Monthly Archives: March 2017

2017 Reading List: Live and Let Live

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6. Live and Let Live: Diversity, Conflict, and Community in an Integrated Neighborhood, by Evelyn M. Perry (2017, The University of North Carolina Press)

I took a break to read my first title this year that wasn’t related to The End of the World as We Know It in fiction or non-fiction form, and what a treat it was. Live and Let Live is a sociological examination of the neighborhood I’ve lived in, Riverwest…oh, for about 17 years now. Author Evelyn M. Perry moved to Riverwest for three years to work on her study, in a style known as ethnography, or as I describe it, “hey, can I hang out with you guys for a couple years?” As she rolls through the chapters, she investigates the neighborhood– warts and all– and if you live in the neighborhood (or one similar) you’ll see a lot of issues examined that are common discussion here: gentrification, diversity, violent crime, public intoxication, “live and let live.” Perry has pulled a lot of great quotes on the neighborhood from a variety of local characters (disclosure: part of a jokey thing I wrote about Riverwest drinking culture is the epigraph for Chapter 6).

I have a Q & A set with Perry for the April issue of the Riverwest Currents and she makes an in-store appearance Friday, March 31, 7pm at Woodland Pattern Book Center here in Riverwest.

Recommended? Definitely. If you live in the neighborhood, you’ll learn a new perspective. And if you want to read a well written sociological examine of a diverse neighborhood, this is it.

 

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Apocalypse Blog Book Club, Book 2: The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

The Apocalypse Blog Book Club voted to read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood as our March selection. The book, written in 1985, is timely for a number of reasons and there is some excitement of the book being adapted into a show for Hulu, which premieres in April.

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More on the book from Wikipedia:

The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) is a work of speculative fiction by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Set in a near-future New England, in a totalitarian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government, the dystopian novel explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain agency. The novel’s title echoes the component parts of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, which comprises a series of connected stories (“The Merchant’s Tale”, “The Parson’s Tale”, etc.).

The Handmaid’s Tale won the 1985 Governor General’s Award and the first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987; it was also nominated for the 1986 Nebula Award, the 1986 Booker Prize, and the 1987 Prometheus Award. It has been adapted for the cinema, radio, opera, and stage. The Handmaid’s Tale has never gone out of print since its first publication in 1985.

In addition to next month’s Hulu show, the book was previously adapted into a 1990 movie.

The Handmaid’s Tale is widely available online, at bookstores, and in library systems. We will have an in-person meeting to discuss the book the last day of the month, Friday, March 31, 7pm at the Riverwest Public House. There have been requests to switch up meeting location, and we can entertain those requests in the future. Takeaways from the meetings and online discussion will follow April 1 on our Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482975718409410/

We also have a Goodreads page here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/213307-apocalypse-blog-book-club

There is no fee to be part of the Apocalypse Blog Book Club, just a desire to read a dystopian themed book every month and discuss the story and parallels we see to our current world.