November 2011 Archives

Click for availability and more information This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement, by Sarah Van Gelder, editor, Yes! Magazine
 
Like many others, I've been very curious about the Occupy Wall Street movement. When I saw This Changes Everything in the Overdrive downloadable library, I knew I had to read it. I was surprised that there was already a book out on the subject since the movement had just started in August. The book outlines the driving philosophy of the group: 1% of society controls the wealth; politicians protect their interest; the rest of society (the 99%) have seen their jobs outsourced, homes foreclosed, medical bills skyrocket. The 99% have bailed out financial institutions which brought us to the precipice, yet corporations continue to reward their executives with obscene bonuses. Occupy movements have sprung up in New York, Seattle, Boston, etc. They are composed of a wide cross-section of society who are fed up with "business as usual". Instead of a traditional hierarchy, the movement utilizes a horizontal structure as well as consensus to make decisions. The book clearly states its "list of demands". Rather than demand a total redistribution of wealth, it simply asks the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, which will help shave the deficit. They are also asked to create jobs since the rich have the money and resources to do so. The movement represents democracy in action, and does not plan on going anywhere any time soon.
-Carl

Days of Hope and Dreams

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Click for availability and more information Days of Hope and Dreams, by Frank Stefanko
 
If you're a Bruce Springsteen fan, or just like Rock and Roll, you might want to take a look at Days of Hope and Dreams: An Intimate Portrait of Bruce Springsteen by Frank Stefanko. Singer Patti Smith suggested Bruce contact Stefanko to have photos taken, some which ended up on album covers. The book is primarily a collection of photos taken of Bruce in New Jersey and Manhattan. Stefanko tried to capture the many moods of the artist. During this process, he learned a lot about Springsteen's creative process and his philosophy. He also got to see Bruce interact with members of the E-Street Band. It gave me a somewhat different view of celebrity and fame. I came away feeling like Bruce Springsteen is now a close friend! There is very little text, but the strength of the book lies in the illustrations. I finished it in a weekend, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Then again, I'm a big Springsteen fan!
-Carl

The Swallows of Kabul

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Click for availability and more information The Swallows of Kabul, by Yasmina Khadra
 
Readers who have an interest in Afghanistan as well as life in a repressive religious-based society will find The Swallows of Kabul a totally engaging book. Yasmina Khadra writes extremely well as he describes life in Taliban-controlled Kabul. Two married couples - Moshen and Zunaira and Atiq and Musarrat - are the main characters. Moshen happens to witness the stoning death of a woman convicted of prostitution and the aftermath of that event is the catalyst for Khadra's story. The desperation, bleakness, and rigorously-controlled life under the Taliban for these four are all vividly created for the reader to absorb. While a sad story at times, The Swallows of Kabul succeeds very well in holding the reader's attention to this compelling story. A twist at the end adds greatly to the power of the story. It is interesting to note that Yasmina Khadra is the nom de plume for Mohamed Moulessehoul, who was an officer in the Algerian army. He now lives and writes in southern France. The Swallows of Kabul is recommended for its skillful writing and interesting story and particularly for those who enjoyed reading The Kite Runner and Bookseller of Kabul. All three of these books are available at Greenwich Library.
-Roy

The Tale Of Despereaux

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Click for availability and more information The Tale Of Despereaux : Being The Story Of A Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup, And A Spool Of Thread, by Kate DiCamillo
 
Despereaux is not like the other mice living in the castle. He seeks out the light instead of scurrying in the shadows and he reads books instead of eating them. His worst crime is making himself known to humans (and falling in love). Love sets Despereaux on a quest to save the princess. A wonderful fairy tale which won the 2004 Newbery Medal and was made into a popular animated movie.
-Deirdre

The World According to Humphrey

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Click for availability and more information The World According to Humphrey, by Betty G. Birney
 
Humphrey is the pet hamster of classroom 26. Teacher Mrs. Brisbane does not think they need this "rodent", but the students and staff of the school are helped in many ways by their furry new friend.
-Deirdre

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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