Mary Ann’s March Recommendation

Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs, and Washington Handshakes:  Decoding the Jargon, Slang, and Bluster of American Political Speech by Chuck McCutcheon and David Mack

dog whistlesMary Ann says:  “This book explains many current political terms used by those in government and by news pundits.  Each term is illustrated with a quote and/or an incident, most from recent years.  Examples:  wing nut, high-class problem, red meat, Chicago-style politics, slicing the salami, Sister Souljah moment.”

Please note:  this book is not available at River Forest Public Library.  It may be ordered through the SWAN network.

3 Similar Reads

All the Truth Is Out:  The Week Politics Went Tabloid by Matt Bai – “The former chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine brilliantly revisits the Gary Hart affair and looks at how it changed forever the intersection of American media and politics. In 1987, Gary Hart–articulate, dashing, refreshingly progressive–seemed a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination for president and led George H.W. Bush comfortably in the polls. And then: rumors of marital infidelity, an indelible photo of Hart and a model snapped near a fatefully named yacht (Monkey Business), and it all came crashing down in a blaze of flashbulbs, the birth of 24-hour news cycles, tabloid speculation, and late-night farce.” – Summary from catalog

Dog Whistle Politics:  How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class by Ian Haney López – “López (White by Law) examines the intersections of declining economic opportunities and race affiliation as expressed by political parties.” – Library Journal (note:  this book is not available at River Forest Public Library.  It may be ordered through the SWAN network.)

The Way We Talk Now:  Commentaries on Language and Culture from NPR’s Fresh Air by Geoffrey Nunberg – “Compiling humorous commentaries about language in the United States, Nunberg, a language and computer technology researcher and a consulting linguistics professor at Stanford, here offers essays prepared for National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. Some of the many topics covered are the long-lasting linguistic impact of movies, software that checks grammar, and word histories.” – Library Journal (note:  this book is not available at River Forest Public Library.  It may be ordered through the SWAN network.)

Kimberly’s January Recommendation

life animatedKimberly says:  “The author is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who beautifully turns his hand to his own family.  Suskind and his wife (a new heroic model for me) enter the world of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, the special needs community, and the wide world of Disney following the diagnosis of their younger son, Owen.  It’s a story of intimate family moments and larger ideas.  Owen who retreats into a confusing non-verbal world watches and rewatches Disney animated movies.  Through the power of these movies and the dedicated, sacrificial love of his family Owen learns and grows.  The book is inspiring and highly readable.  Suskind strikes an optimistic chord, but does not sugar-coat the struggles.”

3 Similar Reads

A Real Boy:  A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention, and Recovery by Christina Adams – “When Adams’ son, Jonah, at just over two-and-a-half, was diagnosed with autism, she was told that time was of the essence. Early, aggressive intervention would provide his only chance at realizing any semblance of a normal life. Luckily, she and husband Jack had the energy, time, and resources to spring into action.” – Booklist

Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love for His Extraordinary Son by Thomas Fields-Meyer – “A heartwarming and hopeful memoir of a father’s experience raising his autistic son. When his son Ezra was diagnosed with autism, Tom Fields-Meyer knew little about parenting and even less about neurological disorders. This intimate memoir chronicles his remarkable experiences of learning and growth from the time Ezra was diagnosed at age three to his bar mitzvah at thirteen.” – Publisher’s description

Beautiful Child by Torey Hayden – “A crisply analytical depiction of one year in a special education classroom. Hayden’s approach is straightforward and heartwarmingly compassionate not only in its portrayal of the relationships she developed with her students, but also in its appraisal of a philosophical conflict with her teacher’s aide and the effect this had on the functioning of the students.” – School Library Journal

Sue’s May Recommendation

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful Forevers“This month, my book club will be discussing Behind the Beautiful Forevers:  life, death and hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo. It is a work of non-fiction as Boo spent 3 years living in Mumbai, researching, interviewing and observing some of the 335 families who live in a tiny half-acre slum surrounded by luxury hotels at Mumbai’s international airport. It is a well-written, unsentimental and riveting account of some of their incredibly difficult lives that reads like a novel.  Yet Boo also provides a journalist’s thorough analysis of the economic, political and social structures that foster this abject poverty.  Its painful subject matter makes it an uncomfortable read, but the glimpses it provides into the resilience of the human spirit will make you will be glad that you did so.”

3 Similar Reads:
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Dorothy’s May Recommendation

After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story by Michael Hainey

after visiting friendsFrom Publishers Weekly: the haunting story of a son’s quest to understand the mystery of his father’s death– a universal memoir about the secrets families keep and the role they play in making us who we are.
After Visiting Friends is full of love for the lost world of nocturnal newspaper work and after-hours boozing.” (Janet Maslin The New York Times )
“Peering into an uncomfortable past, the journalist traces his family’s history with dramatic, highly readable prose that makes the story feel like a compelling mystery.” (Time Out New York )
3 Similar Reads
The Phantom Father by Barry Gifford
Stitches: A Memoir by David Small

Victoria’s February Recommendation

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

brain on fireHere is an excerpt of a Book List starred review of this book: “In this fascinating memoir by a young New York Post reporter previously known for going undercover as a stripper and writing a butt-implant story headlined Rear and Present Danger, Cahalan describes how she crossed the line between sanity and insanity after an unknown pathogen invaded her body and caused an autoimmune reaction that jump-started brain inflammation, paranoia, and seizures…Cahalan expertly weaves together her own story and relevant scientific and medical information about autoimmune diseases, which are about two-thirds environmental and one-third genetic in origin…A compelling health story.”  Victoria loved this book so much that she wants more books like it.  Check out the list of read a likes that I selected for this book below.

Read about or request this book from the library catalog!

4 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox

January First by Michael Schofield

The Two Kinds of Decay by Sarah Manguso

Pat’s April Recommendation

Reading For My Life by John Leonard

“Reading for my life by John Leonard is what I’m loving now.  You might remember John Leonard if you listened to NPR and watch Sunday Morning on CBS, where he often had some commentary.  This book is a collection of Leonard’s most significant writings, many never published before . . . :”cultural touchstones of a generation, each piece a testament to his wit, intelligence and love for the arts.”

Read about it or request it from the library catalog!

Mary Ann’s April Recommendation

The Magnificent Medills:  America’s Royal Family of Journalism During a Century of Turbulent Splendor by Megan McKinney

“This book traces the Medill family’s impact on American journalism from before the Civil War.   Joseph Medill bought the the Chicago Tribune in 1855.  A large portion of the book tells about Chicago history and society.  It covers a time when newspapers had extraordinary influence on local and national politics.You’ll understand  why Northwestern University named it’s school of journalism after Medill, and why McCormick Place is named after a member of the Medill family, Col. Robert McCormick.  A lively part of the story involves the  powerful Medill daughters whom their father called “the worst two she-devils in all Chicago”.

Read about it or request it from the library catalog!