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It’s officially fall and though fall isn’t usually my favorite season, I’m happy to see it arrive this year. I think any forward movement is good right now! Work days are long and stress is high, and I don’t see that changing for a long time, but keep thinking that eventually it has get easier. Thank goodness for books because now more than ever I feel like they are a balm for my psyche. I’m definitely more picky about what I’ll read, but when I find a book that works, it’s a lovely escape and last week I found two!
Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
Last Week’s Reads
- Wow! Just wow. A Knock at Midnight by Brittany K Barnett was an amazing memoir. Attorney Barnett shares her own life and her work trying to free men and women who were given unreasonably long sentences, sometimes for doing next to nothing during the “War on Drugs” years. Her book makes so clear how that push starting in the 80’s unfairly targeted Black and poor people. This will be a top read of the year for me. I’m hoping to give it a full review next week.
- Then I picked up Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam and was again completely engrossed in this book. It’s very different, but I loved it. A family on vacation at a lovely, isolated country house is shocked when the owners show up on their second night there. The couple is clearly shaken and talking of a huge blackout back in NYC. The next morning more strange things begin happening. It’s a little bit dystopian and all about relationships and I loved it! I’d also like to get a full review of this book done soon.
- I only have a couple of hours left in Homegoing by Yaa Gyassi and am really enjoying it. For the first couple of chapters, I wasn’t sure about this book, but then I just sort of fell into the story and can see why Homegoing is so beloved by many. For me it’s much better than Transcendent Kingdom, which I’ll be reviewing on Wednesday.
- Memorial by Bryan Washington is probably one of the most hyped books of the fall. I’m at about the 40% mark and the further I get, the more I like it. I definitely don’t think it will be a book for everyone in part because the writing style is a little different. His is a character driven story of a struggling gay couple written in short bursts, with lots of stops and starts. For me, right now, I really like that it moves the story quickly along. For those of you who care about this, Washington does not use quotation marks and there’s a lot of dialogue. That no longer bothers me, but I always feel like it makes an author’s writing feel a little pretentious .
Likely to Read Next
- I plan on making my next audiobook Conditional Citizens by Laila Lalami. This is one of the many books whose release was pushed from the spring to the fall. I loved Lalami’s last novel, The Other Americans (my review) and want to hear what she has to say about what it’s like to be both an immigrant and an American and how a caste system still exists in out country of “equal rights.”
- For some weird reason I’ve read a lot of books this year that feature twins and The Girl in the Mirror is yet another. The two set out to sail the family yacht from Thailand to the Seychelles, but when they arrive only one twin is aboard. She’s mistaken for the other and goes along with the mistake, slipping into her sister’s life. Sounds like a fun thriller to me!
Kathy Martin says
Interesting assortment of books. I have been concentrating on lighter fiction and historical mysteries to combat the reality happening now. Come see my week here. Happy reading!
Beth F says
Leave the World Behind looks like a good one!
I recently saw Leave the World Behind on another blog and I thought it looked interesting. I’m glad you liked it.
It’s different, but I highly recommend it.
Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf says
So many good books in this post and I have yet to read any of them. I actually bought a copy of Homegoing. I need to get to it soon, for sure. I’ve heard so many good things about Yaa Gyassi’s writing.
Of the two, I liked Homegoing better, but her terrific writing shines in both.
You’ve been getting to a lot of great books! I’m not as quick as you out of the box … still getting my ducks (or books?) in a row, ha. I like that you vet them for us. But what’s it with not using quotation marks?! Emma Donoghue’s last one didn’t use them either. I think it’s just easier for us readers if they did…. it doesn’t really bother me after a while not using them … but at times it can be easier to tell if it’s just a thought or said aloud or even who’s talking etc. blah.
I feel like it’s always a bit of an adjustment getting used to no quotation marks, but before too long, I adjust. I read several articles a few years ago trying to figure out why writers made that choice and reasons were all over the place. Evidently it’s more common from European authors, another author said he did it because he wanted readers to put their own interpretation on what exactly was said and what was thought. I still tend to think it’s a little lazy.