Best of 2017: Books that I’m still thinking about
Here are 5 books that I read this year that I’m still thinking about. They had some difficult subject matter and themes but were still worthwhile reads.
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Y. Moore
This book takes on the topic of modern segregation. How it is often swept under the rug, and how it continues to the define the city of Chicago. It combines both facts and figures as Moore weaves her experience as well as collected stories from the community to showcase the perspectives of the those experiencing this form of injustice.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
This book is about a small town in Sweden and how the community rallies around the towns hockey team as hockey is the current force behind their community.
“It’s only a game. It only resolves tiny, insignificant things. Such as who gets validation. Who gets listened to. It allocates power and draws boundaries and turns some people into stars and others into spectators. That’s all.”
― Fredrik Backman, Beartown
Below may spoil one of the main plot points within the book.
This book has a big trigger warning for sexual assault and rape. That being said – the book addresses how a community can identify with, shape, support and pressure a hockey team to win big, but what happens when a woman is raped by a hockey player, can the small town believe her and support her if it may cost them the local championship?
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This is an amazing debut novel by Angie Thomas. From the beginning of the novel you are propelled into this page turning account of a girl, Star who is with her friend as he is pulled over for a broken tail-light, or rather because he was profiled, accosted and then shot three times by a police officer. Thomas has a way of putting you into Star’s shoes as she goes through her grief and juggles her life at home, life with her neighborhood friends and life in a suburban high school . Thomas will have you checking your privilege throughout the novel. You as the reader, experience the burden Star feels for living a life of duality. This is an easy book to be absorbed in, and it illustrates why the Black Lives Movement is so important.
Columbine by Dave Cullen
This one is about the Columbine High School Massacre which took place in 1999. Dave Cullen had arrived on the scene in Columbine an hour after the shooting started and this moment in time has forever shaped his life. He published this book after nearly a decade of research. The book gives some insight into the why of it all, and how 13 people have died, and a whole community is now part of the collective understanding that Columbine = School Shooting.
The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J Church
This is a debut novel from Elizabeth J. Church. This is a wonderful book that exudes the progress of feminism. It spans the time frame of 1940 to 1970, a time of pivotal progress. It’s a story about a woman with scientific ambitions but due to the norms of her era – she isn’t supposed to be ambitious, she isn’t supposed to have scientific inclinations, she’s supposed to be a housewife. The main character, Meridian Wallace portrays an unforgettable heroine whose metamorphosis shows how the women’s movement opened up for generations to come.