Monday, June 6, 2016

Five good reads for the Summer 2016

I have read several books over the past five months, and above all Donald Nicholson-Smith’s translation of Jean-Paul Clebert’s Paris Vagabond (F CLEB), is one of the best. With the intimacy of Jack Kerouac’s prose, Clebert’s mid-century Paris is filled with brilliant idiomatic revelations of the City of Lights, with the lights dimmed and characters recovering from the War. The gritty and raunchy side of city life is seen through a clear, poetic, and sensitive lens, revealing the lives of the inhabitants with a charming yet stark reality. 

Brian Kilmead and Don Yaeger’s, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates (973.47 KIL), stands as a refresher course in late 18th- to early 19th-century history, emphasizing the important role the United States played in opening the Mediterranean Sea trade to the Americas and Europe from the tight grasp of the Barbary Pirates. It is easy to read and brings forward historical truths often overlooked or forgotten. I recommend it for lovers of history and politics.

Andrew Kreig’s Presidential Puppetry (364.1323) attempts to clarify and review current political events and those who influence the selection and election of political candidates, including the underside of the process. Kreig’s thoroughness and rigor are impressive and speaks to realities not understood by most of us. I recommend this book as a thoughtful read.

If Presidential Puppetry grabbed your interest, Mark Landler’s Alter Egos, And The Twilight Struggle Over American Power (327.73 LAN) will further exercise your intelligence.    

Finally, Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape (306.708 ORE) is a must-read for parents, grandparents and young girls. It is amazing that we still are having trouble talking to our children about sex and how some things never change.