As part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I wanted to share my thoughts on, "What does book blogging mean to ME." In a nutshell - it means BOOKS! It does NOT necessarily mean book "reviews" but discussions of books ... old, new, long, short, or just an "OMG, I loved this book!" It's about the celebration of the art-form of reading, and sharing the pleasure we get from it ... and hopefully lead other people to drink the Kool-Aid as they say. I believe that EVERY book - including picture books, young adult, literary fiction, fantasy & science fiction - can teach ME something. So, here's a list of 10 diverse books that made me think more about the World (read in 2012).
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline. (Science Fiction) A virtual world in which most people prefer to live rather than face real life any longer than they have to. I don't think we're far off from this reality.
Soft Apocalypse, Will McIntosh. (Apocalyptic) "This is how our world ends; with a whimper instead of a bang." Again, how close are we to this reality?
Pure, Julianna Baggott. (Young Adult Dystopian) Is this what life would be like after a nuclear event? Definitely doesn't gloss it up in this book - it's nasty, brutish & short.
Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor. (Young Adult Fantasy) I picked this because I was looking for a young adult book that was not set in the US or UK. This is set in Africa, and the world created is so vibrant & beautifully detailed. It really showed that it can be done (having diverse settings for YA books AND featuring characters of color) and should be done more often.
The Help, Kathryn Stockett. (Historical Fiction) Looking back at what it was like to black and living in the USA during the 60s - segregation at it's worse. Could I have survived during this time? Had the strength to go against the system?
The Devotion of Suspect-X, Keigo Higashino. (Mystery) This book made me think about loneliness. I have girl-friends who were single for a very long time, and some of the things they put up in with guys they dated was astounding to me. But that's what loneliness does to you - makes you do crazy things like in this book.
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, Andrea Davis Pinkney. (Non-Fiction Picture Book) Standing up against injustices is not easy and thank God there are people willing to do it, and I hope that I do my small part when I came across bigotry or hate in my daily life.
Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George by Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (Illustrator). (Non-Fiction Picture Book) Joseph Boulogne did not only excel at playing the violin (and eventually going on to play for French royalty), but he was also an excellent swordsman, good at academics & went on to join the underground movement fighting against slavery. He is not well known in history, but this book is a major learning tool in my household. If any one ever complains that they are doing too much - they can expect to hear me say, "You think you are doing as much as Joseph Boulogne?!"
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor. (Adult Fantasy) Although this is a work of fiction, it has a lot to do with genocide in Africa, and this book doesn't pretty it up. This is just one of the themes running through the book though - there's racism, feminism, female mutilation ... not an easy read.
The Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka. (Literary Fiction) Educated me on the lives of Japanese picture brides, and their plight of coming to America to be married to men they had only had email conversations with online - and then finding out that they had been lied to, and they were to be essentially indentured workers. Not a pretty picture.
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