Now that classes are finished, and some brain space has been freed up, I finally have some time to read for fun. Goodbye, Achilles Tatius, hello, Jonas Jonasson. I have this brain condition where I buy books that I never actually read and then they take over every surface of my apartment. This ends now!
On the roster:
Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” 2011 (2014 in English). A sweeping history of the human race from religion, to the economy, to agricultural revolutions. How did Homo sapiens sapiens get here? This is the book that you give to aliens to help them understand humans and what makes us us.
Michael Chabon’s “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” 2000. Joe Kavalier smuggles himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and ends up in New York. His cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create comic books with during the Golden Age in America. I have heard mixed reviews about this lengthy book so we’ll see how it goes.
Yaa Gyasi’s “Homegoing,” 2016. Two half-sisters are both born in 18th century Ghana where one is sold into the slave trade and the other is married off to a wealthy Englishman. The story follows the generations of their families throughout history to the present day. I’ve seen this book being discussed everywhere on many social media platforms so I am eager to open it up.
Jonas Jonasson’s “The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden,” 2012. It has the best opening line ever: “The statistical probability that an illiterate in 1970s Soweto will grow up and one day find herself confined in a potato truck with the Swedish king and prime minister is 1 in 45,766,212,810. This, according to the calculations of the aforementioned illiterate herself.” I read his first book, “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” and loved it. Jonasson’s writing style is like a Wes Anderson film.
Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” 1985. Set in America, a totalitarian, right-wing, fundamentalist regime takes over the country. Women are enslaved for breeding purposes, all reproductive rights are stripped, and the constitution is destroyed. It is so hard to imagine a world such as this in 2017, right? Since there is a new TV series based on the novel I thought I would re-read this gem.
Well, I better get reading.
Cordially, etc. etc.