Friday, November 30, 2012
Friday Books: Three Great Books!
The Round House by Louise Erdrich recently won the National Book Award... richly deserved! I LOVED this book. The story takes place on a reservation in North Dakota. A woman is brutally attacked. The story follows her family as they all reel from the trauma and shock and try to deal with the ordeal of the investigation. The story is told through the eyes of a 13 year-old boy.
I fell in love with all the characters (all but one). They were funny, quirky, charming, intelligent, in short - they embodied all the gifts and foibles of human beings, so beautifully described.
This one gets five stars, added to my favorites list, and is now my new number one Favorite of the year, bumping "State of Wonder" into second place. I highly recommend it.
My online book group recently read and discussed Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr. The story takes place in a small town in Wisconsin in 1974. The town contains an all white population except for the main character, a 9-year-old girl who is half white/half Japanese. She lives with her grandparents. Because she is "different," she experiences bullying and discrimiation. When an African-American couple moves into town, the entire population is very upset, openly and blatantly spewing racist and bigotted comments, bullying them even worse than they had the little girl. The main character's grandfather is the worst of all.
My first thought was that the blatant racism portrayed here was too overly exaggerated. But after discussion with the book group, I am thinking that my view through rose-colored glasses, from my white privilege status, made me blind to some of the racist behaviors that people of color experience. I try not to be oblivious to what is going on, but maybe I have been. We had some great discussion about the book, and I've once again had to face my own failings and admit that perhaps I have not been as sensitive to racism happening around me as I think I am.
Good food for thought. I have increased my rating for this book from 2 to 3 stars due to our thoughtful discussion. Really enjoying my book group which I found at goodreads (dot) com!
It has been a fabulous week of reading. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is truly excellent. Definitely five stars for this one. Wow! I might have to have a three-way tie for my choice: Best of 2012 (Fault in Our Stars, Round House, State of Wonder). This little book is jam packed with wisdom about life itself, about why people suffer, and about love and joy. An amazing book. I stayed up late reading this, because I could not put it down. It brought me to tears. Absolutely loved loved loved it!! The story is narrated by a 16 year-old girl. She has cancer, she is very intelligent and witty, she is clever beyond words. I fell in love with her and with the other characters in this wonderful book. Please read it.