Libraries and Bookstores of the Lehigh Valley, PA: Linderman Library at Lehigh University

Looking forward to this series…

charles french words reading and writing

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I mentioned a little over a week ago that I was beginning a new series on libraries and bookstores of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, and I am finally making the first entry in that series. My beginning piece will feature the beautiful Linderman Library of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

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Linderman Library is the humanities library, and it is my favorite place on campus. I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature at Lehigh University, and this extraordinary abode of books is a comforting and inspiring place to work. I have spent many hours doing research and writing in this safe haven for book people.

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Linderman Library has many places to work, including a long reading room, which feels like something out of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books, many nooks with desks, and one of the best features of the library–the rotunda. Several levels of books fill…

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Critical Thinking: The 5 Factors that Earn 5 Star Reviews!

This is a truly insightful work on writing..

Karen Dowdall

An excerpt from: Paul Goat Allen | March 12, 2018, Writer’s Digest. Paul Goat Allen has worked as a genre fiction book critic and written thousands of reviews for companies like BarnesandNoble.com, Publishers Weekly, the Chicago Tribune and Kirkus Reviews.

Novelists live and die by reviews yet uncovering what garners a gushing ovation or blistering takedown is often a mystery. A professional critic lays out what it takes to earn five-star book reviews. For two decades I’d been working as a freelance genre fiction book critic for outlets such as BarnesandNoble.com, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and the Chicago Tribune. After sharing my credentials with the group, some of the writers began telling stories about mediocre or bad reviews they’d received at different points in their careers from one or more of the companies I’d listed.

As a reviewer, not much has changed since then. I enjoy all genres and have…

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This Is Democracy?

This blog certainly spells out what is happening in America.

Rcooley123's Blog

Over the past few years, there have been some disturbing trends in the functioning of our government. The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case opened up campaign financing to unlimited large sums of “dark money” via anonymous contributors to political action committees that are supposedly not aligned with any individual candidate’s campaign. Corporations are deemed to have the rights of people and money deemed speech protected by the First Amendment. Rather than “one person, one vote” politics have become more a case of “one dollar, one vote”, as corporations and the wealthy are now much more able to make their voices heard during the campaign season. All previous attempts at reigning in campaign spending have been rendered meaningless and now often the amount of money a person can spend or raise becomes more significant than the ideas and policy positions individual candidates seek to bring forth.

More and…

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In Search of History

29edf6e7cf452805e848d7975308c1f9The key lesson of the 20th century is that democracy is far more fragile than we might think.

Prior to WWII, fascist ideas were increasingly accepted. The energetic growth of Nazi organizations spread across America in the 1930’s. This appeal of fascists ideas were held by such prominent citizens as Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, who went so far as to praise Hitler.

At the time, Jews served the same role as immigrants and minorities do today.  It was believed that Jews posed threats that were undermining America’s greatness. In 1942 a Gallup poll showed that a growing number of Americans thought Hitler was doing the “right thing” to Jews. This is similar to what many Americans think about what Trump is doing to immigrants and foreign minorities today: “the right thing”.  While secure borders are critical to our national security, we need to keep in mind those who are seeking a safe haven by border crossing. These people need humane treatment not imprisonment. There are times when doing what seems “the right thing” is actually a slippery slope toward the undermining of  our democracy. Is our ‘Shining Hill’ becoming a tarnished one?

In Search of History 4.0

29edf6e7cf452805e848d7975308c1f9Rise of the Super Rich are quite possibly today’s Gilded Age Robber Barons.

Much like Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller and JP Morgan, today’s tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, & Google have amassed incredible wealth and we look upon them, for the most part, favorably. Yet, their growing dominance is giving rise to a trend we should be wary of. For instance, Facebook has a mountain of data on our personal lives, and while it doesn’t produce any news, news organizations are very dependent on social platforms like it and Twitter. Amazon has acquired Whole Foods and dominates the book market. Apple doesn’t produce music, but the the music industry is highly depend on Apple.

Most of us are happily dependent on these platforms as well, but the question is: Should we be? An old proverb states: The way the arrow is bent, is how it flies.

In Search of History 3.0

29edf6e7cf452805e848d7975308c1f9   American mass protests, widespread through the US, have become a distinct characteristic of the 20th and 21st century by Americans involved in civil engagement. Each of the top ten attended mass protests have occurred since 1963 and four of the top five have occurred since Donald Trump took office.

In case you haven’t read the clause recently, here it is:  The right to assembly is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the US Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of people to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

When the government sends armed police to break-up and or arrest peaceful demonstrations by Americans, something is going terribly wrong…

In Search of History 2.0

29edf6e7cf452805e848d7975308c1f9  150 years ago, this is how we were treating immigrants.. History repeating itself….

Starving and apparently, disease ridden, these immigrants were seeking refuge from the their home country. Many Americans rebelled against this. They were afraid they would take American Jobs and strain the Welfare system. They were thought to bring crime with them and they were thought to be rapists. But worst of all, they were the despised Irish….