Last week I finished the book “Moonglow” and saw the movie “Moonlight.”

My double moon experience was a coincidence, but it left me contemplating these vastly different life stories with references to the same moon.

Moonglow: A Novel

Moonglow was on my Fall-Winter reading list and it has since been named as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. It is based on the death-bed confessions of the author’s grandpa, including many stories he heard for the first time in the last week or so of his grandfather’s life.

The title here references the grandfather’s passion for space travel. I will never look at the official photo of the Challenger space crew the same due to one of the stories told in this book! Also, the first time he saw his wife was by “moonglow.”

The grandfather’s life was an interesting and epic one, much of it based on the effects of WWII. Still the book moved very slowly for me, and I almost gave up on it halfway through. Although glad I finished it, I didn’t think “wow” immediately after putting it down. However, in the days that followed, I have begun to see it for the epic story it is. Reading others’ reviews and appreciation of this book kept me reading it, so even though my own experience bordered on mediocre and slow, I still encourage you to consider reading this book if the topics interest you.


Moonlight: The Movie

Moonlight the movie, of course, is nominated for an Academy Award for best picture this year! I enjoyed the film even though its topics were difficult and not so relatable to my own life but rather to lives that I want to understand, specifically of a black boy growing up in Miami who has a drug addicted mother and is bullied while coming of age as a gay man.

The title here references an unproduced play the movie is based on, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, and some key scenes unfold in the moonlight.

The film is short on actual dialogue and focuses on the unspoken.  This lack of dialogue and communication in general was a bit challenging for me to decipher and come to terms with, especially at the end, but I can appreciate it too; after all the film is not about me but about lives I wanted to understand. In the days that followed I too am seeing this film for the masterpiece it is. I encourage everyone to see this movie.

The Moon and my wow factor

A full or nearly full moon always wows me. Sometimes I think I could stare at the moon forever. Last night it was only a sliver of a moon, but as the days unfold, it will amaze me once again just as some works of art – like these two –  gain more of my appreciation after some days of contemplation.

Best of luck to both of these works of art in their respective nominations!

What did you think of either of these titles? Let me know in the comments!