The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War

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The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War
Title The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War
Author
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release DateNovember 3, 2020
Category New Release
Total Pages 208 pages
ISBN 0374115168
Book Rating 4.8 out of 5 from 7 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

"An urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion." ―Susan Orlean Award-winning journalist Delphine Minoui recounts the true story of a band of young rebels, a besieged Syrian town, and an underground library built from the rubble of war Reading is an act of resistance. Daraya is a town outside Damascus, the very spot where the Syrian Civil War began. Long a site of peaceful resistance to the Assad regimes, Daraya fell under siege in 2012. For four years, no one entered or left, and aid was blocked. Every single day, bombs fell on this place―a place of homes and families, schools and children, now emptied and broken into bits. And then a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble. In a week, they had six thousand volumes; in a month, fifteen thousand. A sanctuary was born: a library where people could escape the blockade, a paper fortress to protect their humanity. The library offered a marvelous range of books―from Arabic poetry to American self-help, Shakespearean plays to stories of war in other times and places. The visitors shared photos and tales of their lives before the war, planned how to build a democracy, and tended the roots of their community despite shell-shocked soil. In the midst of the siege, the journalist Delphine Minoui tracked down one of the library’s founders, twenty-three-year-old Ahmad. Over text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook, Minoui came to know the young men who gathered in the library, exchanged ideas, learned English, and imagined how to shape the future, even as bombs kept falling from above. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war immediate and reveals these young men to be everyday heroes as inspiring as the books they read. The Book Collectors is a testament to their bravery and a celebration of the power of words.

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"An urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion." —Susan Orlean Award-winning journalist Delphine Minoui recounts the true story of a band of young rebels, a besieged Syrian town, and an underground library built from the rubble of war Reading is an act of resistance. Daraya is a town outside Damascus, the very spot where the Syrian Civil War began. Long a site of peaceful resistance to the Assad regimes, Daraya fell under siege in 2012. For four years, no one entered or left, and aid was blocked. Every single day, bombs fell on this place—a place of homes and families, schools and children, now emptied and broken into bits. And then a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble. In a week, they had six thousand volumes; in a month, fifteen thousand. A sanctuary was born: a library where people could escape the blockade, a paper fortress to protect their humanity. The library offered a marvelous range of books—from Arabic poetry to American self-help, Shakespearean plays to stories of war in other times and places. The visitors shared photos and tales of their lives before the war, planned how to build a democracy, and tended the roots of their community despite shell-shocked soil. In the midst of the siege, the journalist Delphine Minoui tracked down one of the library’s founders, twenty-three-year-old Ahmad. Over text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook, Minoui came to know the young men who gathered in the library, exchanged ideas, learned English, and imagined how to shape the future, even as bombs kept falling from above. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war immediate and reveals these young men to be everyday heroes as inspiring as the books they read. The Book Collectors is a testament to their bravery and a celebration of the power of words.

The Book Collectors by Delphine Minoui

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Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR “An urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion.” —Susan Orlean The award-winning journalist Delphine Minoui recounts the true story of a band of young rebels, a besieged Syrian town, and an underground library built from the rubble of war Reading is an act of resistance. Daraya is a town outside Damascus, the very spot where the Syrian Civil War began. Long a site of peaceful resistance to the Assad regimes, Daraya fell under siege in 2012. For four years, no one entered or left, and aid was blocked. Every single day, bombs fell on this place—a place of homes and families, schools and children, now emptied and broken into bits. And then a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble. In a week, they had six thousand volumes; in a month, fifteen thousand. A sanctuary was born: a library where people could escape the blockade, a paper fortress to protect their humanity. The library offered a marvelous range of books—from Arabic poetry to American self-help, Shakespearean plays to stories of war in other times and places. The visitors shared photos and tales of their lives before the war, planned how to build a democracy, and tended the roots of their community despite shell-shocked soil. In the midst of the siege, the journalist Delphine Minoui tracked down one of the library’s founders, twenty-three-year-old Ahmad. Over text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook, Minoui came to know the young men who gathered in the library, exchanged ideas, learned English, and imagined how to shape the future, even as bombs kept falling from above. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war immediate and reveals these young men to be everyday heroes as inspiring as the books they read. The Book Collectors is a testament to their bravery and a celebration of the power of words.

