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What I Read this Summer...
BABBITT, EILEEN. I’m reading the so-called “Neopolitan novels" of Elena Ferrante. The story is built around the friendship of two young girls in 1950s Naples, growing up in a very poor neighborhood and eventually trying to find a way out of the intense, violent culture in which they were raised. It is written beautifully, and the author creates a vivid account of the family relationships and changing social/political codes operating in Italy from the 1950s to today.
- GIDEON, CAROLYN. I have mostly been thinking about a dystopian novel I read last summer because the news headlines keep calling it back to mind. Most of all, all the news about body cameras and windshield cams keeps me thinking about The Circle by Dave Eggers. Anyone thinking about the International Communication class might want to take a look.
- HENRIKSON, ALAN. The D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. A book for all ages, and for anyone interested in the role of mythology not only in ancient Greece but also in Western culture generally, even today. Wonder-filled stories, narrated with clarity and light -- with beautiful illustrations. A "classic" itself!
- KLEIN, MICHAEL. Franklin and Winston by Jon Meacham. A compelling account of two giants of the 20th century who deeply affected the world, and their complex relationship.
- MOOMAW, BILL. There are two books I read and would recommend that contain valuable insights. The first is Naomi Klein's book on the full story behind the politics of climate change called This Changes Everything. The second is Nelson Mandela's autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom.
- RUGH, BILL. Breaking Faith by Graham E. Fuller. Fuller is a former CIA field officer whose novel is a fictionalized account of a CIA field officer on assignment in Chile and Pakistan. It is a wonderful portrayal of (a) the challenges facing an American intelligence officer working abroad, and (b) the details of the cultural and political differences between Americans and foreign peoples (and also among Americans), especially Muslims. It is long, but a good read.
- UHLMANN, PHIL. Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders by Peter Richmond. By far the best book of the summer—a great book on how to build a team in football or elsewhere. It's quite right that the intelligence of this bunch was greatly under-rated. John Madden was a genius coach. You can be sure that the Patriots have very carefully studied this story.