Books as weapons

CIA used ‘Doctor Zhivago’ against the USSR

Dr. ZhivagoA scene from the 1965 film Doctor Zhivago, based on Boris Pasternak’s epic novel.

Declassified documents show that the CIA used Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak’s epic novel, as a tool to try to provoke dissent in the Soviet Union, Annalisa Quinn tells at NPR.

The book was banned in the USSR. The CIA recognized the novel’s “great propaganda value,” according to a 1958 memo, and had the novel printed and disseminated. … The memo notes that the book is valuable “not only for its intrinsic message and thought-provoking nature, but also for the circumstances of its publication: we have the opportunity to make Soviet citizens wonder what is wrong with their government, when a fine literary work by the man acknowledged to be the greatest living Russian writer is not even available in his own country in his own language for his own people to read.”

Books as weapons

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Top 20 Latin American Books To Read

Great literature can transport the reader to far off places where magic and myth come to life, where heroines fight for true love, where basic values are challenged and threatened.

Whatever you fancy as a good read there are certain books that one should have on their shelf or in their e-readers, Latin Times says, and has put together a list of 20 Latin American themed books “you must read before you die.” 

100 Years of Solitude1. One Hundred Years of Solitude

No surprises here. No other work other than Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s stunning achievement has been so magical. Using “realismo mágico”, or magical impossibilities, it tells the story of the fictional town of Macondo. The story is told through the eyes of the Buendía family. The town once an isolated solitary civilization faces death and civil war when they decided to communicate with the outside world.  

 Like Water For Chocolate20. Like Water For Chocolate

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is set during the end of the 12th- century. Tita De La Garza is the youngest daughter of a family living in Mexico. Each of the book’s 12 chapters takes place during one month of Tita’s life. At the beginning of each chapter the author features a recipe that is usually prepared and consumed by the characters in each chapter. The reader is taken on a journey and watches as Tita searches for love and tries to achieve her own independence.  

Latin American books

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10 Amazing Places to Visit Before They Vanish

The world is filled with jaw-dropping sights, Megan Gibson says in Time, but rapid climate change is threatening some of the most spectacular natural wonders. Here are just a few of the world’s most majestic places that could disappear in as little as a few decades.

Glacier National ParkDeAgostini—Getty Images

Glacier National Park, Montana

Once home to more than 150 glaciers, Montana’s majestic national park now has fewer than 25. Rapid climate change could see that number shrink to zero by 2030, which would not only leave the park without a glacier, but also severely disrupt its ecosystem.

AlaskaPaul Zizka—Getty Images

Alaska

The Alaskan tundra is one of the most distinctive features of America’s northernmost state. Yet climate change has led to the thawing of the region’s permafrost, which not only damages infrastructure but also dramatically alters the current ecosystem.

Disappearing places

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Daily Routines

In the right-hands, it can be a finely calibrated mechanism for taking advantage of limited resources… a solid routine foster a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies…” Mason Currey, author of the inspiring book Daily Rituals

BeethovenCreated by RJ Andrews, infowetrust.com

Creative Routines

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Quote of the Day

“But although I detest/Learning poems and the rest/Of the things one must know to have ‘culture,’/While each of my teachers/Makes speeches like preachers/And preys on my faults like a vulture,/I will leave movie thrillers/And watch caterpillars/Get born and pupated and larva’ed,/And I’ll work like a slave/And always behave/And maybe I’ll get into Harvard…” Tom Lehrer, 15, Harvard application in poetic form

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Alma Alexander

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