Thursday, November 5, 2015

Knopf 100--Day 18

Someone who knows Gianna, please remind her to swing by my house to bring in my trash cans. Thanks.

65. Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead, originally published in 2012. Weddings are a fictional, frictional gold mine, and what's not to love about a novel in which the bride is seven months pregnant? Think of a more literary Father of the Bride, with a pregnant bride, a TON of long held grudges, some lusting among the bridal party members, and a rogue lobster. This is the wedding I'd actually want to attend. Shipstead is a talented writer and an up and coming bestseller generator (if there's any justice at all in the world).

66. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, originally published in 2013. I was obsessed with Americanah when it came out and am still obsessed with Chimamanda Adichie. This woman is going to win all of the awards. In thirty years she will be a Nobel Prize winner. I'm calling it now. Americanah won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and it really should have won the Pulitzer (because it's a thousand times better than The Goldfinch). In the book, a young couple depart their native Nigeria. Ifemelu comes to the United States and finds some success in academia and as a commentator on the nation from the outsider's perspective. Obinze can't get into the US to join her, so he ends up going to England as an undocumented worker, but finds success. Fifteen years later they both end up returning to Nigeria, changed, but hopeful in rekindling their passion for each other and their homeland.

67. Peace by Richard Bausch, originally published in 2008. Like Jim Shepard, Richard Bausch is a super talented writer that not enough people read. I love this short novel of his, Peace. It's World War II and three US soldiers are sent on a mission to scout out what's on the other side of a hill. Their Italian guide can't be trusted and it turns out that the hill is really a mountain. It's cold and rainy and miserable and war is hell. This is the kind of novel that sticks in your head and makes you think "I should read everything this guy writes," and yes, you should.

68. Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, originally published in 2009. Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Kristof and WuDunn tell the stories of women around the world in their book Half the Sky, which was made into a PBS miniseries. The stories are sometimes grim, sad, and emotionally devastating, but they also offer hope. Imagine the strength of things like the economy, or education, or politics, or human rights, if half the world's population were treated equally with the other half. That's the mission here, and Half the Sky is one of the most important calls to action of the last decade.

No comments:

Post a Comment