rmarsocci@northshire.com's blog

The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism by Fintan O'Toole - Book Review

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$27.95
ISBN: 9781631496455
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Published: Liveright - November 5th, 2019

Fintan O’Toole, in his The Politics of Pain, asserts England has become a nation of submissives, supporting his thesis with the fact that Fifty Shades of Grey is the nation's best-selling writing in any genre so far this century. With Shakespeare's histories, Orwell’s 1984, and Dickens’ novels’ spiritual reckonings as his backdrop, O’Toole parses literary, dietary, and musical trends since World War II, exploring the Brits' self-pitying rally behind John Lydon, née Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, in promoting a politician who openly admitted his facts were mostly mere figments of his own imagination, so leading to the passage of Brexit, as if a flailing of itself. ~ Reviewed by Ray Marsocci


The Woman Who Fell from the Sky: Poems by Joy Harjo - Book Review

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$16.95
ISBN: 9780393313628
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 17th, 1996

Well versed in storytelling and in song, newly seated U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's collection, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, re-envisions creation myths and homespun narratives. Using chant-like lyric and a psaltery-style incantation, Harjo revels in a poetry that becomes both praise and celebration, for the indigenous peoples she calls her own kin, and for those people's spirited landscape she as if sings light down upon. ~ Reviewed by Ray Marsocci


I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence Real - Book Review

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$18.00
ISBN: 9780684835396
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Published: Scribner - March 2nd, 1998

It is okay for men to feel pain. This may sound seems like an easy concept to grasp, and maybe even somewhat of a hackneyed saying, but as Terrence Real recognizes in his I Don't Want to Talk About It, the idea has become hackneyed, just for how often it gets repeated, as if that through its repetition, the saying can become a cultural refrain, and that in its utterance, men are only excusing themselves for when they actually do feel anything resembling upset. Pain is weakness, many of us are too often reminded, and when it gets said enough times, we may actually live absent its hindrance. ~ Reviewed by Ray Marsocci


An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison - Book Review

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$16.95
ISBN: 9780679763307
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Published: Vintage - January 14th, 1997

Every individual suffers, Kay Redfield Jamison observes again in her An Unquiet Mind, mental illness in each our own way. Often rejected by the psychiatric profession for how it focuses on the personable and not on the scientific, Jamison's work illuminates the human in us all, exploring our foibles in light of our hopes and concerns. Jamison's accompanying depictions, though, sway readers not to look for themselves in these pictures, but at most through similarities in how the pictures get framed, and in what the people in each are themselves working on, comparisons, she suggests, which will are limited to what people do, and not on what they worry. ~ Reviewed by Ray Marsocci


Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover - Book Review

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$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590504
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Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

Educated into extreme fundamentals: Mormonism. Survivalism. White supremacy. Patriarchal preponderance: Tara Westover grows up to not trust herself, even when her active, agile mind accesses great achievement, and carries her far from her family's isolated, Idahoan mountaintop home. Written in a muted, often numbing prose, Westover's memoir replays those extremes' most emotive scenes, recomposing her memories as if as one-acts, staged in their shaping of her character's nature, and so scripted by her having directed them, her self emerging through each script's enactment. ~ Reviewed by Ray Marsocci


A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith by Timothy Egan - Book Review

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$28.00
ISBN: 9780735225237
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Published: Viking - October 15th, 2019

Just as every wine has its own story, Timothy Egan realizes near the end of his historical travel log, A Pilgrimage to Eternity, every body has a tale to tell. Crossing Chaucer with Bunyan, Egan sojourns in search of those tales, progressing along the Via Francigena, from Canterbury to Rome, a spiritual journey along which he hears narratives on and about the men who have ruled Christian Europe for centuries, and the women whose ministrations have uplifted hearts with their faith. Yet even as the tales diminish his own religious beliefs, Egan remains hopeful the entire path that he will gain audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City, whose namesake saint's only performed miracles were acts of compassion and love, faith by which Egan is touched to the very soul of Christian lore. ~ Reviewed by Ray Marsocci


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