Monday, September 2, 2013

August/September 2013 Reading

I started reading Mr. Eddie Huang's Fresh Off the Boat in early August. Because of the 3-day Statehood weekend, I had time to finish it. I really enjoyed the irreverent writing and the author's entrepreneurial spirit. Here's what REALLY made me want to read this book: the author was an indifferent student until he read Swift's "A Modest Proposal", which really spoke to him. If you haven't read FOB or AMP - you will not regret it! The power of writing across nearly three centuries is an awesome thing. And Mr. Eddie Huang tells his immigrant family's story in a powerful way. Available from HSPLS as audio and eBook via OverDrive.

Next, I read two books on the internee experience in concentration camps in North America during World War II. While we Americans know something of this experience from the viewpoint of Japanese-Americans, we know little to nothing about the Canadian Japanese story. A Child in Prison Camp (A Japanese-Canadian in an Internment Camp during WWII) by Shizuye Takashima contains the adult recollections of a child's experiences, with some illustrations of those memories. The second book, Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese-American Family by Yoshiko Uchida, is better-written, by a professional educator-author. Both authors share this hope: that what happened to them should never happen to anyone else.
These books are next to each other on the library shelf in Hawaii State Library. A Child in Prison Camp is also available as an eBook through the HSPLS website via OverDrive.

Today is Labor Day, Queen Lili'uokalani's birthday, the first day of September.This book, Paperboy, is a slim 240 pages, a children's book about the south, growing up, living with a stutter, segregation, family. Read it and you'll experience the wonder this child feels as his world expands an he rethinks what it means to be a family. It's on my order list for OverDrive audio and eBooks for the library system.

Being a Taiwanese immigrant family in a gated community in Florida, in Topaz Concentration Camp in 1942, Memphis in 1959, read a book to travel, if only in your mind.