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Books I have read. . .September

SarahVowellLafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

While I am not much of a nonfiction reader, I did enjoy learning a bit more about the revolutionary war from Vowell’s amusing but historically accurate rendition of what role the Marquis de Lafayette played in our battles and strategies, and basially how much our independence relied on the French alliance. If you like history but hate it dry and humorless, try Sarah Vowell’s books. I’m reading her Assassination Vacation now. Basically a road trip to political murder spots and the strange artifacts that are left behind and glorified. An enjoyable read.

Atwood_HeartThe Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood PR9199.3.A8H43

This is one of Atwood’s lighter read. It starts as dystopian but soon veers to farcical. The world is coming to an economical collapse. People will do anything to feel secure. So why not become part of a prison project where civilians and prisoners swap roles once a month? The novel shifts into a high-paced action mystery, with lots of sex, lies and black-market body parts. While Atwood is good at social commentary, this is more love story than a good moral scolding, with one couple holding the plot together, determined to escape and expose the prison project for its nefarious activities. Rather flippant but fun.

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
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This novel is told in 13 short stories. Vignettes showing Elizabeth’s battle with her body from adolescence to divorce from different viewpoits. Throughout, the one constant is her self-loathing because of her weight and what the culture reflects back to her. Elizabeth achieves her ideal weight and finds she’s more miserable. Awad shows the ingrained desirability of thinness, no matter how one achieves it, with its supposition of happiness, is not always an equation that works. Awad asks “When we change our bodies do we really change ourselves?” Also of interest might be Sarai Walker’s Dietland.

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