Etgar Keret's memoir is set up like his fiction; short essays liked together by The Seven Good Years, which just happen to coincide with the first sevEtgar Keret's memoir is set up like his fiction; short essays liked together by The Seven Good Years, which just happen to coincide with the first seven years of his son's life. Many of his tales veer towards the absurd, which makes sense in a life lived in a war-torn country.
The brief chapters in this memoir, add up to a poignant portrayal of Keret's tales of fatherhood and family. One of my favorite chapters contains an argument about the ethics of the popular phone game Angry Bird. Keret's mother wonders why the birds are dropping bombs on the pigs, destroying their homes, and killing innocent families.
This is a short and quick read, but adds up to some memorable moments, which is what a life is composed of anyway. ...more
We all bring a lifetime of experiences to whatever book we read. I read Between the World and Me, keeping in mind that I am the father of a black son.We all bring a lifetime of experiences to whatever book we read. I read Between the World and Me, keeping in mind that I am the father of a black son. My wife is also black. Being a white father, I cannot pass on the experiences of being a black man in America. As a member of white society, I can walk blithely through life unaware of the biases and profiling that affects my own family.
Between the World and Me is a memoir, written in the form of a letter to the writer’s fifteen-year-old son. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a black father, and in this book he relates his own experiences of growing up black in America. Sometimes is he is quite angry – rightfully so – and his narrative is always personal and emotionally powerful. He’s not just talking about slavery and the subjugation of the African-American people, but the fact that America’s success was built on the backs of these people.
He uses direct quotes to dispute dangerous ideas, such as the Civil War not being fought over slavery. Coates covers institutional racism, and how most of us are deluded by this idea of whiteness, also known as “the American Dream”. There is a lot to digest in just over one-hundred and fifty pages, especially for those of us only familiar with the winner’s interpretation of history. Every once in a while, a book deserves the exalted status it’s being given, and Between the World and Me is one of those books. ...more
I rarely stop reading a book before I have finished, but My Life as a Foreign Country is being added to that very short list. I understand that BrianI rarely stop reading a book before I have finished, but My Life as a Foreign Country is being added to that very short list. I understand that Brian Turner, in addition to being an Iraq War veteran, is a poet. Well, he injects a little too much poetic prose into this thin memoir. In addition to many lines that may be beautiful to read, but upon reflection have no meaning ("...the early morning light illuminates the translucent nature of the grass in its subtle gesture toward infinity." Huh?), Turner also uses dream sequences, sometimes shifting from fact to dream in the same paragraph.
His dreamy poetic visions started to feel redundant, and after nearly reading half the book, I realized that I could not put myself through the last half of this disappointing war memoir. I have read some great war memoirs over the years, but this is not one of them....more
Did you ever read the first line of a book to see if it grabbed you? Well, this odd memoir grabbed me from the first sentence and wouldn't let go untiDid you ever read the first line of a book to see if it grabbed you? Well, this odd memoir grabbed me from the first sentence and wouldn't let go until the end of the source notes.
Most of us probably hold at least a little bit of morbid curiosity about what goes on behind the doors at your local crematorium. Your curiosity will be more than satisfied by Ms. Doughty's account of her years as a burgeoning mortician. In addition to details such as how they keep those darn eyelids closed during the funeral, Doughty educates us on death rituals from around the world and obscure funeral laws.
There was a day when the families of the dead were responsible for preparing the bodies for burial, but -- with the advent of the funeral business -- our society has become detached from the reality of death, to the point of denial. Doughty seeks to reconnect us with the very last page of the last chapter in our book of life. ...more