This week in my reading has brought me to the conclusion of Siddhartha Mukherjee's Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. While certainly long, replete with obscure (at least to me) medical and scientific jargon, and centred on a difficult topic, this book was a delight to read. The idea to personify cancer and to narrate her story, with all its various historical developments and possible future twists, was truly inventive. The story-telling is lively, even when the complexity of details surrounding oncological understanding and treatment certainly must have made writing narrative complex indeed. After reading this, I feel that I have a deeper understanding of what many have faced, are facing, and will face with this disease. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has a sincere desire to deepen his understanding of cancer.
After getting through that heavy read, I also picked up Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This novel tells the story of two families on either side of an international adoption. At times, this book resonated with me, and, at times, I wanted to throw in across the room--particularly during descriptions of the ignorance of the adoptive parents. I did have to remind myself that the book was set during the late twentieth-century, making their lack of cultural awareness a bit more understandable than it would be today. Still, when I read books or see movies that depict an adoptive story, it is rare that I don't have some unsettled feeling about how the adoptive process is represented, knowing that many will base their understandings on such fictional descriptions. The book has a nice and tidy ending, which turns on your "good feelings." I would recommend this book with caution, recognizing that it has the potential to prompt better questions about international adoption but feeling somewhat disappointed by its overall thrust.
Jadon's pick of the week is Cinderella: A Fairy Tale (Little Pebbles) by Edith Baudrand and Charles Perrault. A classic fairytale never goes out of style!