Reading: comfort and wisdom

by anneMoore on December 2, 2016

Here’s what I’ve been reading and liking lately.

shoppingEvicted is a thick work of nonfiction by sociologist Matthew Desmond, about tenants and landlords in a poor part of Milwaukee. The book is richly told, detailed, Dickensian. I liked the telling more than the tale, which is depressing, heartbreaking, hopeless. Women and children, the disabled, the underemployed, the drug addicted losing their homes. Housing as a human right? I’m sold.

imagesOn to a big read, The Nix, by Nathan Hill, which tells the story of a young man who must reunite with the mother who abandoned him as a child, who has resurfaced as a political terrorist. This read is a wild ride that spans continents and decades, mostly set in and around contemporary Chicago. It’s a coming of age story, a love story, a satire, a terrifying on-the-ground retelling of the 1968 Chicago riots. 620 pages, so much to like.

images-1In my post-election funk, I needed comedy. Francine Prose’s Mister Monkey was my salve. From a musical that never goes out of style — Mister Monkey — we enter the lives of actors, the director, the author, a man and his grandson in the audience. What a delightful web! Each of their stories entrances; I especially loved the grandfather in the mix with today’s fussy parents and the school teacher on a first date from hell. Sweet, funny, surprising. A rollicking read.

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