Recommendation of the Month
We are drawing close to the end of National Blog Month, and the end of my daily posts (which is somewhat of a relief). It's been difficult for me to come up with something each day that I felt was worthy of being read.
I'm an avid reader. I will read just about any genre of fiction (even sci-fi--which still isn't my favorite). That just made T cringe (he's convinced that I love sci-fi). Of the books that I've read in November one really stood out, the Nature of Blood by Caryl Philips).
It delves into two topics that have been discussed frequently in many books, race and religion. However, these two subjects never get old for me. Especially, if they are discussed from different perspectives. I can jump into a debate about either topic, being a black man and the product of a Christian/Muslim upbringing. I've taken a Philosophy of Religion class. Enough with my qualifications.
The book in its fragmented style deals with several characters spanning from the Middle Ages to the aftermath of the Holocaust. Philips takes you through Othello's shoes, through the shoes of Italian Jews that are persecuted by Christians, through the demise of a Jewish family torn apart by hatred (Holocaust)...
You don't feel like a stranger peering into someone else's life. You are walking alongside each character. You are being beaten and prodded, you share in the characters joy and pain. You become invested in each character. You never grow tired or feel depressed, there's no time too. Philips moves back and forth between different storylines within chapter masterfully. You must always be on your Ps and Qs to know when the storyline has shifted to a new or recurring character. It's like being at a bar with a blindfold on, not knowing what drink is going to be set before you. You take a taste and your brain processes a new taste or something familiar. This style was very effective. I've seen other author's use it and not be so successful, leaving the reader feeling confused and possibly angry about the shifting viewpoints.
Philips handling of the subject matter was phenomenal. He isn't preachy, which is often the case with books about religion and/or race. His points are made subtly by the characters, leaving you to form your own opinions.
I would not have had the opportunity to read such a divine work of art without the recommendation and loaning of said title by a dear friend (phenomenal writer--soon to be graduate of an MFA program). I won't say her name, but she carries quite a bit of freckles and we have known each other since the tale end of high school.
I give this title my highest recommendation (Chicken Wings with Beef Fried Rice, LOL). I'm sure you'll enjoy it too if you give it a chance.