Book Review: Isabel Allende, In the Midst of Winter

A love story and mystery sprinkled throughout with tales of atrocities in Latin America. Classic Allende, although less robust of a story than her earlier novels in terms of character development and details.

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Book Review: Louise Erdrich, Future Home of the Living God

A fast-paced gem: I read this in about 24 hours because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything done this morning if I didn’t finish (although I did talk a walk before part three, on a cold bleak day: very fitting to set up the last part of the book). Set in a dystopian future that was indeed reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale as well as several other novels – check out the December issue of Elle, where Margaret Atwood interviews Louise Erdrich: swoon! Two of my favorite authors. Cedar, adopted and beloved daughter of two progressive liberals in Minnesota, becomes pregnant right at the cusp of the change, when society starts moving backward and babies stop being born healthy, if they survive at all. After traveling north to meet her Ojibwe birth mother and family, Cedar returns to a home already different and goes directly into hiding. An amazing story of courage, love, and resilience in the face of adversity, a fitting read for today’s uncertain time.

Book Review: Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams, The Book of Joy

A wonderful book from two of today’s most important spiritual teachers The Book of Joy is a conversation that seeks to explain how everyone can withstand the trials and tribulations of living in the world to find joy in everyday living. Without being either overtly Christian or Buddhist, the book still draws from these spiritual practices, how could it not? I derived great joy in looking at the photos of these two great men and their great friendship, and thinking about what an impact this book will have on everyone who reads it.

Book Review: Antonio Skármeta, I Dreamt The Snow Was Burning

A story of a Chilean footballer going off on his own for the first time, obsessed with losing his virginity, and lacking the social graces to do so, set in a tense time before the Revolution. Surrealistic with lots of heavy experimental writing with streams of consciousness drifting in one long paragraph among characters and other surrealistic styles.