Banjo keeps reading in 2019 Thread # 2
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1. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
2. Make Me A City by Jonathan Carr
3. Warlight by Michael Odaatje
4. Becoming by Michelle Obama
5. The Magic of Tidying by Mari Kondo
6. Good Omens by Gaiman/Pratchett
7. Overstory by Richard Powers
8. Sadie by Courtney Summers
9. Bingo Love: Jackpot Edition
10, We are Legion by Dennis Taylor
11. Corregidora by Gayl Jones
12. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
13. Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas
14. the Primate's Memoir by Robert Sapolsky
15. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
16. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
17. The Revolution of Little Girls by Blanche McCrary Boyd
18 The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
19. Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson
20. How To Love A Country
21. As Texas Goes by Gail Collins
22. These Truths by Jill Lepore
23. Riding Fury Home by Chana Wilson
24. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
25. Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
26. Stray City by Chelsey Johnson
27. the Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan
28. Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington
29. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
30. The Leavers by Lisa Ko
31. Rangers at Roadsend by Jane Fletcher
32. Three Roads to the Alamo by William C. Davis
33. The Great Believers
34. The Golden Son
35. Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
36. The National Team by Caitlin Murray
37. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
38. God Save Texas by Lawrence Wright
39. In Another Place Not Here by Dionne Brand
40. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornsby
42. Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
43. The Wall
44. Rough Magic
45. The Testaments
46. Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ SIndu
47. The Changeling by Victor Lavelle
48. A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
49. The Off Season by Amy Hoffman
50. The Book of Unknown Americans
52. Deep Creek. By pam houston
53. Invented Lives by Andrea Goldsmith
54. Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
55. Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
56. American Marriage by Tayari Jones
57. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
58. After Delores by Sarah Schulman
59. Frog Music by Emma Donaghue
60. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi
61. When All Is Said by Anne Griffin
62, All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
63. Adventures with a Texas Naturalist by Roy Bedichek
64. Akin by Emma Donaghue
65. Golden State by Ben Winters
66. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Happy new thread, Rhonda.
Maybe your numbers aren't as big as last year, but you've read some good ones. Quality over quantity, right?
And I am not too worried about the numbers, as long as I am reading and enjoying it. But I think maybe I have been working too hard.
This was another lesbian book group picked. It was quite well written, about a relationship between two ex-pats living in Shanghai. The main character was unlikable, and an unreliable narrator. I think that's not my favorite combination, and in the end I wondered a bit what the author had wanted us to take from the book. But it made for an interesting book discussion.
I have been watching a lot of soccer this summer, so this memoir of Hornsby's obsession with Arsenal was a good read for me. Hornsby is funny, and insightful. He talks about how he became a fan when, during his parent's divorce, his father took him to a game. This gives him an outlet for his frustrations and negative emotions:
"What impressed me most was just how much most of the men around be hated, really hated, being there. As far as I could tell, nobody seemed to enjoy, in the way I understood the word, anything that happened during the entire afternoon. Within minutes of the kick-off there was real anger. ("You're a DISGRACE, Gould. He's a DISGRACE!' "A hundred quid a week? A HUNDRED QUID A WEEK! They should give that to me for watching you.') as the game went on, the anger turned into outrage, and then seemed to curdle into sullen, silent discontent. Yes, yes, I know all the jokes. What else could I have expected at Highbury? But I went to Chelsea and to Tottenham and to Rangers, and saw the same thing: that the natural state of the footbal fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score."
We read this for my other book group, and I found it quite readable, and funny. The book is about a young woman who is entangled in a relationship with her mother, who seems to by a hypochondriac, and quite demanding on her daughter. The book seems to be about Sofia's attempts to both care for her mother and also develop her own life. “My love for my mother is like an axe. It cuts very deep.”
Overall, I liked this book, but at times felt like there was too much symbolism, activity and whimsy. It's a short book, but full of distraction. Oh, and I didn't like the ending.
>1 banjo123: Even at the times I could barely read, I found the presence of books around me always comforting.
We had a great trip to Ashland, and I was going to report on that and my reading, but I got too involved with the pirate treasure hunt. I found all the treasures, but now I am tired and must go to bed.
