Thursday, April 10, 2014
Weekly Book Post: Six Degrees, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and the House on Mango Street
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas scared the c**p out of me. This is a detailed (graphic even) account of what might happen (based on the many scientific studies out there) as the planet warms by one, then two, three, four, five, and six degrees (Celsius). The writing is good, but I had to force myself to finish the book. It's just too sad, too depressing, what the future may bring. And yet the author does a good job of arguing that we cannot let ourselves be paralyzed by that depression, that the only moral thing to do is to fight tooth and nail, to not go silently into the future or be complicit in the end of our one precious life-giving planet.
I am very motivated to live a lower carbon-lifestyle, and to advocate for larger changes. More about that in a later post.
Another book I finished last week: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. This slim book is hard to categorize - magical, lyrical, about children and yet not appropriate for children. It is like the dark truth about childhood, and how children see the shadow or magical side of life but then forget. But it's a lovely and captivating book, for those willing to take the strange journey with it.
And then there is The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Cisneros sets out to tell the story of her childhood, and to represent those who were not able to leave that world as she did. In subject matter it reminded me of a Latina A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Her narrative (or lack thereof) style was at first disorienting, and then just perfect. Each tiny chapter is just a vignette, and frequently the "story" was just getting going when it was left behind, like a letter or a journal entry. A very quick read, but one that will stay with me.