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  • Writer's pictureBecky Bechhold

Don't get too comfortable.

There are all sorts of books out there and sometimes you just want an easy, breezy read. It may be funny, romantic, silly, or just escapist by your own definition. But it is always good to pick up something that is outside your usual genre or style. Challenge yourself. There is no test at the end and you don't have to write a paper about the metaphors and references to mythology anymore. Read to expand your thinking. I have read plenty of books that I didn't love, but reading is never a waste of time.

I have not read Sam Pink before this book of short stories, The Ice Cream Man & Other Stories. His style is sparse, staccato, and decidedly profane. These stories portray the lives of the blue collar worker. The people who toil in large factories, or small businesses that rely on manual labor. Some language was almost repellant, but honest and unsentimental.

This is a time when these workers are truly living on the edge- either layed off or overworked and at risk.

C. Pam Zhang has written a glorious epic of the post gold-rush West with How Much of These Hills is Gold. Her story of siblings on a quest to escape and find home is dramatic and violent, but full of fable and resonant with the beauty of the western landscape.

Sigh, Gone a memoir by Phuc Tran is a funny but heartbreaking telling of how Tran learned to fit in and excel after coming to America from Viet Nam in 1975 with his parents and later joined by extended family. It amazes me how cruel children are to their classmates. Wonder where they learn that?

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