What Happens When People Care

What Happens When People Care

I Wish My Teacher Knew. How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids, by Kyle Schwartz

One day, the third-grade teacher at Dull Elementary in DenverKyle Schwartz, asked her students to “fill in the blank” in a very simple sentence:

“I wish my teacher knew _____.”

She asked all for he children to write down one thing they wanted to tell her, but wouldn’t normally in the classroom situation. The first note that Schwartz shared on Twitter was from a student who said they didn’t have pencils at home to do their homework.

Some of the answers were humorous, others…..

life journaling basics-2

Hello everyone! I am coming to you today with a little announcement: The Serial Reader is moving to its own place!

www.theserialreaderblog.com

I have been working on a new website / new domain, and I am now ready to invite you over! Sign up for daily updates from The Serial Reader!

Hope to see you there!


www.theserialreaderblog.com

How To Fake Your Own Death

How To Fake Your Own Death

Playing Dead. A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud, by Elizabeth Greenwood

Strangled by debts? Cops are after you? or is it your ex-wife stalking you and demanding for more money? Either be one or the other, here’s your way out: faking your deathcover82152-medium.png could be the solution to your problems.

When I first got a copy* of Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood, I thought of a joke. I’ve heard of people faking dead like a new form of escapology, but I didn’t think it could be “a thing” even now in the 21st century.

Moved by innocent curiosity I asked my best friend in the world wide web -aka Google– about “fake your own death“, and what I found was hilarious.  15,800,000 results after, I had to admit that yes, faking death is still on.

Believe it or not, Wikihow also made a page of “precious” advices called “How to fake your own death” -11 steps (with pictures!) Because, according to the famous online community- “sometimes in life you may need to fake your own death to escape“.

Only a week ago an in-depth investigation by The National ENQUIRER revealed that Patrick McDermott -Olivia Newton-John’s ex-lover who disappeared during a 2005 fishing trip off the California coast- is believed to have faked his death to avoid money woes. McDermott was found living the high life working on luxury yachts south of the border under the protection of some rich Mexican family!

But in the 21st century -when every move is monitored by credit cards, smartphones and  socials network of any kind -how could be possible to disappear? If proving wrong is impossible -because dead are not coming back, right?- than what lesson could we learn from those who had been caught?

What happens to the people you left behind?  What would be lost? And who are the people who’re supposed to “kill” you?

Playing Dead is an empathetic investigation into a universal human fantasy and the men and women desperate enough to give up their lives—and their families—to start again.

*An ARC was kindly sent to me by via NetGalley by Simon & Schuster.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

 

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Millennials: Are You One of Us?

 

9d861ac5027505d5d61fe9eb36448da7One of the best part of becoming a self-proclaimed “book blogger” is when authors and PR people from publishing companies reach you out asking if -by any chance- you’d like to read this or that book and help them spreading the word.

Duh!! I’m a bookworm. Sure I would like to read your new/soon-to-be-published book!!

A week ago, Jack Cahn -a first-time author and college student- offered me to read an advanced copy of When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America,  written with his twin brother David.

I knew JaWhen Millennials Ruleck and David Cahn -the Twin Titans of Stuyvesant High School– from the media attention they received in 2013 because of their involvement in school activism, and I am an avid reader of their Huffington Post posts too (read here David’s entries and here Jack’s entries).

Jack and David’s book -which I will review soon- is written by and for a specific demographic cohort called Millennials.

According to all the legitimate sources I have consulted, I am -my birthright- one of them. Yes people, I am a Millennial.

Despite there are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to around 2000.* The credit of naming the Millennials goes to authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, which -in their latest book titled Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation– defined the Millennials as a “civic-minded generation with a strong sense of community both local and global“.

Pretty cool, huh? Sure is, on paper. Here comes the reality check.

o-THE-REAL-ME-GENERATION-facebookAfter further research I found out that Millennials don’t exactly enjoy widespread appreciation, nor consideration among society; lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents, tech junkies and guinea pigs for everything marketing related.

We might be more tech savvy, more entrepreneurial, more tolerant and even more optimistic about the future, but we also are the generation with the highest joblessness and debt out of school.

Statistics show that we are the best educated generation of history but -apparently- our political views don’t make any sense, our ideas are unrealistic and we will never reach higher political positions.

3-Steps-to-Reaching-Millennials-on-Facebook.pngGo figure that!

We are good buyers though. No kidding. In fact, there are a lot of books about how to make us buy even more things:

  • Marketing to Millennials: Reach the largest and most influential Generation of Consumer Ever, by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton (Book) – (eBook)
  • Your Customer is the star: How to make Millennials, Boomers and Everyone Else Love your Business, by Micah Solomon (Book) – (eBook)
  • Managing the Millennials: Discover the core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce, by Chip Espinoza and Mick Ukleja (Book) – (eBook)

Just to name a few. That’s quite sad, isn’t it?

