Time for another roundup. My month was consumed on the blog with the Radetzky March readalong, but in between that, I also read some other great books. Read on to get my reading recommendations, and let me know how your month went in the comments below.
Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Wow, this one was powerful. I had no idea that the recent movement of 200 million Chinese peasants is the “biggest mass migration in history”. Hsiao-Hung Pai tells their stories in this book, and many of the stories are incredibly painful and important to hear. The metaphor of scattered sand is also perfect for describing the migrants’ ubiquity and individual vulnerability.
The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth
I’ve already said a lot about this book, so I won’t add more here. If you’re interested, you can read my thoughts here:
- The Radetzky March Readalong, Part 1
- The Radetzky March Readalong, Part 2
- The Radetzky March Readalong, Part 3
Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani
A well-told tale of an Indian-American family grappling with the aftermath of domestic abuse. Some of the characters’ actions seemed hard to believe in places, as if they were making life intentionally complicated for the sake of a better plot, but overall it was a compelling story with an important theme.
Blue: A Memoir by John Sutherland
What’s it really like to be a police officer, dealing with all that horror on a day-to-day basis? Not much like TV, as it turns out. I enjoyed this memoir about life as a London copper, from initial training right through to complete mental breakdown. It was quite fragmentary, though, and I’d have preferred more depth in places.
The Production of Money by Ann Pettifor
Before reading this book, I thought that central banks like the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England created money by printing banknotes. From this book, I learned that only 5% of money is created this way. The other 95% is created by private, commercial banks typing numbers into a computer. I learned a lot more, too, about how money is created and how it’s intrinsically linked to debt.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I’ve read this one before, but I really enjoyed listening to it again on a wonderful audiobook recording read by Sissy Spacek. It’s a classic for a good reason, and this version really does it justice.
I’d recommend all of the books I read this month for different reasons. No disappointments this month. I think the book I’d most whole-heartedly recommend is The Production of Money, simply because it’s such an important subject that most of us know so little about.