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"Daraya is a town outside Damascus, the very spot where the Syrian Civil War began. Long a site of peaceful resistance to the Assad regimes, Daraya fell under siege in 2012. For four years, no one entered or left, and aid was blocked. Every single day, bombs fell on this place--a place of homes and families, schools and children, now emptied and broken into bits. And then a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble. In a week, they had six thousand volumes; in a month, fifteen thousand. A sanctuary was born: a library where people could escape the blockade, a paper fortress to protect their humanity. The library offered a marvelous range of books--from Arabic poetry to American self-help, Shakespearean plays to stories of war in other times and places. The visitors shared photos and tales of their lives before the war, planned how to build a democracy, and tended the roots of their community despite shell-shocked soil. In the midst of the siege, the journalist Delphine Minoui tracked down one of the library's founders, twenty-three-year-old Ahmad. Over text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook, Minoui came to know the young men who gathered in the library, exchanged ideas, learned English, and imagined how to shape the future, even as bombs kept falling from above. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war immediate and reveals these young men to be everyday heroes as inspiring as thebooks they read. The Book Collectors is a testament to their bravery and a celebration of the power of words"--

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A lucid, moving view into an often obscured part of our world, exploring notions of democracy, identity, and the resilience of the human spirit In the wake of losing her beloved grandfather, Delphine Minoui decided to visit Iran for the first time since the revolution. It was 1998. She was twenty-two and a freshly minted journalist. She would stay for ten years. Quickly absorbed into the everyday life of the city, Minoui attends secret dance parties that are raided by the morality police and dines in the home of a young couple active in the Basij—the fearsome militia. She befriends veteran journalists battling government censorship, imprisoned student poets, and her own grandmother (a woman who is discovering the world of international affairs through her contraband satellite TV). And so it is all the more crushing when the political situation falters. Minoui joins street protests teeming with students hungry for change and is interrogated by the secret police; she sees a mirrored rise in the love of country—the yearning patriotism of the left, the militant nationalism of the right. Friends disappear; others may be tracking her movements. She finds love, loses her press credentials, marries, and is separated from her husband by erupting global conflict. Through it all, her love for Iran and its people deepens. In her family’s past she discovers a mission that will shape her entire future. Framed as a letter to her grandfather and filled with disarming characters in momentous times, I’m Writing You from Tehran is a remarkable blend of global history, family memoir, and the making of a reporter, told by someone both insider and outsider—a child of the diaspora who is a world-class political journalist.

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‘This is an urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion. Delphine Minoui has crafted a book that champions books and the individuals who risk everything to preserve them.’ Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book In 2012 the rebel suburb of Daraya in Damascus was brutally besieged by Syrian government forces. Four years of suffering ensued, punctuated by shelling, barrel bombs and chemical gas attacks. People’s homes were destroyed and their food supplies cut off; disease was rife. Yet in this man-made hell, forty young Syrian revolutionaries embarked on an extraordinary project, rescuing all the books they could find in the bombed-out ruins of their home town. They used them to create a secret library, in a safe place, deep underground. It became their school, their university, their refuge. It was a place to learn, to exchange ideas, to dream and to hope. Based on lengthy interviews with these young men, conducted over Skype by the award-winning French journalist Delphine Minoui, The Book Collectors of Daraya is a powerful testament to freedom, tolerance and the power of literature.

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The remarkable story of a small, makeshift library in the town of Daraya, and the people who found hope and humanity in its books during a four-year siege. Daraya lies on the fringe of Damascus, just southwest of the Syrian capital. Yet for four years it lived in another world. Besieged by government forces early in the Syrian Civil War, its people were deprived of food, bombarded by heavy artillery, and under the constant fire of snipers. But deep beneath this scene of frightening devastation lay a hidden library. While the streets above echoed with shelling and rifle fire, the secret world below was a haven of books. Long rows of well-thumbed volumes lined almost every wall: bloated editions with grand leather covers, pocket-sized guides to Syrian poetry, and no-nonsense reference books, all arranged in well-ordered lines. But this precious horde was not bought from publishers or loaned by other libraries--they were the books salvaged and scavenged at great personal risk from the doomed city above. The story of this extraordinary place and the people who found purpose and refuge in it is one of hope, human resilience, and above all, the timeless, universal love of literature and the compassion and wisdom it fosters.

