Leave the World Behind

While reading this book, I kept thinking, “did Rumaan Alam think his book would be so timely when he was writing it?”  The topics of race, class, and family would have been enough to make this a very 2020 book but how could anyone have known that a book that discussed those topics AND a global catastrophe would be written pre-2020, only to be released at the end of what feels like the longest year ever?  As much as I loved this book, I would hesitate to recommend it right now, solely based on the content, knowing that some people might not want to read about the beginning of the end of the world while we are still dealing with a pandemic. However, if you feel like you can handle this topic right now, this book is one that you will be hearing about a lot over the next few months (Netflix bought the rights before the book was even released and Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington are already set to star in the adaptation,) and I really enjoyed this one, as much as you can enjoy a sad, semi-apocalyptic book.

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Such a Fun Age

If there was ever a fiction book that needed to be read during a specific time in history, this is the book.  “Such a Fun Age” is topical in ways I don’t think Kiley Reid could have ever predicted.  At a time when white people feel it’s not only their duty but their right to call the police on black folks just trying to live their life, this book takes a look at the ripple effect these acts have on the people involved.  What I appreciate most about this book is Reid’s desire to highlight a real world problem while also telling a compelling and funny story.

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The Black Maria

Reading poetry is a skill and one that I have not used in a while.  I used to read more in my teens and twenties and have no valid reason for waiting so long to pick up a book of poetry again.  That’s why I appreciated that a prompt on one of my reading challenges was a collection of poetry published since 2014.  This was a great excuse to seek out new poets and new collections and I enjoyed my experience with The Black Maria, even if I found myself confused by the format.

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