Books I Read in December and Happy New Year

I won’t be doing much blogging for the next week (although I may poke my head on for a bit) and I doubt I’ll finish reading another novel within the next week so posting this now.  Also, I wanted to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!

In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd I’ve never read any Jean Shepherd before this.  I knew of him of course because of A Christmas Story (which is adapted from this book) but hadn’t read anything by him. And what a treat. He has an amazing conversational tone in this book. The movie takes a few stories from this and creates a wonderful narrative out of them (which isn’t what the book was actually doing) so some of the stories may be familiar but it’s not a direct translation. I have a few of his other books on my to read list.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris This book had been waiting for me for the past year or so to read but I wasn’t quite ready for a depressing book. And I was assuming that this book was going to be depressing. Very few books with Auschwitz in the title are going to be a lighthearted humorous romp. This book was no exception. I’m not a big fan of holocaust books at this point in my life. I feel like I have read enough now that they are more like looking at an accident as you pass by more than taking anything substantial in. This one was well written, you are sucked into the story of the protagonist, but not one I would fully recommend. It felt a little hollow to me at times. Or maybe I couldn’t get past the idea of looking at the accident as I drove by out of my head.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler I don’t understand why we aren’t reading more Octavia Butler at this point. Her books blow me away yet I haven’t really dived into her bibliography. I feel like the titles are offputting to me for some reason and I shy away. Parable of the Sower is one of those novels that I just didn’t realize what I was getting into. If I had read it 4 years ago, I would have thought of it as just a solid post-apocalyptic novel. But reading it in the days of Trump, where there is actually a leader in the book whose slogan is Make America Great Again, it comes off as a prophetic vision of things to come. (The book is set in 2024 in a decaying US).  If you have never read Octavia Butler before though, please, get yourself a copy of Kindred as soon as possible. And you’re welcome.

I’ll see everyone in 2020!  Be safe!