypodermic needles filled with poison, or of fire!
I encourage EVERYONE to buy a copy and read this book. Our society depends on it. ...more
As a matter of fact this is the book that was the basis for the cult-classic 80's movie starring pro-wrestling legend, Andre the Giant. It's full of gAs a matter of fact this is the book that was the basis for the cult-classic 80's movie starring pro-wrestling legend, Andre the Giant. It's full of great action, romance, suspense, and great catch phrases.
INCONCEIVABLE! You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.
You fell for one of the two greatest blunders of all time, the first is never get involved in a land war in Asia and the other is never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!
Wuv, Twoo Wuv
Go easy on him, he's been mostly dead all day
I admit it, you're better than I am Then why are you still smiling? Because I know something that you don't know. I am not left handed!...more
Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior wrote that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" in 1963.
Just last week Nigerian PresidentReverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior wrote that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" in 1963.
Just last week Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan said that "A terrorist attack on any of us is an attack on all of us."
I shared both quotes with my Civics class, but one eighth grader wrote on the board under Dr. King's words that "no one gets this." I asked if they'd like me to discuss it with them and the same student said, "no, we don't care either."
That made me thing of Jimmy Buffett's famous line, "Is it ignorance, or apathy? I don't know and I don't care."
I care, God knows I care, but God only knows how I'm supposed to teach eighth graders how to care.
So I took King's words,
Injustice ANYWHERE is a threat to Justice EVERYWHERE
and I paired them with James Madison's words-
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
[Disunity] ANYWHERE is a threat to [Unity] EVERYWHERE
[Turmoil] ANYWHERE is a threat to [Tranquility] EVERYWHERE
[Insecurity] ANYWHERE is a threat to [Security] EVERYWHERE
Or would that have sounded better with [Offense] ANYWHERE is a threat to [Defense] EVERYWHERE?
[Suffering] ANYWHERE is a threat to [the General Welfare] EVERYWHERE!
Now THERE'S one that probably makes "rugged individualists" absolutely cringe, but AREN'T I my brother's keeper?
And of course,
[Tyranny] ANYWHERE is a threat to [Liberty] EVERYWHERE
So isn't it true?
Don't you CARE?
Don't you realize? Don't you know?
That "Injustice ANYWHERE is a threat to Justice EVERYWHERE!"
Is justice really blind?
Have you ever heard, "No Justice, No Peace!"?
Did you know, what Cornell West says?
He says that “Justice is what love looks like in public.”
Merrium and Webster say that "public" means
"exposed to general view : open, well-known, prominentc : perceptible, material..."
"of, relating to, or affecting ALL the people."
Did you know?
Do you care?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" ...more
Be warned, this book has pretty much nothing to do with baseball. I still don’t know what it has to do with the title at all. It’s probably just as weBe warned, this book has pretty much nothing to do with baseball. I still don’t know what it has to do with the title at all. It’s probably just as well, I mean the title doesn’t make any sense anyway. Catchers don’t stand around in the rye ( a kind of grass), they’re stuck behind the plate in the dirt in front of the fence.
Catcher is also written in first person, but it’s narrated by a 17 year old boy who’s been kicked out of boarding school for poor grades. This is a smart kid, but it’s pretty clear that if this book was published in 2004 instead of 1951, he’d probably be labeled with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most banned books of all time, but I’m yet to figure out why and I only have three or four chapters left. The language is barely PG-13. Perhaps that’s another difference between ‘51 and ’04. I think it pretty accurately depicts the way a kid’s brain works....more
Wow. This was good. The last time I read this book, I think it was 1984. At that time, I saw it merely as some weird science fiction thing that fortuna Wow. This was good. The last time I read this book, I think it was 1984. At that time, I saw it merely as some weird science fiction thing that fortunately hadn't come true. Of course, my English teacher at the time tried to help us see how it was about conformity.
Two things motivated me to give it another look. Someone said that it was a brilliant political satire. SATIRE, I thought, satires are funny. Okay, you know how people imagine different actor's voices as different characters when they read a book? I thought I'd try to imagine what this book would be like if it were a movie made by the Coen Brothers or Tim Burton. (I figured that Woody Allen or Mel Brooks was a little too silly). It helped, especially early on when Winston Smith's life is so bleak and lonely.
The other thing that encouraged me to read it was when a friend suggested a cartoon idea to me- (see below) I just figured he was referring to the illegal wire taps and email phishing, but it it SO much more than that- the propaganda, the use and abuse of the media, TORTURE, and the psychological tricks of perpetual war. Wow. It is really frightening.
The first part of this book is bleak and depressing, the second part is an exciting combination of political thriller and romance. The third part is almost as surreal and existential as a Jean Paul Sarte play.
What is truly frightening is not the idea of this book being somehow prophetic, or of how it features many of the kinds of ideologies and tactics of the current administration, what is really scary- and shaming, is that this isn't just a satire of Socialism or post WWII Brittan or 1940's America, or the NAZIs or the Soviets or the cold war, it isn't just a satire about conformity- and it is, by the way. It occurred to me that John Hughes or somebody could rip off the basic plot and turn it into a movie about how miserable high school can be. It's not just a warning about how society or governments could evolve. What it is is a searing commentary on human nature. Very much in line with the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. We are all oppressors and followers. We are all capable of torture or betrayal. That's the frightening part.
If you read this and really take it seriously, you will be bound to become skeptical of any politician- regardless or party or promise. You will treasure and appreciate you rights, freedoms and your relationships. And you just might be a little less comfortable undressing with the TV on. I don't have a web-cam on my computer. Do you?
See you in the place where there is no darkness. (or room 101, whichever). ...more
I first read this when I was in high school. I don't think anyone REALLY knows for sure if HST's surreal and hilarious "gonzo" style is a phenomenal tI first read this when I was in high school. I don't think anyone REALLY knows for sure if HST's surreal and hilarious "gonzo" style is a phenomenal talent for fiction, the result of his alleged drug abuse, or some combination of the two. Regardless, it's wild and unique. Doesn't matter if your laughing with him or at him, Thompson takes readers on a trip. His free-flow-of-consciousness, yet conversational, raw style really made me want to be a writer too (although not a drug-addled one)....more
This is a funny yet warm story of a bunch of hobos in Monterey California who decide they want to throw a party for their friend Doc Ricketts, a marinThis is a funny yet warm story of a bunch of hobos in Monterey California who decide they want to throw a party for their friend Doc Ricketts, a marine biologist. They get him to hire them to collect frogs for his lab and use the money he pays them to buy the booze and invite everybody in town. I've probably given too much away already, but their scheming, planning, and the trouble they get into will crack you up....more