MY GRANDMOTHER SENDS HER REGARDS AND APOLOGISES
Fredrik Backman, translated by Henning Koch
Sceptre, June 2015, RRP $29.99
It can be hard to be different in a world where conformity is the nature of the game. Society has rules, and those rules must be followed. A little bit different might be cute, but a lot different can be dangerous, and “dangerous” people often find themselves kicked and punched and ridiculed as others try to force them into a hole that has no space for them.
That’s why those of us who are different need a granny like Elsa’s granny. Continue reading
Blum, William (Common Courage Press, updated edition October 2008, ISBN 978-1567512526)
In 2009, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” 
Many thought the prize undeserved – on the grounds that Obama appeared too much the enemy of peace. Had he won it, they asked, for prosecuting a war in Afghanistan? Or instead for his proposal to expand the United States military? Or for his plan to send “at least” two additional American combat brigades to Afghanistan? Continue reading