PositiveBookPageIn The Pianist from Syria, Ahmad tells the story of his family’s terrible deprivations during the civil war. His losses are profound, and it was truly miraculous that he and his family were finally able to escape to safety in Germany. Yet the true hero of this story is Ahmad’s music ... Written in an open, honest style, The Pianist from Syria is a testament to the resilience and beauty of ordinary people with simple dreams.
PositiveBookPage\"... a collection of hard-hitting essays that leave the reader in no doubt that he is a writer of considerable talent ... Crenshaw... writes honestly, luminously and unsparingly ... These essays are written with poetic stoicism. Paradoxically, this is precisely this quality that makes Crenshaw’s essays powerfully redemptive. Like the tornadoes he describes, This One Will Hurt You reveals that it is the harshness of life that creates its beauty and gives it meaning.\
Kevin M Kruse
PositiveBookPage\"Fault Lines started as a series of lectures by Kruse and Zelizer offered at Princeton. Judging from the resulting book, the class was no doubt a wonderful introduction to a critical era in our history. Even for those who lived through these events, Fault Lines gives brilliant context to help us understand how Americans have become so fragmented and rigid in our beliefs.\
RaveBookpageAs explained by Octavio Solis, a distinguished Latino author who has written over 20 plays, a retablo is a small votive painting commonly associated with Latin American cultures. It’s usually painted on cheap, reused metal, and it tells the story of a near-disaster that was survived only by the grace of God. By commemorating the event, the retablo can transform that story of salvation into a myth. But memory is slippery, and retelling a story, even on a buckled sheet of metal, results in embellishments and refinements. Facts become murky as names are forgotten and events misremembered. Yet despite its imprecision, the retablo expresses a profound truth not only about its maker but also the world he or she lives in. As a result, the retablo itself becomes a part of the myth as well ... It is a distinctly Latino experience in a distinctly Latino world. But this story is universal—we all grow up, and we all need to reconcile who we are with who we were. Like the images he emulates, Solis’ stories transcend the limits of borders and time.
Stephen L. Carter
PositiveBookpageIn Invisible, Yale law professor and bestselling author Stephen L. Carter meticulously details his grandmother’s accomplishments and her disappointments. His admiration for this remarkable woman is infectious. Ultimately, the reader is forced to ask, \'What if?\' What if Hunton Carter had lived in a world where race and gender were irrelevant? What else would she have accomplished? And what would we have gained?
Javier Cercas, trans. by Frank Wynne
PositiveBookPageCercas, an author of both fiction and nonfiction, including the acclaimed novel The Soldiers of Salamis, struggles to disentangle the strands of truth from Marco’s web of lies ... Trying to understand Marco is like looking for a phantom in a house of mirrors, but Cercas’ attempt is an important investigation of the role of the writer, the nature of truth and the battle between memory and history.
PositiveBookpageOn Election Day in 2016, pundits were confident that Wisconsin would be a \'blue wall\' that would lead Hillary Clinton to victory. The next day, however, revealed a different story. Instead of showing Clinton the same support they had given Obama in the previous two presidential elections, Wisconsin went for Trump by 22,748 votes ... Political commentators were flummoxed. How could Wisconsin, historically the most progressive state in the Union, have turned overnight to the right? ... According to journalist Dan Kaufman, the answer is that the shift did not occur overnight. A native Wisconsinite now based in New York, Kaufman argues that Wisconsin’s swing to Trump is the product of a decades-long effort by conservative think tanks, PACs and donors to dismantle Wisconsin’s progressive ethos and replace it with a right-to-work, anti-regulatory government. The result, according to Kaufman, is a gerrymandered state with weakened environmental laws, poor educational results and increased poverty ... Kaufman weaves recent political events, Wisconsin history and the stories of real people caught in the political whirlpool—union leaders, Native Americans, grassroots organizers—into a meticulous and compelling exploration of a consequential political metamorphosis. It is essential reading to understand how we arrived where we are today.
RaveBookPageThis book does not dawdle. Holt is a complex and rigorous writer examining complex and rigorous subjects. Readers whose mathematical and analytical logic skills are a tad rusty might need to google Gödel’s incompleteness theorem or the Riemann zeta conjecture. Trust me, it’s worth the effort. As his subtitle suggests, Holt is pushing us to explore the ideas that have revolutionized how we see the world, the universe and truth itself. They are messy, complicated affairs, but Holt’s intellectual clarity and lucid writing illuminate them.
Anthony Ray Hinton, co-written with Lara Love Hardin
RaveBookPageThis book is filled with questions that infuriate ... Yet The Sun Does Shine is also filled with grace. Through his faith in God, the love of his friends and mother, his commitment to the other inmates on death row and the unstinting support of his appellate attorney (Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercyand executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative), Hinton maintained his soul in a soulless world. His experience gives him a peerless moral authority on the death penalty, and he raises powerful questions about the practice. Hinton’s voice demands to be heard.
Radley Balko & Tucker Carrington
PositiveBookPage\"This is a true crime story, but it is more than a report of the tragic murders of two young girls ... Compellingly written, The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist is a chilling reminder of what happens to the rule of law when the law forgets the rules.\
RaveBookPageThe importance of cræft is demonstrated by the devastating effects its absence can have: The modern tendency to favor mechanization over cræft, Langlands posits, has resulted in flooding, soil degradation and global warming. In a world with diminishing resources, it might be wise to tap into cræft to ensure a sustainable future. Langlands has written an excellent introduction to guide us.
RaveBookPageKix’s sharp, well-paced writing is perfect for telling La Rochefoucauld’s story. But this is more than a gripping yarn of daring-do. La Rochefoucauld was a complex character, and Kix’s portrait is nuanced and moving … We are fortunate to have Kix’s richly detailed book so we can remember the remarkable courage of an extraordinary man.
RaveBookPageSometimes it takes a newcomer to point out the beauty that old-timers take for granted. America, more than any other country, was founded upon ideals: individual freedoms, equal protection and due process of law. Khan reminds us that these ideals are worth fighting—and even dying—for. The Khans truly are the most American of families.