Reading Recommendations: Heart of Dryness, How The Last Bushman Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought, James G. Workman
"We don't govern water. Water governs us", writes James G. Workman. In Heart of Dryness, he chronicles the memorable saga of the Kalahari Bushmen, remnants of one of the world's most successful civilizations, today at the exact epicenter of Africa's drouth, and their widely publicized recent battle with the government of Botswana. In the process, he explores the larger story of what many feel has become the primary resource battleground of the twenty first century: the supply of water.
The Bushman's story could well prefigure our own. In the United States, even the most upbeat optimists concede we now face an unprecedented water crisis. Reservoirs behind large dams on the Colorado River, which serve 30 million in many states will be dry in thirteen years. In the Southeast, drought recently cut Tennessee Valley Authority hydropower in half, exposed Lake Okeechobee's floor, dried up thousands of acres of the regions crops, and left Atlanta with sixty days of water. Cities East and West are drying up. As reservoirs and aquifers fail, officials ration water, neighbors snitch on one another, corporations move in, and states fight states to control shared rivers.
Each year, around the world, inadequate water kills several million humans, more than AIDS or malaria, or all wars combined. Global leaders pray for rain. Bushmen tap more pragmatic solutions. James Workman illuminates the present and coming tensions we all face over water and reveals how, from the remoteness of the Kalahari, an ancient and resilient people is showing the world a viable path through the encroaching Dry Age.
And, Cloris, My Autobiography, Cloris Leachman with George Englund
And who, really, is Cloris Leachman? She's one of the most acclaimed, and unpredictable actresses of our time. Transforming herself with every role, Cloris Leachman has been dazzling audiences for decades with her unusual gift for both comedy and drama. She's appeared in 11 Broadway plays, 57 films, and 137 television shows and has earned 16 awards and 23 nominations. Now, for the first time, the incomparable Cloris Leachman reflects on her amazing life and illustrious career.
From her hometown in Des Moines, Iowa (where she first saw Katharine Hepburn perform on stage, never imagining they would one day do Shakespeare together), to the bright lights of Broadway (where she had to work up the nerve to sing for Rodgers and Hammerstein to get the lead in South Pacific) to the television studios of L.A. (where she hopped on producer James Brooks's lap to land the role of Phyllis). Cloris's journey has been filled with laughter and tears, marriage and motherhood, tragedy and triumph.
With surprising candor, she talks about her experiences at the Actor's Studio, her Pecks bad boy behavior on the set of the Mary Tylor Moore Show, her sitcoms as well as wonderfully revealing anecdotes about her co-stars and friends: Marlon Brando, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and the Kennedy Family.
This is the real Cloris Leachman as you've neve seen her before.
And George Englund is a producer, director, and writer.
And, As You Were, to War and Back with the Black Hawk Battalion of the Virginia National Guard, Christian Davenport
The sign up sheet for door gunners was posted in the hall way, much as if the 2-224th battalion were looking for volunteers for their softball team. The first time Miranda Summers saw it, the sheet was empty, and she passed it without adding her name. Not that she was not interested, in fact, she found herself intrigued by the prospect of riding shotgun in a Black Hawk helicopter. She just didn't think that as a woman she was allowed to be a door gunner. Female soldiers were strictly forbidden from combat roles in the armed forces, and Miranda figured all the slots would be filled by the young gung ho guys in the unit, eager to get up in the air.
But her hesitation also grew from the knowledge that by signing it she'd be guaranteed to see war unfiltered instead of from a safe distance her rear-echelon supply clerk job provided. No longer would she be the college sorority girl who sneaked off campus one weekend a month to drill with her National Guard unit. She'd be a full fledged member of the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq, who might be fired upon and ordered to fire back. She wasn't sure if she was ready for that.
In truth, none of her fellow soldiers could be fully prepared for what they were about to encounter in Iraq. In civilian life, they were plumbers, cops, college students, computer technicians, ordinary Americans. As the men and women of the Virginia Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, they were helicopter pilots, gunners, mechanics, and medics. Like tens of thousands of other Guardsmen, these citizen soldiers faced enormous challenges when their "weekend warrior" commitments were transformed into tours of duty in Iraq.
In As You Were, Washington Post Christian Davenport follows members of the 2-224th from their sudden call up and deployment, through a year of arduous and at times harrowing service in some of Iraq's hottest war zones, to their return home, where they face new battles in the struggle to resume their lives after combat.
See you at Rylander!