What I’ve Read Recently

Cape Fear Rising

One can only try to imagine what Wilmington, NC, and the country, might have been like today if the coup of 1898 had not happened. Very few of us had any idea that a violent overthrow of the democratically elected local government had even occurred. With at least dozens of lives lost – and hundreds of futures destroyed – the course of history was permanently changed by a mob of power hungry residents. Based on the only too true story of this piece of history, this book forces us to begin questioning how many other embarrassing details of our history have been ignored by the history books, buried with the dead.

 Voyage of the Damned

When will we ever learn? 900 desperate refugees wander the ocean for weeks because no one will allow the Jews into their country. Most of them would have lived if the United States or Cuba had accepted them. Strongly suggested reading for everyone today.

 

 

 

The Poisonwood Bible

The main reason that I participate in my book club – other than the amazing friends I’ve made there and the food of course – is that it makes me read some great books I never would have come across on my own. If you like historical fiction, this is a good book, with intriguing characters. But beyond that, there’s a great deal to think about related to cultural differences, bigotry, open-mindedness (and lack thereof) and historical events from a part of the world unknown to me. Thanks to my book club for this one.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The polio vaccine might never have been discovered without Henrietta Lacks’ genes. Over the years, her genes have been vital in research related to cancer, viruses, in vitro fertilization, cloning and much more. She’s been dead more than 60 years, but her valuable genes live on. The amazing story of this woman and her family, who had never known about the research done with her cells, is riveting.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Intriguing look at child rearing differences between cultures, sometimes hysterically funny, sometimes tragically sad, it’s an interesting book, which might only be enjoyed by those have been mothers struggling to do it right and their daughters who survived at all odds. This is the one that I told my daughter to read  whenever she is tempted to complain about her difficult upbringing.

The Invention of Wings

A woman born into slavery and a woman born into great “privilege,” the unwilling recipient of a 11th year birthday gift of the slave girl. Both feel trapped by their circumstances. Inspired by the real life Sarah Grimke, this historical novel delves into many of the uncomfortable facets of our real life history, forcing us to reflect on the unimaginable horror of slavery as well as the cultural restrictions placed on women from all walks of life.