And happy weekend everyone! It's beautiful here in Portland, and we are off to the Thorns (Women's Soccer) game in a little bit. The last game was a completely miserable and humiliating loss to North Carolina, so I am hoping that they come back strong and will tonight. But I am nervous about it.
Tomorrow I am going to write reviews of recently read books and the plays we saw in Ashland. Books are The Wall by John Lanchester (thanks Beth); Rough Magic by Lara Prior-Palmer (thanks, Mark) and The Testaments (Thank you, Margaret Atwood.) The Plays were Macbeth; All's Well that Ends Well; Mother Road, and Indecent. All of the productions were very good.
> 25 Yes, the plays at OSF have been getting even better, and it's a nice travel spot, so pretty.
And the Thorns won last night! Now we have clinched a playoff spot, thought it's pretty clear that North Carolina will decimate us if it comes to that. We are hoping for a Timbers will today, I have to say, that reading Hornsby's Fever Pitch has been good for me in soccer watching, because when I am stressed out in the nail-biting, or completely miserable moment; I just remember that sports are supposed to make you miserable.
Laura Prior Palmer, at age 19, competed in and won the Mongol Derby, which involves racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. Prior-Palmer comes across as young, funny, and self-deprecating. I enjoyed the book and especially enjoyed her attitudes towards and descriptions of the Mongolian people that she encountered, which I felt were very respectful.
It is a fun book, though I did think that Prior-Palmer came across as quite young (which she is) and sometimes I felt a little self-insight would have helped. I think she was brought up not to ever brag on herself, which I understand, but in the book it sort of interferes with the story because the reader is left to infer from her results that she was actually, an amazing athlete. Also, she motivated herself primarily by competing with the front-runner of the race, a young Texan woman. That's understandable, but I wish that Prior-Palmer could have admitted that she was competitive and wanted to win for winning's sake.
In this dystopian novel the main character is a young man living after climate disaster has irrevocably changed the world. His country is in relatively speaking good shape, and spends a good deal of resources in keeping out "the others," people less fortunate. A well-written book, which also raises the question of what different generations owe to each other.
It's rainy here today. Banjo, jr and I are just getting reading to go to our nearby pub (the one that admits dogs) to watch a soccer game.
I hope the pub and soccer match are fun!
Here is a picture of Chica enjoying the game. I think she liked it better than we did. The score was 0-0; with the Timbers missing a lot of opportunities. This is bad for the Timbers playoff chances, and conversely, good for the Loon's chances. However, it was a good day to sit inside and watch sports, so we enjoyed it.
>31 BLBera: I think the intergenerational relationships are interesting to me right now, considering where I am in my own life. At any rate, a good book, thanks for the recommendation.
>32 EBT1002: Ellen, sometimes it's funny how many times I can check a book out before reading it. That is one reason to buy rather than borrow. Except that purchasing leads to huge TBR piles.
I found myself reading Testaments quickly, and really enjoyed the plot and pacing. I am not sure that The Handmaid's Tale really needed a sequel, and this book is not as strong. However, that still leaves a lot of room for great plot, character, and writing. I like the way Atwood uses "Testimony" and "Text" to remind us that we are a part of history, and that things continue to change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Also some of the historical parallels she makes (example: the Underground Railroad) were thought provoking.
Some parts of the plotting were predictable, but, especially towards the end, there were some surprises. I do think it helps to have read The Handmaid's Tale fairly recently. Also, do not read the review in today's New York Times. Way too many spoilers.
The two Shakespeare we saw in the Elizabethan Theater, which is outdoors, and lovely. All's Well that Ends Well was the first, it's considered a problem play, and one can see why, as the plot is stupid and the characters don't make much since. However, they did a great job with it, great acting especially from Royer Bockus (on the left with pink hair) who played the female lead.
In this production, the three witches were especially effective. They were on stage for the whole production, making their role seem more integrated with the story.
"Inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, this world-premiere play by Southern Oregon–based playwright Octavio Solis (Don Quixote, El Paso Blue) finds hardworking and hard-living William Joad with no blood kin to inherit the family farm.
