Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Nevermore: Homes, A Goddess, Lady First, Biden, Mama's Last Hug

Reported by Christy

First up, we had Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung.  Homes tells the story of the al Rabeeah family and their journey to Syria from Iraq for a safer life – just before the Syrian civil war broke out. Though our reader thought it was a little biased in favor of Sunnis, she also found it intriguing and the descriptions of hearing a war advancing “block by block” memorable.

Our next reader picked up Norman Lewis’ A Goddess in the Stones: Travels in India. Lewis traveled to India and hoped to record as much as he could about the tribal colonies there. Our reader admired the beauty of the writing and Lewis’ sympathy for the native people.

Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk by Amy S. Greenberg is a biography of the wife of President James K. Polk. Sarah Polk, unlike other women of her time, was raised to discuss politics and business. She was also a trusted confidant and advisor to her husband during his presidency. Polk lived for many years after her husband died, and devoted her life as a widow to being a hostess. However, our reader wasn’t entirely sure her story was worth a biography.

Joe Biden’s Promise Me, Dad is a memoir of the months leading up to and following the death of his son Beau from brain cancer. Though our reader had not finished it yet, she admired the family values espoused in the book and called it a “must read."

In Mama’s Last Hug by Frans de Waal, de Waal explores the rich emotional complexity of animals by discussing facial expressions and animal sentience among other topics. Our reader found it moving and “really interesting.”

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