Subversive Reader’s Book Reviews: What do you know edition

While this week Squirm’s reviews were about what you might see, mine were about what you might know . . .
Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir by Caroline Weber
Caroline Weber might have been surprised by Oxford, but not as surprised as I was by this book! It’s a memoir of Carolyn’s time as a student from Canada completing post graduate studies at Oxford. Although she expected to study literature there, she never expected to find herself searching for a deeper understanding of Christianity. Through the people she met – both practicing Christians and not – she began on a journey to clarify her understandings of Christianity and what it meant for her to live as a Christian.
The real joy in this book is the beautiful writing. Weber’s writing is like poetry, filled with quotations from well known and not so well known sources. She brings a real honesty to her writing, you feel like you know her well by the time the book concludes.
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
This book often appears on recommendation lists, but I felt it was aimed at an older age group than the one I was teaching, so I didn’t buy it for my classroom library. It was the right decision – this is definitely a book for the older reader.
This is Steve’s story, told as a movie script from his point of view. He’s on trial for murder, accused of serving as a lookout during a robbery gone wrong. His script goes through the trial and what happens outside of the court room. As it’s from Steve’s point of view, we never really know if we’re getting an accurate account of what happened during the robbery, or if he’s really as innocent as he says he is.
This was a quick read – a script leaves a lot of white space on each page, so you get through them quickly. It would be great for a reluctant teenage reader, but it’s a book that raises a lot of questions for anyone who reads it.
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