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RE: [flyleafbooklovers] January Vote

From: Pete
Sent on: Friday, October 22, 2010 2:21 PM
Mirrors.

Pete

-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed]
[mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of vanessa
Sent: Friday, October 22,[masked]:20 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: [flyleafbooklovers] January Vote

The following are the proposed titles for our January discussion of a work
of nonfiction

Please rank in order of preference. Thanks!

1 
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt
448 pages

Startlingly good-the most complexly intelligent and sophisticated study of
the life and work taken together that I have ever read. -- Adam Gopnik, The
New Yorker 
This biography enables readers to see, hear, and feel how an acutely
sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan
life, could have become the world's greatest playwright.


2
Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by
Joseph Stiglitz
361 pages

Written by a Nobel Prize recipient, a graduate of President Bill Clinton's
Council of Economic Advisors, and a stout advocate of Keynesian economics,
this inquest into the recession of[masked] lashes many designated villains,
banks above all. Writing in a spirit Andrew Jackson would have loved,
Stiglitz assails financial institutions' size, their executive compensation,
the complexity of their financial instruments, and the taxpayer money that
has been poured into them. But unlike Jackson, who didn't understand a thing
about economics, Stiglitz is a little more analytical. He dwells on
incentives-perverse,­ in his argument-for risky financial legerdemain in
housing mortgages. The temptations stemmed from deregulation of the
financial industry, a Reaganesque policy Stiglitz rebukes: he favors
re-regulation and more government involvement in the economy. In fact,
Stiglitz waxes unhappily about the Obama administration's interventions,
which thus far have been inadequate in his view. Zinging the Federal Reserve
for good measure, Stiglitz insistently and intelligently presses positions
that challenge those of rightward-leaning economists upholding the virtues
of markets. Amid animated contemporary economic debate, Stiglitz's book will
attract popular and professional attention.

3
Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Eduardo Galeano
400 pages

The acclaimed Uruguayan writer Galeano offers another striking but hard to
classify work. In pithy retellings of creation myths and reflections on
history, he uses the past to comment on the present: juxtaposing the origin
of the Hindu caste system and the untouchable class, whose members were
responsible for cleaning up the wreckage of the 2004 tsunami, revealing how
the casualties of the invasion of Iraq were not only human but memory
itself, embodied by the destruction of priceless artifacts from the
birthplace of writing. These vignettes embrace the exalted and the humble,
and consistently privilege the narratives of the dispossessed-indigen­ous
people, women and accounts from the global south. Across disparate
civilizations and centuries-but always with an unflinching eye (and irony)
trained on the present-Galeano's stories register the imaginations of our
mythmaking species, the elaborate gestures of (gendered) forms of power and
the spirit of rebellion and resilience that fires the underdog masses.
Mirrors is a sometimes bawdy, sometimes irreverent, sometimes heartbreaking
unofficial history of the world seen- and mirrored to us-through the eyes
and ears of historys unseen, unheard, and forgotten. Spanning 5,000 years of
history, recalling the lives of artists and writers, visionaries from the
Garden of Eden to twenty-first century New York and Mumbai, and told in
hundreds of kaleidoscopic vignettes that resurrect the lives of our worlds
oft-forgotten "thinkers and feelers." Mirrors is a mosaic of our humanity.

4
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
304 pages

Mayes's favorite guide to Northern Italy allots seven pages to the town of
Cortona, where she owns a house. But here she finds considerably more to say
about it than that, all of it so enchanting that an armchair traveler will
find it hard to resist jumping out of the chair and following in her
footsteps. The recently divorced author is euphoric about the old house in
the Tuscan hills that she and her new lover renovated and now live in during
summer vacations and on holidays. A poet, food-and-travel writer, Italophile
and chair of the creative writing department at San Francisco State
University, Mayes is a fine wordsmith and an exemplary companion whose
delight in a brick floor she has just waxed is as contagious as her pleasure
in the landscape, architecture and life of the village. Not the least of the
charms of her book are the recipes for delicious meals she has made. Above
all, her observations about being at home in two very different cultures are
sharp and wise. 




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