Monday, May 1, 2017

WHAT I'M READING V. 21





Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly: I heard about this book because of the movie and I wanted to read it before I saw the film version. It wasn't what I expected so it took me a while to get into it. It was very serious and read more like a history textbook, but the content of that history was so interesting that I made it through. I also hadn't realized that so much of the story starts with and is related to the area of Hampton Roads, an area close by that I knew nearly nothing about, so it was fascinating to learn of its recent history. And by the end of it, I was thoroughly compelled and stirrred by the strength of these intelligent and hard working women who essentially blazed the trail in the field of space science. I'm excited to see the movie.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman: A friend recommended this as a light read and I was very much drawn into this WWI area. The setting is beautiful and the story is heartbreaking. The story centers around grief - the grief of war, the grief of losing loved ones, the grief of the ones who wait at home, the grief of a mother. I cried several times throughout the book, especially the end. I cried, I emphasized, I ached; it was cathartic. 

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell: Another reccomendation by a different friend, and another one I really enjoyed. I listened to the audiobook version read by the author and it reminded me a lot of his podcast, 'Revisionist History', which I love. In this book, he sets out to show that the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty, and that we often misinterpret these lopsided conflicts between giants versus underdog. He states that we are generally misled about the nature of advantages and he encourages people to reframe our perspective of strong and weak. He tells great stories of different people in these situations and it really is remarkable what can arise from people in the face of necessity. 

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple: Off the bat the narrator took on a breezy and familiar tone and I couldn't decide if I liked it or if I found it slightly annoying. But the writing was definitely funny, I found myself snorting aloud, and by the third of the way through I saw the real human ache underneath the sharp humor.  The story is about sisterhood, struggling with self, and a marriage - amusing to read but not entirely memorable. 

2 comments:

  1. Your review of Maria Semples book is so interesting...only cauSe i went to her talk about it ( i loved whered you go Bernadette) and i found the talk kind of annoying ...or I dont know, I somewhat liked her less afterwards and it has deterred me from picking up the book !

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  2. interesting! i heard from someone else who really liked where'd ya go bernadette so i recognized maria semple from that. love these book updates, of course! :)

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