Tag: politics

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS MAKES OVER 700 TEXTBOOKS FREE!

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambridge University Press has made textbooks free to access in HTML format until the end of May on Cambridge Core. 700 and counting published books are available on Cambridge Core to assist students and readers in their academic courses and pursuits. The following subjects are provided: economics, law, politics, science, and much more! Please do not wait to take advantage of this!

 

Cambridge University Press made this public via Twitter with a tweet that reads, “We are committed to supporting our global community of teachers, researchers and learners during the coronavirus pandemic. From free textbooks and research, to advice, guidance, blog and more, visit our website”.

80 more books and journal articles related to coronavirus are also be provided for free. If we are going to be quarantined for a while, it is best that we take advantage of those published writings on coronavirus and get educated!

 

Featured Image Via Facebook

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Bookstr’s Three To Read This Week 03/13

Welcome back, book lovers! These are some scary times, with what seems like every major city taking drastic steps to limit the spread of a certain novel virus. Take some time out from the panic and take a look at our Three to Read. After all, with schools closing and people working from home, the books on our TBR lists finally have a shot at getting read! Settle down, brew a tea, and let’s get into it.

 

hot pick

The body politic

by Brian Platzer

The Body Politic: A Novel by [Platzer, Brian]

Synopsis:

New York City is still regaining its balance in the years following 9/11, when four twenty-somethings—Tess, Tazio, David, and Angelica—meet in a bar, each yearning for something: connection, recognition, a place in the world, a cause to believe in. Nearly fifteen years later, as their city recalibrates in the wake of the 2016 election, their bond has endured—but almost everything else has changed.

As freshmen at Cooper Union, Tess and Tazio were the ambitious, talented future of the art world—but by thirty-six, Tess is married to David, the mother of two young boys, and working as an understudy on Broadway. Kind and steady, David is everything Tess lacked in her own childhood—but a recent freak accident has left him with befuddling symptoms, and she’s still adjusting to her new role as caretaker.

Meanwhile, Tazio—who once had a knack for earning the kind of attention that Cooper Union students long for—has left the art world for a career in creative branding and politics. But in December 2016, fresh off the astonishing loss of his candidate, Tazio is adrift, and not even his gorgeous and accomplished fiancée, Angelica, seems able to get through to him. With tensions rising on the national stage, the four friends are forced to face the reality of their shared histories, especially a long-ago betrayal that has shaped every aspect of their friendship.

Why?

With the backdrop of societal uncertainty and political tyranny, this novel switches point of view periodically, introducing us to the inner workings of both the mind and human relationships. The novel has been praised for how it honestly – and brutally – hones in on the American political climate, which is particularly relevant in light of this year’s presidential race. It captures exactly how people felt during the trying times following two major events in history. The novel shows us just how linked our physical and emotional selves are to our political body. It is as insightful as it is truthful, and likely to resonate with a lot of readers, American or otherwise. 

“Brian Platzer has done something marvelous — transmuted the queasy early years of the Trump presidency into a novel that’s a delight to read. The Body Politic is a book about many things — what it means to be unwell, what it means to heal, how deep and strange friendships can be, and how hidden things never stay hidden for long. I was grateful for its engaging, empathetic company during these fractious times.” —Rachel Monroe, author of Savage Appetites

 

COFFEE SHOP READ

american animals 

by Eric Borsuk

American Animals: A True Crime Memoir by [Borsuk, Eric]

Synopsis:

American Animals is a coming-of-age crime memoir centered around three childhood friends: Warren, Spencer, and Eric. Disillusioned with freshman year of college, and determined to escape from their mundane Middle-American existences, the three hatch a plan to steal millions of dollars’ worth of artwork and rare manuscripts from a university museum. The story that unfolds is a gripping adventure of teenage rebellion, from page-turning meetings with black-market art dealers in Amsterdam, to the opulent galleries of Christie’s auction house in Rockefeller Center. American Animals ushers the reader along a gut-wrenching ride of adolescent self-destruction, providing a front-row seat to the inception, planning, and execution of the heist, while offering a rare glimpse into the evolution of a crime—all narrated by one of the perpetrators in a darkly comic, action-packed, true-crime caper.

