Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is quite a profound book, a long letter to the author's fifteen-year-old son, in which Coates outlines the obstacles, the injustices, the efforts, and his own history in a white America. What I discerned was the obvious thought that a white person cannot fully know or understand how the impact of slavery and discrimination affects every black person in America.

Despite the fact that Americans elected a black president, there remains the rampant undergrowth of racism in this country. Black Americans encounter this all the time. We white Americans need just look at the headlines of some of the black youth and men who are gunned down when confronted by police officers. And, despite his many successes in leading this country, President Barack Obama is belittled, denigrated, and insulted by the segment of our population that is composed of die-hard racists.

Coates writes eloquently of present day America. Whenever I read a book of this caliber I hope that it will become part of a student's curriculum.

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Review: My Name Is Lucy Barton

My Name Is Lucy Barton My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Understanding that the link of parental love is not always simple and direct, Lucy Barton reflects on her impoverished upbringing. The poverty extended to an a seemingly deprivation of affection between mother and child. But while Lucy is recuperating in a New York City hospital, she receives a visit from her mother who she hadn't seen for four years.

The conversations seem stilted and cold at times. Yet Lucy understands her mother and copes with the back-and-forth comments. Lucy manages to shield her mother from her loneliness and the disappointments she has carried throughout her life.

To me, this is one of those rare books that beg for re-reading. In its outward simplicity hides the talent of the writer who uncovers the truth of imperfect love.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Review: Where You Once Belonged

Where You Once Belonged Where You Once Belonged by Kent Haruf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kent Haruf's short novel brings the reader to a small town in Colorado to meet Jack Burdette, the football hero who destroys the trust of everyone and Pat Arbuckle, the newspaper editor who narrates the story. Haruf's simple language adds to a familiarity of the men and women who live in Holt. It's a lovely book.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review: The English Girl

The English Girl The English Girl by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Israeli master spy Gabriel Allon's at work again, this time trying to uncover a Russian scheme to gain control of oil interests in Great Britain. Like his other Allon novels, Silva's plot is full of suspense and master intrigue.

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