Tag Archives: Matthew Desmond The Lightkeepers

OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN READING.

Reading offers varied experiences. At present, I am encountering a reading experience different than I have ever experienced. I am reading three books at the same time, giving nearly equal time to each book. Often when I attack more than one book at a time, it is two, and soon one of the two wins out and I read it exclusively until it is finished and then I turn to the other and finish it.

This time, not so. I have three books, purchased at the same time and am reading all three at once. They are different, but complimentary. I feel I am in reading heaven.

Because of the nature of the books, it is not at all confusing. Just a joy.

On My Own by Diane Rehm
95/162 pages into the read.
This memoir is moving and honest. In the current chapter she writes how she and others “carry on” after the death of a loved one. For me this book is hard to read, yet inspiring. Not long ago my husband was suddenly gone from my life. Not only is Diane reconstructing her life, she journeys through memories, guilt and other feelings as she travels a new path.

The Lightkeepers: a novel by Abby Geni
165/358 pages into the read.

The poetic prose of this fictitious adventure grabs the reader’s imagination. The author writes of “clotted clouds” and describes the bellow of the seal as “a sharp clipping cry.” A group of biologists and the narrator, a photographer, live in close quarters on the Farallon Islands off the coast of California. It is an eerie and lonely place populated by seals, whales, sharks, birds and the like. There is very little of comfort here. The place is strange and desolate. Ominous clouds hang over the proceedings. Yet, I keep turning the pages.

Eviction by Matthew Desmond
150//313 pages read so far.

This nonfiction book on poverty and profit in the American City draws its experiences and research from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was named one of 10 Best books of 2016 by The New York Times Book Review and has won several prizes for Nonfiction. The author is a Harvard sociologist and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient who spent much time with eight families as they struggled to find and retain housing. The reader reaches new understandings of the housing issues for poor Americans. Surprisingly this is the most riveting of the three books.

At this point I highly recommend all three books, each unique in its own way.

Each book is too intense to take all in one dose. Perhaps that is the reason I so enjoy reading one or two chapters of each and then on to another for a time. Each book places the reader in an uncomfortable place driven to turn the page by both the beauty and terror of living.