Binti: Home

Bintihome

 

Yes, another book by Nnedi Okorafor. This one is the second book in the Binit series, and there will be more. Binti Home is just 162 pages and it packs so much into it.

There are characters that are nonbinary, and one that is trans. There is PTSD, there is the threat of war, there is discovering the protagonist predigest. There is a trip home, there is losing self, finding self, accepting change and learning truths. There is rejection, anger, hope, pain and the list goes on.

This book took me a bit longer to read than the other one. I have PTSD and while my triggers are not hers, I know what she is feeling when she experiences her PTSD.  I have recommended this book to friends of mine who work with kids.

I should just give Ms. Okorafor all the money. Oh OH, and it turns out the next book is coming out in January!!

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Saga Volumes 1-4

I cannot believe that I have not yet posted about the Saga books. I  just finished book four and am waiting for book five. I love that I can get them from the Libby app. I just wish that my Kindel had Libby.

I don’t know what to say about these books. Yes, they are graphic novels, no they are not for kids. They are violent, and full of sex but in a way that fits the story. The books are about war and forbidden love, and survival, and hiding, and living.

When these first came out I tried to read them but I do not think that I was ready for the books yet. These are intense and a saga. Told from the point of view of Hazel, the child born in the first few pages of the book, I am up to her toddlerhood.

Try it you might like them.

Pavilion of Women

The Pavilion of Women was written by Pearl S. Buck and takes place in China. I do not have a photo of this book to share as the copy that I borrowed from the library just had a plain solid dirty cream cover and I did not want to take a picture of that.  This was a book club book and I try not to post about the books we read for book club until after the meeting. However, the meeting should have been last week but it was moved to this week do to the wildfires here in Sonoma County. Because it was moved I am not going to be attending so I am just going to talk about this book.

I know that Pearl S. Buck is a well known author and that her most popular book is The Good Earth. I know that a long time ago I must have read something written by her, but it just did not stick with me. The Pavilion of Women focuses on the life of Madam Wu, and the running of her household in a time of change. (But isn’t all time a time of change?) She decided at the age of 40 to quit in her wifely duty to avoid a dangerous pregnancy. Thus begins the adventure of her becoming a woman by leaning about who she is, and what makes her happy.

The book starts out so slowly, and then about half way picks up speed a bit. One thing that Mrs. Buck did amazingly well in writing this story was setting the scene of the book. When Madam Wu was sitting in the garden I could almost smell the flowers, and hear the bees.

I do have a question about this book that seems to have no answer. What war was coming? I think it was WWI, I knot that the movie takes place right before WWII but some things in the book did not line up for me time wise. If anyone knows I would love an answer.

What the Day Owes the Night (Algeria)

Wow, all I can say about this book wow. The feels were real and at the end I cried, not just a few tears this book gave me a crying headache.

What the Day Owes the Night by Yasmina Khadra is an amazing book it is the tale of an old man, reliving his past. I know that sounds dull and boring, but it is not. Jones (in French) and Younes (in Arabic) tells his tale in a way that well at the end made me cry.

This book is about Algeria, before WWII and during its war with France for Independence, but these are not the main plots of the book. It is about growing up, choices, unwise choices, regrets, joys, and everything in between.

Out of all the books that I have read so far on this adventure this is the one that I have recommended to strangers. GO read it.

QUOTES

“It was then that I realized that our guardian angels had abandoned us, that we would be cursed until the day of Judgment.”

“‘The merchant shrugged, “men invented god to distract them from their demons.'”

“Even now I wonder if the world is nothing but appearances.”

“If truth be told, Hell never seemed closer than it did to me on holy days.”

Cellist of Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

I know that for Bosnia-Herzegovina that Steven Galloway the author of Cellist of Sarajevo is not from there, but that did not make the book have any less of an impact. It was not until I read the back of the book that I found out this was based on an actual event.

Oh, I knew about the siege of Sarajevo it was in the news such that it was here in the states. I did not know that there was a gentlemen who for twenty-tw0 days played the cello while the city was under attack.

While the cellist was a central part to the book the story revolved around other characters. A man seeking water for his family, a sniper looking for a way out, and an older gentleman witnessing death on every corner while looking for a meal. While in the background sometimes the cello could be heard.

In the book the song that was played was Albinoni’s Adagio. I had to look that up as I was not familiar with that piece. It is haunting, and sad, and full of hope.

QUOTES

“He can perhaps learn to bear the destruction of buildings, but the destruction of the living is too much for him.”

“Do you face the terror that must come with knowing you’re about to die for the sake of one last glimpse of life?”

“At this moment fear does not exist. There’s no such thing as bravery. There are no heroes, no villains, no cowards. There’s what he can do, and what he can’t. There’s right and wrong and nothing else. The world is binary. Shading will come later.”

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight (Zimbabwe)

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Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller, was a library find. I did not go into the library looking for this book. I went in with a list. This is where my reading is going to start getting complicated. Three out of the four books that I have chosen to read are not in my library’s system. The one that they did have I had to place a hold on, the other three are coming from university. What is the point in all this? First this is going to slow me down, I knew that this would be a factor, but I thought it would come later in the year when I started working on the not so popular in the news countries. Second, you never know what you  are going to find in wandering the stacks.

That is how I happened to find this book, wandering through the stacks. What made me pick it up was the title. I have a thing for dogs, and I wanted to see what this one was about. Then I read that it was about growing up in Rhodesia during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. There are land mines, there is racism, there is child abuse, rape, this in many cases would have not been an easy book to get through. There were a few times I had to put it down and take a deep breath. The abuse and rape were delicately handled. Some of the gore was a bit more graphic.

That is not saying this is an awful book. It is not, you think it would be.  I do not know how the author managed to write it like she did. It is nearly all from the point of view of a child. The things that adults think are BIG like war, are just there. The dogs, the horses, the food, the bugs are the big thing. Her Parents are a BIG thing, as are her siblings. The book is in many ways surprisingly intimate.

What did I learn form this book? That one day going to some part of Africa might be fun. The other is that I had a very safe childhood compared to the author.

QUOTES

“Mum sits back in her seat and slides the Uzi forward out the window.”

“”I’m sure they are not allowed to drink out of the same mug as us.””