Summer is finally and here and I think I got a bit of summertime fever and my reading suffered for it. Only made it through three of my five books picked for June. I am currently reading a fourth but will review that one next month.
We Should All Be Feminist by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is by the author who wrote Americanah and is adapted from her TEDx Talk of the same name. A very quick read but oh so much great information packed into those few pages.
“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”
It was interesting to see feminism from the perspective of a woman from a different culture. Adichie’s talks about her experiences both in the US and in her native Nigeria.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Read this classic for the last meeting before our summer break for Literary Pairings Bookclub. This is the paring for Metamorphosis from May. Of course, this is a play and when I first hear that we would be reading this I was a bit reluctant. However, as soon as I started it I was hooked. It reminded me that I actually do love reading plays and that I read and enjoyed them growing up.
Death of a Salesman is a tragedy and social commentary on life. Willie Loman, the main character is the salesman in the title and is nearing retirement age and not handling it well. I think the play addresses the fact that we are all flawed in some way. In our book discussion, ideas that came to light were: Is Willie a failure and in what ways; the idea of supporting you family and the ramifications it brings whether good or bad; depression and disillusionment. In comparing this to Metamorphosis some similar themes were family life, depression, and embarrassment of one’s own family member(s)
The difference between reading a play and a book I think is that the play makes the story seem so much more real as it is just the dialogue between the actors with very little descriptive narrative.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
WOW…just wow!! This is such a powerful book and at a time when so much is happening around this very subject matter.
The main character is Starr Carter, a sixteen year old girl, who witnesses the fatal shooting by a white police officer of her unarmed childhood friend Khalil. The story is set between Starr’s poor black neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban neighborhood where she and her siblings attend school. The story is about how Starr balances these two worlds in the aftermath of the shooting.
Thomas’ writing is so moving and eloquent. She addresses such topics like family, racism, police violence, and interracial dating all from the perspective of teenage Starr in a very tasteful and nonaccusatory way. I laughed, I cried (a lot), I got angry (really pissed in some sections). I think for me that this book humanized the Black Life Matters movement and opened my eyes even more to what really is like to grow up in a poor black neighborhood where your options are very limited.
I highly recommend that everyone reads this book!
“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
― Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give is the June/July pick for my sister’s book club for which this blog post is named – Sister Reads. We will be discussing it online at the end of July so you still have time to get your copy, read it, and join in the discussion.
In the meantime I’ll be catching up this month by trying to do more of this: