I love Jon Ronson’s writing, and his newest offering is no exception. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed has a slightly different angle than his other titles. Ronson generally writes about strange things that fascinate him: something a bit off the beaten path or out of the ordinary. Public shaming, Ronson essentially observes, is becoming the beaten path; rather than being fascinated by its prevalence, he’s terrified.
I am not usually a fan of poetry, but this book is an exception. Many forms of poetry are used to tell the story of Matthew Shepherd, the University of Wyoming student who was brutally beaten and left to die on a fence post in October 1998, merely because he was gay. The poet, Lesléa Newman, writes poems from the perspective of various people involved, as well as inanimate objects (ie. the fence, the road). The result is incredibly moving.
This book is third in the chapter book series starring the protagonist of McCall Smith's adult series, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. In this installment, Precious is invited to visit her Aunty Bee who lives at the top of Botswana and works at a safari camp because something exciting is going to happen there. It would be an expensive trip, and Precious' father is not sure he can afford a bus ticket, but he finds a way for Precious to travel with a cattle buyer he knows. When the fan belt breaks Precious has an idea to help.
Wandering Son is a masterfully handled manga about two fifth grade friends, a boy and a girl, who wish they were a girl and a boy, respectively.Shuichi is naturally quiet and shy, and keeps his desire to be a girl private, restricted to only a few very close friends, including Takatsuki, who wants to be a boy.The two struggle through their difficulties together, like when boys at school point out Takatsuki’s budding femininity.The friends encourage eac
This is an adult graphic novel about a fictional domestic relationship between Glenn Danzig and Henry Rollins. Much license is taken here, as Danzig and Rollins are most definitely not in a domestic relationship, but their real life personalities come through in the fictional character’s day to day lives. This gives it a niche audience. But if you are at all familiar with the real life characters, you will be well rewarded with plenty of laughs.
If you like pouring over old atlases or scrolling though Google maps, you will probably like this book. The author is a geographer, not a travel guide, and this comes through in the tone of the book as well as subjects covered.
The connection of what makes each of these places so strange is human intervention, either through physical occupation or mapmaking. The book’s first entry is about Sandy Island, which was neither sandy nor an island. But it was on maps for centuries.
Now and again we hear about how there is a war being waged on Christmas. Yet the Puritans did not celebrate Christmas. In 1659, the Massachusetts General Court even declared celebrating Christmas to be a criminal offense. How did we get from there to here?
This year’s Pulitzer Prize winner in Biography was also the best book I’ve listened to in 2013. The Black Count by Tom Reiss is both informative and entertaining. Read by Paul Michael, an actor who gave the story even more depth with his expressive style and excellent pronunciation, this book is a step above the average biography. I was enthralled not only by the amazing adventures of the man who was the inspiration for the Count of Monte Cristo but by the writing style of the author.
The Immigrant Advantage recounts 7 separate cultural traditions observed by some members of immigrant groups after coming to America: the Vietnamese Money Club; the Mexican Cuarentena; South Asian Assisted Marriage; Korean and Chinese Afterschools; West Indian Multigenerational Households; Barrio Stoops, Sidewalks, and Shops; and Vietnamese Monthly Rice.
Casey, daughter of children’s book author/illustrator Jon Scieszka, and Steven met while studying abroad in Morocco during their junior year of college. They fell in love, and after their return to the US started a long-distance relationship. After graduation they decided to pursue their joint goals for nearly two years: 1) living abroad, 2) pursuing their creative interests, and 3) being together. The first six months were spent teaching English to children in Beijing. From China they toured south-east Asia including Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.