This is one of the strange ideas I think about as I pedal my bike around Las Vegas 5 to 6 times a week. Since mid-March, I have covered over 1300 miles and 140 on a couple of 20 year old bikes with fantastic Brooks saddles.
As a society we seem willing to talk about starting things up as if we were in normal times. Well, we are not in normal times. The numbers are everywhere. I don’t need to recite them here. In simple terms, in six months we are at 160,000 deaths (even if we admit that some of the number are inflated it is still crazy and unacceptable.). that is more than two times the number of dead in during the entire Vietnam conflict, more than WW1, and we are approaching half the number of dead in WW2 with many projects that we will reach the 405,399 total before we have a vaccine and the pandemic under control.
Back to my bike riding. When I first started riding the streets were vacant. I saw no one on the streets and only a few cars. Now, the streets and traffic are back to normal. I am still on the streets. Why, it is safer than going to a gym. On the bike, I breathe in and out alone and without contact.
Since March, I have read with my ears (Thanks to Teri Lesesne for that phrase.) to 25 books. It seems like it is time for a report. I am becoming a bigger and bigger fan of audio books. I am getting exercise fit and my YA fit every day in a two for one event.
Slide Show of the Books I Have Experienced.
A Closer Look at a Few
I have know about this book for several years. Some of my colleagues have blogged about it and I know that is a key text when people connect YA to Shakespeare's plays.
I was unprepared for the absolute power of listening to the Hermione Winters tell her story of abuse and neglect. This is a prime example of when actually listening to the text might be more powerful than just reading it. This a tremendous text that explores the consequences of rape from the point of view of a victim and a survivor.
Again, This trilogy by Deborah Wiles has been on my radar for awhile. I had it on my shelf and then I would let a student take it. As we know, those books rarely find their way back home, but they do find their way into classroom. Listening to these books back to back was a great experience. I loved how she wove the characters together from one book to the other, I loved the use of music, and I loved how real characters were mingled in with the fictional ones.
Reading these books reminded me of reading the works of John Dos Passos. I think his USA Trilogy is too often neglected. I hope we don't do that with this wonderful trilogy.
This books was not on my radar. I did have a copy. I even had a copy on my "to be read" list. The blurb grabbed me, but I just hadn't taken it up yet. Then browsing titles through my Libby app, this one popped up. The books I had hoped to check out weren't available and I had quite a few on my wait list, but The Grace Year was ready for immediate check out.
This was a powerful text imagining how the rights of women are often systematically stifled my community customs and beliefs. In fact, it demonstrates how easily women will push against each other to maintain those systems of oppression instead of striving to support one another.
For me this book is part fairy tale, part dystopian nightmare, and all about the strength of a young Tierney James who finds a way to survive and flourish in this speculative fiction that might remind you of the Handmaid Tale
Maybe above all other things I liked this book because it was a great "who done it" story. It kept me making connections throughout the whole narrative. There is a lot to love about this book in terms of its structure, his character development and its style. It also fits within the tradition of early realistic YA fiction in which young adolescents try to figure things out with absent adults or without the help of adults who might make the world better for the adolescents in their life if they were gone.
This cover didn't work for me. I get it now and it works, but I think you should check it our for yourself. This is a fantastic love story set in back ground of WW1; yet, told from the perspective of Greek gods who are in the midst of the chaos of WW2. This story is a powerful story of love, loss and reconciliation. Yes, they are still meddling in the lives of the mortals around them.
Until next week.