Why?

This memoir is fascinating, largely due to its completely true story. Little imagination is needed to see the story, when you can watch the film of the same name, and digest the media coverage of the case itself. American Animals takes the age-old story of young rebellion and a search for more, and turns it on its head. Borsuk’s writing is darkly comedic and bizarre, sure to keep you hooked. Plus, the novel rings in at a concise 147 pages, making it quickly digestible. You’ll be racing to the end.

“American Animals is a book unlike any I’ve ever read. The twist and turns and audacity can lend themselves to incredulity, but at the heart of this book is a humanness that even those shaking their heads the most will have to recognize. Eric Borsuk’s work here is as daring as any heist.”– Jared Yates Sexton, author of The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage. 

 

dark horse

you let me in

by Camilla Bruce

You Let Me In by [Bruce, Camilla]

Synopsis:

Cassandra Tipp is dead…or is she?

After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy—everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie’s infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far).

Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body—just her massive fortune, and one final manuscript.

Then again, there are enough bodies in her past—her husband Tommy Tipp, whose mysterious disembowelment has never been solved, and a few years later, the shocking murder-suicide of her father and brother.

Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story—but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods—and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare…

Why?

This novel is a genre-bending mix of fairytale/folklore and mystery. It is frightening and thrilling all at once. Perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson, the story is unsettling and, at times, horrifying. It is a dark family drama that just so happens to have its fair share of evil faeries. You’ll be left guessing throughout the novel, making up your own assumptions, just to have them dashed at the next turn. The story is fast-paced and the fantasy elements set it apart from many other novels under the dark mystery umbrella. One thing is for sure, this is no bedtime story.

You Let Me In is a bewitching, beguiling, and deeply unsettling tale of one woman’s strange life. It will ensnare you from page one and keep you riveted until the end.” ―Caitlin Starling, author of The Luminous Dead.

all images via amazon, bookstr

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US President Conspires With Aliens (In This Story)

Today, we’re going to be doing something a bit different.  We’re going to be taking a look at a short story that was recently published on Future Tense Fiction – a series of short stories from Future Tense and Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination about how technology and science will change our lives – which publishes a story each month.  The theme for January through March 2020 is politics.

 

image via center for science and the imagination

 

The short story, “It Came From Cruden Farm,” was published on Slate on February 29 and was written by Max Barry. The story starts off with what seems to be the newly inaugurated president in 2021. This can be inferred by the fact that the characters in the story mention Bush, Obama, and then Trump, all having their duties and chances in office, but using the past tense when talking about them. This is just a guess though, as neither the president’s name nor the year is given anywhere in the story. The president is simply referred to as ‘Mr. President.’

 

The story is about an alien that had come to Earth via a spacecraft, residing at Area 51 in the United States. According to the Air Force chief of staff, the alien has been there for the past twelve years, and it is revealed that Bush, Obama, and even Trump have met and talked with it.

The short story already raises our curiosity, and I’m sure, like me, you’re wondering, “Will the president see and speak to this alien like his three predecessors did?.”  Unfortunately, you don’t get an immediate and direct answer, just simply the information that the president wants to see it, despite the Air Force chief of staff’s hesitation.  The author is building up the story very well, forcing the reader to ask questions that can only be answered by reading on.

 

image via ufos disclosure

Eventually, the president does meet and speak with the alien. To remove the risk of spoilers, I’ll just stay that it’s not an optimal experience. At all. The First Lady then decides to tell her husband that sometimes its necessary to let things go, forget them, and look toward the future. Something about that statement doesn’t sit well with me.

