Recently Read: April 2017

It's been awhile since I've done one of these recently read lists and I'm excited to share some of what I've been into book-wise.

1. The Street by Ann Petry
I grabbed this book off a stand at the front of my library- one of those where a librarian puts out great books you probably haven't heard of. This was approximately my fifth pick from that stand and it was the first one that I actually agree was great. The Street was written in 1946 and is set in Harlem, and focuses on the struggle of a young black mother to provide for her child while avoiding the evils of the street. It was fascinating to read, with an ending that took me by surprise and left me confused as to how I felt about the book overall.

2. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Our apartment complex has a book swap in the computer room, and when I was there recently I saw a pristine copy of The Poisonwood Bible and decided now was my time to read it. It was a lot sadder than I expected and very thought-provoking. It was interesting to read about the family's experience in the Congo during such a turbulent time, especially since the book changed narration each chapter, allowing you to really experience events through the eyes of each character.

3. Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild
In this book, Hochschild writes about her experience making friends and befriending Tea Party-ers in rural Louisiana. She is a liberal from Berkeley and desperately wants to understand the American right. Her book was evenhanded and fascinating, and definitely helped me understand why Donald Trump had the sweeping success that he did during the election.

4. Little Victories by Jason Gay
This book is a fun collection of essays about some "rules" for life. Many of them are hilarious, but there are a lot (like the ones about his dad) that were touching, and they have been the ones I've reflected on the most. It was a quick read and I highly recommend it.

5. Two Little Girls by Theresa Reid
For some reason I have an interest in reading books on adoption, and this one definitely broadened my understanding about how exhaustive international adoptions can be. Reid and her husband have two children, one adopted from Ukraine and one from Russia. In her book, she carefully details what the steps to adoption were in each case. The cost, effort, and toll on them was astounding, and I'm glad to add this one to my ever-growing list providing perspectives on adoption.


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