Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
The Bunker Diary
Trouble Is a Friend of Mine
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy
The Hired Girl
An Ember in the Ashes
The Porcupine of Truth
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
Goodbye Stranger
Beautiful Blue World
The Blackthorn Key
All American Boys

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The War that Saved my Life vs. The Porcupine of Truth


The War that Saved my Life vs. The Porcupine of Truth

There was a lot of discussion about which novel to choose as the TD Baker crew liked both books.

Things We Like About The War:
- the historical fiction
- the aunt's subtle queer subplot
- flawed but likeable characters
- story and symbolism of the horse
- the hopeful nature of the story

Things We Liked About Porcupine:
- Aisha's feisty personality
- Aisha's May/December friendship with Carson's grandfather's friend
- the road trip (the uncertainty and the adventure)
- many different interesting supporting characters

Things We Weren't Sure That We liked about The War:
- the ending seemed a little too convenient
- the mother was a little bit of a caricature
- at times, Jamie was a little bit annoying

Things We Weren't Sure That We liked about Porcupine:
- 2/3 of us had difficulty getting into the book
- all of the gay characters seemed to be excessively defined by their queer identity to the exclusion of other qualities
- again, a convenient ending
- a fair about of conversation about Carson's erections
- Carson's mother was unbelievably permissive
- there was a bit too much happening in this book

After looking at this list, we still are pretty stumped as both books were strong and both books were flawed.  In the end, all three of us voted for The War that Saved my Life.

For the zombie round, we all choose Echo (if it is eliminated this round) and our second choice is The Hour of the Bees.

Submitted by: Shelley Kunicki, Stephen Ekstrom, and Amanda Barrett

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