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Verseweavers: The Oregon Poetry Association Anthology of Prize-winning Poems Number 21 2016

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Verseweavers: The Oregon Poetry Association Anthology of Prize-winning Poems Number 21 2016 pulls together the winning poems from The Oregon Poetry Association's annual Spring and Fall poetry contests. It includes commentary by the judges that is sometimes enlightening and sometimes distracting. The poetry covers a wide range of talent, ideology, form, and points of view. As with other years, I related to some poems more than others, but I could appreciate the decision-making process of the judges involved. Verseweavers is published as a limited edition, but is worth the read if you can find a copy. In fact, the order form on the Oregon Poetry Association's website doesn't seem to currently include this issue.

Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise

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Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise set on my shelves in my reading stacks for approximately a decade before I finally read it. It's interesting to read it now that Barack Obama has served two terms as President of the United States. The successes, failures, and compromises of his presidency are all highlighted by reading this plan filled with hope, unifying ideas, and calls for working together. Reading it also reminded me of my own cynicism and how important it is to have hope. As I read I thought about how often we, as voters and citizens, get caught up what we hear on television or in speeches and don't bother to pay attention to the actual proposals being put forth. Change We Can Believe In holds a hope within it that we can rise above petty differences to achieve the aspirations we claim to have.

Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires, & Invites Volume 1 by Michele PW

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Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires, & Invites Volume 1 by Michele PW explains why marketing works and why it makes so many of us feel manipulated. Michele examines fear-based, aka traditional, marketing and compares it to a more positive based marketing she refers to as love-based. Michele makes a good argument for why love-based marketing has the power to be more effective than fear-based marketing. She simplifies the concept and offers steps to get started in an approachable manner. Love-Based Copywriting offers an alternative to the kind of fear-based marketing that often feels so icky for both those creating it and those on the receiving end.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a written version of Adichie's Tedx Talk about how women's equality uplifts and supports whole communities. I enjoyed her talk so much I wanted it in written form, so I could read it, ponder it, and keep it on my shelves to references at my convenience.We Should All Be Feminists drives home the point about how women's rights are as important as men's rights. Adichie explores the myriad variations of inequality and beliefs around feminism.We Should All Be Feminists demystifies the idea of feminism and explains how feminism benefits everyone.

Ancient Illusions by Joanne Pence

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Ancient Illusions by Joanne Pence takes Michael Rempart to his childhood home and then away from home in a thrilling adventure that brings back characters from Ancient Shadows and Ancient Echoes. Pence takes the reader from Cape Cod to the mountains in Idaho to Japan in a search for answers. With dips into mysticism and belief systems that seem at odds with one another, Ancient Illusions blurs the lines between reality and illusion. The characters are interesting and diverse even the ones who aren't exactly likable. Family dynamics, romance, and beliefs clash as supernatural elements wreak havoc on the world around the characters. As in the other books in this series, living in a lifelike illusion creates a dangerous situation for the world at large and it's up to Rempart to find the answer and protect the world by containing the demons seeking to destroy the world using humanity's intense obsession with immortality to manipulate them. Ancient Illusions offers us a glimpse…

Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustang by David Philipps

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Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustang by David Philipps felt a bit like taking a horseback ride over ever-changing landscapes. One minute I was floating high on the beauty of the horses running wild. The next I was infuriated by the policies that seemingly have been poorly conceived and even more poorly implemented. I enjoyed the in-depth discussion of the history of the horse and the horse's evolution. Philipps goes to such lengths to explore the plight of the horses, the effect of the horses on the environment, the frustration of the ranchers regarding the horses, and the attempts of the Bureau of Land Management to manage the horses that at times it's hard to discern fact from opinion and reality from mythology. As a horse lover, an animal lover, it's hard for me to imagine and feel anything but annoyance with those who have such intense disdain toward wild horses. As Philipps highlights massive corruption and cruelty toward the horse that als…

How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson

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How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson is a delightful book of poetry that offers a glimpse into 1950s America through the life of Nelson and her family. Nelson's poetry tells a story that engaged me, made me think, and touched my heart so much I often found myself looking forward to my nightly poetry reading, thinking about the poems throughout the day, and reading more than my allotted number of poems per day. Nelson pulls words together into poetry that weaves world events, American society, interracial relations, and family together with finesse and honesty. How I Discovered Poetry is as much about discovering life as it is about discovering poetry.