Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Two books in the mail

These two books arrived in the mail last week.  Another pair, another TWOsday.
Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race ~ by Debby Irving, 2014, memoir
For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships.  As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend.  As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction.  As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing.  Then, in 2009, one "aha!" moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan.  In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.
Mailbox: A Scattershot Novel of Racing, Dares and Danger, Occasional Nakedness, and Faith ~ by Nancy Freund, 2015, fiction
It's 1976.  The USA turns 200 while scrappy agnostic Sandy Drue turns 10, finds an electric typewriter in her father's office, and begins turning out page after page on the conflicting demands of burgeoning adolescence and her own quiet search for the Meaning of Life.  The result is a beguiling collection of loosely linked short stories and vignettes, gathered by a now 13-year-old Sandy into an unconventional novel structured like a blog, long before blogging.  In the wake of the Watergate scandal, American society is in a state of bewilderment, the economy is fragile, and Sandy's friends are secretly reading Judy Blume — against their mothers' warnings.  The Drue family has moved from New York to Small Town USA where Sandy and her brother try to find their way to fit in.  What they find instead is something ultimately more valuable.
The first was a purchase; the second is an ARC which won't be published until May 10th.

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