No one, that is, until he finds an unexpected relation: Martín Jodes—a young Mexican-American man descended from Steinbeck’s original protagonist Tom Joad. Directed by Bill Rauch in his last season as artistic director, this powerful story—filled with humor and heart—about land, family and survival inventively reverses the Joads’ mythic journey, as these modern-day Joads travel from migrant farm-worker camps in California back to Oklahoma."
This play was mostly effective, but had some weak parts. The character of Martin Jodes was a little hard to sympathize with (Not unlike his ancestor Tom Joad), and there were some times where characters seemed to change too fast. But overall, quite good.
Indecent explores that play, it's author, actors, it's popularity in Europe, and the fact that when the play was performed on Broadway in 1923 the whole cast, and producer, were arrested for indecency. (This was the first lesbian kiss on Broadway.) Many in the Jewish community condemned the play, as showing Jews in a negative light. Indecent covers the years between 1907 to 1957; taking Yiddish literature through the holocaust, assimilation, and to the House of UnAmerican Activities Committee. I cried through the last half.
Good book reviews and play reviews! You're on a cultural roll. I love the idea of the witches being on the stage throughout Macbeth. I hope that last play, Indecent, comes our way. It sounds powerful.
>42 msf59: Yay, Mark! I hope the audio works. I haven't seen the TV show, I keep meaning to, but I am not much of a TV watcher.
>43 BLBera: They do a great job at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Our house seems to be having a lot of issues lately. Our front porch is in need of repair/paint, and our neighbor is doing it. He is a perfectionist, and apparently our porch had been bothering him for decades, so he is doing a beautiful job, and gave us a good price for it, but it is taking him quite a bit of time and hard work. Today, our hot water heater went out. At first I thought it was just the pilot, but it appears that is wrong, so it's cold showers until we can get a plumber. At least we are lucky that (a) we can afford the repairs and (b) now Wendy is retired, so she has time, theoretically, to be home for the repairs. Though she is taking classes in art, guitar and singing, so pretty busy, actually.
I have finished one more book! Review to follow.
This book is about a Sri-Lankan American woman named "Lucky", who chose to marry a gay friend, in order to avoid a split from her family. It's well-written, and I enjoyed it; though I wish the book had been more tightly plotted. Here's a quote:
"Let me tell you something about being brown like me: your story is already written for you. Your free will, your love, your failure, all of it scratched into the cosmos before you're even born. My mother calls it fate, the story written on your head by the stars, by the gods, never by you."
This was a good read overall, and I liked getting the perspective of Southeast Asian, and Gay or Lesbian people. I have now picked up Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai, which had been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years, and covers some of the same topics.
The Deputy Prime Minister was jailed for sodomy in the not too distant past and the Statute Book is clear as to the Penal Code for homosexual "offences". South East Asia has much to do to catch up in terms of human rights.
>50 The_Hibernator: It was a great production, Rachel.
Well, things are pretty good here. We got our hot water back, the porch looks great, and the Timbers won today, and will make it to the play-offs. I finished Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai and liked it very well.
I love the pictures from your Ashland adventure. As I've probably said, we went there many summers and I have such wonderful memories of the town and the theater(s).
I'm glad your hot water is back!
We've been watching the finals of the WNBA even though the Storm are not involved. Cheering for Washington (go Elena Delle Donne!!) but without much preference in the end. Watching sports in which I'm not emotionally invested is kind of a refreshing relief from the usual fan experience.
>53 EBT1002: Thank you Ellen! We are pretty enamored of that little dog. This was a great year for Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
I haven't been watching much of the WNBA, which is too bad. I wish their season didn't completely coincide with soccer season.
In this book, Selvadurai combines a coming-of-age story, with the story of the tensions between the Sinhala and Tamil tensions which led to the 1983 riots. It is told in six, connected short stories that emphasize the importance of family, and explore the narrator's discovery of his gay identity The different themes tie together nicely, the writing is good, and the characters were well developed. Perhaps the plotting could have been stronger. I was happy to learn more about the history of Sri Lanka.
>59 BLBera: Hope your week is going well, Beth and hooray for Atwood.
>60 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen! Can you believe that Bernardine Evaristo is the first Black Woman to win the Booker?
I am now reading Big, Wonderful Thing by Stephen Harrigan. It is really good so far! And I finished Changeling by Victor Lavelle, so hooray for books.
