Dec 13

MaddAddam – Margaret Atwood


MaddAddam is the final book in Atwood’s speculative fiction trilogy of the same name. She’s one of my favorite authors and I was highly anticipating the publication of this book (I briefly mentioned this trilogy in a review of another of her books this past summer). I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint! Each of the three books in the trilogy look at roughly the same set of apocalyptic events from the perspectives of different sets of characters. In addition, each book furthers the broader plot, with this final book reaching a satisfying, if somewhat poignant, conclusion. Overall, highly recommended!

The source of the apocalypse in the book is rooted in biological engineering. There are many elements related to this topic, including the brief mention of a video game called “Intestinal Parasites”. What’s interesting though is that someone actually created a real-world version of the game – you can go check it out in the Apple App store. Enjoy!

Dec 13

NW – Zadie Smith


This book was recommended to me by Donna. She had previously read Smith’s White Teeth and On Beauty, both of which she also recommends (especially White Teeth).

I quite enjoyed the book. Structurally, it was very interesting – each section had a different style and flavor. The current Wikipedia article on the book sums this up nicely:

The novel is experimental and follows four different characters living in London, shifting between first and third person, stream-of-consciousness, screenplay-style dialogue and other narrative techniques…

The content primarily focuses on issues of class. It explores the lives of two main characters who grew up in the NW London projects and later went on to cross class lines as they worked their way up the social and economic ladders. Much of the tension in the book revolves around the ideas of who you were then vs. who you are now (and to what degree this separation is intrinsic or self-imposed).

Finally, having come from a somewhat modest background myself, I saw aspects of my own life reflected in the themes of the book, which made it that much more interesting.