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a photo today and i just going to talk about acouple of books that i think might be good suggestions for book club or ifyou’re going on holidays and looking for a good thought-provoking book to readand these are books i myself justread in the last couple of weeks so and i’mjust going to talk really about and what the books are about & whether or not ilike them so the first book is this one herecalled miller’s valley by anna quindlen and the reason i chose this book was becauseit was getting very good reviews, its a new york times bestseller and i’venever read anything by this author before so i was interested to readsomething by her and also it dealt with

some of those themes and stories that iwas interested in so particularly its sesh in and kind of fifties sixtiesseventies and kind of american i don’t know if it isn’t it may be the midwestits satin and what kind of you know a very rural part of the united states andand it focuses really around the story of one character so it’s narrated by agirl called me matter and it follows that the story of of me really from kindof primary school age right up until you know for the from cradle to grave i guess and it’s very very interestingbook in that it focuses on her life on the farm and how important the land isto her and how important her family life

is to her but it’s it’s really i supposethat against this backdrop of and changing an american landscape and soish in many ways has this feeling like almost like a john steinbeck bookbecause it’s all about her family farm the the austerity in which they live andthey’re being constantly at flooded by am very very heavy storm so it’s it’s avery my life of a great hardship and they’re also constantly being amber ation by the government to sellthe farm unless the government to turn the land into a reservoir so and in manyways i suppose it feels a little bit like the farm itself is is kind ofalmost like a metaphor for america

during this time of and increasedpressure tools to change and particularly in the fifties and sixtiesand there was so much social change happening and it’s interesting becauseyou know it’s without knowing something about 20th century american history you get that sense from the book -things are beginning to change and in the nation but it’s really only seenkind of in snapshots of pieces of of mimi’s life so you know she’s she grows up with withthese two brothers who are very different from each other

one of them goes off and this is verysuccessful the other one is m is much more last bicycles and in the past thathe eventually goes down and she also develops you know different friendshipsthroughout the book and so it’s also about high schools and adult childrenhow sometimes things don’t work out the way exactly thought they were going toand what really i think it’s a book about family and what that means and more than anything i think it’s abook about the land and home and whether or not where you’re from and your yoursense of place is is part of your identity and how much she identifies youand how much you need – whistles and

in order to ground you and and who youare in a fashion if that sense of place is it is taken away from you how – i’m affects you and how yourespond to it so it’s a very very thought provoking full from that pointof view it’s also a nice kind of easy reach it sits and you follow the girl’sstory throughout and it’s i don’t think i was as good as a lot of people seem tothink it is and i thought maybe that’s because i ilove john steinbeck and i it just it wasn’t chance i’m back and but it’s it’si think the best thing for me about it was the fact that it’s it’s got this amvery very intriguing character and it’s

in a seed character somebody that you root for throughoutthe book and and our are really interested to see where she’s going toend up and there’s really no idea and where she’s going to end up is one kindof significant twisting at the end to do her family and which i thought wasobvious them and that seems to have been something people have commented on beingthis huge shock so i wasn’t shocked me at all so i don’t want to support anythingthere but pushed that really wasn’t a good

that was clearly what was going on andand all in all this is actually something i would recommend i think itwould be a great book purple coasters and such an interesting characters within addition on each of them can be kind of deconstruct quite nicely so i suppose an inner kind of similarvein to that one then the next book is also and the story of of a woman fromcradle to grave and this is by william boyd who is a writer in order to thefetters and and the previous anna quindlen becausehe has written you know lots of all kind of quite well-known books like any humanheart which was made into a tv series

and and i think you’re one of the jamesbond novels and he’s very and particularly here in brittany’s a veryprominent literary figure on any human heart was a book that i absolutely loveso i was really excited to two seasons of any human heart treatment been givento this and woman who is born in nineteen i think you . in 1908 maybe i’mand then she kind of lives through each decade of the 20th century so it’s beencreated incredibly wide ranging and novel in terms of the scope of waterincludes and it’s also unusual and that he’s found all of these photographs andhe’s built the store and these fans full of graph that he just found in like youknow

free markets and and vintage shops andcharity shops and things so he’s he’s constructed this entire narrative aroundand the social graph and you can see there that they kind of cash dispersedthroughout the text here and there so very unique and original idea i thinkfrom that point of view and i think it was exciting to see where he was goingto go with this and you know it is predictably enough she does you know somehow just managed to be inall the sort of all so exciting places at the right time so she’s in you know why mr germany in the nineteenthirties when you have all i think a

cocktail but all these kind of places she’s in paris during the occupationyears of the second world war she and spend time in sort of turkeysnew york in the fashion industry she and ends up after vietnam war so she she and offers a sort of windowor mirror into the two key events of the 20th century and you know i read this onholiday it was it was am a good holiday read it sits and really people canada’s there’s a nicebut reading in english and if you read with avoid book before photos a verysimilar and structure whereby she her

life is told in like kind of a series ofepisodes through you know and lots of different characters that she meetsalong the way and lots of different and i love affairs that she has a lot ofdifference and friendships that she has and and she’s a photographer so we knowhe tries to do this a little bit how many i thought better he’s like clickthat was the right shot or click snap she had the shot you know like kind of weird bush and avery ambitious book for me i think my main problem with us was thathe just didn’t really understand what the sort of psychological and workingthis all the female mind

