What We Are Reading Today: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

What We Are Reading Today: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
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Updated 17 April 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

What We Are Reading Today: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: An international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.

In classically elegant and engrossing prose, renowned South African leader Nelson Mendela tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in a firm in Johannesburg, his slow political awakening, and his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s, according to a review on goodreads.com.

He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment.


What We Are Reading Today: Salmon Wars

What We Are Reading Today: Salmon Wars
Updated 12 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Salmon Wars

What We Are Reading Today: Salmon Wars

Authors: Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins

In Salmon Wars, investigative journalists Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins bring readers to massive ocean feedlots where millions of salmon are crammed into parasite-plagued cages and fed a chemical-laced diet.
The authors reveal the conditions inside hatcheries, and at the farms that threaten our fragile coasts. They draw colorful portraits of characters, such as the big salmon farmer who poisoned his own backyard and the American researcher driven out of Norway for raising the alarm about dangerous contaminants in the fish.
Frantz and Collins document how the industrialization of salmon threatens this keystone species, and they show how it doesn’t need to be this way.


What We Are Reading Today: Birds and Us

What We Are Reading Today: Birds and Us
Updated 10 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Birds and Us

What We Are Reading Today: Birds and Us

Author: Tim Birkhead

Since the dawn of human history, birds have stirred our imagination, inspiring and challenging our ideas about science, faith, art, and philosophy. We have worshipped birds, hunted them for sustenance, adorned ourselves with their feathers, studied their wings to engineer flight, and, more recently, attempted to protect them.

In Birds and Us, award-winning writer and ornithologist Tim Birkhead takes us on a dazzling epic journey through our mutual history with birds, from the ibises mummified and deified by ancient Egyptians to the Renaissance fascination with woodpecker anatomy—and from the Victorian obsession with egg collecting to today’s fight to save endangered species and restore their habitats.

Spanning continents and millennia, Birds and Us chronicles the beginnings of a written history of birds in ancient Greece and Rome, the obsession with falconry in the Middle Ages, and the development of ornithological science.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Unsettled Land

What We Are Reading Today: Unsettled Land
Updated 09 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Unsettled Land

What We Are Reading Today: Unsettled Land

Author: Sam W. Haynes

“Unsettled Land” by Sam W. Haynes has long been cast as an epic episode in the origins of the American West.

As the story goes, larger-than-life figures like Sam Houston, David Crockett, and William Barret Travis fought to free Texas from repressive Mexican rule.

Unsettled Land reveals the reality beneath this powerful creation myth. Haynes shows how the lives of ordinary people — white Americans, Mexicans, Native Americans, and those of African descent — were upended by extraordinary events over twenty-five years.

After the battle of San Jacinto, racial lines snapped taut as the Lone Star state sought to expel Indians, marginalize Mexicans, and tighten its grip on the enslaved.


What We Are Reading Today: The Next 100 Years

What We Are Reading Today: The Next 100 Years
Updated 07 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Next 100 Years

What We Are Reading Today: The Next 100 Years

Author: George Friedman

In this book, George Friedman turns his eye on the future — offering a lucid, highly readable forecast of the changes we can expect around the world during the twenty-first century.

He explains where and why future wars will erupt and how they will be fought, which nations will gain and lose economic and political power, and how new technologies and cultural trends will alter the way we live in the new century.

The Next 100 Years draws on a fascinating exploration of history and geopolitical patterns dating back hundreds of years. Friedman shows that we are now, for the first time in half a millennium, at the dawn of a new era — with changes in store, including the war against terror will conclude and will be replaced by a second full-blown cold war with Russia.

Also, China will undergo a major extended internal crisis, and Mexico will emerge as an important world power.


What We Are Reading Today: Mothercare

What We Are Reading Today: Mothercare
Updated 07 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Mothercare

What We Are Reading Today: Mothercare

Author: Lynne Tillman

This is a beautifully written account of taking care of one’s mother in old age and infirmity.
For readers of Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking,” and Simone de Beauvior’s “A Very Easy Death,” “Mothercare” is an honest and beautifully written account of a sudden and drastically changed relationship with one’s mother, and of the time and labor spent navigating the American healthcare system.
“Mothercare” is both a cautionary tale and sympathetic guidance for anyone who suddenly becomes a caregiver, responsible for the life of another — a parent, loved or not, or a friend.
This story may be helpful, informative, consoling, or upsetting, but it never fails to underscore how impossible it is to get the job done completely right.
Author Lynne Tillman explores her feelings about her mother’s prolonged decline and subsequent death in her 98th year alongside dispassionate descriptions of her mother’s illness and the search for appropriate treatments.
Tillman describes, without flinching, the unexpected, heartbreaking, and frustrating years of caring for a sick parent, said a review on goodreads.com