Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3 amazing reads all in a row.


1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood ( 1998): You enter the sterile and odd world of The Handmaid's Tale and you get an eery feeling like you should look over your shoulder.  While this seems so far removed from our world now, it feels like it would only take about 2 steps backwards to be in Atwood's world. For those that haven't read The Handmaid's Tale it relays the events of a woman, Offred, of child-bearing years who's been pulled from her own life and inserted into another family in order to bear an older man's child(ren).  The change from one life to the next happens slowly but also in a blink of an eye.  Imagine in your life time that you could live one moment with your husband and beautiful child; only to be repurposed in a retraining camp where you learn to surrender your will to this next family.  There are so many details of this new life mixed with her memories of before. If you like dystopian or politics; this is a fantastic read. I stayed up way too late each night to read just a little more. Other days I slammed the book down in disgust. I am searching for the original movie with Natasha Richardson (it's not on Netflix or Amazon Prime) before I start streaming the new Hulu series. Here is a great NYT article by Atwood herself discussing her novel.


2. A man called Ove by Fredrik Backman (2014): I am watching this one Amazon Prime.  The book was an amazingly funny read. I laughed out loud many times and when I neared the end of this sweet tale I cried. I love a book that brings about that much emotion. Ove is a curmudgeon at best; an absolute old grump and yet we love him for it because he emerges a changed man. Even when he's at his worst he's an interesting character. Ove is ready to end his life, ready to join his beautiful Sonja in the afterworld. He even thinks about what he should wear so she'll be happy when she sees him coming through the pearly gates.  The unexpected happens though when a new family moves in next door and the wife pulls Ove into her own life. All the hype about this book is true.


3. This side of home by Renee Watson (2015): This is a delightful tale about two twins, Nikki and Maya, living in Portland with intellectual parents surrounding them with love. What is ever-changing though is their neighborhood which is being gentrified rapidly and their high school as well. The neighborhood, high school, friends and family all provide a wonderful backdrop to the life experience of Nikki and Maya as they learn to accept each other as more than just a reflection of each other. My one and only complaint is about the cover; neither girl has the loose hair of the girl pictured on the front. She's brown-a good start-#weneeddiversebooks BUt it would be a reflection of the character if her hair was braided.  Maya repeatedly talks about her hair in braids down her back; Nikki with pressed hair and sometimes loose and free. Neither girl is represented by the photo on the cover except by skin color. #rant

Now I'm reading Bill Browder's Red Notice for book club. I'm not a fan of nonfiction but his tale of intrigue has me reading.  I also just finished this short article about White Fragility that's worth reading. Someone sent it to me to remind me of a conversation we had about Ta'Nehisi Coates' book.

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