Archive for May, 2019

by Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman
I did love the audiobook of this book – and consumed it for Popsugar prompt #29 A book with LOVE in the title
As Karen, Mullally is one of my all time favourite comics – her line ‘You say potato , I say vodka’ is still my best ever tv line. And yes, I know she didn’t write it necessarily but she delivered it perfectly.
Offerman I am less familiar with because I didn’t watch enough Parks and Recs.
But after this book I want to be their best friend. It is such a wonderful look at a good relationship, a good friendship, a great understanding and a shared sense of wonder at the world and themselves. They manage to maintain an awe at their good fortune without it sounding fake. I truly believe they are still amazed at the wonderful life they are having – there is zero sense of entitlement. Kardashians they are not.
These are hugely talented people – I googled Mullally’s band and think it is amazing, stalked Offerman’s wood work and want one of his pieces, tracked them through Youtube and watched every interview.
He really is a big galumph in many ways, next to the butterfly fairy that is Mullally – and it makes me smile just to think of their obvious connection and love.
I am not sure how it would work as a paper book because they bounce back and forth, chatting and talking and finishing each other’s sentences. Listening to them made me feel like I was there, having a chat, eavesdropping on an evening at home.
And it was delicious
Just wonderful – I am going to miss them in my ears
A feel good book that hits all the spots without sliding into saccharine bilge
Lovely lovely – go listen to it right now!

Pills and Starships

by Lydia Millet
I read this and it matches Popsugar prompt 41 “cli-fi”
An interesting dystopic YA novel set in a future world created primarily because the past people (us) didn’t take note of the climatic tipping point.
Nat (17) and her brother Sam (14) are with their parents on the Big Island of Hawaii because their parents have bought a contract to end their own lives. It is their Final Week and the family go through a series of ceremonies, all of which Nat records. This is how life ends in this future and they are not alone – there are a few families doing the same thing, as there are every week. When people live into their mid 100s on a planet starved of food and water, having death contracts available from the ruling Corps is not that unfeasible and idea.
Except that Sam is a hacker guy and knows things others do not. Put that together with Nat’s unhappiness at her parents’decision, and you get a curiosity which has to end in something interesting.
And so it does.
Cracks to start to appear in the facade created by the Corp that sold the death contract to the family, and the kids see what is on the other side.
I think it is in interesting look at both a possible future world and how people might rebel against that.
I was equally interested in the Corp-created life (and death) situation and in the alternative options the teenagers explore.
Dystopic writing is becoming more and more realistic and likely as we really do hurtle towards a world with limited water and food, and much too big a population for the planet to sustain.
Something is going to happen and the future Miller suggests is as likely as any other.
I am not usually a fan of YA but I thought this book look at some very interesting adult ideas even if the character development was a bit thin.
Still worth reading though

Walking on the Ceiling

by Aysegül Savas

Mozhan Marnò (Narrator)

This is my book for Popsugar prompt 26 – a book published in 2019
I experienced this as an audiobook and loved both the story and Mozhan Marnò’s narration

This book tells the stories of Nunu, a Turkish woman in Paris after her mother’s death, and her relationship with the author M. It also tells the story of Nunu’s relationship with her mother and with Istanbul.
It is about memory and relationships, stories and expectations, love and grief. Nunu shares short pieces from her lives – her life in Istanbul with her ailing mother, her life as a child in a vibrant city she loved, her life as a young student entranced by and with M.

There is no real narrative, no beginning, middle and end in a traditional sense. But instead there is a beautiful meander through two different cities and two different relationships. Both cities are described with such love that the human relationships have some real competition.

Nunu’s grief at the loss of her mother and the odd situation with M thread through this story too – I often felt a deep loneliness coming from her tinged with regret at things not done or said.

A very lovely book with hidden depths and, if done as an audiobook, covered in the silky smoothness of Marnò’s beautiful voice.
Considering this is a debut novel I am even more impressed by it and hope Savas keeps creating.

by Wendy Pearlman

Powerful collection of tales, vignettes, comments and thoughts of Syrian refugees collected over half a decade or so. (Pearlman speaks Arabic and so the stories are as undiluted as possible considering they are written in English after being told in Arabic.)

From stories recounting years to simple paragraphs in which a person conveys the single most important element of their life, none of these will leave you untouched.
The brutality and humanity are evident in equal measure in these stories – I was flooded with sadness, anger, despair and horror as I experienced these stories.
These stories need to be read. heard, listened to, learnt from – we as a species needs to start treating each other with the humanity we claim to have/be. No family should have to walk across countries just to be safe. No children should drown falling out of crowded boats. no families should be split because one members has to run from persecution because of their political beliefs.
These stories remind us that this is still happening – that the global community allows this to happen. We are all responsible

by Doris Pilkington, Nugi Garimara

This is my #ReaderHarder prompt 8 #ownvoice from Oceania book

Very simply written but deeply moving and disturbing story of three little girls who ran away from a school they were sent to because they were of mixed race.
The children of white men and Aboriginal women in Australia they were shipped off to a residential school designed to develop the white in them and control the black.
They escaped and walked across a huge chunk of Australia to get home again.

This story is honest and raw and terrible. What colonists did (and do) to indigenous people is horrific and shaming.

Clearly not written by a professional writer the value of this book is not in how the words are spun, but in the simple, atrocious story it tells.