Showing posts from December, 2018

Poems In Favor Of The Separation Between Church and Hate by Tony Haynes

Poems in Favor Of The Separation Between Church and Hate by Tony Haynes explores the tenets of myriad religions from around the world through a series of poems that demonstrate the fine line between spreading love and hate through their messages. Some of the poems hit their mark almost too well. Others skirt the edges. Haynes religious tendencies are clear throughout the collection of poetry. Poems In Favor Of The Separation Between Church and Hate highlights both the similarities religions share and the differences they indicate while showing the role they play in shaping the societies we live in for better or worse.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly is a glimpse into a history that never made it into the history books taught in any of my history classes. I kept thinking about how the victors write history and how that history always makes those victors the heroes while ignoring all other contributions. Shetterly examines the role of the "human computers" and particularly the black women "human computers" who were instrumental in the advancement of the United States's development of planes and eventually the space program. Shetterly writes about these mathematicians, their work, and and their lives with finesse and insight. Hidden Figures is an intense and beautifully written story that shatters multiple stereotypes while demonstrating the obstacles overcome as well as the opportunities embraced. Maybe someday history will truly reflect the contributions of those

Red Hot Murder by Joanne Pence

Red Hot Murder by Joanne Pence blends modern mystery elements with a nod to old westerns. Pence plays with stereotypes with a bit of humor in the midst of her characters, Angie and Paavo, becoming embroiled in a series of mysterious events in a small Arizona town connected to Paavo's childhood. While Pence creates characters who are easily relatable, the characters aren't necessarily likable. Sometimes Pence's choice of words distracted me from the story, but not enough to make me stop reading. As in many mysteries, sometimes the characters' decisions are hard to understand even though they further the story. Red Hot Murder proved to be a combination of intriguing, engaging, satisfying and at times predictable.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead reads like a journey through history. While at times the story reads as fantastical, it is also a glimpse into a history that was all too real. Whitehead engages the reader in the lives of his characters giving each person the feeling of both witnessing history and being immersed in it. The world Whitehead creates in the historical slave-owning South is vivid with all the pain and loss and hope of those who seek a life they can call their own. I felt the sting of the whip, smelled the burning flesh of punishment, and felt the itch of dusty confines. I felt the uncertainty of freedom after never knowing it. I felt the fleetingness of a freedom of one who has never lived as a free person.  The Underground Railroad provokes thought on an emotional roller-coaster ride through the longing  for freedom and the journey to liberation.