I swear, if I read one more fear-mongering conspiracy theory about Ebola, I am going to scream. Believe me, I get it, Ebola is scary. Most Americans don’t know much about it. But by painting this outbreak as some master plan or global plot, you are doing a serious disservice to the people of West Africa and actually diverting focus and energy from the real reasons for the spread of Ebola: endemic poverty and the lack of an accessible, effective and well-funded health infrastructure in most parts of West Africa. And there’s also a larger context that needs to be appreciated: decades of violent conflict that have largely destroyed these countries’ economies and infrastructures, and international lending programs and development priorities that have diverted funding away from social spending on health and education. So yes, in a way the Ebola outbreak IS man-made. The policies, development priorities, and politics of West African nations and the larger global community have created this situation. And, with informed effort, they can get us out of it as well. So GET IT TOGETHER AMERICA. Educate yourself and then spend some of your energy encouraging real long-term solutions rather than fomenting irrational, unfounded fear on social media.
Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
In no particular order, here are ten fiction books that have stayed with me over the years or influenced my life in some way. It wasn’t until I finished the list that I noticed that they are all by female authors. Girl power!
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine
Sister, Outsider - Audre Lorde
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
A Very Long Letter - Mariama Ba
Jazz - Toni Morrison
Chasing Redbird - Sharon Creech
Flight Behavior - Barbara Kingsolver