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Renée's Recent Reads: A tale and a song

life Oct 07, 2021
Renée's Recent Reads: A Tale for the Time Being and The Song of Achilles

I never talk about this anywhere online but I am an avid reader! I have the Libby app on my tablet so it's very easy (a little too easy) to take out e-books, audiobooks, and magazines from my public library. I'm also one of those weirdos who loves reading books on my tablet. I like turning out all the lights and reading the tablet in the dark under the covers!

I have this habit of putting myself on extremely long waiting lists for popular books and then I get a fun surprise four months down the road when it's my turn to borrow the book. That happened with the first book I want to tell you about: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

The Song of Achilles is a retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan war. Now, I must confess - I know literally nothing about classics. I've never read The Iliad, I didn't know a single thing about the Trojan war going into this book. I was talking to a friend about reading this and I actually said "I sure hope things work out for Achilles and Patroclus" 🤣

So when I tell you that I am NOT the target market for this book, I really mean it. All that said, I could not put this book down. I had a little extra motivation since I could only take it out from the library for three weeks before it would go on to the next person on the waiting list, but even considering that pressure, I read this book so fast. Every waking moment that I was able, I had my tablet in my face.

This book made me feel things. It was so beautiful and so lyrical and every word seemed to be perfectly placed to have the maximum effect. It is also extremely gay and I love that. I honestly may have to buy a copy of this book for my personal library because I already want to read it again!

The next book I've recently read is A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Content warning for this book: it is all about suicide. If that's not for you, you may want to skip this read. If can handle it, however, this is a beautiful read to pick up.

Contrary to the first book in this post, I read this book extremely slowly over many months. A Tale for the Time Being has a very interesting format, kind of a story within a story. The protagonist, Ruth, an American in British Columbia in 2011, finds the diary of a Japanese teenager Noa. The book alternates between Ruth's story and Nao's story.

It is sad and beautiful and funny and witty and your heart breaks over and over again for Nao. There are so many great characters in this book, but my favourite by far is the feminist Buddhist nun centenarian. 

I'm thinking about doing these little Recent Reads posts about once a month, depending on how much I'm reading I suppose. Check back for more later!


Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

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