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For fans of My Ideal Bookshelf and Bibliophile, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is the perfect gift for book lovers everywhere: a quirky and entertaining interactive guide to reading, featuring voicemails, literary Easter eggs, checklists, and more, from the creators of the popular multimedia project. The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is an interactive illustrated homage to the beautiful ways in which books bring meaning to our lives and how our lives bring meaning to books. Carefully crafted in the style of a retro telephone directory, this guide offers you a variety of unique ways to connect with readers, writers, bookshops, and life-changing stories. In it, you’ll discover... -Heartfelt, anonymous voicemail messages and transcripts from real-life readers sharing unforgettable stories about their most beloved books. You’ll hear how a mother and daughter formed a bond over their love for Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, or how a reader finally felt represented after reading Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, or how two friends performed Mary Oliver’s Thirst to a grove of trees, or how Anne Frank inspired a young writer to continue journaling. -Hidden references inside fictional literary adverts like Ahab’s Whale Tours and Miss Ophelia’s Psychic Readings, and real-life literary landmarks like Maya Angelou City Park and the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum. -Lists of bookstores across the USA, state by state, plus interviews with the book lovers who run them. -Various invitations to become a part of this book by calling and leaving a bookish voicemail of your own. -And more! Quirky, nostalgic, and full of heart, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is a love letter to the stories that change us, connect us, and make us human.

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A sweeping, groundbreaking, and comprehensive treasury of the most essential presidential writings, featuring a richly varied mix of the beloved and the little-known, from stirring speeches and shrewd remarks to behind-the-scenes drafts and unpublished autobiographies. From the early years of our nation’s history, when George Washington wrote his humble yet powerful Farewell Address, to our current age, when Barack Obama delivered his moving speech on the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, America’s presidents have upheld a tradition of exceptional writing. Now, for the first time, the greatest presidential writings in history are united in one monumental treasury: the very best campaign orations, early autobiographies, presidential speeches, postpresidential reflections, and much more. In these pages, we see not only the words that shaped our nation, like Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Infamy speech, but also the words of young politicians claiming their place in our history, including excerpts from Woodrow Wilson’s Congressional Government and Obama’s career-making convention speech, and the words of mature leaders reflecting on their legacies, including John Adam’s autobiography and Harry S. Truman’s Memoirs. We even see hidden sides of the presidents that the public rarely glimpses: noted outdoorsman Teddy Roosevelt’s great passion for literature or sunny Ronald Reagan’s piercing childhood memories of escorting home his alcoholic father. Encompassing notable favorites like Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address as well as lesser-known texts like Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia and James Polk’s candid White House diary, The Best Presidential Writing showcases America’s presidents as thinkers, citizens, and leaders. More than simply a curation of must-read presidential writings, this unique collection presents the story of America itself, told by its highest leaders. What is America? Who is America for? What will America become? Since our nation’s founding, different presidents have offered different answers. In their writings, we see frontiers expand, ideals transform, and novel ideas take root. Even the most famous speeches find new meanings or fresh connections when read in this sweeping context, making The Best Presidential Writing a trove full of insight and an essential historical document.

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Title Fractured Lands
Author Scott Anderson
Publisher Signal
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ISBN 9780771007743
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The catastrophic story of how the Arab world has descended into chaos since the 2003 invasion of Iraq as told by the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and international bestselling author of Lawrence in Arabia, a probing and insightful work of reportage. From world-renowned war correspondent, Scott Anderson, comes this gripping, human account of the unraveling of the Arab world, the rise of ISIS, and the global refugee crisis after the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003. This portrait of the region is framed by the stories of six individuals--the matriarch of a dissident Egyptian family, a Libyan Air Force cadet with divided loyalties, an Iraqi day-laborer turned ISIS fighter, a Kurdish doctor on leave from his practice to fight ISIS, a college student caught in the chaos of Aleppo, and an Iraqi women's rights activist targeted by militias. Through these personal stories, the myriad, complex causes of the widespread war and instability in the region come into focus and the concrete reality of the unspeakable tragedies occurring in the Middle East becomes clear.

