I have a variety of books to pass along this month. A captivating and true story of a refugee family, a political science book that explains the reasons for some of the issues in our currently dysfunctional government, a novel that delves into the damage slavery and racism has passed on to present generations and Madeline Albright’s newest book on Fascism. I’m certain you will find something here to interest you!
On a side note I just wanted to point out that all the titles I suggest in these blogs are available through our Pierce County Library. If you aren’t familiar with our wonderful library be sure to go on line and check it out. If the title you want is not at your branch it is easy to initiate a request to have it sent from another branch so that you can pick it up at yours. We really do have a wonderful library system!
“It’s Even Worse Than It Looks”, how the American constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism. by Thomas E Mann and Norman Orenstein 2012
Praise for this book comes from Paul Volker of the Federal Reserve, Chuck Hagel, US Senator ’97 to ’09, Tom Daschel, Senate Majority Leader and E.J. Dione. This is a book all politicians should read and read again. Our constitution requires that we compromise and when we don’t, we end up with gridlock in our government. If more voters understood this we might be better at selecting candidates and communicating our needs to our elected officials. Learn how the founders designed our government to work and why it isn’t working in our divided political climate of today.
“Where The Wind Leads” A refugee family’s miraculous story of loss, rescue and redemption. by Vinh Chung (with Tim Downs) 2014
This is the tale of a family that escaped Vietnam in June 1979 after the fall of Saigon. Theirs is the plight of those refugees we came to know as the Vietnamese boat people. It is a harrowing tale that is told through the eyes of one of the sons who is a small child when they flee Vietnam. When the refugees find themselves out of food and water, adrift in the South China sea, attacked by pirates and left to die they are miraculously found by the World Vision rescue boat “Sea Sweep”. Ultimately the family ends up in America and makes a new life. The entire story from their life in Vietnam all the way to the author graduating from medical school is a story you won’t want to miss. It is told with humor and humility and really is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
“Sing Unburied Sing” by Jesmyn Ward 2017
A well written novel that uses the supernatural in a very subtle way to lead the reader to begin to understand how the horrors of slavery and racist cruelty committed generations in the past continue to drag down the present generations of these black families. This is an author who writes in a truly original way and I found myself thinking about the characters long after I had finished the book. I will be looking up her other titles to read in the future!
“Fascism: A Warning” by Madeline Albright 2018
From the book jacket…. “A personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world, written by one of America’s most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state.”
I read this book in three days. I could not put it down. The subject is pretty horrifying but I understand it much better after having read this book. The author is entertaining in a way I did not expect her to be considering the gravity of the subject but she makes the material so much more interesting and real by adding the personal bits. Her experience in the UN, and as our secretary of state, lends a lot of credibility to her analysis of the dictators and autocrats of today and the rise of Fascism around the world. This is an absolute must read for every American today. Clearly just voting is not enough.