Friday, February 4, 2011

Books #10 and #11 of 2011

Well, I haven't been doing much cooking or much of anything else interesting this week (besides being on the hunt for some of these cupcakes) but I did take a trip to the library and have been doing some reading!

Book #10 was Maus by Art Spiegelman. Wow. Amazing book. It's a graphic novel telling the story of the author's father, who lived as a Jewish man in Poland during World War 2 and spent time in Auschwitz. The characters are portrayed as animals rather than people, with each ethnicity and/or nationality as a different animal. For instance, Jews are mice and Germans or other non-Jews are for the most part portrayed as pigs. The book flashes back an forth between the 1970s, when Spiegelman is recording his father's story, and the father's story itself. The book shows the way the father's experiences would impact the way he lived the rest of his life. This book was eye-opening and doesn't hold back. Parts were difficult to read but I feel it's important to be educated about these events. I highly recommend this book, which is the recipient of a well-deserved Pulitzer prize. Being a graphic novel, it is a fairly quick read. I wasn't able to put it down and read it in 2 days. 5 stars

I was slightly less thrilled with book #11, Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez. This was a book I had marked as wanting to read from the Young Adult Literature class I took 2 years ago. It's about Anita, a 12-year-old who lives in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. Her parents are involved in a plot to kill the dictator and liberate the country. The book was fairly interesting, but personally, I don't care much for books written towards the tween set. The writing was simplistic for my taste, but it was a good story about a topic that doesn't get a lot of attention. 3 stars

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