Books Read

  1. Emma – Emotional Load and Mental Load. These two books were exactly as I expected based on reading the comics online – unpleasantly on-point when it comes to gender and disturbingly at variance with my assumptions and beliefs when it comes to economics (she’s very socialist). That, of course, makes them very worth reading and thinking about. The biggest surprise was that Youngest Kid read both with apparent interest, which is not what one would expect of a boy his age. My future DIL has much to be grateful for (not that I’d tell her, of course). Here’s Emma’s best-known comic
  2. Chinelo Anyadiegwu – Igbo Mythology For Kids. Probably the nicest mythology book I’ve ever read and the only one that can be given to children without parental supervision. The author believes that mythology is alive and that telling it in their own way is ok. I don’t really believe that traditional Igbo mythology is all that tolerant towards non-cis-hetero people, but it’s nice to have a mythology book that is. Mythology books don’t normally have parents that are good within my definition of good parenting – it’s nice to have one that does. It’s also nice to have a mythology book that successfully tries to give an idea of the society to which the myths belong. For instance, the characters don’t just “go to market” – they start at a specific time for an explained reason, walk along a specific path with an explained group of other people, see detailed and explained things along the way… my favorite! I wouldn’t say I know anything about life in Southeastern Nigeria based on this book, but I know slightly less nothing, and there’s a solid basis there for enriching exploration. I’m really happy I bought this and signed up for author alerts.
  3. Dave Eggers – Eyes and the Impossible. Another lovely book. Can be given to kids with no supervision, can be used as relaxation reading, can just be held and admired because it’s published with an excessive gorgeousness that’s sensual verging on sexual. It was particularly pleasant to slowly realize the action happens in Golden Gate park but during a decade when I was nearby but entirely unaware of it. It is really tempting to compare Eyes and the Impossible to Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, which is why I almost didn’t buy it – but the wood! the liquid gold edge! the smooth creamy paper! the illustrations! It’s not at all like that. It even has a foreword that says it isn’t like that. It’s more like Seton Thompson or Bianki, but without the hopelessness and cruelty. Signed up for author alerts and updated the library list.
  4. Richard C. Morais – The Hundred-Foot Journey. It’s… a book. About cooking and immigration from India, written by someone who neither cooked, nor immigrated, nor spent time in India. It carefully hits all the right buttons. It adds nothing whatsoever to my knowledge of either India or haute cuisine, probably because the author read all the same books as me. I got it because of an endorsement on the back by Anthony Bourdain, and I can definitely see why he liked it – Morais repeats many of his opinions.
  5. Caimh McDonnell – McGarry Stateside. So far the author is a few books ahead of me, but I’m gaining steadily. Definitely re-readable from any point in the series, and I really look forward to watching the TV series

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