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Title Killer High
Author Peter Andreas
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date 2020
Category History
Total Pages 352
ISBN 9780190463014
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

" There is growing alarm over how drugs increasingly empower terrorists, insurgents, traffickers, and gangs. But by looking back not just years and decades but centuries, Peter Andreas reveals that the drugs-conflict nexus is actually an old story, and that powerful states have been its biggest beneficiaries. In his path-breaking Killer High, Andreas shows how six psychoactive drugs--ranging from old to relatively new, mild to potent, licit to illicit, natural to synthetic--have proven to be particularly important war ingredients. This sweeping history tells the story of war from antiquity to the modern age through the lens of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, opium, amphetamines, and cocaine. Beer and wine drenched ancient and medieval battlefields, and the distilling revolution lubricated the conquest and ethnic cleansing of the New World. Tobacco became globalized through soldiering, with soldiers hooked on smoking and governments hooked on taxing it. Caffeine and opium fueled imperial expansion and warfare. The commercialization of amphetamines in the twentieth century energized soldiers to fight harder, longer, and faster, while cocaine stimulated an increasingly militarized drug war that produced casualty numbers surpassing most civil wars. As Andreas demonstrates, armed conflict has become progressively more "drugged" with the introduction, mass production, and global spread of mind-altering substances. As a result, we cannot understand the history of war without including drugs, and we similarly cannot understand the history of drugs without including war. From ancient brews and battles to meth and modern warfare, drugs and war have grown up together and become addicted to each other. "--

Matilda by Catherine Hanley

Title Matilda
Author Catherine Hanley
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2019-04-23
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 277
ISBN 9780300227253
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A life of Matilda--empress, skilled military leader, and one of the greatest figures of the English Middle Ages Matilda was a daughter, wife, and mother. But she was also empress, heir to the English crown--the first woman ever to hold the position--and an able military general. This new biography explores Matilda's achievements as military and political leader, and sets her life and career in full context. Catherine Hanley provides fresh insight into Matilda's campaign to claim the title of queen, her approach to allied kingdoms and rival rulers, and her role in the succession crisis. Hanley highlights how Matilda fought for the throne, and argues that although she never sat on it herself her reward was to see her son become king. Extraordinarily, her line has continued through every single monarch of England or Britain from that time to the present day.

Braver Than You Think by Maggie Downs

Title Braver Than You Think
Author Maggie Downs
Publisher Catapult
Release Date 2020-05-12
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9781640092938
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Newly married and established in her career as an award–winning newspaper journalist, Maggie Downs quits her job, sells her belongings, and embarks on the solo trip of a lifetime: Her mother’s. As a child, Maggie Downs often doubted that she would ever possess the courage to visit the destinations her mother dreamed of one day seeing. “You are braver than you think,” her mother always insisted. That statement would guide her as, over the course of one year, Downs backpacked through seventeen countries―visiting all the places her mother, struck with early–onset Alzheimer’s disease, could not visit herself―encountering some of the world’s most striking locales while confronting the slow loss of her mother. Interweaving travelogue with family memories, Braver Than You Think takes the reader hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, white–water rafting on the Nile, volunteering at a monkey sanctuary in Bolivia, praying at an ashram in India, and fleeing the Arab Spring in Egypt. By embarking on an international journey, Downs learned to make every moment count―traveling around the globe and home again, losing a parent while discovering the world. Perfect for fans of adventure memoirs like Wild and Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube, Braver Than You Think explores grief and loss with tenderness, clarity, and humor, and offers a truly incredible roadmap to coping with the unimaginable.

