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It’s hard to know what to say today. I don’t want my grandchildren growing up in a country where a Black man can be murdered by a police officer, while three others look on. Three of my four grandkids are blonde haired and blue eyed, and they’re all white. They’ll never have to face the same fears their Black friends will and that’s just wrong. It’s always been wrong, and it has to change. We all have to role in that change. It’s sad that peaceful, meaningful protests have had the spotlight taken off of them by violence, destruction, and organized looting. As a society, we can’t go on like this. We must put an end to racial injustice. We should have done it a long, long time ago.
In case you missed it, I shared my Summer Preview 2020 last week. It features the 20 new books I’m most looking forward to in June, July and August.
Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
Last Week’s Reads
- I’m happy to report that Brit Bennett’s sophomore novel, The Vanishing Half, is every bit as good as her debut, The Mothers (my review). In fact, I think I liked The Vanishing Half even more than The Mothers, and that says a lot! Next week I’ll have a full review this story of light-skinned black twins, whose lives take very different paths when one chooses to pass for white and the other returns to the odd little community they grew up in.
- For most of the book I enjoyed listening to Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. It had tie-ins to a wide variety of murder mysteries and that was fun, but by the last quarter, I grew a little tired of the whole thing!
- The Second Home by debut author Christina Clancy turned out to be a little more serious than I had expected, but I really liked it. This is the story of a family with a summer home on Cape Cod, where one summer things go terribly wrong, driving a wedge firmly between their three teenage children. Full review on Thursday.
- I only have about 50 pages left in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, and am happy to report that I’ve been enjoying it. I’ve seen a lot of reviews that haven’t liked the last third of the book, and I agree that it doesn’t have the wow factor of The Hunger Games, but I’ve been engaged throughout and want to see where Snow’s early years end up.
- I listened to samples of a whole bunch of audiobooks, but nothing was working for me, so I turned back to Elin Hilderbrand. I enjoyed 28 Summers so much on audio, that I went to her backlist and am now about halfway through The Identicals, the story of estranged twin sisters, one living on Nantucket, and the other on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s exactly the sort of lighter listening that I seem to crave right now.
Likely to Read Next
- I’m really not sure what I’ll read next. I’ve put a few books about race on hold through Libby, so when those come up, I’ll turn to them. In the mean time, I think I’ll next read A Burning by Migha Majundar. This propulsive debut about three very different people in present day India seems to be a sort of literary thriller and has been getting a lot of great buzz.
- Wow! Yet another book about twins, Thin Girls by Diana Clark tackles a lot of issues including body image, eating disorders, and what it means to be a woman today. Debut author Clark does all this through the lives of two very different, but also very close sisters.
Stephanie J. Schiltz says
So agree with your preface. I also want better for our grandchildren’s futures 2020 thus far has been a big disappointment. I’m hoping for a better ending!
I’ve started the process of becoming more educated. I’ll talk about a couple new books I read on race on next Monday’s post.
There are so many books about twins out there! (I love twins and always wanted to have a set haha).
I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Vanishing Half! It’s up next for me, once I finish the 2 that I’m working on.
Hope all is well, Tina. Is baby girl here yet?
Debi Morton says
I’m so glad to hear you may have enjoyed The Vanishing Half even more than The Mothers, to which my reaction was a little less enthusiastic than most people. I’m looking forward to Bennett’s new one.
And yes, yes, to your first paragraph. When will everyone begin to understand that everyone is made in the image of God?
It’s ridiculous that we haven’t already learned these lessons!
I want to say it has been a hard week, but really, it has been difficult for so much longer than that. I cannot imagine the future.
Eight Perfect Murders sounds interesting, and I may need to see if I have the same reaction to the end.
Let me know what you think if you read Eight Perfect Murders. I’m not a big mystery/thriller reader, so I often feel like my opinions are a little skewed.
Hear, hear about the violence & the injustice & the looting! Very hard to watch.
And there’s a lot of books about twins these days! I’m glad you liked The Vanishing Half as I want to read that one. Pleased to know it lives up to her debut. Enjoy your week.
I’ve only seen a few reviews for the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes but they have been positive. See what I read at Girl Who Reads
I just snagged library ebooks of The Vanishing Half and A Burning. (As well as The Guest List.) All 6/2 releases so that’s an accomplishment! And I’m looking forward to all three. I’ll likely read Vanishing Half next. I was lukewarm on The Mothers, but this one sounds better.
Eight Perfect Murders was a fun premise and quite entertaining.
Life is certainly throwing crazy stuff at us this year. I agree completely with your thoughts and applaud the thousands who have protested peacefully.
Agreed! Enjoy your 6/2 releases. I’ve read all three now and definitely liked The Vanishing Half the most. Her writing is just so gorgeous.
Stephanie Nase says
Thanks Susie. I started visiting your site and reading your posts awhile ago but I’ve never commented. I’ve found your reviews to be spot on and you are my go to for new book suggestions. I just finished The Vanishing Half and I loved it! I’m looking forward to your take on it.
Thank you so much, Stephanie. I LOVE getting comments like this. I plan to review The Vanishing Half this week and it will be very positive. (Both my daughter-in-laws are named Stephanie, so it’s a favorite name for me!)
I liked The Vanishing Half as well, but DNFed The Second Home. I have no idea right now what will work for me or not in my reading. My brain is a hot mess. I’m so appreciative of friends like you!
You got a copy of Thin Girls? I tried but was ignored. I’m reading A Burning and even thought it is slow-ish I’m enjoying it.
I’ll be interested to hear your final thoughts on A Burning. I need someone to talk about it with. Not sure how I got Thin Girls if you didn’t, but it’s just an e-galley.