Thursday, September 13, 2012

BBAW Day 4: Pimp This Book!

Today's Book Blogger Appreciation Week challenge is to promote a book that you love, but other people don't know much about.  This was tough for me, because so many of my favorite books are well-known ("Oh wow, you love The Hunger Games?  HOW UNIQUE.").  However, I do have one fiction and one non-fiction book to highlight for you today!

My fiction pick: The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

I got this book on sale from B+N a couple of years ago, and got around to reading it last year.  If you like dystopian fiction, this is a phenomenal read.  The only reason I don't think it gets more attention (at least in the US) is because the author is Swedish and the book is a translation.  (Apparently there's only room for 1 bestselling Swedish author in this country.)  Anywho, whatever the reason, I think this book deserves way more popularity!

The novel follows Dorrit Weger in a fictional future Sweden, in which all childless women over age 50 and all childless men over age 60 are considered "dispensable".  Thus, they are sent to isolated units where their organs are essentially harvested to the more "essential" citizens that need them.  They are harvested until they die.  This has been a fact of life in Sweden for a while, but Dorrit starts to question if this is really the way her life needs to end.

This book captivated me from start to finish.  I was especially intrigued by how the author makes you contemplate the meaning of being "needed" in, are you really only "needed" in society if you have children? What about your siblings, parents, pets...can they "need" you in the same way?

Overall, I found this novel to be very unique, and I was surprised by the ending. The writing style makes it a quick read, but one that is guaranteed to stay with you for a while. I'll admit that my predominant emotion while reading was sadness...but that wasn't enough to keep me from wanting to find out what happened anyway.  READ IT!

My non-fiction pick: Field Notes From A Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert
I read this book a few years ago, and I still find it fascinating.  Kolbert did extensive research about global warming and climate change by traveling to various locations around the world (Greenland, the Netherlands, Alaska, etc) and explaining the specific ways that temperature shifts are affecting their environments.  These are real-life illustrations of how global warming is changing our daily life.  Kolbert also spends a bit of time talking about why many corporations and politicians are trying to downplay the effects of climate change.

I don't want to get all political on you, dear bloggers, but this is a politically charged book, no matter what side of the aisle you're on.  However, I recommend going into it with an open mind, because I think this book has important, down-to-earth information about an issue that is so often spoken of in generalities or impossible-to-understand data.  Read, learn, and reflect.  If any of you have read this, I am very interested in your thoughts!

What lesser-known books have YOU enjoyed lately?


  1. Both books sounds really interesting - and I just checked my library website and they have The Unit.

    Tanya Patrice

  2. Oooh The Unit sounds interesting. I do love dystopian fiction. Thanks for the rec!

    Alison at The Cheap Reader

  3. I've gotten into dystopian reading the past few years -- so I'll definitely have to add The Unit to my wishlist!

  4. This really sounds good! I will check it out. Thanks!!

    BBAW: Time to read Feynman

  5. I've heard of The Unit and been wanting to read it. It's sad it hasn't gotten more attention in the U.S.

    Field Notes From A Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change sounds interesting too. Not my usual type of nonfiction I like to read, but I am known to make exceptions when an especially good book comes to my attention.

  6. Both books are new to me and sound terrific. Thanks!

    Joy's Book Blog

  7. The Unit has been on my list of books to read FOREVER. I'm so glad it's a good one, because, much as I love the genre, dystopian fiction has a lot of seriously disappointing reads!


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