i am so this was really like reading aman’s story through and a sort of very unbelievable female character i mean she she’slikeable and it’s nice to follow her but there’s so many parts of the story thati think you know as a woman you would kind of be questioning a lot more orthat there’s aspects of it that you would be inked a woman would be muchmore and emotionally damaged by and she she really reacts to all of the andtrials and tribulations of her of her life and not a way that i would expect aman to react and and certainly maybe not the way i winner would react

so i think from that point of view hejust didn’t catch the tone race for a female voice and i you know i i that’sthat’s unusual because william boyd has written some great books from a femaleperspective and like that the spy novel restless that was a great and femalecharacter in that but but this felt like he it he was writing a male characterbut i have to tell you he was going naked female and i just it just didn’twork correctly and and particularly in her description of her relationships andi’m her relationship as balls with herself and also her relationship withfamily and and i’m that just didn’t and jar frankie with me so i think from thatpoint of view i actually ended this book

quite disappointed and thought of justdidn’t tap the rice and kind of emotional center that it should havebutt saying that and i think a lot of people have really enjoyed this book andi again i think you know he has certainly and done very well with withboth clubs i think this would be a good book if you’re on holiday of here ifyou’re in a book club because there’s lots of discussion . finish ok so the last book that i read and thismonth is by via sign in go in i i i’m right aren’t completely dollarsthat i’ve definitely got that incorrectly and i apologize

really really have profoundly 444 noshand knowing how to pronounce that this author’s name but the book is called asympathizer and it’s by an american vietnamese offer and the reason why ichose to read this was because it run the won the pulitzer prize for fictionand it just hasn’t 16 so i wanted to reduce and also it was about something iknew very little and it was right about the the vietnam war so it’s set in begins in 1975 just afterthe fall of saigon and then it follows and a group of vietnamese refugees andliving in la and then the sort of main protagonist ends up sort of getting alittle bit involved in hollywood and

that eventually that the novels whichevents are back in vietnam so incredibly interesting novel likejust really you know i my radish two weeks ago and i’m still thinking aboutish and ish is called a sympathizer because the main protagonist someonethat we only know what the reader as the captain is am a person who is both thesort of on both sides of the flight so what we would usually call a spy andwe’re not going to an agent or double agent so so this guy is both working for theviacom but he’s also working for the sort of national site of of thevietnamese and movements of the kind of

group that was supported by theamericans and and who falls to the icon so and it was like just an eye-openingread for me i knew nothing about the vietnam or apart from what i’ve seen infilms and and the fact that he that the main character works on a very thinlydisguised pocket of snow and he works on the set of apocalypse now in the bookand we just see how ill conceived some of the am american airships of theamount of the vietnam war are so so very interesting view of what happened invietnam and certainly a kind of quite a new take on on the vietnam war i believe and from that point of view so the maincharacter is like this quite annoying

character like i definitely fan tooannoying but i think he is he supposed to be a little bit like that and becausehe supposed to be one of these guys who is you know am holding his cards closeto his chest and and you don’t really know who’s and sidehe’s on and and also he has a huge sense of jude identity because he’s the son ofa vietnamese woman and a french man and what he also has this dual identity ofas being this double agent jewel identity of being kind ofvietnamese but also having spent a huge amount of time in america and i thinkhis his very person from that point of view is it’s almost like a match for forvietnam itself particularly at this

point in its history so we’re very very and deep book fromthat point of view i am i was glad i read it on holidays because it was itwas difficult to reach some of the languages is very and kind of tightnessand and complications and i find myself constantly having to read back overparagraphs and just understand exactly what was going on and wash just a just a just a very very heroinnovel and particularly towards the end and a novel it really makes you thinkabout how we understand conflict and well what conflict ultimately serves andand whose gains and who loses

and you know this the 3d is an accidentwarren awful and i think it’s it’s the type of book that you need lots of timeto reach and it’s read it slowly so it’s good to trees on holiday but it’s also abook that i mean i wish i could talk to more people about and so i think it will be a good one toto read at you with a group of your friends and talk about afterwards andits really encouraged me to go and learn even more about and the vietnam war andit’s it’s actually i’m sure that person roche didn’t realize this when he waswriting it but it’s so prevalent nile with refugee crisis because and fromthat point of view and i guess is bring

me back a little to the steinbeck and it’s always i think it does for refugeeswhat like the grapes of wrath by john steinbeck did i infected for this sortof and no magic kind of homeless traveler of of the nineteen thirtiesthat like you you and you won’t start to understand the sense of displacementthat these people have and you understand where their common crime andit puts you in the mindset i think of refugees and and that some of theimagery in the book is incredibly close to some of the imagery that we see nowand you know coming in in news reports so an excellent book from from thatpoint of view and 30 recommend it

and so i schools of the three of themthat i read this one this was probably by a long shot like my favorite so and those are my little bookrecommendations for this month and thanks very much for listening to my andvideo i’m going to try and do it a book a book review the club thing and once a month so iwould have another for you in a few weeks so make sure you subscribe to my channeland you’ll also find that you’re talking about the video there on a contemporaryculture and society in general so thanks

very much for listening i hope it’s easy

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