I hope everyone is doing well and is finding some great books to read along the way as we usher in warm weather and what was supposed to be the end of this stupid pandemic. I've had a few hits and misses.
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
At first I thought I was going to really love this novel about a black Starbucks manager turned start-up company salesman. From the brief descriptions I had read, I was envisioning something similar to The Pursuit of Happyness, which is just a brilliant book (AND movie!). It started out promising but somewhere along the way took a nosedive.
That’s all I’ll say about that on a “public” forum. I would not recommend this book.
Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad
I love a good memoir, especially one written by someone I’ve never heard of who has gone through some stuff and wants to tell me all about it. I wouldn’t normally be like, “Oh, this tells of someone’s cancer journey – sounds great!” – but my goodness, this was an incredible story of a long cancer battle followed by an epic road trip and interwoven with so much good and real examples of relationship strain and strength. Best of all, it’s a memoir and not a novel, so it doesn’t end all nice and tidy and perfect, which hurts (in a good way).
Read this one!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This languished on my TBR list forever. I knew I had to read it, but I knew it was going to be heavy. Ultimately, I’m glad I read it, as much of it was beautiful/symbolic/important, but as with much WW2 historical fiction, it was pretty depressing. I’d recommend this if you’re into the WW2 stories or you’ve just got a thick skin for all of that SAD, but otherwise I’d say it’s not necessarily the must read that it was hyped to be.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Someday I’d like to go back and read this all again, over the course of just a day or two. I read it over a couple of weeks, so I had a little trouble keeping some of the stories straight of the various characters trying to make a home in Milwaukee. The last section where Desmond talks about how he lived among these folks for months at a time to really get at the stories and the experience is not to be skipped! This was a fascinating and sobering look at the realities of all sorts of folks who are getting hit while they’re down and includes some suggestions for solutions in the last section. Clearly the author is committed to illustrating the issues with housing but also in giving us a very real glimpse into the lives affected by bad choices, poverty, greedy landlords, racism, and drug addiction.
When I worked at what is now Phoenix Community Development Services, I saw firsthand that housing is really a critical piece of overall wellness and success. Without stable housing, nothing else can really be stable. Evicted really drives that home (Ooof) and I recommend you read it and then maybe go throw some money at the problem here locally, or learn more about how to help.
I also have one more comment (question!). I caught a big chunk of Forrest Gump on TV recently, and I can't stop thinking about one scene. Now that I'm solidly into adulthood, I'm starting to ask "Why?" way more about....everything. So my question to you is - WHY did Jenny leave Forrest right after they had "relations"? Did she feel like she took advantage of him? Or was it something else? Theories, anyone?
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.