The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is a hidden treasure to me because I feel most people know only her novel Beloved because it was made into a movie. As with all of Toni Morrison’s books, people will enjoy her imaginative, precise writing about the human experience. In The Bluest Eye, Morrison's message is about beauty standards in America that affect young African-American girls because they question their own beauty in a society that doesn't see them as beautiful. Morrison wants every African-American girl to know that she is beautiful just the way she is.
I once attended a class on creative movement. One participant was in a wheelchair, and I was taken with the enthusiasm and creativity with which she moved. I determined to speak to her, but the words I used to describe her disability caused offense. Later, we had a great talk, but I learned that discussing disability can be difficult. Haben Girma's book taught me that people with disabilities are limited not by their physical state but by the difficulties imposed upon them by an ignorant or uncaring society. Girma is very accomplished, but it came at the cost of a huge investment of time and energy in getting other people to provide accommodations they are morally or legally required to provide. She now spreads the knowledge that we all benefit when accommodations are made for disabled people which enable them to lead lives free of limitations.
I read this book in elementary school during the era when the stories of child kidnapping were prevalent and the Amber Alert was in its early stages. It is a story of what happens when everything that you know about your life and your parents is wrong, and you are thrust into the spotlight while trying to come to terms with the fact that not even your name is yours.
The Rest Is Noise paints twentieth-century music in relation to the world of music as a whole. The author brings hard-to-reach concepts within modern music down to an accessible level for most, no music theory required. The rise of shock value and "the ludicrous" across the art landscape did not exclude music in the context of history. Alex Ross expertly explains how this came to be and, more importantly, how to appreciate it.