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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

Some exciting books on my radar | Notes from my Reading

It's been a long time since I've talked about actually reading something. It's a little bit of a hit or miss right now, so I try to soak it up when I'm in the mood for it.

Currently Reading...

I've spent the better part of last two weeks reading The Underground Girls of Kabul, and nothing else. It's a well-written book, mind you, but also littered with generalizations and a tone of something I can't put a word to yet. It's not condescension exactly (the author's tone is way too neutral for that) but there is a sense that the women in the West are better than Afghan women (better, not just better off). I'll need to think through that more. I know for sure that if I were Afghan and reading it, I would be .. maybe annoyed? frustrated? But how much of it is because of that sense of being looked down upon versus the subject of the book, is not clear yet. Hopefully after a few days of absent pondering, I'll have gotten to my point.

Just before I started The Underground Girls (in time for my book club meet), I was reading The Memory Police. I was hoping to finish that book before I needed to start the former book, but as fast-paced a read that The Memory Police was, I was not able to finish that in time. So it's waiting in the wings to be picked up again - hopefully this week. That said, what I've read of the book so far was simply amazing and too good to be put down. There's a huge sense of loss in the pages - a yearning for times long ago. The place where the book is set occasionally loses objects and living things. When this 'loss' happens, people begin to forget about those things. However, there are some people capable of retaining the memory of the lost objects and the Memory Police is occasionally seen hunting them down. 

Looking forward to...

I have a ton of books that I'm looking forward to reading. Some are ARCs, some are books I recently bought, and some are books I recently picked from the library. Two of the books I'm most looking forward to are Transcendent Kingdom and Sex and Vanity. After loving and loving and loving Yaa Gyasi's debut, Homegoing, mainly for the writing, there was no way I could pass Transcendent Kingdom. If it's anything like the former, I expect it will also be gripping from the start and hard to put down. 

As for Sex and Vanity, that was more of an impulsive buy, having enjoyed the Crazy Rich Asians movie and looking forward to see what more this author could give.

From the library...

When the local library first opened, I went busy putting holds left, right, and center. That didn't last long because I need to wait for the library to call me to schedule a one-hour window to pick my holds. And do that over and over again each time I had a hold to pickup. They do not offer curbside pickup. Since I wasn't too good about planning my holds so that they came together, I've taken a card with the main Cincinnati library. Interestingly, they are open for browsing services but until last night I'd only used their curbside pickup. My daughter convinced me yesterday that we should try browsing inside (not that I needed much convincing). So masks and hand sanitizer in hand, we walked in and instantly felt at peace. I love that my daughter loves to go to the library and pick up books for herself. I hope my son follows too but we have not had a chance to take him to one, and with the pandemic, I doubt that will happen soon. 

Most of the books I picked yesterday were children's books but I also picked a copy of The Memory Police so that I could read it in print occasionally and The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, simply because.

Now I just need to make time to read these books. 

What books are keeping you engaged today?