Three Books I'm Reading Now, 10/3/22 Edition
The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm reading The Hero of This Book, the newest novel (to be published tomorrow!) from the wonderful Elizabeth McCracken; I'm reading A Psalm for the Wild-Built, the first in Becky Chambers's Monk and Robot series and a book that's been on my to-read list for ages; and I'm reading Hester (also to be published tomorrow!), Laurie Lico Albanese's reimagining of the character of Hester Prynne and the inspiration for her story from Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
What are you reading these days, bookworms?
01 The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken
After her larger-than-life mother's death, the narrator of The Hero of This Book faces the sale of the family home in New England and travels to her mother's favorite city, London.
She considers whether her role as an author offers an opportunity to write about her mother and gain deeper understanding of her, or whether doing so would violate her mother's long-held, fierce desire for privacy.
I received a prepublication edition of this book, scheduled for publication October 4, courtesy of Ecco and NetGalley.
I mentioned one of McCracken's short story collections, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, in the Greedy Reading List Six Short Story Collections to Wow You.
02 A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk and Robot #1) by Becky Chambers
The robots vanished from Panga centuries ago, and accounts of a world where they existed are beginning to feel more and more like folklore.
But tea monk Dex finds himself wandering and yearning--for long-lost crickets' nighttime noises, and for some deep connection he can't quite identify.
When Dex wanders into the forest and encounters a robot, the traditional exchange must occur, of checking in, and the robot asks: What do humans need? Dex can't imagine being able to answer this enormous question, but the robot wonders if the matter is really so complicated after all.
This is a slim book that's full of heart and strange, captivating details of Chambers's imagined world--and of an unorthodox friendship that could save both monk and robot.
Chambers is also the author of the Wayfarers series; click here to read my review of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.
If you're interested in books about robots, you might also like the books on the Greedy Reading List Six Great Stories about Robots, Humans and Alien Life, and AI.
03 Hester: A Novel by Laurie Lico Albanese
In Hester: A Novel, Laurie Lico Albanese reimagines the woman who inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne's Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter.
In Hester, talented needleworker Isobel Gamble and her husband leave Scotland for America in the early 1800s. But when her addict of a husband abruptly leaves her penniless and alone, jumping on a departing ship as a medic, Isobel is desperate and must make her way in an unfamiliar country all alone.
She encounters Nathaniel Hawthorne, a romantic, aspiring author who is struggling to cope with his family's dark legacy of having sent suspected witches to the gallows. The two enchant each other in an unconventional, unacceptable relationship and a swirl of connection.
I received a prepublication copy of this book (to be published tomorrow) courtesy of St. Martin's Press and NetGalley.