Friday, October 16, 2015

When in doubt, go to the library.

*****
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Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Blunt
Format: Audiobook

The Story: The story of a family told by 14 year old June, the youngest daughter. As the story opens, her Uncle Finn, who she loves, dies of AIDS. She watches how her family reacts and feels alone in her grief, because of their difficulty dealing with her uncle's homosexuality. A few months pass and June discovers that Finn had a partner that she never met, a man named Toby. The two become friends, joined by their memories of Finn and their grief.

The Review:
So excellent. I really enjoyed this book. It's got a cast of very real characters, dealing with very real emotions. It is interesting to watch how each of them process their grief and how they both reach for and reject each other.

It's also an interesting look at the AIDS epidemic in the 1980's. It's set in the late 80s and June comments that on the news one night they see that the FDA is approving medication to treat AIDS. Except it is 6 months too late to save her uncle. For me it was an interesting insight into how AIDS was treated and the big shift to how it is treated now.

I recommend it.


*****
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The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
Format: Audiobook

The Story:
This is a non-fiction sociological look at how societies have defined their gods through known history.

The Review:
I found this really interesting at the beginning. Wright began with all kinds and types of tribes and communities, and broke down what we know about them from artifacts and records. And then he discussed their worship practices and who/what they thought god/God was. These societies are so interesting because they are using gods and the supernatural to explain the world they lived in. And it's so understandable. Even in the movie "Twister" they say an F5 tornado is "the finger of God." So of course these early humans would have needed some way to understand the world.

But I lost interest halfway through when Wright took to breaking down the Bible to understand those societies and their definitions of god/God. At first it was interesting. But then it just really dragged on and on.

I don't really recommend it, unless you are super in to this sort of thing.



*****
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Tenth of December by George Saunders
Format: Audiobook

The Story:
A collection of short stories.

The Review:
These were so great. I enjoy short stories (although they are incredibly difficult to review). Saunders is clever. These are well-written and are full of interesting characters and unexpected plotlines.

I recommend it.



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