Changing the world one book at a time

January 29, 2017

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the power of words

“If you make yourself a sheep, the wolves will eat you.” – Benjamin Franklin

Trump is president and in his first week in office has signed his name proudly to every sheet of paper put in front of his face.

So what do we do now? Because everyone … EVERY ONE in the world is being AFFECTED.

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What We Do Now

Melville House has done it again!

My heroes Dennis Johnson and Valerie Merians who launched their publishing house at their kitchen table with the book Poetry After 9/11 have emerged from the deep sorrow of Trump’s election to pull together, in record time, 27 short, powerful essays on what we can do now to cope with Trump. And more important – how to move forward and protect our values, our politics, and our country.

The list of contributors is extraordinary! This is a book you can and MUST dip into - you will be inspired by:

• Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) • Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club • Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force • David Cole, national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) • Dave Eggers, author and publisher, McSweeney’s • Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America • Cristina Jimenez, co-founder and managing director of United We Dream • M. Dove Kent, executive director of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice • Mara Keisling, founder and executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality • Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah • Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist and columnist for The New York Times • George Lakoff, cognitive linguist • Allan Lichtman, American political historian, American University • John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper’s Magazine • Bill McKibben, environmentalist, co-founder and senior advisor of • Ilhan Omar, Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the first Somali-American legislator • Brittany Packnett, co-founder of Campaign Zero and vice president of national community alliances for Teach for America • Robert B. Reich, served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton • Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) • Bernie Sanders, United States Senator from Vermont • George Saunders, author • Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York • Gloria Steinem, feminist • Trevor Timm, co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation • Nato Thompson, art activist and artistic director of Creative Time • Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher of The Nation • Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator from Massachusetts

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“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.”

Sound familiar? Lies? Nah, let’s call it “alternative facts”.

The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia” -a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions -a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

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Every Man Dies Alone

“The greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis.” - Primo Levi

Every Man Dies Alone presents a rich detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells a sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand against the Nazis when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Reich, they launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.

In the end, it’s more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving romance, even more than literature of the highest order-it’s a deeply moving story of two people who stand up for what’s right, and for each other.

“Hans Fallada’s Every Man Dies Alone is one of the most extraordinary and compelling novels ever written about World War II. Ever. Please do not miss this.” —Alan Furst

The film has been made called Alone in Berlin staring a favourite actor of mine, Emma Thomson …

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pussy hat

Why did I pick up my knitting needles after years of them gathering dust?

Because I was dismayed that a person with no political experience is now President. I am disgusted and repulsed by a person who believes that a woman can be grabbed by the pussy because he is rich and famous. I am outraged by his racist comments. I am worried for our planet as he does not believe in climate change. He does not read. He does not care. Oh. He does care but only about himself. He is a narcissist.

I am disheartened that a person who was more qualified than any other in history was villified and lost the electoral college vote. She won the popular vote and that meant nothing. Kinda like being a prom queen for one night except she did not even get a crown to wear for a few hours.

Knitting a Pussy Hat inspired by The Pussy Hat Project for the Women’s March provided me with an opportunity to show my support of equality for all.

I read Every Man Dies Alone and was moved by the story of this middle aged, middle class couple who did not agree with Hitler. What did they do? They wrote postcards and secretly placed them around Berlin evading the Gestapo for three years!

Knitting was simple. It was pink! It was an action albeit small but as one of 60,000 strong in Toronto and one of 5 million world wide … my small action added to the message.

I will remember.

Love trumps hate.

Action speaks louder than words.

Words are powerful.

I will do both!

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Because I can’t keep quiet.

created by robertson mcclure