The Current Babble
School is back in swing, which means I’m back to tutoring for the fall semester. In Los Angeles County all the students are stuck with remote learning, and all tutoring sessions are online too. In between sessions I’ve been drawing, running, and of course, reading. Here are the books I’ve been reading lately.
1. Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh
I actually just finished this one. I loved Mackintosh’s debut The Water Cure, but Blue Ticket lacks the same magic despite being written in a similar style. Mackintosh creates strange worlds for her characters but doesn’t fully explain them to the reader, which some find frustrating while others find appropriately eery. Both of her novels are atmospheric, and neither is plot-driven.
In Blue Ticket, every woman attends a lottery on the day she reaches menarche in which she pulls either a white ticket, the pathway to motherhood, or a blue ticket, the career track. Calla who is motherless herself is sent on track to be childless too, until the “dark feeling” inside her leads her to make dangerous decisions for the sake of having a child of her own.
2. The Book of Rosie by Rosayra Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo
This quick read has two parts. The first, narrated by Cruz, chronicles her journeys immigrating to the United States, the second of which occurs under the zero tolerance policy that sends her to a detention center and separates her from her sons. The second part from Collazo’s point of view describes how she was able to raise money and coordinate legal aid to get Cruz out of detention and reunited with her boys. I’m listening to the audiobook which comes in at about six hours.
3. The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
I don’t read science fiction typically, but the Book of the Month review for Johnson’s debut persuaded me to give it a try. On Earth Zero, the Eldridge Institute has discovered hundreds of other versions of earth, and how to send people between them to collect data, providing information about the multiverse. However, no one can visit a world unless they’ve already died on it. The writing is a little clunky, which I find distracting, but the premise intrigues me.