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Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions 
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Laughs at Einstein


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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
I like the idea of the Capote book -- i've only ever read his short stories, and they're just stunning. (And I recently read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time...according to the one movie I saw (Capote), Harper Lee was a friend of his.)

Or the James bio. Not the one on Iraq though.

"All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:25 am
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
The movie was very good.

My daughter is in rehearsal for the role of "Scout" at a local theater group in NJ. She is very excited about getting this role. This is her first dramatic role and we are very proud of her for taking it so seriously.

Mr. P.


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Edited by: misterpessimistic  at: 2/5/07 9:26 am



Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:24 am
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
Loricat, did you like To Kill a Mockingbird? That's one of those books I've read so many times I can't remember the first time I read it. I'm jealous of people who are first discovering it. I highly recommend the movie if you haven't seen it yet.




Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:43 am
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I dumpster dive for books!

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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, like Jack London's Call of the Wild and White Fang, introduced me to what it means to fall in love with a story and be held in its grip...as well as sparking a lifelong companionship with books, libraries, and bookstores.

Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch was the most decent and brave adult I'd ever come into contact with: sensitive, serious, compassionate, courageous, tolerant, attentive, wise, articulate, willing to take an unpopular stand at enormous cost and risk in order to do the right thing, protecting the outsider and outcast.

And what about Robert Duvall as Boo Radley? A long way from Tom Hagen on the Godfather, or Frank Burns on MASH, or Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore on Apocalypse Now or Augustus "Gus" McCrae on Lonesome Dove....and I think Duvall's Gus is a beautiful rendition of the very best of Peck's Atticus.

Has anybody ever considered the influence of Atticus Finch on Mayberry's Andy Taylor?




Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:54 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
Mr. P., congrats to your daughter for landing such a plum role. One of my favorite delivered lines in cinema is Mary Badham's (Scout's) "Hey Boo" at the end of To Kill a Mockingbird. Just an uninvited suggestion, if you don't mind. If she hasn't already seen the movie yet, don't show it to her until after the production. I've found when I directed children their interpretations of characters are more genuine if they aren't mimicking what they've seen before.

As for Peck's Atticus, D.H., that's when I first started crushing on father figures. I loved the character when I read the book, but always pictured my own dad in the part. Then when I saw the movie, and Peck is well just yummy, I immediately fell in "crush." To this day I attribute that male/instructor crush to Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch.

I agree about Duvall too; he just melts into any role.




Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:20 pm
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Post Re: Q2, 2007 Nonfiction Book Suggestions
In the face of rapid and profound changes in gender roles in contemporary western society, men have been left behind. And while women engage in new and ever-growing social and professional circles, men are largely still confined to the same circles as a century ago. Research and writing that explored the resolution of women's new roles have largely ignored their male counterparts.

In 1995, Rebecca Walker compiled essays by some leading women/gender study writers, To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism. In it writers (both male and female) readdressed and reexamined how their feminist pursuits defined, and perhaps limited, the personal.

Ten years later, Walker has compiled a book by male, and some female, writers who wish to explore the definition of masculine in a similar light. Here is an excerpt from Walker's introduction of What Makes a Man: 22 Writers Imagine the Future:

Quote:
There is a war being waged on boys, and it starts before they are even born. It is a war against vulnerability, creativity, individuality, and the mysterious unknown. It is a war against tenderness, empathy, grief, fear, longing, and feeling itself. It is a war against wholeness and psychological integration. In its determination to annihilate the authentic self, it is a war against peace.

This war against what is considered feminine that is wounding our sons and brothers, fathers and uncles, is familiar to women, but now we see that it is killing the other half of the planet too. But instead of dying of heartache and botched abortions and breast cancer and sexual trauma and low self-esteem, this half is dying of radiation from modern weaponry, suicidal depression, and a soul-killing obsession with the material. This half is dying of prostate cancer and heart attacks and workaholism and an overwhelming sense of failure, of missing something exceedingly important that they cannot name.


Review from Publishers Weekly:

Quote:
In this literate essay collection, Walker (Black, White and Jewish) brings together male and female writers to ponder the male figure in its various poses: ill, robust, young, aged, confident, emotionally spent. The result is a book that portrays masculinity as a fluid mosaic, giving added resonance to contributor Caitriona Reed's claim that "the Navajo have at least forty-nine gender designations." Elsewhere humor writer Bruce Stockler, in "No Means No," uses agile diction to portray the frenetic schedule and social stigma attached to being a stay-at-home dad



Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:23 pm
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Post Re: econd Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of America
Salt by Mark Kurlansky is a very good book -- warps your mind a little, as pretty soon everything is about salt.

I like the sound of the Nurture Assumption and Deep Economy.

