A Forger’s Life – Book Review

by Oletta Branstiter Rebel With a Cause Sarah Kaminsky’s revelations of a rebel with a cause have finally been translated into English. Originally published in French in 2009, this focused biography of her father peels back the layers of a serial criminal whose forgeries spanned almost three decades. The actress and screenwriter was born in Algeria but grew up in France with her mature father and young Tuareg mother.  Using a first-person narrative, prompted by unobtrusive and infrequent questions of a curious daughter, Adolfo Kaminsky unravels the deceptions in his…

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Out of the Stable, to Insanity, and Beyond: How the Media has Affected the Presidency

By Janice Barlow EVERYONE KNOWS that when someone reacts badly when he is taunted or teased, that it only causes his tormentors to bring it on even more. We all remember back to our school days when those poor kids were relentlessly picked on. Maybe we were one of them. The more the victims reacted by lashing out at their antagonizers, the more the bullies would delight in picking on their easy targets. Last week, journalist Michael Wolff‘s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” flew off the…

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New Book On Donald Trump’s Presidency Unleashes Trump’s “Fire And Fury”

photo of Melania Trump sitting behind her husband during the inauguration

by Richard Cameron   A new book, “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, set for imminent release, has been previewed by the BBC, is an inside look at the first few months of the Trump presidency and contains a series of bombshells and embarrassing anecdotes that have Donald Trump and the White House already on the defensive. We’ll discuss a small sample of the excerpts, which include Trump’s description of an administration official as a “cunt”, his daughter Ivanka’s presidential ambitions and Rupert Murdoch’s personal assessment of Trump. Donald the…

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Pssssst! Read Any Banned Books Lately?

by Oletta Branstiter A School Library should challenge students. As an Intermediate public school Library Specialist, intimately acquainted with over 9,000 books in circulation, I can attest to the fact that over two dozen of the books on the American Library Association list of frequently challenged children’s books are either checked out or resting comfortably on the bookshelves in my library. This is my eighth year working in a public school library. I can count on the fingers of one hand the times a book in my library has been…

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Art Should Reveal Uncomfortable Truths

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover

by Oletta Branstiter Should art be created to make us feel comfortable? The school district in Biloxi, Mississippi recently decided to eliminate To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, from the 8th-grade reading list. The reason? “Language in the book makes some people uncomfortable.” Was the complaint based on the historical and contextual use of the word “nigger”? Or was it more insidious? Do the objections reflect the same lack of understanding that led to the banning of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain?…

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Will God Survive Science? Dan Brown’s Latest Novel Challenges The Creator

cover of the newest fiction from best selling author Dan Brown - "Origin"

by Oletta Branstiter “Will God survive Science?” This was the question author Dan Brown posed during an interview on a Dallas-Fort Worth radio station on the morning of October 5. He cited the fact that understanding oceanic science replaced the ancient mythology of Poseidon. Dan Brown is the renowned author who used his bestseller, “The Da Vinci Code”, to explore the idea that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalen, who bore his child, leaving a legacy of DNA from the Son of God. His latest book, released on October 3, titled…

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Check It Out: Library Blog – Who Needs School Libraries?

Empty Library Bookcases

by Oletta Branstiter Libraries & Books One of the saddest things you’ll ever imagine is a Library that might have been. To this day, historians lament the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria, believed to have been destroyed by fire around 2,000 years ago. It is believed that around 295 BCE, the scholar and orator Demetrius of Phalerum, an exiled governor of Athens, convinced Ptolemy I Soter to establish the Library. Demetrius envisioned a library that would house a copy of every book in the world, an institution to…

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Newt Gingrich’s “Understanding Trump” – No Thanks Newt, It’s Not That Complicated

by Richard Cameron “Understanding Trump” I happened to be randomly making a tour of the Costco in Glendale, Arizona while my mother was having an eye exam.  In the course of my aimless rambling, strolling past the books offered for sale – one hardcover book arrested my attention.  It was “Understanding Trump” by none other than persistent Trump carney barker, Newt Gingrich. That such a book had arrived on the scene a week or so ago, eluded me, given that I am not the target audience for it. The target demo…

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