Saturday, March 5, 2016

What Are You Reading? February 2016 Edition

February total: 17
Year to date: 34

Interesting Times (Discworld, #17; Rincewind #5)           Pratchett, Terry
Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)       Wein, Elizabeth

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad     Anderson, M.T.
Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination    Rowling, J.K.

Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think Caplan, Bryan

All Star  Lonergan, Jesse
Ravages (Orbital #4)   Runberg, Sylvain
Level Up           Yang, Gene Luen
Justice (Orbital #5)       Runberg, Sylvain
Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Book 1   Colossal, Eric
Binky Takes Charge     Spires, Ashley

Picture Books
Uncles and Antlers       Wheeler, Lisa
Verdi Cannon, Janell
The End             LaRochelle, David
Junior Thunder Lord   Yep, Laurence
I Don't Want to Go To School! Blake, Stephanie
A Street Called Home   Robinson, Aminah Brenda Lyn

"Symphony for the City of the Dead" is a fascinating look at some truly dystopian history.  One part biography of Shostakovich, one part history of Leningrad through Stalin's purges and the Nazi invasion, the book looks closely at the power and limitations of art when facing down the worst in human nature.  Whether discussing how Shostakovitch carefully hid his opposition to Stalin, or examining the survival of Leningrad's library and the heroic efforts of its symphony orchestra during the darkest days of the seige, this is a powerful and gripping book.

I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and trips to the Columbus Museum of Art and the central branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library both meant standing in awe in  front of Aminah Robinson's massive works of textile art.  Her fabrics evoked the history of the city and people as powerfully as any medieval tapestry.  So I was delighted to find "A Street Called Home" at my local library.  It is an accordion fold-out of one of Robinson's tapestries, and it was wonderful to peruse at home.

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