Thursday, January 21, 2021

On Books

I think it's been at least 6 months since I posted about my reading/listening, so it seems like a good time to catch up. 

At the moment, I'm reading Uncanny Valley, by Anna Wiener, an autobiographical account of a young woman in Silicon Valley. She started out in New York in traditional publishing, so she isn't your typical IT-type. She is an excellent writer, and it's both entertaining and informative.

I'm listening to The Last Million, by David Nasaw, a history of the last million displaced persons in Germany after WWII. It is interesting but disturbing. Here's the crux of it: After WWII, America welcomed in tens of thousands of Nazi collaborators and Nazis as it fought like heck to keep out us Jews.

This is weird but delightful novel about a set of twins who burst into flames when they are upset. I don't usually like magical realism, but I really enjoyed this one. It's short and written in a breezy style.

This novel made a lot of best-of lists for 2020. I thought it was OK. Offill is known for her structure, which is small snapshots that add up to a larger picture. She makes it work, but I liked her previous novel better: Dept. of Speculation.

This graphic novel about the life Franz Kafka is amazingly good. The author and the illustrator cram a lot of information into this format. I find Kafka endlessly fascinating, so I really enjoyed it. Robert Crumb is the illustrator, so that makes the visuals strong. It's definitely the fastest way to learn about Franz.

I think that's enough for one post. You may see a Jewish theme here and that is no accident. I'm working a series of quilts about Jews in Eastern Europe and the U.S., which reflects my background. You might remember that I visited Lithuania a few years ago because most of my family is from that country, although it was Tsarist Russia when they left. 

Read on!


  1. Like the Tulsa massacre in Lovecraft County, I've learned more of our history from mini-series lately than I did in school or college. I've had to Google things that I thought were too fantastic and found out many of them were true. Hunters on Prime Video was one wild, crazy ride but Amazon did an amazing job of putting up a sidebar during some scenes explaining how it was based on how we actually did bring Nazis here to work in government agencies. You could have picked me up off the floor.

  2. It is appalling how our government allies with the wrong people far too often or helps far too late.

  3. I will be very interested to see your quilts!

  4. My husband's Polish family were killed during WWII for not producing enough from their farms. Man outdoes himself when it comes to cruelty to others. God extends grace in spite of them.

  5. Some of our history is just simply appalling. Why is it that we never seem to learn?

  6. bursting into flames sound cool. I find the older I get the more broadminded I am about a genre or plot!