Besides the books we read monthly in the book club I'm a part of, I get all kinds of ideas on other things to read. Unbroken was a hands down favorite among my book buddies, so I decided to check it out. It is the incredible true story of a World War II POW. The book focuses primarily on the Pacific front of the war, and was absolutely fascinating. I realized as I was reading, that my knowledge of that part of the war was extremely limited. It's a lengthy read (500+ pages), but I literally couldn't put it down. I feel like anyone would like this book.
"Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it."
The Handmaid's Tale was our May book club selection, and gave us lots to discuss. It's the story of a handmaid whose only purpose in this future dystopian society is to reproduce. It's poignant, even funny at times, and makes so many thoughtful social points about freedom, control, feminism, fear, all of the above. I really liked it because it raised important questions in the context of a very engaging story.
"Is that how we lived, then? But we lived as usual. Everyone does, most of the time. Whatever is going on is as usual. Even this is as usual, now. We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it."
"Not a dandelion in sight here, the lawns are picked clean. I long for one, just one, rubbishy and insolently random and hard to get rid of and perennially yellow as the sun. Cheerful and plebeian, shining for all alike."
This one! Wow, wow, wow! Must read it today. Like now. Finish this blog post, and then go read it. It's also lengthy, but well worth the read. The Poinsonwood Bible is the story of a naive Southern Baptist missionary family who go to the Congo in the 1960's, and get caught up in the revolution taking place. So many profound points on imperialism, Western exceptionalism, faith, culture, family, racism, all set in the beauty of Africa told through the voices of the four young daughters of the missionary. I found myself reading quotes aloud to Mr. Ladd while he was trying to fall asleep. It's just beautifully written and fantastic, and I highly recommend it.
"For every life saved by vaccination or food relief, one is lost to starvation or war. Poor Africa. No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill."
"Listen. To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know. In perfect stillness, frankly, I've only found sorrow."
Currently on my nightstand
Mr. Ladd and I are going on a trip to Key West soon, so I purposely bought and am saving A Moveable Feast for the trip, since Key West was a favorite spot of Ernest Hemingway. Hoping to tour his house, and meet some six-toed cats! Can you say book nerd?
Delancey, is the second food memoir by Molly Wizenberg. I just love books that mix stories with recipes, so this one has an honored spot on my kitchen counter in actual hard cover form.
Hope you've found something new for the beach or back porch this weekend. Happy reading!
(Click on any of the covers for links to the book)