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Adult Blog

Although 2020 has brought its share of disappointments and delays, one thing that was not a disaster was my year in fiction reading.  In May, I did a city-wide read with Paulette Jiles’ News of the World, which is just now being released as a film starring Tom Hanks.  Rediscovering this treasure from 2016 was fun and brought great satisfaction in reading it simultaneously with others.  I had many great reads through our Zoom monthly book groups such as The Book of Lost Friends and The Red Lotus.  I also tried to include some recent books published by authors associated with Alabama, namely The City We Became by N. K.

Even though we are a globalized nation, what we read is fairly English-centric. We prefer to read what is familiar and comfortable. Even when we venture out of our comfort zone, it is more likely to another English-centric genre. This tends to show in what is getting published year-to-year. According to the BBC, only 3% of total publishers output are works that are translated. We have almost no insight into what the world is reading - making us myopic and, possibly, more intolerant. As quoted from Lit Hub, Nigerian poet Ben Okri said, “Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” If we are willing to expand our vision of the world through imaginative visions of video games and science fiction, we should be willing to open our minds to other cultures too.

Already, it's time for holiday celebrations.  It will be different this year.

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Adults

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