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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

Slow going in March and April

I didn't quite see the point of putting up a monthly recap post, considering I've had a few patchy months of reading. When I resumed blogging yesterday, the husband even jokingly asked me if I even had anything to blog about since I haven't sat down with a book in a long time. But I do like these recap posts a lot - they can be a kind of milestone marker when I can pause and feel pleased or disappointed in my reading, and also make a lot of reading plans for the next month, every one of which I forget about as soon as I hit 'Publish'.

Both March and April were slow reading months for me and May is likely to be the same thing. I'm hoping that June will turn things around. But if not, never mind. These are what I read in the last two months:

NightThe DinnerThe Magic Circle

The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksBossypants

Three of those books were seriously awesome. I couldn't quite get enough of The Dinner. Night was so profoundly moving that I immediately went to B&N to buy the next two books in the trilogy. As for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - I thought it was well-written, well-researched and one of the most intriguing nonfiction books I've read. On the other hand, Tina Fey's memoir was a bit of a disappointment. I had listened to half the audiobook more than a year ago and remember liking it then. Somehow, this time, it just fell flat on me.

Wish I could read this again: The Dinner by Herman Koch
Most disappointing read: The Magic Circle by Jenny Davidson - I really wish I had finished this book - I am still curious to know how it ends but the book was just not captivating me.

What I hope to read in May
One of my most awaited books this Spring has been Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. I have seriously high expectations for this book and hope that it will meet them. My hold for this book just came through so within the next two weeks, I'm hoping to curl somewhere with this book. Other than that, I want May to be a month of random reading. I tend to enjoy books more when I know very little about them, and with that plan in mind, I had picked three books from the library (I don't even remember their names now - which makes me want to start them now). The Great Gatsby is also releasing this month (and I haven't read the book yet). I'm torn between planning to squeeze in a quick read before I go to the theater and just walking into the theater with no idea of what the book is about.

So that's my tentative plan for this month. What are you reading?


You didn't love Tina? Wow. That's the first I've heard. Thanks for your honesty though. I'm not a Tina fan myself so I've been debatting it.
bermudaonion said…
Hey, at least you read 5 quality books! If you're not reading, feel free to blog about something else!
Athira / Aths said…
Yeah, I keep meaning to put up random posts and I hope to do that more often now. We'll see how that goes.
Athira / Aths said…
I really didn't love it. I wanted to enjoy it but there were a lot of moments when I didn't care.
I also loved The Dinner. I actually read it twice (with several years in between) - so if you ever want to read it again, I can recommend it. :-)

I have heard so many good things about Henrietta Lacks. I have the book and should really get round to reading it soon.
bethvollbach said…
I read two of those books you read: NIGHT and THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS. I usually write my reaction to a book after I read it, but I didn't after NIGHT. As I recall, that's because I was at a loss for words. That's because I was less impressed with that book than most others. Maybe that's because it's been overhyped, and I expected too much.

I did write after I read HENRIETTA LACKS. As I see it, the Lacks family was angry with Johns Hopkins Hospital and University and the researchers working with HeLa cells for more than 30 years for various reasons, all misunderstandings.

The author of THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS, Rebecca Skloot, had the patience of a saint! She gave up years of her time in pursuit of information for this
book, much of it wasted because of the family’s misunderstandings. And
even when things appeared to be going well, a family member might
suddenly mistrust her, again as a result of a misunderstanding (that she
was working for Johns Hopkins, who they also mistrusted as a result of
misunderstanding). Once, one of Henrietta’s children, Deborah, even went
so far as to physically attack Skloot because of a (you guessed it)

So much of this book is devoted to clearing up misunderstandings, I found it mostly frustrating. However, Skloot did clear up the misunderstandings and, in doing so, told interesting stories within this story, for example, the actual history of Johns
Hopkins, so mistrusted by not only the Lacks family but many other black people as well.
Helen Murdoch said…
Even though you didn't read many books, the ones you read were good!
Zohar said…
To my shame, I haven't read Night yet.

Glad to hear you liked it.