September 2020–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   (Reminder: the page numbers I list here reflect the number of Kindle pages, not paper pages.)  I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:    

Untamed by Glennon Doyle (Length: 302 pages).   I really enjoyed this collection of autobiographical essays after all was said and done.  Glennon Doyle is married to the former soccer player Abby Wambaugh, who she started dating after Doyle and her husband divorced.  I feel like I’ve read the essays in the first third of the book somewhere on social media before, so I wasn’t very impressed when I first began reading.  However the second half of the book the content and the quality of the writing began to pick up quite a bit.  Doyle is a very thoughtful and talented writer.  Her political and theological essays are my favorite in this collection.  I do think every reader will learn something from her, for sure.  




Book #2:

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (Length: 304 pages).  This is a fascinating (fictionalized) account of the Chinese immigrant experience in New York City, told from the perspective of a young daughter of a widow.  This is very plot-driven as the reader is carried along on the pair’s journey from Hong Kong to New York, and then as the protagonist daughter navigates elementary through high school, all while working for pennies in a garment factory.   The writing is just okay here, in fact I think it’s almost juvenile, but I couldn’t put it down because I “had” to find out what happened to Kimberly Chang.  This might be an interesting book club pick, especially post the American Dirt fad.  




Book #3:

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Length: 350 pages).   This is my book club’s September pick, and I was immediately intrigued with the premise of the novel.  Black twins separated from one another on the cusp of true adulthood, both with vastly different adult experiences.  The interesting twist here is that due to their skin color, the twins both can “pass” as Caucasian women, and one does.  So the one twin passing as white is literally eavesdropping on the racist attitudes of her community, and even acts racist herself to fit in.  The writing here is excellent, especially the character development of the twins.  Obviously the novel is also very plot-driven because the reader wants to find out if the twins are ever reunited.  This is a fantastic book club pick because it will generate interesting and very thought-provoking discussions on race in America.  

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