Book #61 of 2017 was a short one, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists. This is adapted from her TED Talk and is a quick, entertaining read.
Book #62 was The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming, by Henri Nouwen. So, so good. I know I will reread this many times. Some tastes:
"The finding has the losing in the background, the returning has the leaving under its cloak. Looking at the tender and joy-filled return, I have to dare to taste the sorrowful events that preceded it. Only when I have the courage to explore in depth what it means to leave home, can I come to a true understanding of the return."
"I leave home every time I lose faith in the voice that calls me the Beloved and follow the voices that offer a great variety of ways to win the love I so much desire."
"The leap of faith always means loving without expecting to be loved in return, giving without wanting to receive, inviting without hoping to be invited, holding without asking to be held."
Book #63 was A Thread of Grace, by Mary Doria Russell. I read this because earlier in the summer I had been so blown away by Russell's novels The Sparrow and The Children of God, reviewed in this post. This one was very different. It's about Italy during World War II, after Mussolini surrenders and the Germans take over. I was reading this while Nazis were in the news, the modern variety who think it's fun and cool to be fascists and white supremacists and wear swastikas. It was a strange and jarring feeling to revisit the horrors of WWII Nazism with that backdrop. Like the other Russell books I'd read, this one is full of moral ambiguity, human beings doing their best, and wonderful relationships.
Book #64 was The Brutal Telling, by Louise Penny. I am reading my way through these Inspector Gamache novels as they become available to download from the library. I thought this one was the best so far, and I'm glad I didn't give up on the series before now.
Book #65 was Sisterhood Everlasting, the fifth in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, by Ann Brashares. This came out in 2011 but I only recently found out about it. It takes place ten years after the fourth book, so the friends are 29 years old. It's perhaps not the most realistic of conclusions to the series, but realism isn't why we read books like this. I'm a little embarrassed by how much I loved this paean to friendship that endures against all odds.
Book #66 was In this House of Brede, by Rumer Godden. I read this years ago, maybe even in high school, and I enjoyed it even more this time. I also found out there's a made-for-TV movie available on YouTube, so I watched it. It was not anywhere near as good as the book, with its trademark complex Rumer Godden prose. The book came out in 1969, and it's the story of Philippa Talbot, a successful professional in her forties, who decides to become a Benedictine nun.
Book #67 was The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. This was a horrifying and affecting book, full of gut-wrenching details about what it was like to be a slave, but I don't understand what was gained by the fantasy conception of the Underground Railroad as a real railroad with trains and tunnels.
This post is linked to the September Quick Lit post at Modern Mrs. Darcy.
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