What WPL is reading: September

Just like that the summer is over. Not sure how that happened, but there’s nothing wrong with the fall. Kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to change, and it’s nice and cool outside. While this month is always hectic as we get through the September rush, we at WPL are still finding time to read some great books. It’s perfect reading weather right now, so hopefully our reading will inspire you to pick up a great book. Here is what we read this month:

 


 

Rob: Shake Hands With the Devil by Roméo Dallaire 

Shake Hands With the Devil

Shake Hands With the Devil

With all that is going on in Syria, I thought it might be a good time to check back to this book. I first read it a decade ago and was lucky enough to meet the author soon after. I was curious if the book would still have such a strong effect, and it certainly did.

That this book is so readable is a major accomplishment. The topic, the Rwandan Genocide, is certainly not light fare. Despite that, Dallaire manages to tell a story in clear and simple language. He allows you to experience the helplessness and desperation from that time period. Particularly interesting to me during this read was the General’s experience trying to save lives while dealing with a rigid bureaucracy back home.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in global affairs and politics. This isn’t just a tale of bureaucracy though. How Dallaire conveys the story and maintains a level of humanity (during a time when none was to be found) results in this book being a major accomplishment.


 

Miss Kate: The Illegal by Lawrence Hill

The Illegal

The Illegal

I loved this book. I had previously read a review in which the novel was described as “unputdownable” and I was initially skeptical since I have precisely no interest in marathons. However, while Keita is an elite athlete, this character is so much more. The novel is full of well-drawn characters who might have been broad stereotypes in another author’s work.
Fan’s of Lawrence Hill‘s may notice that the book is engaging in a very different way than The Book of Negroes. Both stories deal with difficult subject matter with unusual sensitivity and use provocative titles — I’m told that the term “illegal” is a pejorative — and both of these books earn the right to these titles. Hill humanizes all of his characters even as the title of the book uses a word often used to deny the humanity of individuals whose stories are so much more complex than their documentation. Hill’s complex characters include some of his villains but I can’t go into more detail since I don’t want to give anything away. This is a book worth reading with twists and turns to the very end.

 


 

Amanda: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot

Alice forgets a decade of her life after she falls off her spin cycle and suffers a head injury.  While recovering, she is surprised to learn that she has three children (instead of being pregnant with her first child) and is divorcing the man she loves.  Determined to save her marriage, and get to know her kids, Alice uses her new outlook on life to make some changes for the better.  An unconventional feel-good story, but a good summer read nonetheless.

 

 

 


 

Kate R: Neverhome by Laird Hunt

 

Neverhome

Neverhome

Immediately after I’d finished this book and I couldn’t quite decide how I feel about it. I found it very engaging at times but also found myself easily distracted from it. The writing style was different from what I normally read, written in an older vernacular yet still very natural, but the first person narrative and short phrasing did occasional get tiring. As the plot progressed I occasionally had trouble keeping track of some of the character. I think I would have enjoyed this book more had I read it straight through without the distraction of other books but, overall, I did enjoy it and I’d recommend it for those looking for an engaging and unique work of historical fiction.


 

That is what we read this month. Thanks for checking out our blog. If you’ve got a great book on the go, let is known in the comment section below. Enjoy the rest of September!

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