At work I read The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. I have read that this is both the 3rd and 5th book? I am just plucking them off the library shelf based on the number on the spine. I actually liked this one more than the first two. It has a standard story: intrepid noble uneducated orphan child has adventures and finds out he not only isn't an orphan but is in fact a long lost royal relative. We follow Shasta, the orphan, as he escapes from slavery with a Narnian talking horse, Bree. Along the way they meet another Narnian horse, Hwin and a young girl Aravis. I think Aravis, the tomboy escaping an arranged marriage, really made this story for me. Watching her character interact with others you can see she is exactly the girl who would run away (after being stopped by Hwin during a suicide attempt, a little bit of darkness i wasn't expecting) because she is strong, spoiled and competent. She'd get along well with Lyra from The Golden Compass! Despite the standard kid's story, and the Arab racism, I give this one a 6/7.
Also got One Drop by Bliss Broyard finished up today. A history/biography/memoir that is long and sometimes difficult. Just before her father dies in 1990 the author finds out he was of mixed race. I almost said "raised as black" but that isn't exactly correct; in fact, his parents both passed as white for work. Honestly I liked the history (of New Orleans and the struggles of the free people of color) and the biography (of the author's father, Anatole Broyard) more than I liked the memoir stuff. I guess I just got a little tired of the author trying to decide how she should act or be different due to her racial history. I just don't think anything like that would matter to me. i give the book as a whole a 4/7.
My mom's hobby when I was a kid was genealogy and she was able to trace pieces of her family back to before the Revolutionary War. Pure American Mutt on that side. They were throughout the Midwest and South (Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio) so even if I don't have an African American ancestor on that side I definitely have some long lost cousins who do. On my father's side, I am Russian, from which I received my Ivanoff last name, my large nose and blue eyes, and Italian, which topped out my adult height at 5 ft 2 but gave me tiny feet and hands. But with those two countries in my family tree who knows what mix of genes i have. Egyptian? Greek? Mongol? Indian? Does it truly matter who people hundreds and thousands of years ago slept with? What would change about me if I found out I had these various peoples as my ancestors?