Of the 61 titles I read, here were my favorites:
It should be noted, the misogyny in this book is a little hard to take. It's undoubtedly real, war being the most masculine of pastimes, so there's the machismo posturing one would expect from young enlistees, sorting women neatly into "hot or not" boxes. The female characters exist only on the peripheries: girlfriends back home, wives, prostitutes, only the occasional female soldier or contractor, Iraqi war widows.
It's been said that all war films are really pro-war. This is not the case with literature, and with Redployment in particular.
For those who are unfamiliar with this book, it's McCourt's memoirs about his childhood in Ireland during the Great Depression. After I read it, I perused other readers' reviews on Goodreads, and so many of them were talking about how bleak this book is. Of course it is-- it's about poverty and disease. But am I the only one who found this book uproariously funny? I was raised Catholic, so I found pretty much any scene dealing with nuns or priests to be hilarious. Also, I'm Mexican, which, as a Colombian friend once pointed out to me, "You Mexicans are just like the Irish, except you have better food." While I didn't experience this level of poverty personally, I was partially raised by a large extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles who were this poor, so McCourt's descriptions and some of the situations struck my funny bone in that painful, I'm-laughing-because-it's-so-true sort of way.
Also, the phrase, "as sure as God made little apples!" has become a permanent addition to my lexicon.
Happy New Year, everyone! I can't wait to see what books and authors I'll meet in 2016.
If you liked this post, be sure to check out my reading retrospectives for 2014 and 2013.
I am now on Patreon. Be sure to check out my work there-- your support would be much appreciated!