WWW Wednesday (February 23rd, 2021)

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words! All you have to do is answers the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

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According to the last census, one in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some are visible, some are hidden—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together an urgent, galvanizing collection of personal essays by contemporary disabled writers. There is Harriet McBryde Johnson’s “Unspeakable Conversations,” which describes her famous debate with Princeton philosopher Peter Singer over her own personhood. There is columnist s. e. smith’s celebratory review of a work of theater by disabled performers. There are original pieces by up-and-coming authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma. There are blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, and testimonies to Congress. Taken together, this anthology gives a glimpse of the vast richness and complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own assumptions and understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and past with hope and love.

I have finished part one of this collection and have already taken so much away from it. I have realized that I have not read nearly enough books with disability representation, and I am looking to change that. Disability Visibility is a collection of essays, blog posts, eulogies, articles, etc. from a wide variety of voices. This is a book I have a feeling I will be recommending often and will reread. I highly recommend checking out Autumn’s review on bookstagram.

Just Finished

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Paris, 1939. Odile Souchet is obsessed with books and the Dewey Decimal System, which makes order out of chaos. She soon has it all – a handsome police officer beau, an English best friend, a beloved twin, and a job at the American Library in Paris, a thriving community of students, writers, diplomats, and book lovers. Yet when war is declared, there’s also a war on words.

Montana, 1983. Widowed and alone, Odile suffers the solitary confinement of small-town life. Though most adults are cowed by her, the neighbor girl will not let her be. Lily, a lonely teenager yearning to break free of Froid is obsessed by the older French woman who lives next door and wants to know her secrets.

As the two become friends, Odile sees herself in Lily – the same love of language, the same longings, the same lethal jealousy. The Paris Library’s dual narratives explore the relationships that make us who we are – family and friends, first loves and favorite authors – in the fairy tale setting of the City of Light. It also explores the geography of resentment, the consequences of unspeakable betrayal, and what happens when the people we count on for understanding and protection fail us.

The wit, empathy, and deep research that brings The Paris Library to life also brings to light a cast of lively historical characters and a little-known chapter of World War II history: the story of the American librarian, Miss Reeder, who created the Soldiers’ Service to deliver books to servicemen, and who later faced the Nazi ‘Book Protector’ in order to keep her library open. She and her colleagues defied the Bibliotheksschutz by delivering books to Jewish readers after they were forbidden from entering the library.

I really thought that The Paris Library was a unique perspective on WWII. I never gave much thought to the role of libraries during that time, so this book was really insightful. I had both a physical ARC and an ALC, and I enjoyed reading this both ways. I am hoping that this is the start of me embracing WWII fiction again!

Reading Next

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This is the way the world ends… for the last time.

The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.

It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.

The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

The Fifth Season was my favourite book that I read in 2020, so I am excited to finally continue on with the series! I am hoping to read The Obelisk Gate and then pick up The Stone Sky right after. I want to read a lot of N.K. Jemisin’s work this year!

What are you currently reading?

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4 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday (February 23rd, 2021)

  1. I’m currently reading There There, by Tommy Orange and I was listening to The Hate U Give until having to return it. Just started listening to Unbroken while I wait for the THUG to come available again. I recently finished reading The Tenth of December by George Saunders and Calypso by David Sedaris. I love both of these authors. I’m trying to read more collections of short stories/essays this year. The Paris Library looks good but I currently have too big of a backlog in the category of Paris/France-related fiction.

    1. I read There There a couple years ago and thought it was fantastic. I hope you get THUG again soon, because I love that book!

      Calypso is the only David Sedaris I have read but I enjoyed his sense of humour. I own Me Talk Pretty One Day and really should prioritize it!

      1. I’ve read most of Sedaris’ books. I’d say Calypso has more serious moments than most. You have to be willing to tolerate a high level of dysfunction. I absolutely love his writing and hearing him read aloud but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

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