No idea what kind of bird this guy/gal is. What a delightful view from my office window though, right?
There’s a whole lot of ugly in this world, much of it inflicted on humans by other humans sometimes by the people one would expect to make you safe: police, parents, doctors and caregivers. A couple of the books I read this month really drove that point home. So naturally, I had to balance those out with a few much less taxing choices. It’s all about knowing my limit and playing within it.
Brownies and Betrayal by Heather Justesen. I enjoyed this cozy, but I had to look up a summary of it to remember it less than a month after reading. So that may tell you what you need to know.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book was a huge hit when it came out a couple of years ago, and has been made into a movie, which I haven’t yet seen. No idea if the movie is any good, but the book is excellent. It’s about a young black woman who is navigating two worlds: the poor black neighbourhood that’s home and the richy-rich predominantly white school she attends. When her childhood friend is shot by police in front of her, the resoundingly different narratives that emerge about the shooting in each of those worlds forces her to speak out – putting her sense of self and sense of community at risk in both.
The Girl Who Takes An Eye for An Eye by David Lagercrantz. I probably wouldn’t have considered reading this novel except that it was in the delicious stack of books from my aunt. It’s a continuation, the fifth book, in the Millennium Series (aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books) created by Stieg Larsson. I look down my nose at that sort of thing because it inevitably feels like a cash grab. Here’s the rub though, (whispering) I think Mr. Lagercrantz may be the better writer. I thought this book, in terms of both plot and storytelling, was a step up from the original three. I know! It was a good ride, and maybe I should adjust my snoot. Maybe.
Educated by Tara Westover. The memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist, anti-government family for whom the paranoia and “us against the world” world view is normal – until she begins to crave genuine learning. She’s never been allowed to attend school and the home schooling she received ranges from marginal to non-existent. Ms Westover comes across as scrupulously honest and seems to still be processing the deep injustices imposed on her by her own parents. It makes for a fascinating read where the reader – at least in my case – wishes it was fiction instead of fact. Truly, I had a hard time putting this book down it was that gripping.
Cocoa and Chanel by Donna Joy Usher. This book is a hoot. The first in a series, it features Chanel Smith, a hairdresser who decides to become a police officer on the flimsiest of reasons. It’s how she goes through life, by the seat of her (preferable fashionable) pants. If you’re looking for an easy and highly entertaining read, and you don’t require gravitas in your heroine – or well, anywhere in the story – go for it.
Goons ‘n’ Roses by Donna Joy Usher. I enjoyed Cocoa and Chanel so much, I dove into the sequel right away. It is also fun, but I really should have paced myself. I would have enjoyed it more had I used it as a break between heavier reads. Live and learn!