Just my two cents...;)

"All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."

Loricat's Book Nook
Celebrating the Absurd




Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:26 am
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Post Re: econd Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of America
Nick's (misterpessimistic) son seems to be suggesting we read, Captain Underpants And The Preposterous Plight Of The Purple Potty People

Book Description
When we last saw George and Harold, they were about to take their pet pterodactyl Crackers back to the Cretaceous period. But things didn't work out quite as they had hoped. They've entered an absurd alternate reality where teachers are nice, kids are allowed to read banned books, and the cafeteria food doesn't smell like dirty diapers. Even worse, they've discovered alternate versions of themselves--Evil George and Evil Harold--who plan to unleash some preposterous plans on Piqua, Ohio. Now it's up to George and Harold to defeat the evil twins and THEIR superhero, Captain Blunderpants!




What do you guys think? ::204




Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:40 am
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Post Re: econd Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of America
The next book polls need to go up soon, so now would be a great time for all of us to go back through these suggestion threads and look over the book suggestions closely. We don't really need additional suggestions, but we do need further input on the ones we currently have before us.

If you suggested a book please sell us on it. All of the short posts without any additional personal endorsement are hard to read or interpret. Tell us why you like a particular book. Tell us why it might be good as a group selection. And also look at other peoples book suggestions and tell us what you think. Would you read their book suggestion if it won? Or does it not appeal to you in the slightest?

Narrowing down all these selections is much easier if there are some real explanations accompanying the suggestions. So please share your opinions so we can have an awesome discussion period in 2nd quarter of 2007!




Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:01 pm
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Post Re: econd Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of America
I would have a hard time choosing between:

Deep Economy
Dancing in the Streets
In Cold Blood

None of them sound overwhelming, they're not about Iraq or Religion, and they interest me.

::80

"All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."

Loricat's Book Nook
Celebrating the Absurd




Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:46 pm
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Post Re: econd Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of America
Thanks for the feedback on those books, Lori. That is exactly what is needed to help narrow down the pool of available book suggestions.




Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:52 pm
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Post Re: econd Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of America
There are a lot more suggestions in this thread than in the Freethought thread, and I've got less time today than I did when I posted by Freethought round-up thread, so I'm going to attack this one from a different angle. I'm going to list three books that I'd like to see on the ballot. Everything else you can consider a matter of ambivalence to me.

Yeas
An Introduction to Hindusim, by Gavin D. Flood
-- I'd like to know more about Hinduism and its effect on its adherents and the society's in which they live. True, it's a book about religion, and sometimes it seems like BookTalk is one religion book away from exploding, but at least with this book we'll be taking a breather from arguments for or against the Judeo-Christian God.

Deep Economy, by Bill McKibben
-- Economics would be a good change of pace for the forums, and this one is brief enough that even if we don't end up enjoying it that much, we should be able to process the information and turn it into discussion.

Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower, by Zbigniew Brzezinski
-- One of the three presidents is the current Bush, so it's timely, but from what I've read, it looks like this book avoids the tendency to polemical screed that characterizes so much political writing. The overall topic is broader than GW -- it's about how presidential choices have shaped the course of modern America -- and even if we get tired of discussion the current Bush, there's still Bush Sr. and Clinton to discuss.

Incidentally, I know I sound like a broken record here, but the following books are just too damn long:

The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism




Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:12 pm
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Post Another approach
Several of these books sound interesting, while none of the Freethinker proposals jumped out at me. Maybe we should combine both lists of suggestions and select two books out of that group.

An Introduction to Hinduism is my top pick from this thread. In addition to my suggestions, I'd also like to read William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism or In Cold Blood.

Edited by: JulianTheApostate at: 3/20/07 1:19 am



Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:19 am
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Post Re: Another approach
I'm closing this suggestion thread now and spending the night reviewing the suggestions in both this suggestion thread and the freethinker suggestions thread. We'll have our polls up as soon as I can take the necessary time to get this task done properly. ::44

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 3/21/07 12:40 am



Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Another approach
Tomorrow I'll put the new polls up, but here are the books that you'll see as choices.

Freethinker Poll

1. Moral Minds: How Nature Designed our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong
2. Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA
3. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
4. Religious Expression and the American Constitution

General Nonfiction Poll

1. Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War
2. In Cold Blood
3. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.
4. Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower
5. The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do

There are 4 choices on the freethinker poll, so let's allow each qualified voter to cast 4 total votes, which can be distributed across the 4 book choices however they see fit. Same goes for the General Nonfiction Poll, which will have the above 5 choices. Every qualified voter can assign a total of 5 votes however they deem appropriate.

But this is not the poll thread. This is just a heads up so you can start thinking now. ::171




Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:41 am
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