Americanah

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes so passionately about love and culture in Americanah.  Ifemulu and Obinze meet as teens in Nigeria, both full of optimism for their future and love for each other. Trying to attend an university within a country under military rule becomes too difficult, Ifemulu is able to travel to America to complete her education. Obinze isn’t as lucky and tries to illegally live in Britain. Both travel roads of immigrants everywhere with varying degrees of success. They both find success, but feel that they aren’t living the life they wanted.

Years after their break-up, they reach out to one another from afar. During this love story, both have to deal with racism and being the other in another country. Adichie dives into race relations and differences from both perspectives. I feel like I learned a lot especially from Ifemulu’s time in American and her views  on American culture and racism.

Interesting, educational read. Read March 2019

The Man from Beijing

Henning Mankell’s The Man from Beijing tells about how revenge can be served super cold. A whole town is massacred in a brutal way with no leads and little evidence. A judge from further south, Birgitta Roslin, realizes that her mother’s foster parents were among the dead. After putting on leave from work due to a medical condition, Birgitta investigates on her own, even traveling with a friend to Beijing to follow up on her leads. The Swedish police aren’t interested in hearing her theories, but someone in China seems to taking her as a threat.

This was an exciting, multiple country story of revenge.

Read March 2019

Bridge to Terabithia

Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia was an amazing coming of age story about a young boy Jesse and his friendship with the newcomer to school Leslie. Jesse’s family is big, loud, and poor. Leslie’s family is smaller, smarter, and quieter. But Leslie is able to open up Jesse’s imagination to the world beyond his small world.

There’s alot of about family dynamics and friendship with in this book. I read this with my son’s 4th grade reading group and everyone agreed about how emotional and great this book was. This is a tearjerker, fyi.

Read March 2019

Do You Believe in Magic? The sense and nonsense of Alternative medicine

Paul A. Offit, M.D. states that he wants to review the effecitvness of Alternative medicine, like Acupuncture and herbal supplements, in Do You Believe in Magic? The sense and nonsense of Alternative medicine. While there was alot of helpful information about some questionable medical practices where practitioners rely more on their own theories instead of sound medical knowledge, I felt that he gave too much of a pass to the pharmaceutical industry. He complains of the lack of oversight on herbal supplements but seemingly ignores the countless pharmaceutical recalls that happen even after the oversight that he says is superior. He touts the established medical community of thoroughly evaluating their treatments but ignores that medical advice about many topics has swung all over the place as the medical community learns through trial and error. I’m not disputing all of his claims, but he doesn’t seem to place the same critical eye on western medicine as he’s putting on eastern modalities in this book. Which makes me question his true purpose.

Read March 2019

Hippie Food – How Back-To-The-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat

I’ve been reading Jonathan Kauffman’s Hippie Food – How Back-To-The-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat for months now. Its interesting but just as longwinded as the title. So many hippie names and details of who started which co-op in which hippie part of town.

Its interesting, but too much. I’m not even sure what the point of the book was other than to get down to the minutiae of every health food trend. I’m thankful that the food trends have continued towards the healthier which makes it more available.

Read March 2019.