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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 10/15/21 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading The Paper Palace, Miranda Cowley Heller's novel about a middle-aged woman exploring other possibilities for her life--and potentially destroying her marriage; Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi's wonderful book about a Ghanaian family in Alabama and the family members' twists and turns; and, in honor of the approach of Halloween, The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson's 1956 spooky story of four people seeking answers in a powerfully haunted house.

Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?


01 The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Fifty-year-old Elle is in her happy place--the house where she's spent her summers her whole life.

But something is different. Elle and her oldest friend Jonas have just crossed a line, betraying their spouses--and may have set into motion a shift that could change everything for all of them, forever. Elle has an enormous decision to make: stick with her contentment and comfortable current life and husband--or fulfill the dreams and fantasy of what might have been with her childhood friend?

Miranda Cowley Heller explores secrets, lies, abuse, desire, shocking truths, complications, and love within the various members of the families she reveals in The Paper Palace.


02 Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

I'm listening to Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi's novel about a Ghanaian family living in Alabama.

Gifty is working toward her PhD in neuroscience and is focused on studying addiction--an interest and passion inspired by haunting events in her family's past.

She's examining the shape of her childhood and young adulthood: the evangelical church she grew up in and the inspiration and judgment she experienced there; her yearning for her estranged father in Ghana, whom they all call the Chin Chin Man; her brother Nana's athletic obsession, his injury, and his subsequent drug addiction; her mother's tough love, how she shut down after Nana fell apart, and her current emotional paralysis.

Gifty is an appealing main protagonist, and Gyasi's story s fascinating so far.


03 The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

It's getting close to Halloween, so I thought I'd add a spooky story to my to-read list, and Shirley Jackson's 1959 Haunting of Hill House seemed like it would fit the bill.

A scholar of the occult, his assistant, a young woman with ghostly experiences, and the future heir of Hill House arrive to the house hoping to find answers--but unexplained occurrences and creepy moments are only the beginning of what Hill House has in store for those who dare to be there.

A ten-part Netflix series is based on this tale. Shirley Jackson wrote six novels, including We Have Always Lived in the Castle, two memoirs, and the story "The Lottery."


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