The Soul of a Woman, Isabel Allende
Isabelle Allende’s memoir, The Soul of Woman, is breathtaking. It begins, “When I say I was a feminist in Kindergarten, I’m not exaggerating.” I read it in one sitting. Her story mesmerized me. She ends her book blurb by saying,
“So what feeds the soul of feminists—and all women—today? To be safe, to be valued, to live in peace, to have their own resources, to be connected, to have control over our bodies and lives, and above all, to be loved. On all these fronts, there is much work yet to be done, and this book, Allende hopes, will “light the torches of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.”
Interior Chinatown A Novel, Charles Yu
Yu has been compared to Kurt Vonnegut and I can see why. His masterful storytelling slices through the fabric of our society revealing the uncomfortable truths that lurk beneath the surface. This book is part memoir, part Hollywood satire, and part treatise on identity and racism in America. It is, to my mind, a literary masterpiece that offers piercing insights into the human condition. His style is inventive and captivating. His humor lightens what is a heart-wrenching theme. Yu offers “haunting depictions of the immigrant experience.” (L.A. Review of Books).
2 podcasts this week
- I enjoyed Joanna Penns’s episode, How to Write a Cozy Mystery with Debbie Young. (#540). They talk about why cozies are so popular today, and what it is about them that makes them special.
- I’m listening to the series, The Wrath of the Khans, from Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Podcast. It’s fascinating but the jury in my head is still out. Here’s a quote from Carlin’s website: “Carlin’s work weaves historical information with deep questions and Twilight Zone-style twists to help illuminate the powers and continuing relevance of the past. Drama, extremes, empathy and vivid examples of both the highs and lows of humanity dominate the narrative. It’s a trademark mix of elements that has been entertaining listeners since 2005” The series includes 5 long episodes and you have to pay for them. I enjoy his barbed lines, such as – “All great men are bad men.” He went on to say that to be a great man you have to be willing to kill people, a lot of people. Yes, he is far from gentle with your sensibilities, and he is not politically correct, but he is thought-provoking. I enjoyed the first two episodes but I’m bogging down in the third. It is a lot of history.
Thinking (or trying to)
“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
~ Steve Jobs
P.S. My author’s April Newsletter is out. It includes a chapter of my upcoming book, Dial Witch. To read the newsletter click below.