Saturday, May 17, 2014

Books, Books, Books

I struggled this last month for reading material and ended up re-reading three Barbara Kingsolver books - Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven (they kind of go together) and Animal Dreams.  I wasn't thinking ahead to what my book club had on tap for this month and guess what - it was a Barbara Kingsolver -

 Flight Behavior - I'm not sure we've spent two hours in book discussion before this book.  Most of us found the first several chapters a rough row to hoe, but then we were completely sucked in.  I think that's because the protagonist seems so shallow and unlikeable in the beginning.  Give her a break and enjoy Kingsolver let her character grow and bloom.  The theme is timely - climate change and global warming.

Americanah, Chimananda Nogzi Adichie - I loved her first book, Half of a Yellow Sun (soon to be a movie) and was looking forward to this one.  It's much different, a post-revolution tale of a Nigerian expat.  It's hard to put myself in the shoes of a college-educated Nigerian woman, hoping for a better tomorrow and yet trying to figure out how to live in the moment.  Nigeria is always in the news, now more so than ever.

The Circle by Dave Eggers - I was entertained and at the same time a little disappointed.  It's a little like "what if" Facebook and Google were one company.  It think it falls in the 3.5 stars range and nothing wrong with that.

I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza - I heard Danza interviewed on NPR by Terry Gross and so when I had to opportunity to check this out from the library, snatched it up.  I wasn't sure at first, thinking his teaching gig was a publicity and self-promotional tool.  I clearly knew nothing about this man.  This was a deeply thoughtful, introspective and troubling look at education today.  I think it should be required reading by everybody.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker - I saw this at Costco and didn't buy it but put it on hold at the library as an ebook.  I'm not sure I would have read it were it not that I didn't have anything else to read instead.  I'm ordinarily not a fan of fantasy fiction but I got caught up anyway.  It's a combination of historical fiction, cultural myth and romance, set primarily in 1890 Manhattan.  If you liked Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, I think you might like this.

1 comment:

benita said...

I wish I were more experimental with my reading materials - especially fiction. I like biographies and journals, but I am so leary with my fiction reading. There is so much I don't like in a book (sex, will-they-won't-they relationships, violence, stupid characters (as in I'd like to reach into the book and smack them upside the head), modern settings, etc.), that I am afraid to try anything outside a few favorite (and long dead) authors. My reading time is so limited that I tend to stick to old well-read ones.