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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism



My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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Customer Comments

Felicity has commented on (33) products.

Habibi by Craig Thompson
Habibi

Felicity, April 28, 2012

Beautifully drawn and designed, gorgeously interwoven with Quran stories and Arabic calligraphy. The story is brutal in places, but ultimately, I thought, redemptive and beautiful. Unlike many stories I read or hear, it interrogates the brutality to women it depicts and tries to balance female self-sacrifice and understand it. The themes are beautifully woven into the narrative and the art both -- and there is really no difference between art and story, here. I think it will reward rereading.
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 (P.S.) by Simon Winchester
A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 (P.S.)

Felicity, September 7, 2010

I've read and enjoyed several of Simon Winchester's books, and this is my favorite thus far. This story abounds in historical interest, geological drama, and the bizarre coincidences that delight both Winchester and his readers.

The early chapters paint the broad backdrop of the 1906 earthquake -- both a cultural portrait of 19th century San Francisco and a geological profile of Western North America. Basic earth science is mixed with the history of scientific discovery and Winchester's travelogue of seismologically notable America. It never fails to engage and intrigue.

Of course the earthquake itself is fascinating, and Winchester weaves a compelling story out of past destruction, present danger, and the mythos of frontier America.
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)



Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half of a Yellow Sun

Felicity, September 5, 2010

I liked Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's first novel, Purple Hibiscus, so I picked up her second, more ambitious book. It's set before and during the Nigerian-Biafran War of 1967-1970.

I don't call this book more ambitious than Purple Hibiscus just because it tackles a war within living memory. It has multiple points of view, and executes a few small chronological jumps. Each of the point-of-view characters, who differ in age, race, gender and class, traces a believable and human arc. This is no small feat, and Adichie pulls it off handily. She does a beautiful job of showing us large events through individual lives.

Adichie tells a complex and disturbing story with a large, vivid cast, and draws it to an ending that feels true. A remarkable book.
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(3 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)



Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
Use of Weapons

Felicity, December 2, 2009

Use of Weapons is a challenging book, both in its structure and its subject matter. It's about war: the necessity of it, the uses of it, the sorts of people it requires and creates. It is sometimes exciting, sometimes brutal, and in the end emotional, memorable, haunting.
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)



The Yiddish Policemen's Union (P.S.) by Michael Chabon
The Yiddish Policemen's Union (P.S.)

Felicity, July 19, 2009

At first this alternate-history mystery thriller just seemed fun -- the hard-boiled language, the mordant humor. But beyond its wit, its well-paced series of frying pans and fires, its over-the-top descriptions and lovingly detailed worldbuilding, this is a powerful novel. It touches on universal themes while describing a world as specific as the tuna salad in a Sitka lunchroom. It's a book with characters you care about. Landsman is a familiar archetype, the loose cannon cop down on his luck, but he's vivid and vulnerable, likable. Bina manages to be both somebody's dream girl and a real, vital, smart woman. Even the dead have voices and a grip on your heart.

I'm a contrarian reviewer, predisposed to be dubious about bestsellers, but I found this novel to be imaginative, distinctive and compelling.
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(10 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)



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