The Story Siren. It is where we share the books that we have managed to acquire this week. This week I was lucky enough to receive the following books:
Stasiland by Anna Funder
In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited, and East Germany ceased to exist. In a country where the headquarters of the secret police can become a museum literally overnight and one in 50 East Germans were informing on their fellow citizens, there are thousands of captivating stories. Anna Funder tells extraordinary tales from the underbelly of the former East Germany. She meets Miriam, who as a 16-year-old might have started World War III; she visits the man who painted the line which became the Berlin Wall; and she gets drunk with the legendary "Mik Jegger" of the east, once declared by the authorities to his face to "no longer to exist." Each enthralling story depicts what it's like to live in Berlin as the city knits itself back together—or fails to. This is a history full of emotion, attitude, and complexity.
Fante: A Memoir by Dan Fante
As father and son John and Dan Fante shared a relationship characterized by competition, resentment, rage and silence. As men, both were driven to succeed by damaged by uncontrollable drinking. As writers, both were gifted with inextinguishable passion. In Fante, Dan Fante traces his family’s history from Los Angeles, where John struggles to gain literary recognition and turns instead to the steady paycheck of Hollywood screenwriting, to New York, where Dan finds an escape from his troubled childhood in a life of words and vices.
John was a writer whose literary contributions were not recognized until the end of his life. Dan was an alcoholic saved by writing, who at the age of 45 picked up his father’s old typewriter in order to ease the madness in his mind. Fante is the story of the evolution of a relationship between father and son who eventually find their way back to loving each other. In straightforward unapologetic prose, Dan Fante lays bare his family’s story from his point of view, with the rage and passion of a writer, which he feels was his true inheritance and his father’s greatest gift.
Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World without God by Greg Graffin & Steve Olson
A provocative look at the collision between religion and science-by the founding member of the cult punk band Bad Religion who is also a professor.
“I’ve always had a problem with authority.” —Greg Graffin
The world knows Greg Graffin as the lead singer of the cult punk band Bad Religion which he founded in the 80s— what they may not know is he also also a Ph.D. and a Professor of Life Sciences at UCLA who is immersed in the debate on religion. In Anarchy Evolution, Graffin puts forth his bold ideas about “naturalism” and the connection between science religion and art. In this provocative and timely book, Graffin tackles head on the “intellectual dishonestly” of creationism; he also shares compelling stories about his childhood and how science saved him when he ran into trouble as a teenager. Anarchy Evolution will appeal to the fans of Bad Religion (which as sold over 2.8 million albums) as well as readers of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. The book coincides with a major national Bad Religion reunion tour that will start in October of 2010