Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Release Date: February  1986

Pages: 309 
  • Genre: Dystopian 
  • Publisher: Anchor Books

Back in 2014 I read Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and it ruined my vacation because nothing is better on the lido deck then reading about child sex trafficking and chicken noobies ! I just figured I didn't get Atwood. I left that book feeling bleh.

But I’ve had a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale for years and since it’s one in a list of zeitgeist-y books  getting the TV/movie treatment (I’m looking at you The Dark Tower and American Gods)  I decided to give it a try, Also this is the only one that isn’t like . . .a thousand pages.

While I didn’t care for Oryx and Crake I could immediately see why  The Handmaid's Tale resonates with so many people, especially now. There is a lot to unpack about feminism, women’s rights and sexuality in the Dystopian (Utopian ?) Republic of Gilead where fertile women are trained to become vessels of birth or, Handmaidens to wealthy older couples.

 I don’t read a lot of literary fiction and I’m not sure what I can say critically about a book that has stood the test of time. I can say that I kind of wish I’d first read this in high school, I mean I get why schools might be apprehensive, yes it is a book that is about sex, but not in a titillating way. ..I mean no more than a teenage boy ordering prostitute.. . just saying.

The ending has a Tomato Surprise I wasn’t expecting and I thought was a smart way to reflect on the story. There are a ton of podcast talking about this book now but I kind of want to stew in my own interpretation for a while. I may check out the Hulu series because I’m curious how the creators will visualize some of the literary aspects of the novel.


Like this did leave me with some questions about Atwood, like does having characters meet someone they see earlier in life on TV/Video a thing with her?




Saturday, May 13, 2017

Girl Code By Andrea Gonazles and Sophie Houser




4 Hours 32 Minutes | Harper Audio | 3/7/17


Book Review

I think in a world where every other teen non-fiction book is by a YouTuber or reality show star, there is something refreshing about a book by two everyday teenage girls; whose project with Girls Who Code became a viral sensation.

There is something accessible about the success in this book that I think will appeal to teens. Sophie and Andy each  bring their unique experiences to the table . Andy is a second generation filipina whose drive and discipline constantly push her forward, and Sophie's quirkiness, self awareness and need to speak out (and possibly her mom running a start-up media company) keeps her looking for the next challenge in life.

At times the book stretched to form a narrative, but delves into the sacrifices and anxieties the girls face as they explore the world of programming.



Audiobook Review


The authors give listeners an inside look at how two teenaged girls are breaking the tech world's glass ceiling while challenging the taboo of discussing menstruation. In 2014, Andrea "Andy" Gonzales and Sophie Houser's summer project at Girls Who Code became the viral computer game Tampon Run. The girl coders lend their voices to the narration, taking on separate chapters as well giving listeners an introductory lesson on how to find tools and resources to start coding. An accompanying PDF supports this part of the audio presentation. Since the success of their game, the pair have been invited to Silicon Valley and offered numerous media appearances and interviews, experiences that are reflected in their thoughtful, straightforward performance. They expertly reflect the highs and lows of their incredible journey. J.C. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maineas published in AudioFile





Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima





Lol, remember this feature ? This will be like my third post in six years. #bloggoals

I'm constantly telling myself I want to read more graphic novels and I picked this series up after hearing Gwen Glazer talk about it on The Librarian Is In podcast. When it comes to anime /manga I usually go for the magical ones. so a contemporary story was a new experience for me.

This seven book manga starts with sixth grader Shoya Ishid leading a campaign to severely bully Shoko Nishimaya, because she is deaf. Shoko is bullied so badly she leaves the school and Shoyo becomes a social pariah for his cruelty. The  series takes place five years later when Shoko and Shoya meet again and begin a journey to reconcile the past while Shoya looks for redemption.

This manga is really popular, it tells a heartwarming story of second chances, where even a bully can be reformed.  I really wanted more agency from Shoko. We never really get her perspective on the events and her character is almost exclusively defined by her deafness.

I think my favorite character was Yuzuru Nishimiya, Shoko’s little sister who actually takes Shoko's bullying and hardships harder than Shoko does. Yuzuru's very protective of her older sister and even poses as a boy to seem more intimidating.

Also, fair warning there is a lot of fat shaming in this book. I'm not sure if this is a cultural difference but I notice there is a lot of fat shaming in contemporary mange/anime.

A feature length anime film based on this series just came out, so I'm super curious to see which elements of the series they keep in and which ones they take out.









LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...