Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Taste of Honey: Stories

By Jabari Asim

A collection of related stories, with the same characters, but told from various view points. The stories are set in the black area of a fictional town somewhere in the Midwest (I think) and interweave historical events with everyday life of the characters. The writing is excellent, and it really takes you in.

Link to book

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Orphan Train

By Christina Baker Kline

The stories of two young foster kids, separated by almost a quarter of a century are intertwined. It was interesting to learn about the experiences of each, compare past with present. [278 pp.]

Link to book

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Edible Stories

By Mark Kurlansky

I love the way he created 16 stand-alone stories that combine into a one complete, bigger story. True synergy. Each of the stories centers around one food item and in the end there's a little surprise.
His writing flows so naturally and beautifully. I remember enjoying the first book I've read of his, Cod, which is a non-fiction about a subject that does not naturally interests me, as I don't eat fish. Makes me want to read more of his books. [265 pp.]

Link to book

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Smith of Wootton Major + Farmer Giles of Ham

By J.R.R. Tolkien

Two short fantastical tales, the one explores the difference between accepting fantasy and denying it, the other is witty and critical of all sorts of things, like class and snobbery. [156 pp.]

Link to book.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Other One

By Hasanthika Sirisena

The stories, set in Sri Lanka and/or the US, are interesting and beautifully written. But mostly they do what I most like books to do: they show me an unfamiliar world, open my eyes to new sights and my mind to new thoughts. Of course, I might be a little biased. The book was written by one of my writing teacher. [160 pp.]

Link to book.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

When All The World Was Young

By Ferrol Sams

The third and last book in the trilogy that tells the story of Porter Osborne Jr. This book starts with his going to medical school at Emory, while WWII is getting into full force. He is torn between his studies and joining the army, while the army tells him they'd prefer to have him join as a doctor. Still, hearing about college friends who were forced to serve because their chosen career paths did not include medical school, he decides to flunk so he can get recruited. His training takes much longer than he expected, and he ends up in limbo for a while because of misplaced records, but finally, many days after D-Day, he lands on the shores of France, where he serves as a med tech in a field hospital. If college afforded him a chance of getting to know people from outside of his Georgia bubble, this new chapter expands his circle so much further.

This book was written more than a few years after the first two, and I did sense a bit of a difference. It is still very enjoyable, and often laugh-out-loud funny. [610 pp.]

Link to book.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Whisper Of The River

By Ferrol Sams

The second book of the funny and enlightening trilogy follows the boy through college. If he was pranky as a little kid in the farm, he is even prankier as a college student. Still smart and kind, he now has a chance to see more of the world and to grow, in more than one meaning.

Link to book.

Run With The Horsemen

By Ferrol Sams

This is the first book of a wonderful trilogy which follows the life of one boy to adulthood and war. It's hard to not fall in love with the boy. He's smart, good hearted, and pranky. Growing in a farm in Georgia, he's not unaware of the injustices surrounding him related to class and race. It is much more difficult for him to realize the faults of his much-admired father.
I had to choose a trilogy from a list for designing book covers and I sure am glad I chose this one.

Link to book.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Human Stain

By Philip Roth

This must be the most ironic book I've ever read. Well written and down-right engaging and thought provoking. It shows how easily people can get carried away by random accusations, and how easily lives can change because of these accusations. It reminded me of an incident that happened last year, or maybe the year before, about a distinguished professor who was accused of being a sexist because of a joke he told at some conference. This escalated so quickly, and in no time he was forced to resign. The plot of the book takes place in the 1990s, before the rise of Facebook and Twitter, and the events don't spread as far and wide as the more recent event I mentioned, but the similarities are quite disconcerting. [384 pp.]

Link to book