• The Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 10/20/21 Edition

Updated: Oct 27

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading What You Can See From Here, Mariana Leky's novel about loss, grief, and change when a small village is faced with an omen of death; I started Elizabeth Strout's just-published novel Oh William! about Lucy Barton, her first husband, and their inexplicable, unbroken bond; and I'm listening to The Best of Me, David Sedaris's most recent collection of oddball memories and stories that mix humor and absurdity with a hint of poignancy.

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

01 What You Can See from Here by Mariana Leky

Selma has dreamed of an omen, an okapi. Someone in her small village is about to die.

As her superstitious neighbors imagine that they may be destined to end their earthly stay, they struggle with unresolved issues, unspoken desires, secrets, and lies. Those around Selma work to quickly come to terms with their finite existence, and young and old members of the community consider their lives with new eyes.

Yet somehow the village's loss, when it does occur, takes everyone by surprise, and Selma's granddaughter, Luisa, is forever changed by the events that follow.

Leky writes about love, loss, grief, and understanding in What You Can See from Here.

02 Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is one of my favorite authors, and this recently published book is her newest in the interconnected Lucy Barton web she's woven.

In Oh William! Lucy examines her relationship with her first husband and considers how he has always been somewhat of a mystery to her. Yet the two have remained connected through the years, and the closed-off William has always leaned on Lucy for support, despite the fact that he has been married two other times since Lucy, including to his current wife--and Lucy is remarried as well.

Now William has uncovered a family secret that shakes him, and he asks Lucy to travel with him to investigate the truth.

Strout gorgeously mines small moments that make up a life, and Oh William! is leaning toward being an exploration of love, loss, friendship, forgiveness, and unshakable bonds.

Check out my reviews of Strout's My Name Is Lucy Barton, Anything Is Possible, and Olive, Again.

03 The Best of Me by David Sedaris

I'm listening to this collection by David Sedaris. I prefer to take in my Sedaris books by listening to the author's snarky, silly, spot-on, sometimes gross, and often farcical takes on the world.

Whether Sedaris is reliving specific, frequently oddball memories and mining them for poignancy and also laughs, or presenting his own distorted versions of morality plays, he does so with dark humor but also, frequently, with heart.

The section of limericks centered around dogs and their rude behavior isn't my favorite so far, but I often suspect that Sedaris is toning down his reflections for the comfort of his audience, and this felt like an absurd vignette he simply couldn't resist.