BookEnds

Lower Fairfield County's online book club

Actually socialized health care

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Whenever politicians talk about health care reform, Americans probably fear most the systems Britain and Canada have. It makes no difference that Reid and many others who have benefited from them extol their virtues. These systems are so different from what the U.S. does that they’re not likely to be implemented soon anyway.* Britain is […] [Read More]

Banned Books Week 9/26 – 10/3

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Next week is Banned Books week. Sponsored by library, publishing and journalism organizations, this week celebrates, among other concepts, the First Amendment, the right to know, the right to free and open access and the importance of access to unpopular or unorthodox viewpoints. In 2008, the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom received reports of  513 […] [Read More]

The carte vitale

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This is my first time over at BookEnds, and I’m slowly slogging through T.R. Reid’s “The Healing of America” because I foolishly began reading four books over the past few weeks and I’m only close to finishing one — “The Long Goodbye,” by Raymond Chandler. Yes, cheesy private detective fiction holds my attention longer than […] [Read More]

Fiction recommendations

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I’m often embarassed by the paucity of fiction books on my shelves. I don’t know why I care. But while many I know suck down the latest Oprah book or books at the top of bestseller lists for weeks, like The Kite Runner and anything by Nicholas Sparks, I find out about a new Andrew Jackson biography […] [Read More]

France, Germany, and Japan

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Before he takes us to France, T.R. Reid explores all of the things that might increase medical care costs for Americans as opposed to their counterparts in other countries. He disabuses us of two notions right away: that it’s doctors salaries and malpractice insurance. Doctors do get paid more in the U.S. than they do […] [Read More]

Ode to Keats

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  This seems to be the year of John Keats: in July, his house was reopened to the public in Hampstead Heath, London, and this week, “Bright Star”, the new film about Keats’ brief love affair with Fanny Brawne, opens in theatres. Directed by Jane Campion, the movie got a lovely review in the New […] [Read More]
Categories: classics, History, Movies

Suburban discontent : “The Northern Clemency”

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Philip Hensher’s “The Northern Clemency” is very much about England, set in a city “made by fire out of water.” The primeval description refers to Sheffield, South Yorkshire, circa 1974, when the city was the steel center of England and heaps of coal fed the gaping furnaces of the factories and muddied the rolling, purplish […] [Read More]
Categories: General

A book about a chimp retreat

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I’ve been meaning to share this for some time, but Charles Siebert, an author who had an interesting New York Times Magazine piece about whales in July, also wrote a book about a retirement home for former ape movie stars. I thought the book, The Wauchula Woods Accord: Toward a New Understanding of Animals, might […] [Read More]

Weighing in with policy

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It’s important to know before reading “The Healing of America” that the author, T.R. Reid, takes as a given that the health care system in America is broken. This seems pretty uncontroversial to me at this point. Nearly everyone agrees on the diagnosis; it was a big campaign issue for both Democrats and Republicans in […] [Read More]

Gay Talese

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I’m currently deeply immersed in Gay Talese’s book, “Thy Neighbor’s Wife,” which chronicles the sexual revolution and cultural shift of the 60s and 70s as well as its origins. Like many journalism students, I hold Talese as one of my heroes. Occasionally, when I’m stuck on a story, I often take a break to reread one […] [Read More]
Categories: General