Showing posts from September, 2016

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

                In the village in Turkey where Desdemona and Lefty were from, things like this happened often. Well, at least there were stories of babies born looking like girls and then around fifteen they were boys. But that was in turkey in the early 1900’s, not Detroit in the 1970’s. There was a reason why first cousins weren’t allowed to marry and you even needed permission to marry a second cousin. Desdemona was always afraid that something would happen after her and Lefty got married. But then they had two kids and they were fine. Their children had kids and Calliope seemed fine. Calliope had no idea about her own truth, even though it should have been discovered at birth. She was born with the genitalia of a woman but the genetics of a man. Middlesex is what Cal has to say about his family history, the girl he used to be and the man he became.                 I can honestly say that I have never read a book about a hermaphrodite before. This was …

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand (2001)

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

                Other trainers had overlooked Seabiscuit for many reasons. He was a difficult horse with “bucked knees” and bad composition. “Get me that horse. He has real stuff in him. I can improve him. I’m positive.” That statement made my by Tom Smith secured in history the success and trials that would come to him as the trainer, Charles Howard as the owner and Red Pollard, his jockey. The group would come together and take the racing world by storm. In the late 1930’s Seabiscuit would fight through injuries, successes and failures as he was swept back and forth across the country competing against many of the best horses in the world, breaking records and winning.                 I only found myself gravitating towards this book because I had previously read Hillenbrand’s Unbroken and absolutely loved it. I have never been a fan of horse racing. I’ve also never seen the movie Seabiscuit so I considered myself completely ignoran…

Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers (2000)

Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers

                I was convinced I knew what I wanted to write when I sat down to begin this review. I was going to mention how everyone can recognize the photo used on the cover of this book. That it’s an example of patriotism and a symbol of World War II. It represents the integrity of the men fighting on the small island of Iwo Jima and an ode to those who lost their lives. But it’s so much more than that. That image was used as propaganda to extract more bonds from Americans in the war effort. The image was falsely portrayed and the truth pushed to the side because the image itself was so well done that the story framed around it simply had to be true. Many didn’t want to listen to the true story behind the image, the raising of the second flag on top of Mount Suribachi. That the original picture of the first flag being raised was never used and is barely even acknowledged. Flags of Our Fathers uses this image to explain what rea…

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

                I don’t usually gravitate towards collections of short stories but after including Interpreter of Maladies as part of my thirty year theme, I may have to re-evaluate that decisions. These stories were beautiful. They were a look into a culture that I’m not familiar with. They had diverse characters whose lives I could vividly imagine. The stories were so diverse and extremely well imagined that I couldn’t pull away from any of them. This was so highly enjoyable that I want to read more of what it is Lahiri has to say. She was able to create these beautiful tales in such a simple and yet satisfying way. I raced through this book.                 I feel like there is a story for everyone. Whether it’s the story of a couple whose relationship is deteriorating after the birth of their child. Or an unexpected friendship with a very old woman. Even finding Christian imagery all over a home. And becoming friends with a man whose family …