book reports


Emrah Serbes trans. Mark David Wyers

Uğur recommended this book to me and I liked it just fine. A seventeen year old living outside of Istanbul is trying to make his little sister famous for her Michael Jackson dances, and they end up in the middle of the Gezi Park protests that happened in the summer of 2013. It's about family and friendship and life in Turkey, but mostly about being a teenager - lots of abrupt changes in affections and in politics. It's often funny but also exhausting. I liked reading about Çağlar for a few hours but I wouldn't wanna hang out with him for very long.


Walter Wangerin Jr.

Well, again, as usual but not on purpose, the first book I finished in the new year was about Jesus. I downloaded this one night when I got lonely a few days before Christmas. I loved Wangerin's novel about Paul, but here he does the same thing to Jesus that he did to Paul: makes him unlikeable. I don't need to like Paul, it's easy for me to not like Paul, and not liking him feels fun and righteous and rebellious and heretical. But I want to like Jesus. Maybe I've just made him into what I want him to be, but in the gospels Jesus seems to be full of jokes and strange stories, feeding and teasing and hugging and healing strangers and his friends, making a mockery of every empire and economy and priest and power structure. In this book he just seems quiet and grumpy and frustrated with everyone. Too much like me when I'm at my worst.

One night I read about Jesus and Judas dying and didn't care very much and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I made breakfast and ate it and then sat down to finish this book and got surprisingly emotional. Of course I got a little weepy when I imagined John, old and alone and almost blind, remembering his dead friends and trying to write a book about them; but for some reason when Jesus said to Mary Magadelene "I am going to my father and your father, to my God and your God," I cried and cried and prayed and prayed for myself and my friends for one friend in particular.

What are prayers,
what are people,
what are stories,
what are words,



other books I read this month:
SLADE HOUSE - David Mitchell