Literary punishments: Eco-terrorist sentenced to read books


A federal judge has dished out what just might be the best punishment ever. An eco-terrorist has been told that on top of her time spent in prison, she must also read two books, reported the Canadian Press.

Rebecca Rubin pleaded guilty to conspiracy and arson charges this past October. U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken decided to lower her prison sentence based on the difficult circumstances Rubin previously lived under. But perhaps more generous of the judge was the sentence of mandatory reading.

The two books Rubin was ordered to read are David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, a book the judge said Rubin could learn non-violent means to protest against systems she perceives as unjust, and a book by environmental law professor Mary Christina Wood titled Nature's Trust.

Here at CBC Books we've compiled a list of some other book suggestions if judges are looking for more literary sentences.


The crime: Egging your neighbour's house.

Recently, Justin Bieber has been charged with a number of crimes, including allegedly egging his neighbour.

The book sentence: Etiquette: Manners for a New World by Emily Post. Justin Bieber could learn that egging your neighbour's house is just plain rude by reading the 18th edition of this classic book on manners.


The crime: Stabbing over literature.

Earlier this week, it was reported that a heated debate over the power of prose vs. poetry led to a fatal stabbing in Russia. The suspect was an admirer of poetry.

The book sentence: Dear Life by Alice Munro. Munro is the prose master, she won the Nobel Prize for literature, so this Russian poetry lover must give the prose some love by reading her.


The crime: Stealing blood from a church. 

Earlier this week, some thieves broke into a small church in Italy and stole some blood of the late Pope John Paul II, reported Reuters.

The book sentence: Blood: The Stuff of Life by Lawrence Hill. Since the thieves love blood so much surely they would be interested in the history of blood and all sorts of ruminations on the stuff from bloodlines to the science of its study.


The crime: Owing a primate sanctuary $83,000. 

The so-called mom of Darwin, the Ikea monkey has been ordered to pay a large amount in legal costs to the primate sanctuary she originally sued.

The book sentence: A Beautiful Truth by Colin McAdam. This story about a family who adopts a chimpanzee would be highly relatable to this monkey mom, and she just might find some answers to the questions she's looking for.


The crime: Fleeing the scene of the crime in a canoe.

Earlier this week, two men from Florida attempted to escape arrest after an alleged armed robbery by canoeing away, Gawker reported.

The book sentence: Caught by Lisa Moore. Moore's book describes a fugitive on the run and his inner struggles. The canoe fugitives could learn that an escape is more than running away, it's a life journey of its own.

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