Tag Archive: history



PersistPersist by Elizabeth Warren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this audiobook up on Libby. For a non-fiction memoir, it was a quick ‘read.” I think it was a couple of sessions. Elizabeth Warren read her book, which made it even better. She is so enthusiastic and thorough. I love her take on the world. I wish I felt as optimistic as she is that all this could work. But I’m all for trying.

Ms. Warren brought up every issue facing women. She also gave ideas on how to handle the bigotry in the world. Her voice and energy are contagious. I enjoyed the stories of her life. I highly recommend this book.

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The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

by Nikole Hannah-Jones (Narrator)

I can’t remember who recommended this book to me first. It might have been my church. Or one of my best friends. In either case, thank you! You see, I have always hated history classes. You had to remember men’s names dates and the wars they started or ended with men’s bigger guns. I did have a fantastic History teacher in college. He included music and arts in his lectures. Even still the history was just that HIStory. And only with this book did I see that it was white men’s HIStory.

 

This audiobook from Libby was all-inclusive. I think I need to add the book blurb.

 

  Duration: 18 hours and 57 minutes <– Just in case you have limited time.

 

“A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, ‘The 1619 PROJECT: A NEW ORIGIN STORY’ offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

 

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of 20 to 30 enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.

 

‘THE 1619 PROJECT: A NEW ORIGIN STORY’ builds on one of the most consequential journalistic events of recent years: The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project,” which reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on the original 1619 Project, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with 36 poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself. This legacy can be seen in the way we tell stories, the way we teach our children, and the way we remember. Together, the elements of the book reveal a new origin story for the United States, one that helps explain not only the persistence of anti-Black racism and inequality in American life today but also the roots of what makes the country unique.

 

The book also features a significant elaboration of the original project’s Pulitzer Prize-winning lead essay, by Nikole Hannah-Jones, on how the struggles of Black Americans have expanded democracy for all Americans, as well as two original pieces from Hannah-Jones, one of which makes a profound case for reparative solutions to this legacy of injustice.

 

This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction – and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.”

 

There are so many contributors and voices throughout. It is poetry and prose of beauty included in the ugliest of actions against people.

 

I found I couldn’t read it as a bedtime book. I would either aim to keep reading or have nightmares/ So I used this as the background as I worked on my Diamond Painting. My hands were busy so my mind could engage.

 

I highly recommend this book. I would love it to be used in schools as inclusive his/herstory.


Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human CadaversStiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The narrator, Shelly Frasier, made this book so exciting and fun. Well, despite this book being about cadavers and all.

The book was nonfiction, but the author’s stories keep a heavy and sad topic intriguing. Mary Roach includes a history of how humans have handled the dead. She also shows the research of what is working and what is actually causing harm to us and the planet.

I feel the blurb says it best, and with it, you may know if this is for you or not. I might have said no, but a friend told me about it, and she’s usually a bit more squeamish, but she loved it.

“A contagiously cheerful exploration of the cruel diligences executed on some of our bodies when, after death, we abandon them on the threshold of their graves, this book shows us cadavers turned into carcasses, and scientific experiments, the deceased who contribute to the progress of medicine with perforated genitals and extracted eyes, flesh flung from airplanes or shot with bullets to verify the efficiency of new weapons, and discards crucified like Jesus or devoured by maggots. Mary Roach has written a book that explores the great beyond in order to show us the more visible and deplorable side of the next life.”

Try it, you might like it, and possibly learn something. By the way, I got my audio copy from Libby. For those that don’t know it is a library lending service for Kindle or Audiobooks.

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Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of LifeWhy Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a lot more fun than the last book I read. I really enjoyed hearing Lulu Miller tell her story and someone else’s while showing what had influenced her life.

I wanted to be a marine biologist in my way younger days. So this book was up my alley in many ways. Of course, that only lasted for ninth grade, and I learned that math was required for that and being an astronaut. Still, the love of the non-existent fish (and space travel) lingers in my life.

My friend recommended this, and I was able to find it on Libby. I didn’t want to do anything but listen to this story, so I got it done far quicker than most books. Lulu Miller did a great job weaving her life with one she admired. I felt like I was with her experiencing everything with her.

If you get the chance to read/listen to this book, I highly recommend it!

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great MigrationThe Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book and the narrator, Robin Miles, were excellent. It is a biography of a few people told like a novel and captivating from the beginning. Ms. Miles was able to act out all the characters so one could identify who was who.

I have two hours left in the book, but I took a break to write this. I spent today with Pandora playing ‘classical study music’ quietly in the background so I could use the whole day to listen to this book without distractions. I wouldn’t have been able to handle it if it were boring. ADD would have sent me away from the book and into other ventures. That gives you a clue of how good this book is.