And happy getting to the end of October already, everyone! I have been busy and not here on Library Thing, but hope to get some time this weekend.
A couple of quick reviews to follow, just to catch me up. I seem short of time lately, and now it's the World Series. Go Nats!
So, this is kind of a mash-up of horror and a fairy-tale re-telling; in contemporary New York City with a multi-cultural cast. The primary theme is parent-child connections, and lack of the same. Apollo Kagwa is a book-dealer, with a desire for a family. He had grown up without a father's presence. He meets and marries Emma Valentine, a librarian (obviously lots to love about the book themes here!), they have a son, Brian. But then the horrible things happen, and Apollo learns that many things in his life are not as they seem.
Some parts of this book are a little meandering, which was OK, and the end of the book seemed a bit over-wrought. Overall, I liked it. However, I finished it a few weeks ago, and it has really not stuck with me. Perhaps if I was more into horror, or fairy-tale re-telling? But four stars, because the writing is good, and the concept has some freshness to it.
This was a compelling and very sad read about three generations of Palestinian women, living in Brooklyn. I thought that the author did a good job showing how women in that culture might feel and respond to issues such as arranged marriage, domestic violence and immigrant identity. The writing isn't perfect, and at one point I felt that the plot was just too much. But then I read an interview with the author, and concluded that the plot really was her life. She had mixed feelings writing the book, as she worried it would perpetuate negative stereotypes about Arab Americans.
This is a book I have been thinking about since, and I hope to read more by this author.
Hope you are having a good weekend.
>69 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I actually gave the two books the same rating, so I think it would be worth it to try Victor Lavelle. And it does have some charming parts to it.
>70 BLBera: That's right, Beth, she did make that point, and the parts about Palestinian history and immigrant experience were interesting. I did think that there were parts of the book that came too close to making excuses for the abusers.
And now the weekend is over, and I just realized that LT has a halloween hunt. I love the hunts but I always stay up too late looking for clues.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. It's an important topic, but somehow I found this book pretty forgettable. It's the story of a family dealing with their daughter's head injury; a young adult love story' and the stories of a group of Latin American immigrants in a Delaware apartment house. I felt that the book was a little too disjointed, and a bit too YA-ish for my taste. I am going with 3 stars.
We read this for book group, and I actually picked it out. I think that others in the bookgroup liked it better than I did.
>81 BLBera: I can see that it would do well in the classroom. One of my book group members was going to give it to her 18 year old niece, because she thought she would like it.
I had meant to keep up on LT, and post on my phone, but of course I didn't so now I have several books to review.
This is just an amazing book. Five Stars, and now I have to go buy a copy, since I had gotten it out of the library. Houston weaves together the story of her 120 acre ranch in Colorado, her childhood abuse, her life as a writer, and meditations on the value of loving and caring for the earth.
“How will we sing when Miami goes underwater, when the raft of garbage in the ocean gets as big as Texas, when the only remaining polar bear draws his last breath, when fracking, when Keystone, when Pruitt? I don’t know. And I imagine, sometimes, often, we will get it wrong. But I’m not celebrating the earth because I am an optimist—though I am an optimist. I am celebrating because this magnificent rock we live on demands celebration. I am celebrating because how in the face of this earth could I not?”
This was an early reviewer book, and I enjoyed it overall The book is mostly about a young Russian Jew, who emigrates to Australia in 1986. I appreciated that the book made me think about that experience, what it would be like to be exiled, and learning to adapt to a new country. There is a side story about an Australian family, and some of the secrets that can be part of a marriage. Goldsmith's writing is competent, but she does a bit too much telling rather than showing, so the narrative often feels heavy handed and forced. However, the plot and setting were interesting enough to keep me happily reading.
Another Early Reviewer's Book, this one tells the story of a young African American man, his childhood growing up in Chicago's South Side. It's told in a series of short chapters, emphasizing how growing up with lots of loss, uncertainty and violence shapes the man that he grows into. I felt that it was disjointed at times, but thought provoking.
Here we have a Dickensonian story, told with humor, and starring a gay Irishman, who contends with oppression from the Irish church, neglect from his adoptive parents, and a series of unusual, and often tragic life events. Sometimes it's a bit too much, but a fun read.