My question to you, brave reader, is: What’s really hiding under the sand? Who’s keeping Millennials out of the big game? Why society doesn’t give Millennials credit? Are Millennials really narcissistic personalities characterized by a damaged sense of self?

When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America by Jack and David Cahn is an extraordinary reading that I recommend (pub.date August 2nd, 2016). If words and ideas can change the world, and if “it depends on us, on the choices we make, particularly when big changes are happening and everything seems up for grabs“** than we -Millennials- have a lot of work to do.


 *Source:Wikipedia

** President Obama to the class of 2016 at Rutger University 250th Anniversary Commencement

***This post reflects my personal opinion. I am not sponsored by none of the people mentioned above. The reason why I am  highly, strongly, shamelessy suggesting to buy Jack and David’s book is mostly because I believe in the message that carries. I will never get tired to recommend any writer who is not afraid to share good ideas and knows how to use a perfect consecutio temporum!

****If you don’t know what the consecutio temporum is…get out of here!! Kidding, just google it!

The Pornography Industry

The Pornography Industry

 

The Pornography Industry. What Everyone Needs to Know, by Shira Tarrant

The business of pornography is a major and ubiquitous multi-billion dollacover79667-medium.pngr enterprise.  Porn allegedly accounts for one-third of all internet traffic, every second there is an average 28,258 internet users watching pornography. The business is so popular because the product is made fast and it’s easily accessible.

Shira Tarrant, analyzing a wide range of statistics, goes through political controversies around the industry, the feminist war against it, the views of the religious right, legal cases and the impact that porn has on society.

While I’m not interested into knowing the industry basics I am about those important issues such as the sociological impact of pornography: does porn cause violence against women? Can people become addicted to it? How society responds to that?

“If we are going to advocate successfully for a safe and ethical world, if we care about gender justice, and if we are devoted to more fully understanding the politics of pleasure and danger, then moving past the porn wars is a welcome requirement for the future.” 

This is a challenging topic and this book will enable readers to explore these provocative issues and make their own opinion about the past, present and future of this major enterprise.


Get your copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)

 

Why a First Time Non Violent Offender Ends Up in Marion

Why a First Time Non Violent Offender Ends Up in Marion

Letters from Marion, by Joel Blaeser

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Based on Mr. Blaeser’s personal experience, Letters from Marion is a rough yet touching  account of the author’s day to day life inside federal prisons;  Blaeser was charged and sentenced at 23 for Federal LSD violations as a first time non violent offender to 151 months of incarceration. USP Marion was the last and longest stop of the six federal prisons he did time.

This book was written after the Federal Crack Law riots happened on October 18th-19th 1995 in which 13 federal prisons almost simultaneously rioted. Blaeser himself was part of the Fedreal Prison riot in Talladega (Alabama).


 

In 1995 the U.S. Sentencing Commission issues its first research report to Congress on crack cocaine, finding that because over 80% of crack offenders are black, and because the 100-to-1 ratio results in unduly high sentences, sentences are harsher for minorities and create a public perception that the criminal justice system is unfair and inconsistent. The USSC tries to amend the guidelines to equalize the amount of crack and powder cocaine that trigger particular guideline sentences. Congress rejects the amendment.


 

When USP Marion opened in 1962 as the highest-level penitentiary ever built within the U.S. Federal Prison System (level 5.5) the prison administrators aimed to maintain a safe and orderly environment and rehabilitate the inmates, reason why implemented a behavior modification program named Control and Rehabilitation Effort (CARE)* in 1968.

Inmates assigned to the control-unit would spend 23 to 24 hours a day in one-man cells which were specifically designed to severely limit or eliminate the inmate’s contact with other people inside the prison and the outside world.

After the two officers murders in H-unit, Marion became designated a federal super-maximum lockdown penitentiary (level 6) the first ever in the United States, and the renovations increased the inmate population from 383 to 900.

Either if you are a student or you work in the field of criminal justice, this is a good book you might want to read;  Blaeser gives a precise account of his life back in prison and makes intelligent considerations about the justice system in the US. From drug legalization to prison administration, this book will make you think.

 


Get your copy now! On Amazon.com

 

 

Incarceration Nations.

Incarceration Nations.

A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World, by Baz Dreisinger

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What does losing your freedom means in Africa, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, Singapore and Norway?

When an English professor, criminal educator and criminal justice activist embarks on a 2 year pilgrimage to prisons around the world what you have is an astounding collection of stories and memories, that will make you ponder if our justice system is really working.

Either if you are a student or you work in the justice field this is a book worth reading.

 

“Here there is a world apart, unlike everything else, with laws of its own, its own dress, its own manners and customs, and here is the house of the living dead – life as nowhere else and a people apart.”

– F.M. Dostoevskij – The House of the Dead


 Get your copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)