2020. It will be known for many things. But mainly it will be the year of BREATH. The loss of it. And how and if we will regain it.When breath just happens, when you don't have to think about it, it is miraculous. That is...when it happens naturally... when you don't need the help of a ventilator or oxygen or when you don't have someone choking off that delicious air you need to breathe by standing on your neck.But it's 2020. Death. Grief. It’s all around us in all its forms. Although we mainly associate the word with loss through death, it’s definition is more all encompassing. The dictionary definition: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. Loss seems to be the 4 letter word of the day so this week's blog will deal with a beautifully written novel on the subject.
Whatever I felt when I was reading Samuelsson’s book has absolutely changed for me. I read it the first time with my bias against the genre fully intact. I resented him skimming over the surface of his life, leaving so many parts of his journey unexplored, his lack of introspection, the un-memoir of it all, the lack of any emotional feel. On my second read, I was so aware of my white privilege, struck by my easy passage through life, blending freely without a thought. I wore it on every page as Samuelsson went from one white inhabited kitchen in Sweden to Austria to Switzerland to France to New York. Shame on me.
Ask Again, Yes could be said to be an absorbing twist on the Romeo and Juliet story. The basic premise is there—two feuding families (with good reason) not wanting their children to see each other, let alone become romantically involved. Wound into this is the American dream story that may or may not have gone awry.
The Other Americans by Pulitzer Prize finalist, Laila Lalami, gives us a fresh look at familiar stories. What separates it from others is how the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant reveals the fault lines of our culture through family, love, ingrained prejudice, and the problems parents create for their children.
Have you any idea how many books are published in a year? The number is staggering! In 2019, print book sales in the US alone was 675 million. And that's just print. It doesn't include audio or digital or global sales. How do you ever choose what to read? No worries! There is a world of suggestions, opinions, and influencing.
Any writer worth her or his salt will tell you that reading is the most important part of learning how to write. Of course, if you aren't a voracious reader, why would you want to write in the first place? If you are reader or a writer or both or just like to read about books or writing or people who write or people who read, you are in the right place.