And happy thanksgiving to those of us in the US. My family has decided to celebrate on Saturday instead, and with middle eastern food instead of the traditional. So today, I get to be chill, and we have a movie this afternoon.
I am feeling a bit ambivalent about Thanksgiving, lately. The food and family are great, of course, but the connection to Native American Genocide is so strong.
For those who might be interested, Hereis a website where you can find out which Peoples were in your area pre-colonization. I am on the lands of the Chinook, Cowlitz and Clackamas People.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
I liked the way this story was told, from multiple viewpoints and, in parts, with letters. Jones is a good writer and used these techniques to explore how private life (marriage) is impacted by political, social forces beyond one's individual control. I also liked that it explored the cultural differences between Celestial, from a well-off Atlanta African American community and Roy, whose family was from a more poor, rural, Louisiana. What didn't work for me is that none of the characters seemed especially likeable, and Roy's character arc did not seem very realistic. This made it harder for me to care about the marriage.
I know this book has gotten many accolades. I thought it was OK. I admire Takei as a cultural icon and actor, social media presence; however his writing seemed pedestrian, mostly just giving information. The art was good, but didn't bowl me over.
I might have been more enthused about the book if I hadn't already been familiar with the facts about Japanese internment camps. If anyone wants to read more on the topic, I can recommend the book Stubborn Twig.
The strongest part of this book was Takei's descriptions of his parents, who seem like incredible people, especially his father. If the book had focused more on their personal story, it would have probably grabbed me more.
The Riverwalk in San Antonio is amazing.
The missions in San Antonio were very interesting, including the Alamo (not pictured) although I did wish that the information presented at the Alamo was more complete.
This is one of the murals in West San Antonio. It pictures Emma Tenayuca, a Mexican American Labor Organizer and Educator.
This amazing mosaic was the work of San Antonio artist Jesse Trevino
Some information from the LBJ museum regarding changes in the US after his Great Society legislation:
Percentage of Americans attending 4 year colleges: Up 39 %
Americans living in poverty, down from 20% to 12 %
African American elected officials up from 300 to 1470
Lands protected: 36 new national parks, almost 10 million acres
I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and are enjoying the weekend.
I agree with your feelings about Thanksgiving; I cope with the ambiguity by thinking of it as a time to be thankful for family, nothing else. At least schools are not perpetrating the myth anymore, at least schools here don't do anything about it.
I've wanted to find a good book about Japanese internment. Stubborn Twig goes on my WL.
>97 Berly: A Woman Is No Man was good, Kim, and it would be a great book club book, I think.
>98 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe, isn't the Riverwalk cool? You would love the murals, apparently few tourists get to West San Antonio.
>99 FAMeulstee: Yes, Lyndon Johnson. Thanks Anita!
>100 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. And you are right, it's great to have time to be grateful for family! Takei's book is good for an overview of internment, but I think you would like Stubborn Twig. It was an Oregon Book Award winner a few years ago.
After Delores by Sarah Schulman
Read for the Lesbian book group, this is a book written in 1988, where a NYC waitress is upset that her girlfriend, Delores has left her, and explores that loss in a gritty urban setting. This book has some great sentences, but there isn't much in the way of plot (although it is nominally a mystery) and the characters don't have a lot of depth. I was particularly unsatisfied that there was so much violence in the book, without any explanation of why our main character was so drawn to violence and alcoholism.
And just for fun, here's a picture. Yesterday after our belated family Thanksgiving, we took a walk on the Lewis and Clark campus (near my sister's house) and they had this Robert Indiana Sculpture on display.
I am not Robert Indiana but I'll also send my love this Thanksgiving weekend.
>105 charl08: Yes, I think it is in different languages. It was fun to see, especially since I wasn't expecting it.
>106 Berly: Thanks, Kim!
This has been sitting on my shelves for a couple of years. Honestly, I liked the other books of Donaghue's that I have read (Room and Hood) better, but this was still good. It's a historical fiction, based on lots of research. The characters are all based on real people. It's set in San Francisco in the 1870's, and tells the story of a French prostitute who befriends a cross-dressing female frog-catcher.
The book does a good job shedding light on people who are normally forgotten by history. The writing and plotting are excellent. I found our main character, Blanche, annoying, and sometimes that made the book hard to read, since it was in her voice. But there was some effectiveness in having a not-always-likeable narrator. I am glad I finally read it.
