Posts tagged: books
I will use this.
But I will probably also read 50 Shades of Grey, mostly because some libraries want to ban it, and you know, that makes me want to read it more.
Maurice Sendak wrote one of my favorite books, Outside Over There. Which in turn has become one of my students’ favorites.
My students love the story behind why I love this book. They love the history. They are fascinated by the inscription in the front from my aunt. And they love how they were able to figure out how old I am because I told them my aunt gave it to me the year my brother was born, so I would always be the best big sister I could. They love Ida and her wonder horn.They love the goblins and the ice baby.
They also love laughing at the naked baby drawings. I read it to my class today in honor of his death. Above is a picture of my copy of Outside Over There given to me in 1987, when I was 3 years old. My little brother was born 5 months earlier.
“So I write books that seem more suitable for children, and that’s OK with me. They are a better audience and tougher critics. Kids tell you what they think, not what they think they should think.”
I’m going to have lots of reading to do over the spring break. Some of these sound like must reads. And while he’s the talk of the town these days, al-Qaddafi and his crazy may make for some fascinating writing.
“One of the most bizarre stories is called “The Astronaut’s Suicide.” It tells the story of an astronaut who returns to Earth from a long stay in space, finds he can’t adjust to normal life, and kills himself. It’s meant to be a children’s book.”
Author: Mark Kurlansky
I Give It: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This could easily have been a boring read, but Kurlansky inserts just enough of his own opinions (“Though George W. Bush may not even have known who Urban II was, Urban’s famous speech had become the standard way to sell a war.”) that instead it is a thought-provoking, well-researched book. It begins discussing the teachings of nonviolence and violence in various religions and parallels that history with the development of states and nationhood. Then the book tackles a slew of major conflicts over the course of modern history - detailing the justifications for war and those that actively pursued nonviolent paths.
He draws conclusions in each instance that violence itself has never truly solved conflict. In the end, Kurlansky quotes Anatole France: “War will disappear only when men shall take no part whatever in violence and shall be ready to suffer every persecution that their abstentions will bring them. It is the only way to abolish war.”
Though, I suppose these views are only applicable if you believe that violence is a bad thing. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure everyone believes that.
And even if you are against violence… would you be prepared to suffer every persecution? Would you take your beating and turn the other cheek to stop the cycle of violence? Would you refuse to fight back, even if you could win the battle - knowing you have the opportunity to survive the day but at the same time you would provide justification for continuing the war?