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books

My favorite reads from the past week:

“You Just Got Out of Prison: Now What?” New York Times magazine. So much is wrong with our prison system in the United States, not the least of which is the lack of support prisoners receive when they are released. Can you imagine serving for 20 years and entering a world of cell phones, apps, and Facebook? Or going to a grocery store or restaurant, paralyzed by the choices in front of you? This article focuses on two ex-convicts who pick up newly released prisoners and guide them through those overwhelming first few hours as free men.

“London’s Super-Diversity is a Joy. Why Would You Ever Want to Leave? The Guardian. After a run of condescending opinion pieces touting the “benefits” of leaving London, Aisha Mirza calls out those writers. Good for her. Not everyone has the “luxury” of leaving or wants to. It has apparently become the “hip” thing to do: leave London to go live in the countryside. What’s going on in London now reminds me of the “white flight” that occurred in metro areas in the United States in the 1950s-1960s. This piece also reminded me of the “I left the city to become a farmer for a year” book genre so popular lately, and which I find kind of cliche, condescending, and annoying.

“New Jamestown Discovery Reveals the Identities of Four Prominent Settlers.” Smithsonian Magazine. My acquaintance Marilyn Johnson reported this archeological scoop. This means that we’re learning more and more about those first settlers. A life much darker than once imagined emerges, filled with stories of famine and cannibalism.

What are you reading this week? I haven’t had a lot of time to read books so magazine pieces have been more my style lately.

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