Tag Archives: Lily’s pick

Brother (by David Chariandy)

Longlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust BrotherFiction Prize, Brother is a short but tight story contains so much emotion and is very intense. It explores masculinity, family, race, and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex.

Personally, I really connected with the immigrant experience and problems surrounding this community. I love the fact that this book didn’t shy away from sadness. Grieving is a complicated process and ongoing, whether it’s for death, lost love, lost life, or lost memories. Sometimes it will take collected effort to keep the healing going. In addition, I can better understand the disadvantage in the black community after this book, for that’s what happened to Micheal and Francis. Brother is an important and relevant story today.

I read The Sun and Her Flowers (Rupi Kaur) after this book, and I feel that some of the passages in Kaur’s poems really echo with themes in Brother. These connections between the two books are kind of unexpected and serendipitous.

Brother has an ending that satisfied me; without giving anything away, I just want to say that the very last word charged me with power and energy. It’s not the kind of ending where everyone lived happily ever after, but it offers comfort, support, and it acknowledged that it is ok to have scares in your heart. In the end, what really matters is to express, to reach out, and to heal together.

You might also like:

Scarborough

One of the Boys

The Idiot

More

Also by David Chariandy:

Soucouyant

Mozart’s Starling (by Lyanda Lynn Haupt)

31932836I came across this book at a book event a few month ago. Not knowing much about Mozart or starling, I started reading not knowing what to expect (except for the fact that the person at the even spoke highly of it).

I usually read non-fictions pretty slowly, but not this time. Mozart’s Starling is a lighthearted charming little book inspired by starlings, the most hated birds among ornithologists since it is considered an aggressive invader to the local species, and the fact that the most well respected composer in the world Mozart had a pet starling during his most productive and turbulent years of his short life. In order to understand the bird and how it is like living with one, Haupt raised a baby starling. This book is a mixture of fun facts, unknown history, and reflection on inspiration, harmony, and the natural world.

Part natural history, part story, Mozart’s Starling will delight readers as they learn about language, music, and the secret world of starlings.

You might also like…

The Urban Bestiary

Crow Planet

The Hidden Life of Trees

Wesley the Owl

Corvus

Mozart

The Thing with Feathers

 

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (By Gail Honeyman)

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine : A NovelWhen I started this book, I was not able to put it down; I cannot wait to read about what happens next. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a story about “a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever—if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.” (goodread)

There weren’t many characters in this story. However, each of them are lovable and especially Eleanor–you really feel yourself grow with her through the story, and experience what she was feeling. She is truly weird and wonderful. This is an important book about mental health, family relationship, dealing with loss. Yet, Honeyman is able to take on an humorous tone that makes you laugh and cry.

This book is just published in May. Highly recommended!! Especially if you liked The Rosie Project, Courting Greta, Lost and Found, and anything like that, you will really enjoy this book.