WHAT WE'RE READING: Summer to Fall Favorites
Towards the end of the summer, we like to take some extra time to spend afternoons in the sun and read some wonderful books. As summer turns to fall, it's nice to have book that will make the transition with you. We decided to choose our current favorite reads to share with our wonderful community.
Lisa : American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I started this book at the height of summer, as you can probably tell from my picture above. Armed with my new favorite sunglasses, my favorite summer drink, and the cutest floatie cup holder you've ever seen, I set off in my paddle boat to the raft at my parent's cabin for an afternoon on the lake of reading and intense sunburn (I do not recommend the latter).
American Gods was suggested to me by my friend Kelly who was nearly done with the novel at the time and who had been thoroughly enjoying it. It's a story of a man named Shadow who's as cool as his name implies. Fresh out of jail, he gets some jarring news, has a mysterious Mr. Wednesday offering him a mysterious job, and is whisked into the world of forgotten gods and lore that I barely recall from childhood. It's a sci-fi romp (my favorite critic word) through time, worlds, and across the US--with much time spent right here in the Midwest. It looks daunting because of how many pages there are, but I guarantee you'll fly through them. And the short chapters lend themselves so well to being able to set it down quickly or do shorter bouts of reading at a time.
As you might have guessed, promptly after taking my photo of the book, I proceeded to get it absolutely soaked on my paddle ride back to shore. But now that it looks very aged and weathered, it's all the more fitting for the epic novel.
Michelle: Threads: From the Refugee Crisis by Kate Evans
This incredible book surveys the experience of refugees living in the town of Calais, France, historically known for its lace industry. In graphic novel format, Kate Evans creates an incredible world surrounding the experience of refugees as they adapt and face discrimination in Europe. The majority of refugees in this region are from the Middle East and Africa and pass through the town on their way to England. In Calais, Kate Evans stayed in a shantytown where many of the refugees stayed before their passage to the United Kingdom. She explores the shipping containers and tents used as their makeshift transitional home and examines the ways in which these societies discriminate against those searching for a safer life for their family.
Evans use of the medium of a graphic novel allows for a poignant representation of the prejudice faced by refugees as they pass through Europe. She effectively demonstrates the harsh effects of the political right on the refugees as they seek a better home. Given the current political climate, we certainly feel that it is an incredibly moving story that creates a new kind of compassion and opens minds to the need for free movement of people in the world.
It is a quick read for anyone looking for a first hand representation of the experience of migrants in France and the trials that they face. I think it is a wonderfully enlightened way to demonstrate their plight and their need for support as they move towards a better life.