Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)

My seventh book read for 2017 is The Bad Beginning. It is the first book in a series. I recently heard that there was a netflix series coming on based on the books and I decided to check it out to see if I might like to get Anna to read them and then maybe we'd watch the series together. I listened to an audio version of the book and I quickly decided that I would not be recommending them to Anna and we won't be watching the series in the near future. Maybe when she gets a little older but I think the series is a little dark for her right now.

The Break by Katherena Vermette

The Break

The sixth book I read in 2017 is The Break by Katherena Vermette. I decided to read this book because it is on the 2017 Canada Reads Longlist. There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the book stating that it contains scenes of sexual and physical violence, and it does, but really its just one main scene, and that scene is intense. There is also a family tree at the beginning of the book but I was reading it on my iPad and the tree was sideways and hard to pick out so I only discovered the family relations as I was reading. I think not knowing the family relations before hand made it more interesting and mysterious as I read it.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. There was a fair bit of swearing in certain sections, and I'm not fond of that, but it was mostly limited to one or two characters so it wasn't overwhelming. The topics dealt with in the story are heavy - physical and sexual violence and racial discrimination - but I think they are handled well and in a way that makes you think and evaluate your own attitudes and behaviours.

I took lots of notes. The following are quotes from the book that meant something to me, or I could relate to, or made me think.

We have all been broken in one way or another.

Somehow the act of making food always feels like doing something when we are helpless to do anything else.

(Character's name) answer to everything is always to check your gut.

That's how it is when something bad happens - nothing else seems wrong anymore.

That's how you get rid of shame, you be there for her.

I don't think we were ever supposed to know everything. No one said we were ever supposed to know why things happen the way they do. They only said we have to take it as it comes.

She has a practiced avoidance of any kind of vulnerability. Her voice might quiver, might even crack in ways she doesn't want it to, but her eyes will stay dry.

Good or bad, a neighbourhood is just a neighbourhood...It just looks different, but bad stuff happens everywhere.

I really hope this one makes it to the Canada Reads short list, but I guess I'll have to wait and see.