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Showing posts from August, 2015

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

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Summary from Goodreads:

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

I was largely unaware of the existence of Indian Reservations and the terrible amount of societal restrictions they have to live with. It's the 21st century but it feels like we are back in 1920s for all it matters. That's why I am terribly grateful when I get to read books like this…

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

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Summary from Goodreads:

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.
Now Tony is retired. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove. 

The Sense of an Ending is unsettling. For a book that spans 167 pages, it sure packs a wallop that I did not quite expect. A huge portion of the story is Tony Webster's musings on the meaning of life. But I assure you it is more than a running journal of his thoughts. And yeah existentialist talk can easily brow beat me into exasperation. But Julian Barnes is a philosophical wordsmith that writes with amazi…

number9dream by David Mitchell

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Summary from Goodreads:

David Mitchell follows his eerily precocious, globe-striding first novel, Ghostwritten, with a work that is in its way even more ambitious. In outward form, number9dream is a Dickensian coming-of-age journey: Young dreamer Eiji Miyake, from remote rural Japan, thrust out on his own by his sister’s death and his mother’s breakdown, comes to Tokyo in pursuit of the father who abandoned him. Stumbling around this strange, awesome city, he trips over and crosses—through a hidden destiny or just monstrously bad luck—a number of its secret power centers. Suddenly, the riddle of his father’s identity becomes just one of the increasingly urgent questions Eiji must answer. Why is the line between the world of his experiences and the world of his dreams so blurry? Why do so many horrible things keep happening to him? What is it about the number 9? To answer these questions, and ultimately to come to terms with his inheritance, Eiji must somehow acquire an insight into the…

August 2015: Required Reading

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July Required Reading Report:

1. The Quite American by Graham Greene  - (4/5 stars) A wonderful personal examination of conscience, morality, neutrality, innocence, idealism, cynicism, and more big stuff. It sort of gives perspective on humanity. Or the different kinds of it. 

2. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - (5/5 stars) How can such a short book be so..so unsettling? It has so many insights about existence and death that sort of upended my own. That and because Barnes writes with so much flair. This is my favorite Man Booker read to date! (I realize that I say this everytime a read a Booker! Bookers can be terribly surprising!)

3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie - (5/5 stars) This book is so bouyed by hope, it feels like I don't know, like crowd surfing. There are times when humans can be terrible and mean spirited, but then there are also times when they have your back and love you and accept you. 

August Required Reading:




1. Ubik by Phil…