This was for the Lesbian book group, and actually is my first experience with manga, although I have read graphic novels before. I was impressed with Kabi's honesty, in depicting her experiences with mental illness, loneliness, etc. It is a sad book. Also maybe it's a Japanese thing, or maybe I am just a prude, but in this novel she turns to a Lesbian Escort Service for connection, and that was so odd to me because I did not even realize such a thing would exist. So I am not sure I like this book, or that I like manga at all, but it was interesting. Here is a sample of the art:
This novel tells the story of 84 year old Maurice Hannigan. It takes place in a hotel bar as Maurice reviews his life, accomplishments and regrets, in a series of toasts to people who have influenced him. At times the non-linear story telling frustrated me, and there were a few parts of the book I took issue with. But those gave me things to think about, and over-all a lovely first novel that discusses family bonds, parenting, marriage and class, and has an interesting take on the theme of revenge.
>117 msf59: and >118 jnwelch: Joe and Mark, I am SO sorry for mixing you two up. I am just lucky that the two of you are good-natured. And both Laura Dean fans as well! I definitely need to look for that one.
>119 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba.
And happy holidays to everyone!! Pretty busy here, but hopefully will be back soon to check out peoples threads and talk about books.
We are having a nice holiday. Just got back from a few days in Hood River, Oregon. We had hoped for good weather and some nice hikes, but the weather was a bit off. We did get some nice walks in, and lots of good food and beer. Plus, reading time! Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah (The Banjo Household celebrates both Christmas and Hannukkah), so tonight we have dinner with friends and latkes.
I have gotten some reading done, hooray! I am up to 66 books for the year, with a slight chance of making it to 67. Some quick reviews, before I try to start my 2020 thread.
This is a cross between 1984 and a police procedural. It takes place in Golden State, a future nation in what is present day California, where the populace has become so afraid of a world built on lies and falsehood, that they have created a whole society based on a bulwark of truth. Even casual lying can lead to a long prison sentence, serious untruths to exile. Jokes are allowed, fiction is not.
The world building in this novel is seriously fun, and the mystery was entertaining. The one flaw in this book, for me, was that the characters were somewhat wooden. That is, however, in character with the genres and the dystopian theme.
This is definitely a book I will be recommending to others.
I picked this up in San Antonio, at a great bookstore called Cheever Books. Bedicheck was new to me, apparently he is well-known in Texas, a naturalist and writer similar to Aldo Leopold. (Except he is a better writer than Leopold. ) This book was written in 1947, starts with a riff about fences and how they impact the environment; and continues into many birding descriptions.
Donaghue continues to display the complexity of human relationships in interesting and unusual settings. I loved that the hero of this novel was Noah Selvaggio, an 80 year old man, presented as a complete person, not a stereotype of an old codger. Parts of the plot are pretty unlikely, for example, Noah becomes temporary guardian for the young relative whose mother is in prison, and takes the boy to France (Noah's birthplace). Donaghue manages to show the relationship without undue sentimentality.
I also loved the way the relationship was portrayed in Akin. Golden State is on my WL - I agree, Winters is good with plot, but his characters could use some life.
>127 banjo123: The naturalist book also sounds good.
Nice way to finish the year. Any reading plans for 2020?
I read this for book group. It's a memoir of Chung's adoption experience, she was born to Korean-American parents in Seattle, adopted by loving white parents and raised in a small town in Southern Oregon, where there were very few other Asian people. Chung searched for, and found her birth family when she was in her late 20's and pregnant with her first daughter.
Definitely a good thing to read if you have close experience with adoption or interracial families. The first part of this book, describing Chung's childhood, was the weakest. I felt that her writing was pretty pedestrian in this part. Her writing got stronger, and the story more interesting, in the second half of the book.
This Booker winner gives us a set of inter-linked story-poems about different Afro-British women who are attending the opening of "the Last Amazons of Dahomey," a play by Amma, whose life story opens the book. The writing is delicious, and open-hearted.
I could, however, done with a little more plot. There are lots of connections and coincidences between the characters, and to me that indicates a need for a big, Dickensonian plot.