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awisehart has commented on (10) products.

What Is Visible by Kimberly Elkins
What Is Visible

awisehart, November 21, 2014

This historical fiction novel is a delight. It tells the story of Laura Bridgman, a blind and deaf woman in the nineteenth century who learned language well before the more famous Helen Keller. It's peopled by a colorful cast of historical characters, including Laura's teacher Samuel Gridley Howe, his wife Julia Ward Howe, and many others. Elkins explores Laura's interior world with sensitivity and depth. This book is a fascinating glimpse into the life of a mostly forgotten historical figure. Highly recommended!
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San Miguel by T. C. Boyle
San Miguel

awisehart, October 3, 2012

This is a beautifully written novel told from the point of view of three women living on San Miguel island off the coast of California at different times over the course of 60 years. While the stories are a bit disjointed - each could have been a separate novel or novella - the characters are complex and compelling. Boyle's descriptions of the island are vivid, and the setting integrates beautifully into the narrative of the story. A thoroughly transporting, enjoyable read!
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth by Dianne Dumanoski
The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth

awisehart, September 17, 2012

This is a beautifully written, important book that I wish lots of people would read. Dumanoski makes a compelling case for the inherent unpredictability of climate change, and the imperative for resilience and adaptability in our response to it. While she does not lay out a specific action plan - intentionally, as her point is that we must be prepared for any number of future climate change scenarios - I found her vision to be both challenging and hopeful. Highly recommended!
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Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg
Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

awisehart, March 31, 2012

I found this book to be very readable and engaging. It's an interesting, careful examination of the rise of solo living in the U.S. Klinenberg takes a very balanced approach and resists easy conclusions. People who live alone aren't necessarily more lonely or socially isolated, though there are challenges, particularly as people age alone. Klinenberg considers the benefits as well as the challenges for individuals and society as more and more people make the choice to live alone. Highly recommended!
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Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg
Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines

awisehart, May 23, 2010

This book is very readable and informative. Heinberg tackles a scary subject - the imminent decline of oil and other fuel reserves in our lifetime, climate change, and the resulting huge shifts that will almost certainly occur in our society and lifestyles - in a way that makes the problem seem understandable, if daunting. He outlines both the problem and some potential (though uncertain) ways to confront the crisis in a series of linked essays. This book is at once fascinating, frightening, and inspiring. Highly recommended!
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(5 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)



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