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Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller

It is difficult for most people even to imagine the world described in this book, let alone live in it as a child: the nights are dark, scary, and filled with strange noises; the people welcome you and despise you at the same time; there is a constant anxious feeling burning in your stomach, which, you later realize, is fear of the unrest surrounding you. The British-born Fuller grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), losing three siblings to disease as her father fought in the Rhodesian civil war and her mother managed the farm. She approaches her childhood with reserve, leaving many stories open to interpretation while also maintaining a remarkable clarity about what really transpired in her homeland, in her own home, and in her head. The narrative seems complicated, weaving together war, politics, racial issues, and alcoholism, but its emotional core remains honest, playful, and unapologetic; it hardly seems possible that this 32-year-old has so much to say and says it so well. In this powerful debut, Fuller fully succeeds in memorializing the beauty of each desert puddle and each African summer night sky while also recognizing that beauty can lie hidden in the faces of those who have crossed her path. Reviewed by: Media Services Librarian Barbara Silberstein


The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer; narrated by Adam Grupper

Even if you aren’t a “bar” person you would enjoy this book about a fatherless boy being brought up by a very caring struggling mother. They live with his grandparents in a run down house. The boy’s father, a disk jockey and a drunk, isn’t in the picture except for a few times. He was sent to the bar to buy cigarettes for an uncle and was fascinated by the talk there. He finds his male companionship in the bar and the regulars there take him in and this is where he gets his “education”. The descriptions of the people frequenting the bar are so great that you feel that you know them all personally. The reader of this audio was very good taking on the voices of the people in a very realistic way. I would highly recommend reading or listening to this book I would rate it a 5 star. The author won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing and from the book jacket, is an accomplished wordsmith. From Newsweek—the only thing wrong with this terrific debut is that there has to be a closing time.

Reviewed by: D. C.

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