Showing posts from September, 2017

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower Octavia Butler, 1993 Premise: The world outside is getting worse. Their neighborhood is safe for now, but it won't be forever. But who will listen to a young girl with a diary and some profound ideas? Wow. Now I completely understand why I've seen people referencing this book recently. The society in the novel isn't the society we have now, but it's a very plausible future on the way to a total breakdown. Corporate profit above all else, vast poverty, violence, and dangerous drug abuse, no infrastructure that individuals don't pay for, no social safety net for anyone but the wealthy. The main character lives in a walled neighborhood and records her thoughts in a diary. She is a teenager, but she recognizes that the world is not "going back to the way it was," the way the adults in her life hope. They have to figure out how to live in the world that will come. Part of her insight is practical, and part is religious. Th

A Dragon of a Different Color (Heartstrikers, Book 4)

A Dragon of a Different Color (Heartstrikers, Book 4) Rachel Aaron, 2017 Premise: Julius finally has some pull in his clan and an alliance with the Three Sisters. Of course, that was before his favorite brother killed his favorite sister, the girl he loved apparently died, and the entire clan of Chinese dragons set forth to conquer the American clan, ostensibly to protect them all from the rage of a powerful lake spirit. Follows No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished After I was somewhat disappointed with Book 3, I'm happy to report that I loved this installment. I think there's only one more book in the series, but this managed to raise the stakes in a way that felt organic, set up for a grand finale, and deal with all the fallout of the last book at a breakneck pace that kept me reading. In case it's at all possible that the premise above wasn't clear enough, this would not be a good jumping-on point. The networks of character relationships are key to this one. W

Blueprint for Revolution

Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Non-Violent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World Srdja Popovic, Matthew Miller, 2015 Premise: The principles of nonviolent resistance, illustrated by practical examples of every scale from all over the world. I have been frustrated trying to read books about the current moment in politics. Popular politicians' hottest takes on how we should react to the darkening timeline we seem to find ourselves in leave me cold. But this. This is the book I needed. Maybe it is the book you need as well? It's not about dealing with today specifically. It's about changing the world. It's about overthrowing dictators, resisting oppression, fighting corporate policies, improving societies, and building social movements. It's also incredibly friendly and readable and has Tolkien references. The book lays out the principles that the people from the