Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars  ****

I categorize this story as a "Dystopia" but it is really an attempt at "Utopia" within a "Dystopia." The crux of the wrinkle in this novel that separates it from other dystopian tales is the issue of free will. A broken society develops order out of chaos in a controlled environment. Certain elders are privy to the truth about the real world and have the responsibility of maintaining control in a fabricated society via medication and indoctrination which manipulates the wills of the population. The hero, Jonas, is one who discovers the truth and must summon his courage to do what is necessary to restore humanity to its proper, natural course.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Coolidge by Amity Shlaes (Goodreads Author)

4 of 5 stars  ****

This Audiobook is a delightful listen. The life of Calvin Coolidge, the United States' 30th president, unfolds from his early days in New England to his success in Washington D.C. with his moral and economic values identifying him throughout his lifetime. President Reagan once said that he admired Calvin Coolidge. This intrigue piqued the interest of this student of history, especially American history. Calvin applies the principles that made him a successful, respected individual to guide his career without much compromise. He surrounds himself with men he respects and who have similar ideas about achieving goals; such as, balanced budgets, long-term treaties amenable to all interested parties, and immigration when the United States can adequately care for immigrants, who, he feels, should learn English and familiarize themselves with American laws to promote assimilation into our country. The issues he faces are still facing our leaders today. Rather than point out the difference in politics between the 1920s and today, this non-fiction points to Coolidge, the man, demonstrating the integrity, missing in so many, that brings all of his qualities and faculties to bear for the benefit of all. The author, Amity Shales, presents Calvin Coolidge as a man history sees as one who knows and rises to the challenges of his responsibilities.