What We’re Reading / What You’re Reading 03.22.13


It’s time for another Friday edition of the segment where we fill you in on what we’re reading, and we hope that you’ll reciprocate by telling us what you’re enjoying (or loathing) as well.

Don’t be shy, we want to hear from you! Feedback from our followers will play a role in helping us to determine what books to read, review, and feature on this site over the coming months. It will also give us a better idea of the topics and genres that interest you.

Karli is currently reading Oh Myyy! by George Takei

We all know that George Takei has recently become something of an internet phenomenon. Between his social activism, acting career, and Facebook/Twitter activity, George Takei pretty much owns the internet. His new book acts as a sort of social media memoir, charting his rising popularity online as well as issues he has encountered through this process such as internet trolls, angry fans, and backlash from the Star Wars community. But there have also been some very positive opportunities and experiences, such as a newfound ability to help the community and make people laugh. But, as Takei points out, some people don’t have much of a sense of humor. He says:

Good grief. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, and at one another, in good spirit and without malice, then what fun can be left? If we must withhold all ribbing in the name of protecting everyone’s feelings, then we truly are a toothless society. We will reach what I call “the lowest common denominator of butthurt.”

Aaron is currently reading Mama Leone by Miljenko Jergovic, translated from the Croatian by David Williams.  Through a series of short, connected recollections (stories feels like the wrong word) Jergovic’s Best Translated Book Award nominated title introduces us to the world through the eyes of child growing up in a land torn apart by horrors of war.  This isn’t a book about war though, as much as it’s about universal ties that bind us all like life, family, and love.  The excerpt below comes from the chapter What Will Allende’s Mom Say and it finds our young narrator playing a game shortly after hearing of the demise of Salvador Allende and the rise to power of Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

Saturday came around, Mom was vacuuming the house and I was playing with a plastic pistol.  I don’t know who I was playing war against, probably against Pinochet.  Mom bent down and tried to vacuum the dust under the couch.  I went up to her, pressed the pistol on her temple, and pulled the trigger.  She dropped the vacuum cleaner house, stood ramrod straight, her face in horror.  I thought she was going to hit me, she didn’t, tears were streaming down her face, she ran out of the living room yelling Mom, Mom.  Grandma was sitting on the terrace reading the newspaper.  I knew that I’d done something terrible, but that I wasn’t going to get a hiding.  I slunk into the hallway, tiptoed to the terrace door, and peeked out.  Mom was sobbing convulsively, her head in Grandma’s lap, Grandma was caressing her and saying it’s all right, it’ll be all right, calm down, it’s nothing . . . How is it nothing, I gave birth to a monster.  I went back to the living room, opened the encyclopedia to the page with the circus, but I didn’t see anything.  It was hard for me to look at anything.  If I’m a monster, something scary is going to happen.

Let us know your thoughts on what you’re currently reading using the comment field below.

About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.