First I gotta ask: is anyone even interested in book reviews? Personally, I never read them, except occasionally after I finish a horrible book and I want to find out if other people hated it too. Besides that circumstance, why would I read a book review? I have no shortage of reading material, so it’s not like I need to find books to add to my list. But I guess some people like them, and at least it gives “Google juice” to an author I like.
Noriko Nakada’s memoir Through Eyes Like Mine describes childhood as an introspective Japanese-American tomboy in the semi-wilderness of Bend, Oregon. For those who don’t know, Oregon isn’t famous for its racial diversity. I don’t want to one-dimensionally cast this as an Asian-stuck-among-white-people story. Purely logistically, it is that story.
However, Through Eyes Like Mine is also about the social pressures of being a girl, about navigating siblinghood. It’s about how children deal with deaths in their communities, coming to terms with pain and mortality. It’s about the strain of monitoring your parents’ marriage, which every kid does but especially kids whose parents are tense with each other. I enjoyed the book and immediately bought the middle-school sequel, Overdue Apologies, which hasn’t arrived yet from Powell’s, alas.
In other reading-related news, I started using Instapaper. Prolly gonna like it. Thank goodness that spellcheck accepts “prolly” as a word now! Not to mention “spellcheck”. I don’t remember right-click educating Chrome on those terms but I must have.