Great Books

Written by Danielle Champiet-Coronado 

The world around us is so vast, with depths and wonders yet to be explored. Whether it’s by reading or meeting people traveling to our country or by traveling to theirs, hopefully by all three, take in all with love and give back the same. I’ve not been able to travel as much as I would like, but I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some wonderful and interesting people from many parts of the world. They generously shared their culture with me. I’d much rather learn about a country from its people than a travel brochure. Seeing things through their eyes, not just their country but ours and others is invaluable. That firsthand knowledge has helped guide me through the lies and p.r. crap that has plagued our news outlets and clutters the shelves of libraries and stores to find the nuggets of gold worth reading.

These books contain so much information that you have to read them over and over to get it all. I’m currently reading Things That Can And Cannot Be Said for a second time for that very reason. There’s just so much in it that it can’t all be absorbed the first time around. I especially love the casual conversational style of the book. It drew me in and made me feel like I was a part of this epic conversation with John Cusack and Arundhati Roy, comfortably lounging in chair and discussing some of the most key aspects of world history and how they tie into and influence current events. Arundhati Roy is a new admiration for me and is phenomenal! Singular yet unpretentious and so well-informed. John Cusack, however, is someone that I have respected and admired for years. First with his acting and writing and then having the pleasure of enjoying his activism. The only thing larger than his brain, which is absolutely brilliant, is his heart.  As if the conversation between Cusack and Roy weren’t mind-blowing enough, in walks whistleblower heroes Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg!

I don’t think we will ever fully grasp just what an incredible thing Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg did for the American people. Even though they live, they did give their lives to protect us because the life they had been living was gone forever the moment they stood up to our government for us. Their sacrifice is the kind of gift that can only be paid forward. The only thing that could top this book would be to actually be in the room with these great minds. You should also check out their bios and articles at Freedom Of The Press. Things That Can And Cannot Be Said is a great book. It’s fun, interesting, intriguing and will have you hooked from the start. I loved it so much that I bought a copy for my brother. I knew he would like it and just couldn’t bring myself to part with my copy. Things That Can And Cannot Be Said confirmed some things that I had suspected and revealed others that I was completely unaware of, easily granting it the status of a gateway to social and political enlightenment. The book accurately and succinctly shows how past events are not our past as they are occurring in our present and, if we do nothing, will be our very scary future.

The Wisdom Of The Native Americans I’ve read a quarter way through and gives an amazing look into these nations within our nation. Some things I’ve learned from powwows that I’ve attended, but that’s only been a tiny fraction of what this book has taught me so far: “If all would talk and then do as you have done, the sun of peace would shine forever. ” – Satank of the Kiowa tribe.

The peace, acceptance and love that flows through the Native American communities reminds me of the friends from Bosnia that I had been blessed to meet. Listening to their stories of how their country was before the war and the passion and spirit of their culture that still holds strong is unimaginable. As I read parts of The Bridge Betrayed, their stories ran through my mind anc I knew that I had to get it. It’s unfathomable to have everything you’ve ever known, every part of your culture literally blown up. Even with all of that destruction and death, Bosnia still remains a beautiful example of acceptance and harmony because that’s her culture and it lives strong in the hearts of her people. She is definitely a country unlike any other.

Admittedly,  I have not read much of The God Of Small Things yet. I just bought it today, but I’ve heard great things about it. After seeing a couple of Arundhati Roy’s interviews and reading Things That Can And Cannot Be Said,  I’m not ashamed to say that I’m addicted to her mind. The stunning way her mind works and the knowledge and experience it contains would take decades to explore, but those would be the best-spent decades of your life. She and Noam Chomsky are the Socrates and Aristotle of our time.

*These books were purchased through Barnes and Noble and Powell book stores.


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