Delaney Kirk has tagged me in a book meme. The obvious choice was to share conflict resolution books. But I took a different path.
I decided to bring together two strands of my life: my love of literature (I was a lit major in college, with a specialty in the 20th century novel, and remain an avid fiction reader) and my interest in the human condition as it relates to conflict. Here’s my contribution to the meme:
Last book read (re-read, actually):
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I love this family saga and its magic realism so much I wrote my undergrad honors thesis on it and re-read the book every few years. There’s always a new insight waiting for me in each read.
Last book bought:
- Brief Encounters with Che Guevara by Ben Fountain. This is my book group’s current pick.
5 meaningful books:
- Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. Though written in 1939 and focused on a World War I soldier, this novel’s timeless…and one that’s particularly apropos right now. I think everyone should read this little book.
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I found this one mesmerizing when I read it a few years ago. On the face, it’s the tale of a South American birthday party in which the influential guests are taken hostage by terrorists. But it’s really about the bonds people form in times of crisis, the role translators play (and I’m a translator of sorts, as a mediator) and the humanity even of those holding the guns.
- Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. When a 1666-era village decides to quarantine itself in an attempt to protect the outside world from the the plague within its borders, the human reactions are a brilliant study of conflict and resolution.
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Reading Faulkner, and particularly this one, takes some commitment, but this story of family, conflict, race relations and the human condition still lurks in the corners of my mind 25 years after first reading it.
- The Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy. I read this for an undergrad literature and history course that examined the McCarthy era, loyalty oaths and witch hunts…and it’s time seems to have come again (and I don’t mean in academe).
If you’ve been moved by any of these books, or read one of them because I shared it, I hope you’ll leave a comment to keep the conversation going.
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