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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

I am a Capybara by Michela Fabbri - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781616899455
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Published: Princeton Architectural Press - October 6th, 2020

You will be clutching your copy of I Am A Capybara close to your heart , just like any child would upon finding a favorite story of surprise, joy and wonder. I had no idea a Capybara could have such an affect on me. Lessons on life for any age, and sure to be my favorite picture book of 2020, this is an understated masterpiece of mirth and wisdom. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker

Blackwood by Michael Farris Smith - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780316529815
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Published: Little, Brown and Company - March 3rd, 2020

Every time I opened this novel for another session of reading I swear I could hear the mournful howl of a bloodhound at the onset of dusk, feel mist pouring in, the whole business soulful and unsettling and setting up another super creepy chapter played out in a fading southern town in the mid 70s. Turns out in Red Bluff madness and grief run rampant and wild, lurking in the landscape and luring the unsuspecting victim to dark green corners. I will never view kudzu vines the same way again. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780812993547
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Published: One World - July 14th, 2015

I've finally digested this work in 2020, five years after its publication. It will never be too late to read this one. The vitality of the message shows no signs of fading and though the truth is hard to swallow, it would be remarkable for anyone to finish this testimonial and remain unchanged. Coates gives us an intimate portrait of the human cost of racism, the continuing inequities that many in our country unfairly maneuver right now, the threat of violence that stalks black men and boys every day, and the stark difference between black and white contemporary American life. A must read on every level and a powerful tool for a deeper understanding of what is at stake. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker

All the Way to the Tigers: A Memoir by Mary Morris - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780385546096
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Published: Nan A. Talese - June 9th, 2020

All the Way to the Tigers offers an unpresumptuous view into two events that profoundly altered Mary Morris's life - a fall on a NY skating rink that threatened her ability to ever walk again, and much later, her courageous solo trip to India where she rides in an open jeep on Safari through the heart of jungle preserves seeking the most elusive, intelligent, and all powerful killing machines on the planet - the Bengal tiger. I highly recommend this as inspiration for anyone who thinks their time for adventure has passed them by. ~ Reviewed by Nancy Scheemaker


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