Jun. 22nd, 2017

sarahmichigan: (kitty)
Book No. 35 was "The Silence of Our Friends," a graphic memoir by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos, with illustrations by Nate Powell. Mark Long tells the story of how his family befriended a local black family in Houston during the Civil Rights era, and how Long's father gets pulled into a trial of 5 African American students accused of shooting a police officer during a riot. An interview with Long about the events that inspired the book can be found here. I liked the illustration style and that it carried a lot of the story, and I like that Long showed it through the eyes of a child watching what the grown-ups are doing. Highly recommended.

Book No. 36 was "Under the Udala Trees" by Chinelo Okparanta. The story follows Ijeoma, who comes of age in Nigeria during and after the Biafran war. During the war, her father dies, and her mother tries to protect Ijeoma and sends her to another town to live with a school teacher as a servant. There, Ijeoma falls in love with the wrong person - a girl, and not just any girl but a girl from the wrong tribe. The story follows Ijeoma through the 1970s and 80s as she deals with same-sex attraction in a highly homophobic time and place (homosexuality is still punishable by stoning in the northern part of Nigeria TODAY). I really liked the main character and was in fear for her throughout the novel. It is simply told and doesn't have a lot of literary flourishes, but it's beautiful and affecting. Another highly-recommended read.

The other books I've read so far this year: )

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