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Featured Book Reviews
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah Reviewed By: Aanvi
"This book is the childhood memoir of Trevor Noah, comedian and host of The Daily Show. It provides a deep look into a lesser known aspect of his life: growing up as a biracial kid during South African apartheid. In apartheid South Africa, Black and White people were banned from having children together. Thus, Trevor Noah—with a Black mother and White father—was “born a crime.” From the moment he was born, society had already rejected him. Noah discusses many significant issues, including racial injustice, poverty, domestic violence and abuse, and alcoholism, all while maintaining the light and humorous tone he is known for. He makes heavy topics much easier to read, incorporating humor into nearly every chapter and including many entertaining anecdotes, reflecting his ability to see the light even in the darkest of times. The book stays true to Noah’s comedic personality, yet at the same time there is gravity to each of his words. Born a Crime is dedicated to Trevor’s mother, and she is just as prominent of a figure in the book as he is. The lessons she taught Trevor are lessons we all could use. The book is extremely well-written, meaningful, and leaves the reader with a message incredibly relevant to today’s times."
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh Reviewed By: Ashmi
"Ottessa Moshfegh writes about nasty characters. The icky things humans are capable of doing. The characters in this book are obnoxious but almost endearing in their imperfections. The narrator, who remains nameless, is beautiful and rich and a recent Colombia grad. She should be on top of the world, but she isn't. She's got an envious, try-hard friend in Reva. She's got Dr. Tuttle, a horrid psychiatrist who enables her pill-popping to the extreme. And she has Trevor, an on-again-off-again relationship that is more abusive than anything else. This is a book of self sabotage disguised as an epiphany. The narrator is horribly unlikeable, but I could not put this book down. It's a wonderful hate-read. Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation doesn’t shy away from cruelty and unpleasantness. The narrator falls into a deep depression and convinces herself she needs to change something. She utilizes drugs to escape from her real life. She wants to sleep through the year. She truly believes her 'year of rest and relaxation' will leave her a changed woman with a zest for life and will to live. The last pages of this book are haunting. The narrator wakes up from her sleep weeks before 9/11. This book asks the question of whether we can ever really escape pain. Our narrator realizes that freedom and reality is in being wide awake."
The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen Reviewed By: Ashmi
"'The Copenhagen Trilogy' is a memoir in three parts. We have Childhood, Youth, and Dependency. This book is brutal and honest. In Childhood, Ditlevsen writes, “Childhood is a long and narrow, like a coffin, and you can’t get out of it on your own” Despite the confusion and chaos and devastation beyond words, her parents don't love her and she sees no way out of poverty, the author is able to articulate human emotion so clearly and with stark detail. In Dependency, the author speaks in harrowing detail of her addiction to painkillers. This last section, Dependency, refers not only to the drug, but her husband, who supplies the drugs. Tove cannot care for her children or write. She is a successful author, which she thought would be her ticket to happiness, but she sees no happiness beyond getting high. Tove Ditlevsen bares her soul in the pages of this book, it is no less than a masterpiece."
Recent Contest Winners
Troy Public Library Poetry Contest 2021
1st Place Teen Winner: Thejo
2nd Place Teen Winner: Isabell
3rd Place Teen Winner: Keri
Troy Public Library Library Design Card Contest 2019
Teen Winner: Priya