Sketch of Viking Women Warrior

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald

MacDonald does a great job of allowing the reader to see the world through Zelda's eyes with all the complexity involved in a broken family trying to make things work.  You can feel the challenge of Ger trying to get his life back on track while caring for his sister.  You can feel the strain of poverty on school, work, and relationships. But you also get the joy of the optimism and determination of Zelda; her fierce independence and desire to chart her own course.

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The Request by David Bell

As I so often say, taste and preferences play a big role in whether you would enjoy this book.  It is not literary fiction but it is entertaining and fast paced.  Not to sound even more like a dad, but perhaps it is like junk food, fun to grab once in a while but not likely to be good for you in large doses.

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Matt Taibbi: On “White Fragility”

At a time of catastrophe and national despair, when conservative nationalism is on the rise and violent confrontation on the streets is becoming commonplace, it’s extremely suspicious that the books politicians, the press, university administrators, and corporate consultants alike are asking us to read are urging us to put race even more at the center of our identities, and fetishize the unbridgeable nature of our differences. — Matt Taibbi, on White Fragility and its popularity

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On Thinking for Self – Leonard E. Reed

When thinking for self is declining, more charlatans and fewer statesmen will vie for office.  Look at the political horizon to learn what the thinking is, just as you look at a thermometer to learn what the temperature is.  So blame not the political opportunists for the state of the nation.  Our failure to think for ourselves put them there-indeed, brought them into being. For we are the market; they are but the reflections!

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Alan Jacobs sitting in front of a bookshelf

A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age by Alan Jacobs

These perceptive moral essays crackle with wit, intelligence, and a wide range of knowledge. A cultural hawk eye delivers relevant, down-to-earth meditations on the way we live now. "A Visit to Vanity Fair" blends personal reflection with cultural criticism to address such topics as reading with children, sitting with a dying friend, and watching TV documentaries.

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