The Internet, an adventure of books

Over the last 18 years, the Internet has been a boon for my reading. I still choose paperback and hardbacks, and I increasingly choose books from the public library rather than abebooks.com. I have made buying a book from an independent bookstore a simple act of selecting a sweet gift for a friend. (And, no, I don’t buy books from amazon.com as it cannibalizes the industries of writing.)

This morning, I had a fascinating 25 minutes as I sought the name of a young adult science fiction book that I read a couple of years ago. I could remember the name of one of the supporting characters, Dikeagou, because his name is a familiar and repeated name in our home. But, the book’s title escaped me. And so teh internet searches began (mind you through duckduckgo.com where they don’t track and store your searches like they do over at “do no evil” google).

It took multiple searches, and a few marvelous stops along the way that are sure to stoke my reading this winter are:

Oh, and the book I was looking for is listed on that third blog, 8 YA Books. It is The Shadow Speaker written by Nnedi Okorafor-mbachu, who lives and teaches in Chicago. Published in 2010.

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The tonnage of wartime

MLK spoke to Coretta of a “sick nation” in November 1963. Fifty years later, this is a civilization steeped in war and violence. The friends of rape, pillage and genocide are not far removed.

Buckminster Fuller said:

You may say, “Why don’t you cut out all this political-economic stuff and get along with the stark facts of description of precisely what you think the postwar housing is going to look like?” And I say to you it isn’t going to look like anything until the war is over and that I can’t envision it’s coming at all except in terms of the meaning of the war.

This is true for postwar housing as well as learning and education, transportation, energy, ecosystems, transportation and social safety net. These are all bound by being at war, and endless policies and priorities that perpetuate war. War begets violence. War begets destruction, dismay, isolation, genocide and rape.

Fuller continues:

I say, and I have given realistic testimony to prove, that is why we have had to have a war: because we couldn’t free ourselves for thinking without the detaching effects of war. Short of war, we just let well enough alone. We were swivel-moored to the rooted-down tonnage of our lugubrious past.