runawaynun: (Patty)
[personal profile] runawaynun
So, [personal profile] pellucid asked me about books I've read lately that I've enjoyed. So, here's some of the books I've enjoyed in 2013.

1. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

It follows the story of a girl who moves from Zimbabwe to Michigan but explores how race, society, poverty are different in the two countries. But my favorite thing in the book was the chapter that dealt with how a Michigan winter felt to someone who had never experienced one before - how something that is almost comforting to me can be frightening in its strangeness from theirs.

2. Jane Austen

I haven't read all of her novels but I have read Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and am working my way through Mansfeld Park right now. I'm surprised at how much I actually like them! But I think they are books that I needed to read in my 30s when I could read beyond my expectations of the stories that they would focus solely on the romance part.

3. Dear Life by Alice Munro

I'm not a fan of short stories but I really liked this collection. They had many things I like about Margaret Atwood but in more manageable chunks. I'm not explaining this well.

4. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

It is a beautiful, painful book.

5. Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I really love how she writes. She explores how concepts of blackness are different in Nigeria, the UK and the US. I thought the ending was a bit abrupt and somewhat convenient but STILL.

6. Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel

OMG, Mantel's prose is amaaaaaaazing and she writes about Reformation England and I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. She never gets overwhelmed by the huge amounts of research she does and I love her Cromwell. It's going to be sad to read his fall in the next installment.

7. My Ántonia - Willa Cather

Whenever I miss Nebraska, I pull out some Cather. She describes the prairie so well. I loved both Lena and Ántonia and their separate paths.

8. Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

What if you got to take the other path and change the outcome of your life during World War II again and again and again..... This is one of my favorite tropes/plots and Kate Atkinson does not disappoint.

9. Sum It Up - Pat Summitt

Just PAT SUMMITT. With lots of stories about the early days of women's basketball.

10. HHhH - Laurent Binet

The story of how a Czech and a Slovak assassinated one of the worst Nazis - the mastermind of the "Final Solution" - Reinhard Heydrich. Despite my Slovak heritage, I had never heard this story before. A STORY OF MY PEOPLE!!! (Yes, my ancestors were in the US already. But still.) There's also a metanarrative as to the complexities of writing history and how the structure of narrative and necessities of historical evidence does not allow the author to honor all who died and sacrificed to have this happen and all the victims that died in retribution for these two men's actions.
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