A tale of two audiobooks and a library book
I’ve been looking for a book that I could immerse myself in and forget the world. I didn’t want to have to worry about the characters, or fume at the injustices they encountered, or fear for their futures; I do enough of that with the daily news.
Things didn’t work out exactly as planned.
One day this week, as I was idly gazing at my bookshelves (aka writing), I began to think about what moves me to buy or read a particular book. Of course, there can be any number of reasons, but as I considered it, several distinctive themes emerged.
Using a few examples from books I read in 2017-2018, here is my personal hierarchy of reads.
Every month, silly. And here are some excellent options, from A to , well, W.
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Gorgeous, poetic novel about four young African American girls who grow up, grow close, and grow apart in the Brooklyn of the 1970s. The novel begins as two of the girls – now grown women – run into each other on the subway after years of separation. One of the women rises and, although she knows her old friend expects her to come over and “hug the years away,” instead gets off the train. The scene both startles and puts the reader on notice to expect a wallop from this brief book that deals with memory, grief, racism, white flight, male violence, and the power of women’s friendships, with language so sharply honed you almost don’t feel it stab you in the heart.
Photo: Jason Denys
At the end of each year, I share a list of books I’ve enjoyed that year. In 2017 I didn’t read as much as usual, thanks to our national trauma. But I hope you’ll find some good choices for your own reading. Starting with fiction and followed by nonfiction, here is my year in books.
“What if women fight back?” That’s the premise of Kingdom of Women, the riveting new novel by Rosalie Morales Kearns.
I’m giving away a free signed copy. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment here. I’ll randomly select a name.
Enjoy this brief description of the novel and my interview with the author, in the indispensable Fiction Writers Review.