A persuasive examination of how books can enlighten and enrich—just like this one.

JUST A BOOK IN THE LIBRARY

This sixth installment of a series discusses literature as a means of sharing stories to experience—and learn from—history.

Throughout her series, Clovis (Falling Bedrooms, 2019, etc.) has addressed the notion of synchronicity, which is akin to Jung’s collective unconscious. This entry centers on the written word as a way for the past to synchronize with readers in the present. First and foremost, the author explores the importance of imparting knowledge. She sees libraries as “places where truth hides and lives within the words of stories” as well as receptacles for the “voices of civilization.” Books help people think and remember, but the author argues that they can also offer encouragement. In one instance, Clovis writes that a shared story can turn “the captivity of slavery” into a message of freedom. But while the author stresses the power of words and information, her most striking assertion is how harmful the lack of both can be. For example, she cites the Trump administration’s silence after shutting down White House press conferences. She further notes a recent decline in history majors. Because Clovis links truth to history, a shortage of individuals writing about the past will ultimately deprive people of the crucial facts and contexts they need to understand important, present-day issues. As in preceding books, the author intelligently explores social concerns, such as racial discrimination, and includes her personal experiences. She openly discusses an aneurysm, which she incorporates thematically, that momentarily rendered her unable to speak (and, therefore, took away her words). Her easygoing, succinct prose makes occasional criticisms less severe but still profound; rectifying social media’s “fraudulent” news is merely a matter of researching and checking facts. Moreover, Clovis writes in brief, generally one-page chapters. These periodically give way to her striking, poetic reflections: “Night serves a function that illuminates fairy tale dust in the twinkle of a sparkle glitter. It is the color of baby’s breath blown from the cosmic shelves of time.” 

A persuasive examination of how books can enlighten and enrich—just like this one.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982238-89-6

Page Count: 76

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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