Four Books & A Movie

When asked about what he looks for in a novel, actor and writer Tom Hanks told the New York Times, “ Authenticity. I want to see the world accurately, and history examined is search of the details of truth.”

Hanks’ collection of short stories, Uncommon Type is due out this week. Each story pays homage to the typewriter, an object that fascinates Hanks. He collects old typewriters, yet admits he writes on a laptop.

Good fiction to me also illuminates the truth and recently I’ve plowed through some amazing novels.

They are:

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel takes on how a child’s decision to change genders affects a family and community. When Rosie and Penn’s fifth son shows signs that he’s more girl than boy, the family responds first with secrets and then with openness.

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent reveals the co-dependency that evolves from incest. Set in California, the author employs his knowledge of the natural world to create an atmosphere of survival. 

For insights into the immigrant experience in the United States, read Imbolo Mbue’s  Behold the Dreamers.   You’ll wonder about the lives of those “invisible” people around us- taxi drivers, housecleaners and so on. Jende Jonga assumes leaving Cameroon for New York will improve life for him, his wife and six-year-old son. He’s ready to follow the American Dream. But what happens when his dream falls apart?

In Lisa Ko’s The Leavers,   Deming Guo’s undocumented Chinese mother, Polly, suddenly disappears, leaving the bewildered 11-year-old who is subsequently adopted by a white couple and moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate. His story of finding his mother and his identity moves quickly and brings home the issue facing many today.

I’ve ordered the Hanks’ book and am reading Hillary Clinton’s What Happened. That’s a truth I’d rather not be reading.

Finally go see Marshall, the biopic about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. A sad reminder that with all the progress, much work remains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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6 Responses to Four Books & A Movie

  1. Thanks for the suggestions, Lisa. They sound good, particularly the books about immigrants. I’ll put them on my ever increasing TBR list…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Would love to read them all. Don’t know where to begin.Gteat

    Like

  3. HI Lisa,
    Thanks for these recommendations. They sound like they are all stories for our times–especially important in these dark days. If anything good has come out of the last election, it’s that it has galvanized a resistance, people who are working and speaking out for social justice, and to keep people from being marginalized and discriminated against.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps the only good thing? But no amount of resistance can stand up to hacking, voter suppression, and all the other evils we seem faced with. A daunting task; we have to stay vigilant and active. All great books to read!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As good as those titles sound, I have not heard of most of them: except, of course, the Tom Hanks book. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more talented writers could have similar access to TV stations to promote their work?

    Liked by 1 person

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