A few books I finished as the school year came to an end and summer began.
The Handmaid’s Tale: Margaret Atwood. I appreciate Atwood’s distinction between “speculative fiction” and “science fiction.” The events in Handmaid’s Tale are truly dystopian, but probably more speculative about a potential future given the religious right in America today that total science fiction (rockets! life on Mars!). This book probably would have been more shocking to me as a young reader, but I’m glad I read it for the last paragraph alone.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North: Richard Flanagan. A harrowing account of Japanese POWs building the Death Railway in Burma during World War II. This covers a TON of weird, obscure APWH topics (Gurkas! ANZAC!) and I loved every page of it. I read a ton of books (fiction and not) about World War II and have little patience for stories of redemption. There’s little to none here and, strangely, that feels about right.
All the Light We Cannot See: Anthony Doerr. Award winning novel? Must be good. Totally readable and what some may call “a real page turner” (I’m looking at you, New York Times) Totally great book, but given my above-mentioned concern about redemption stories in World War II, I don’t have a ton of patience for Nazis doing good deeds at the end of the war. Also, as a friend mentioned, the fact that it was such a “page turner” kind of made me love it less as an award winner. I like my award winning novels to be difficult and inaccessible to the masses. (If there was a font “Pretentious” I would have used it.)