Reading Lately


We've been busy.

You've been busy, too. Back to school means a sigh of relief for some of us, and more traffic on the roads for the majority of us. Autumn officially begins this Sunday. Like most people, I love fall. It means the beginning of a brake from raging summer, and it has been raging this year. Fall for me means curling up with a good book and a hot chocolate, a blanket thrown over my feet with the windows wide open.

When we first opened, I struggled to get a reading back into my life. Can you imagine how hard it was to get everything ready for our grand opening. This town hasn't had a book store in over twenty years, and I felt pressure to give my community something they can be proud of. I have to admit I hadn't even finished the book for the bookclub meeting in July. Now that things have calmed down, and we have added so much to the store for our community, the reading in my life has found space.

My reading world has been vast lately. I find myself reading three or more books at a time, while listening to another one on my app. There is just so much out there begging to be read. Without futher adu, here are the books that have expanded my world lately:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Of course, I am going to start with September's That Book Club pick. I did finish reading this and what a great read it was. At it's core, this is a book about motherhood and all the forms it can take. This book explores topics like teenage pregnancy, adoption vs. birth mother rights, surrogacy, helicoptor vs. free range parenting, and a lot more. It tackles all these hot button issues and still manages to tell one hell of a story. Our book club discussion ran well over one and a half hours as we discussed who was doing the mothering thing right and who seemed to be failing. There is also a lot to love about this book if photography is your thing. Little Fires Everywhere was released September 12, 2017 by Penguin Press. It is still on many national bestseller lists and recently Reese Witherspoon announced she will be starring in the mini series on Hulu. Read this book before you see it. It is emotional and explores a lot of grey topics where the "right" choice isn't obvious.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Just imagine with me if the women of Homer's The Iliad had a voice. This book gives them a voice, and we see their thoughts and emotions. This story lays bear what it would be like to be on the loosing side of the trojan war, and a woman. Women were taken as captives and made slaves to the victors of that war, this is one woman's story of what happened. Briseis lost her whole family, including her parents, her husband, and her brothers. She was the queen of Troy. Now she is taken by the leader of the army, Agememnon, as a prize from the battle. There she has a unique opportunity to wtach Achellis and Agememnon interact and sqabble over how best to defeat their enemies. This book was highly enjoyable, despite the powerlessness of the protagnist. This story got me really thinking about what loosing cost those girls. The Silence of the Girls was published on Septem ber 4th, 2018 by Doubleday. It was an IndieNext pick for September for obvious reasons. It is a highly enjoyabble read.

Small Animals by Kim Brooks

Small Animals made me wish parenting came with instructions. This is a memoir about an incident that happened to Kim Brooks when she was visiting her parents in Virginia. She took her son to the store, but in clssic kid fashion he decided he did not want to go in. In a desperate act to get it over with, she runs inside the store for five minutes and leaves her four year old child in the car. Of course, someone videoed him in the car alone and her return and turned the video in to the local police. She is later arrested and tried by Virginia courts for leaving her kid unattended. I want to hand this book to every parent becuase we have all had momentary lapses of good judgement. This book raised questions about our paranoia and asks "why are we so afraid of what people think about how we parent our children?" Why are we so competitive in parenting? I'm not saying what she did was right, but she uncovers parents similarly brought to "justice" for trivial things. This is a great read that should be required reaading for parents of little people. Small Animals was published on August 21st, 2018 by Flatiron Books. Kim Brook's personal story exposes that parenting in the age of fear is no joke.

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Seafire is a great story about the power and courage of females. This is a pirate story, but with an almost all female line-up. It takes place mostly on a ship with a female captain who is looking for revenge. I was hooked right away! Each character has depth in a world beautifully described. I like my fantasy story to make me feel like I am right there seeing the world and this one did exactly that. IThis book has twists and kept me furiously turning pages to see what would happen next. I am all for female pirates. This is a book YA readers will love! Seafire was published on August 28, 2018 by Razorbill. It is our YA Book Club October book.