Non-Fiction | Northshire Bookstore


Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780593297612
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Published: Penguin Books - July 28th, 2020

Every now and again, if you are a lucky reader, you come across writing that truly changes you. Smith wrote Intimations at the front end of 2020's "global humbling" - a time when America would become "mighty with death", when we would witness George Floyd's murder, when our every day took a shape we were helpless to control. It is a fierce little collection, but one that provides intellectual nourishment and hope, certain to inspire meaningful retrospection. How do we preoccupy ourselves? What is our time, and love, and existence? Is the true virus of our time - contempt for other human beings? Smith has donated all royalties of this book to The Equal Justice Initiative and The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for New York. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker

Undoing Border Imperialism (Anarchist Interventions #6) by Harsha Walia - Book Review

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By Harsha Walia, Andrea Smith (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781849351348
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Published: AK Press - November 12th, 2013

Walia shares her experience organizing with the No One is Illegal (NOII) network struggling alongside non-resident immigrants who are at risk of deportation. She describes detailed encounters of their work, outlining how NOII strives to provide open space for debate and accountable alliances while maintaining collective values and principles. As an organizer, myself, this book provided approachable guidelines, overviews, and lessons that stuck with me. Particularly poignant sections were her discussions of settler privilege, solidarity versus support through the lens of feminist writer bell hooks, and the importance of decolonizing social relations. ~ Reviewed by Maya Bon

The Fire Next Time (Vintage International) by James Baldwin - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780679744726
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Published: Vintage - December 1st, 1992

Baldwin's eloquent plea for racial justice, with its mix of erudition and memoir, set the template for hundreds of books, and is as trenchant and timely today as when it was written in 1963. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare

Caste The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780593230251
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Published: Random House - August 4th, 2020

Our beliefs, prejudices, interactions, self-image, self-regard, personality: all the things we ascribe to our individuality, for Wilkerson, are confined by the codes of caste. Wilkerson surveys the damage caste has caused, and humanely demonstrates how caste can be cast aside. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780807047415
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Published: Beacon Press - June 26th, 2018

“Stopping our racist patterns must be more important than working to convince others that we don’t have them. We do have them, and people of color already know we have them; our efforts to prove otherwise are not convincing.”
A very honest, very educational experience. DiAngelo allows us to accept that racism is “a practice not restricted to bad people,” but that racial prejudice and white fragility are a part of the social norm in America, and we cannot just pretend that other races do not exist or that racism is only for “the bad guys.” You don’t have to be wearing a KKK bedsheet to be a racist; and you cannot say you aren’t racist because you “don’t see color,” or you have “that one black friend.” This book says enough with the excuses--let’s just acknowledge that racism is real and here and now, and what can the white community do to improve upon their behavior? How can we educate our future generations to not adapt the social norms we’ve created post Civil Rights Movement? Very relevant, and extremely needed information right now! ~ Reviewed by Kirstin Swartz

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781451642308
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Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - July 7th, 2020

A compelling and unique journalistic study on the human desire, specifically females and desire, that follows three different women across the country. Each woman brutally tells their honest stories and thoughts on their sexuality, opening up on a range of topics that have been deemed shameful by society and by themselves. My only complaint was the narrow spectrum this study came down to--three white middle class women. But I believe this opened the door to unapologetically discussing women’s desire across the board. Hopefully some more universal content can come from Taddeo’s work. ~ Reviewed by Kirstin Swartz


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