Freedom and Future Library

Cats Literature Reviews

June 2021 and Mid-Year Reading Recap

Sigh.  Well, I think posting a monthly (and even half-year) reading recap a full three weeks into the next month has to be some sort of record, even for me, but here we are.  And I admit that at this point I’d even been contemplating holding off another week so as to combine this with […]

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Literature Reviews

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun completely bowled me over when I read it a few years ago.  Purple Hibiscus, too, took me in, though never as absolutely, when I read it the following year; for a first novel, it’s very impressive indeed.  I seem to be doing somewhat less well with Adichie’s […]

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Literature Reviews

John Steinbeck: The Moon Is Down

My final venture into John Steinbeck’s oeuvre in the context of the (Dead) Authors in Residence challenge, and once more I found confirmation of everything that made me a fan of Steinbeck’s all the way back in my teens: vision and prescience of judgment, exquisitely fine characterization and, perhaps most of all, infinitely great humanity. […]

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Literature Music Reviews

May 2021 Reading Recap

Still a lot of work on the back end of the blog, including on my “featured authors” pages (see the right column on the main Literature page and the introduction of my April 2021 recap post).  So, contrary to plans, still no new posts in my alphabet blogging series in May.  However, the time-consuming back end […]

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Literature Reviews

Marcie R. Rendon: Murder on the Red River

When I took a look at Native American authors whose work I might want to explore, next to Joy Harjo (whose memoir Crazy Brave I read last month), Marcie R. Rendon quickly stood out as another obvious candidate.  A member of the (Ojibwe / Minnesota Chippewa) White Earth Band, she is a resident of Minneapolis; […]

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Literature Reviews

Marcie R. Rendon: Girl Gone Missing

Given how much I liked Rendon’s debut novel, reading her second book, too, was pretty much a given for me.  Again she writes from the heart; in this instance, about the trafficking of young girls and women for sex purposes, the victims of which trade formed a large part of her day job before becoming […]

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Literature Reviews

John Steinbeck: The Winter of Our Discontent

John Steinbeck’s final novel was one I had never gotten around to in my Steinbeck fangirl binges of yore — I knew it was reputed to be “bleak”, and after I’d seen what Steinbeck can do along those lines in The Grapes of Wrath (never mind that that actually is one of my favorite novels […]

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Cats Literature Reviews

April 2021 Reading Recap

First things first: The persistent bug preventing followers / readers to comment on my posts straight off the post (i.e., other than by using the WP Reader) has finally been weeded out, thanks to my hosting service’s IT team … so you can, at last, comment even if you’re not using the WP Reader.  (I […]

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Cats Literature Reviews

Ursula K. Le Guin: No Time to Spare

Ursula K. Le Guin is an author I’ve only started to discover very recently.  I knew that she fought hard against the qualification as a genre (sci-fi / fantasy / speculative fiction) author; and she has always had all my support to the extent that “genre” is used as synonymous with “less worthy” (or, as […]

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Literature Reviews

Nella Larsen: Passing

Nella Larsen’s Passing had been sitting on my TBR for a minor eternity; when I found that her birthday, too, was in April, I knew that I had laid my hand on another entry for this particular reading challenge. The novella’s title refers to an extremely light-skinned person of color’s “passing” from their community — […]

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Literature Reviews

Charlotte Brontë: Villette

Villette was one of the Brontë sisters’ few mature works I had yet to read (besides Charlotte’s The Professor — which is actually the first version of what would, after a major revision, become Villette — and the opening fragment of the substantially unfinished Emma, as well as most of the siblings’ juvenalia).  It was, […]

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Literature Reviews

Joy Harjo: Crazy Brave

Poet Joy Harjo is one of today’s foremost Native American voices; her recently-published memoir was thus a proximate choice for the corresponding entry in my quest to broaden my literary horizons. Harjo’s life story is that of many Native Americans of her generation: as far removed from the American Dream as you can be; socially […]

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Lifestyle Literature Movies Music Reviews

February and March 2021: Reading Recap

Well, go figure.  The first quarter of 2021 is already behind us, never mind that I’m still having to remind myself on occasion to write “2021” instead of “2020” … (and we’re even a week into April already, but let that go). Anyway, since I never got around to doing a “February in review” post, […]

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Literature Reviews

Zadie Smith: Feel Free

I’ve had several books by Zadie Smith sitting on my TBR for a minor eternity; oddly, when the moment came to finally pick one of them, I didn’t select one of her novels but this collection of essays — which didn’t turn out to be a bad choice, however, as the essays included here did […]

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Literature Reviews

Patricia Highsmith: Carol (The Price of Salt)

My record with Highsmith’s writing is a mixed one: I found the first Ripley novel (The Talented Mr. Ripley) morbidly fascinating and the sardonic put-down of the arts world in the second one (Ripley Under Ground) oddly amusing, and I obviously love any cat story of hers where a cat gets the better of a […]

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Literature Reviews

Zahra Hankir & Various Authors: Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World

One of the last books I read in the first quarter of 2021 was, at the same time, also one of my reading highlights to date — and next to the likes of Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison (as well as Agatha Christie’s multiple appearances in the area of mysteries), […]

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Literature Reviews

Patrick Radden Keefe: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

This was a buddy read with some of my BookLikes exile friends — the inside story of the Northern Ireland conflict, the “Troubles”, from (chiefly) the 1960s up to the Good Friday Agreement and (partways) beyond, inspired and based in part on taped interviews with some of the conflict’s key players recorded in the context […]

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Literature Reviews

Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Sandwiched between two personal accounts by modern-day black American leaders — Kamala Harris’s The Truths We Hold and Barack Obama’s A Promised Land –, as my January book for this year’s (Mostly) Dead Writers Society Literary Birthday challenge, I went back to a fictional account set in Jim Crow America: the story of Jeanie Crawford, […]

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Literature Reviews

Barack Obama: A Promised Land

Probably the most-anticipated publication of the final weeks of 2020, and for once I not only rushed to read it but am also inclined to agree with the hype (at least, for the most part).  This is the voice of the President Obama that we’ve come to know while he was in office, perhaps tempered […]

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Literature Reviews

Kamala Harris: The Truths We Hold

Harris wrote this book while still serving as a U.S. Senator; still, it also conveys quite a good picture of what kind of Vice President she will be — because it leaves little doubt about the kind of person that she is, and the things that motivate and drive her.  The Truths We Hold: those […]

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