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FDL Book Salon Extra: What Is In Your “To Read” Pile?

pile_of_books.jpg

A few weeks ago, we had a discussion about what folks were reading which resulted in some amazing suggestions of books that folks in our community are reading.  At the time, I had just finished Elizabeth Edwards' "Saving Graces", and shared the review that I had been asked to write of the book — which I loved, by the way.

One of the books that many of our community suggested was "The Kite Runner."   I had not had time to get to that book in all the weeks since I wrote the first post, but did pick it up on a whim in the airport on the way home from covering the Libby trial.  It is amazing.  If you have not yet read it, please do so.  It is difficult — in some of the same emotionally challenging ethical and moral and person ways that the Elizabeth Edwards' memoir is challenging — but well worth the read.  That this is the author's first novel is astounding, and what an amazing portrait of both the inner struggle that everyone faces in our choices between good and evil, and what a window into Afghan culture on so many levels.

In between the first book post and the scond, I also read a personal portrait of a single family's story entitled "The Bookseller of Kabul."  My heart still aches for a couple of the characters in the book — but I won't spoil the read for you all as to which ones.  The book was written by a Norwegian journalist who moved inwith this particular family and was able to write it from her first person experience.

One of the books that I recommended to everyone was a travel book by a brit named Jason Elliot entitled "An Unexpected Light:  Travels In Afghanistan."  It is a haunting portrait of Afghanistan as the Soviets had pulled out and left the fighting between the Taliban and the warlords to continue to rip the nation apart.  And of the fierce character and loyalty and depth of loss of philsophy and music and tolerance under the closing grip of the Taliban. 

While at National airport in the bookstore, I also spotted a new book by the same author — this time about travels in Iran, entitled "Mirrors of the Unseen," that I also bought but have not yet cracked open.  Since I loved his lyric writing style in the last book, I'm looking forward to this trip through Iran with him as well.

I'm also planning another read through Jacob Hacker's great book about shifting risk in the health care arena.  This is an issue that needs so much more discussion and work, but I need to have a much better understanding of how the system is and is not functioning at the moment.  If anyone has suggestions of other books on this subject or articles that you have found helpful, please let me know.

There is also a fantastic compilation of essays — entitled "Patriotism, Democracy and Common Sense" — that I was given when I attended the Eisenhower Foundation symposium on race, poverty, inequality and the media back in December.  I have been thoroughly enjoying the essays in this book — from a number of folks whose names you would recognize — and have been savoring the read.  It was edited by Alan Curtis, who helms the Eisenhower Foundation and who has been working on these issues since the 1960s.  It is an amazing read, and I highly recommend it.

But enough of what is in my "to read" pile.  What is in yours?  What have you read lately that you have loved — politically related or not?  What are you hoping to read?  Any great book recommendations that you wish everyone would read?  While we're at it, any great music you've been loving lately?  Scarecrow recently mentioned a new Yo-Yo Ma CD.  What are your newly discoverd — or freshly reminded of through a re-discovery — favorite tunes?

CommunityFDL Main Blog

FDL Book Salon Extra: What Is In Your “To Read” Pile?

pile_of_books.jpg

A few weeks ago, we had a discussion about what folks were reading which resulted in some amazing suggestions of books that folks in our community are reading.  At the time, I had just finished Elizabeth Edwards' "Saving Graces", and shared the review that I had been asked to write of the book — which I loved, by the way.

One of the books that many of our community suggested was "The Kite Runner."   I had not had time to get to that book in all the weeks since I wrote the first post, but did pick it up on a whim in the airport on the way home from covering the Libby trial.  It is amazing.  If you have not yet read it, please do so.  It is difficult — in some of the same emotionally challenging ethical and moral and person ways that the Elizabeth Edwards' memoir is challenging — but well worth the read.  That this is the author's first novel is astounding, and what an amazing portrait of both the inner struggle that everyone faces in our choices between good and evil, and what a window into Afghan culture on so many levels.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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