 

This is where the story ends, the president and the First Lady leave Area 51, assuming that the alien will be forgotten about and kept a secret for an undefined amount of time. Something to be said about burying the truth? Or maybe just withholding it? It would certainly speak to our current political landscape.

In any case, if you’re interested in reading the short story in it’s entirety, you can read the full transcript over on Slate. Enjoy!

featured image via lisa larson-walker (illustration), danique dohmen (photo)

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You Don’t Want To Miss Audible’s Top BHM Picks

As I should hope you’re all aware by now; February is Black History Month. It’s an international celebration of African-American leaders and artists, and Audible have some top titles to mark the occasion. Abby, Audible editor, says that Audible has chosen to “highlight luminaries who’ve taken the lead in shaping change and movement”. With activism as a core subject, here’s what they’ve picked:

 

Staff picks

The team at Audible have chosen Michelle Obama’s Becoming as a staff favorite, alongside Such a Fun Age and The Skin I’m InThese were chosen for a myriad of very valid reasons, but one thing they share is the incredible authors of color at their helm. Why not take a listen yourself and see if you agree with their choices?

 

MEMOIRS

In telling important stories of African-American experience, it’s important to have an authentic voice. These titles are memoirs from leading speakers and visionaries of color, such as Staceyann Chin and Nelson Mandela. Plus, with such a wide range of titles, there’s something in there to interest everyone.

 

image via shariffa

 

FICTION

Storytelling is an integral part of many different cultures, and in these titles, their authors have ingrained senses as storytellers. This is particularly noted for authors such as Zora Neale Hurston, who retains the vernacular speech in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Having a story told in the voice that would have originally told it heightens the entire experience.

 

politics

In activism, a political voice is always necessary. These titles “dive deep into the issues, both past and present”. There’s a wide range of diverse voices from Barack Obama to Stacey Abrams, most of which are narrated by the author themselves. Commemorations of Black History Month often take place in political spheres, too, making this section particularly necessary.

 

image via amazon

 

What’s new?

Some of their titles are free to Audible members for the month of February, like Malcolm and Me written and performed by Ishmael Reed, or Our Harlem written and performed by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

On February 18th, two new titles are being released as part of The Great Courses:

African American Athletes Who Made History, written and performed by Louis Moore

Great Figures of the Civil Rights Movement, written and performed by Hasan Kwame Jefferies

Not only are these great titles for the series, they are perfect for Black History Month.

 

Audible have tonnes more to offer from Children/YA literature, to author interviews and profiles. Check out their Black History Month portal here for all of their February content to mark the occasion.

 

Featured Image via amazon


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This Book Will Make You Feel Very Uncomfortable

One of the biggest injustices of our modern society is world hunger and there is an upcoming book about this topic written by Martin Caparros. Hunger: The Oldest Problem serves to document Caparros’ journey around the world in search of an answer to this question: Why is it that world hunger remains such a problem?

 

image via amazon

 

To understand what brought up this question, Caparros had to study the statistics, which he talks about in an article on The Hill.  There are over 800 million starving people in the world, and approximately one person dies from hunger every four seconds. These are some very scary numbers.

 

 

Caparros tries to find the truth in his book, and learns a lot about hunger.  For example, hunger is no longer represented as traditional images of people starving.  Rather, hunger exists as people not eating enough and being too weak to fight off viruses that well-fed people in other countries would merely consider a nuisance.  It paints a pretty grim picture.

 

image via food and agriculture organization of the un

 

More facts that Caparros includes are England throwing away half of the food it makes every year, or that hunger has transitioned from a plague to a political decision.  It’s a political decision, according to Caparros, because the world makes enough food to feed everyone on the planet, plus an additional half.  So, if there’s 8 billion people on Earth, we make enough food to feed 12 billion.  How is it possible that hunger is still a prominent issue?

 

 

While Caparros doesn’t have a full answer to that, his book is his way of investigating it.  If you’re interested in reading it, you can pre-order it on Amazon from the link above.

 

featured image via the hill


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