KP Reads
27 results total, viewing 1 - 20
A strange thing happened last winter when I was teaching H.G. Wells’ 1897 sci-fi novel “The War of the Worlds” to a class of college freshmen. All of a sudden, the story became … more
A friend recommended this novel to me after it was banned from the curriculum last summer by the Muskego-Norway school board in Wisconsin, a district of about 4,800 students. There were no complaints … more
I was driven to read Atul Gawande’s compelling book for the first time shortly after its publication in 2014. more
In mid-May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tracked its highest-ever weekly CO2 levels in Earth’s atmosphere … more
Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2020 novel presents a sobering but plausible time for us as our planet warms due to sunlight-trapping gases derived from the use of fossil fuels. While fiction, its … more
When it comes to murder and mass shootings, America is a freak among nations. Murder rates are highest in countries with the most income inequality, and the U.S. is high on that list with the likes … more
One of the better memories I have from my 1970s high school years are the hours I stole for myself by ditching an English class I despised. I hid out in the stacks of the library, sneaking along the … more
Since time immemorial, writers in Russia have had the most forceful, penetrating and far-reaching responses to what was happening in their country — for those willing to listen, … more
Many times over the last 18-plus years I have wondered why I feel so much at home and so contented on the Key Peninsula. Certainly, there are many similarities to Scotland but that really … more
Some dirty comic book about the Holocaust got banned from the eighth grade English Language Arts curriculum by the McMinn County School Board in southeast Tennessee Jan. 10, because the book has cuss … more
Some of my teenaged relatives enlisted after 9/11.  One became a Marine and deployed to Afghanistan. He did convoy duty or was behind the wire, on base. When he came home, he had nothing but … more
As the former spouse of a Vietnam veteran, I did not think I would ever read another book about that war. For 16 years I absorbed everything I could find to understand the devastation Vietnam did … more
The bait is hard to resist but if you bite, you’ll be trapped in a sinister nightmare you hadn’t bargained for and from which you may never wake. more
A school year unlike any other is upon us, fresh on the heels of two other school years unlike any others. Students are returning to their posts while administrators rearrange deck chairs and … more
‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel García Márquez We were about a month into this thing last year when I was laid up in the hospital. It wasn’t Covid-related but I was imprisoned long enough to learn what that disease was doing to people, to … more
The mental time warp of being around young trees inspired me to pick up “The Overstory” for a second read. more
His name still evokes fear, anger and admiration five decades after his murder. Alex Haley interviewed Malcolm X more than 50 times from 1962 to ’65, and the result was a book alive with the same intensity as their all-night talks about racism, protest and brutality that seem little changed since then. more
Many of us went to school with a Shuggie Bain. Depending on what school you attended, there might be several pupils like him in each class. more
The main branch of the New York City library at Fifth Avenue straddling 41st and 42nd Streets is one of the most famous public temples of knowledge in the United States. Even if you’re just a … more
“The attack on the Fascist redoubt which had been called off on the previous occasion was to be carried out tonight. I oiled my 10 Mexican cartridges, dirtied my bayonet (the things give your … more
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