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Wednesday, April 18th, 2018
Book Reviews

Recommended Reading - Motherhood, Picasso, Life on Artemis

Meaghan O’Connell

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready

Little, Brown and Company

O’Connell’s memoir of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood is raw, honest, and oh so relatable. O’Connell is an ambitious modern woman in her twenties when an unplanned pregnancy turns her world upside down. Her honesty about the difficult and sometimes ugly parts of pregnancy and parenting is refreshing and reassuring, especially in this day and age where everyone seems to project an image of having it all together. 

This quick and wonderful read had me laughing out loud in parts and on the verge of tears in others. To me, this story is a cross between Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan and The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich, two other fabulous books on motherhood that don’t skate over the challenges.

- Marilu Morgan

 

Miles J. Unger

Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World

Simon & Schuster

Dead since 1973, Pablo Picasso has been in the news lately. There was a February protest against exhibiting his art because of its treatment of women. There’s also a biopic coming out starring Antonio Banderas. But as a young artist in Paris, the contentious Andalusian had to work hard to become controversial. Unger’s book chronicles a key slice of Picasso’s life, from childhood to his hungry apprenticeship and bohemian days, to his world-changing painting “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” which premiered in 1907 and heralded the rise of Cubism. Unger neither worships nor demonizes Picasso, striving to be fair while remaining critical.

-       Bruce Collier

 

Andy Weir

Artemis

Crown Publishing

Artemis Colony—named for the ancient moon goddess—possesses the population diversity, rough edges and company-store politics of a mining boomtown, only it’s on the moon under pressure domes named for Apollo astronauts. Jasmine Bashara is a native Artemisian, moon-born of Saudi migrants. She is ambitious and willing to bend rules to improve her blue-collar life style. Yet her wild child spirit and “just do it” approach to life land her in scrape after scrape until she's deep in a plot to sabotage the colony’s corporate Oxygen plant.  

Weir’s Bradburyesque first novel, The Martian, was made into grand Hollywood sci-fi movie chronicling the survival of the first human castaway on Mars. Artemis is written with an eye to films. Its uniqueness suffers for it, becoming more Mission: Impossible, more “techno-adventure” than classic, naked-and-afraid sci-fi. Still, it offers a good read and, big surprise, Fox has bought film rights.

- Wynn Parks