The other reason I spent the day reading (listening) to this book is that it is a Libby library copy that is due soon, and I have a lineup of books to read that I have already checked out. You know how that is. With some books, I would let it go. Return the book unfinished. But I want to know how it ends. Besides, I have never heard so many facts and insights before, and I feel I am somewhat ‘woke.’ This is a history not told in history classes when I was a student. I hope this book is used in the classroom now.

I highly recommend this and Isabel Wilkerson’s other book, Caste.

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Caste: The Origins of Our DiscontentsCaste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The bestselling list on CBS Sunday Morning today put Caste at #3 of non-fiction books. I usually don’t end up reading things that are on those lists. But a couple of months ago during the Unitarian Universalist Zoom worship service, this book was highly praised and gently assigned as homework for the congregation. I found it on Audible and had a free credit so went for it.

Robin Miles narrates beautifully. Her voice and acting help keep the listener engaged. Even though this was one of the longest ‘reads’ I have indulged in of late. It has taken me several weeks to get through. For some books, I set the speed faster than normal and can follow a story quite well, but I loved Ms. Miles’s voice and found myself deeply involved in the caste education Isabel Wilkerson had presented so well that I left it at normal speed.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. If you feel ‘woke’ enough that you feel this will be elementary, you will find depths of information you may have not thought of. I remember as a child at church excitedly singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children, all the children of the world; Red and yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight…” Yet hearing we couldn’t go to a certain park because the blacks were taking over. In a child’s mind, that seemed strange and I couldn’t believe that would stop us from going to the park. We lived in a very white area. There were few kids of color in school. As a kid, I didn’t think of what that meant. As a newlywed, my husband and I made friends with a mixed couple. Through them, we attended a dance and a big picnic where there were only three whites. Us. The dance was amazing until they invited me to dance. My shyness took over big-time. I can’t dance and it was obvious that our new friends were experts. The picnic was more intimate. A couple of women had beautiful cornrows. As a cosmetologist, I was fascinated with how they did that. We weren’t taught black hairstyles in my school. These gracious ladies laid down in the grass with me and showed me how to braid grass. It still amazes me that they could get the grass to stay braided. It was so short! No, I never did get good at braiding.

Anyway, I went into this book with these life experiences behind me and hearing that song worming its way through my head wondering how people have been treated so poorly by folks that claim to be Christians. I do remember learning about India’s caste system as a young adult and thought how it seemed we weren’t far from that here. But this takes all that to such depths of understanding I was wowed every night I was involved in the book.

Please if you get the chance, give this one a read.

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Beneath a Scarlet SkyBeneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a compelling story. I loved that I got to ‘read’ it through Audible on Kindle Unlimited. It was quite interesting.

Normally, I don’t like war stories. And my mission has been for quite some time to read female writers and female main characters. Mostly because in my early life, I only had male books to read to. I am feeding my inner child. Even so, I make exceptions. This one qualified. It is based on a true story, and I did love the main character in most of the book.

Pina is the main character, and I think I loved him because he tried so hard to help his loved ones, and then he tried to help others to safety in a world that was going wrong all around him.

I highly recommend this book, especially the Audible version. It is longer than my usual read, but It kept me up until 4 AM a couple of times. I just didn’t want to leave him to fight without me. And the story, probably because it is based in a sucky reality, stayed with me into my sleep. I pray we never have that kind of thing happen in the world again!

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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader GinsburgNotorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two days ago I had merely a chapter to go to finished. I feel so bad that I didn’t finish a day earlier. To finish on the day of RBG’s passing is both heartbreaking and yet feels the honor to my heart.

Irin Carmon is one of my favorite commentators on MSNBC. So when she was doing her book tour for this book I knew I would have to read it. It was well-written. So many pictures kept it visually interesting. Irin captured this brave woman’s strength and character. I feel so good to have read this at such an important time in our history.

I highly recommend this book!

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Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous ManToo Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As with most memoirs, I cannot judge this. This is her life. Her experiences. I hope that if what she says is true that someone finally put this to unbiased courts if any still exists.

It was worth the read. Ms. Mary writes well and keeps the reader involved. I think she does her best to keep her book on an emotional even keel.

There are a lot of reviews out there. As with this world since her Uncle, they run both sides of emotion. Don’t listen to any of them and read and decide for yourself.

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The Island of Sea WomenThe Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Lisa See’s work. Her research is obvious and the story draws me in. And makes me want to know more about the Sea Women of the Korean island of Jeju.

This is another hot day, so I will keep this short so as to get off the heat-creating computer. Which brings me to remember my favorite aspect of the book, water, and swimming. The descriptions of the cold sea and the beauty of the underwater life cooled me off and distracted me from the other aspects of today’s life.

Jennifer Lim’s narration kept the characters individualized and interesting.

Maybe a warning is needed for the angst and sadness this book brings. It was wartime and the poverty and pain are there. But it seems truthful and helps us see how others have lived.

The research of the Sea Women draws me. And the heat imposes. I hope you get the chance to read this book.

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