No Man S Land by Wendy Moore

Title No Man s Land
Author Wendy Moore
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2020-04-28
Category History
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9781541672734
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The "absorbing and powerful" (Wall Street Journal) story of two pioneering suffragette doctors who shattered social expectations and transformed modern medicine during World War I. A month after war broke out in 1914, doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson set out for Paris, where they opened a hospital in a luxury hotel and treated hundreds of casualties plucked from France's battlefields. Although, prior to the war and the Spanish flu, female doctors were restricted to treating women and children, Flora and Louisa's work was so successful that the British Army asked them to set up a hospital in the heart of London. Nicknamed the Suffragettes' Hospital, Endell Street soon became known for its lifesaving treatments. In No Man's Land, Wendy Moore illuminates this turbulent moment of global war and pandemic when women were, for the first time, allowed to operate on men. Their fortitude and brilliance serve as powerful reminders of what women can achieve against all odds.

George And Lizzie by Nancy Pearl

Title George and Lizzie
Author Nancy Pearl
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2017-09-05
Category Fiction
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781501162916
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From “America’s librarian” and NPR books commentator Nancy Pearl comes an emotional, “Anne-Tyler-esque” (Library Journal) debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads. George and Lizzie are a couple, meeting as college students and marrying soon after graduation, but no one would ever describe them of being soulmates. George grew up in a warm and loving family—his father an orthodontist, his mother a stay-at-home mom—while Lizzie was the only child of two famous psychologists, who viewed her more as an in-house experiment than a child to love. After a decade of marriage, nothing has changed—George is happy; Lizzie remains…unfulfilled. But when George discovers that Lizzie has been searching for the whereabouts of an old boyfriend, Lizzie is forced to decide what love means to her, what George means to her, and whether her life with George is the one she wants. With pitch-perfect prose and compassion and humor to spare, George and Lizzie is “a richly absorbing portrait of a perfectly imperfect marriage,” (Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions), and “a story of forgiveness, especially for one’s self” (The Washington Post).

Title The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Author Edward Gibbon
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 1857
Category Byzantine Empire
Total Pages 677
ISBN NYPL:33433081571113
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Forgotten Work by Jason Guriel

Title Forgotten Work
Author Jason Guriel
Publisher Biblioasis
Release Date 2020-09-29
Category Fiction
Total Pages 186
ISBN 9781771963831
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In the year 2063, on the edge of the Crater formerly known as Montréal, a middle-aged man and his ex’s daughter search for a cult hero: the leader of a short-lived band named after a forgotten work of poetry and known to fans through a forgotten work of music criticism. In this exuberantly plotted verse novel, Guriel follows an obsessive cult-following through the twenty-first century. Some things change (there’s metamorphic smart print for music mags; the Web is called the “Zuck”). Some things don’t (poetry readings are still, mostly, terrible). But the characters, including a robot butler who stands with Ishiguro’s Stevens as one of the great literary domestics, are unforgettable. Splicing William Gibson with Roberto Bolaño, Pale Fire with Thomas Pynchon, Forgotten Work is a time-tripping work of speculative fiction. It’s a love story about fandom, an ode to music snobs, a satire on the human need to value the possible over the actual—and a verse novel of Nabokovian virtuosity.

The Heart Of Aleppo by Ammar Habib

Title The Heart of Aleppo
Author Ammar Habib
Publisher Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date 2018-07-23
Category
Total Pages 250
ISBN 1724216384
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

After standing for over 7,000 years, Aleppo's ruin came overnight. Separated from his family during the night the rebels attacked the city, thirteen-year-old Zaid Kadir is lost in the middle of a war zone. Alongside his friends, he is forced to survive the dangers of a civil war he does not even fully understand. Zaid witnesses the destruction of the brutal Syrian Civil War as it grows more deadly by the day and rips his city apart. However, as he braves this destruction, as he desperately tries to survive this catastrophe, he discovers something. Zaid realizes that it is in the darkest hours when humanity's spirit of hope burns brightest.

Title The Interpretation of Cultures
Author Clifford Geertz
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2017-08-15
Category Social Science
Total Pages 576
ISBN 9780465093564
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

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