The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm listening to a wonderfully strange story about the absurdity of human life, Beautyland by Marie-Helene Bertino; I'm reading the upcoming debut novel by Kelly Link about three teenagers who disappeared, died, and are given the chance to reclaim versions of their lives using competitive magical tasks, The Book of Love; and I'm listening to a historical fiction story in two timelines, one on The Titanic and one centering around a female spy in World War II, Unsinkable.
What are you reading these days, bookworms?
01 Beautyland by Marie-Helene Bertino
Adina is born on Earth just as Voyager 1 launches into space. Her mother is a street-smart, scrabbling single parent, while Adina is an unusually perceptive child--with knowledge of another planet, a vivid nighttime school she attends in her mind, and faraway extraterrestrial relatives who have asked for her observations about humans and life on earth--which she does by sending them faxes of her reflections.
Beautyland is strange, poignant, and funny. I adore a book in which an outsider peers objectively at the absurdities of human life as in Bertino's story.
I'm listening to Beautyland as an audiobook, narrated by Andi Arndt, courtesy of Libro.fm and Dreamscape Media.
02 The Book of Love by Kelly Link
In Kelly Link's debut novel, The Book of Love, teenagers Mo, Daniel, and Laura tragically disappeared from their hometown and were presumed dead.
One year later, they find themselves sitting in a fluorescent-lit classroom in their seaside town of Lovesend, Massachusetts, with their high school music teacher before them. They are, in fact, dead, but their teacher offers them a chance to compete in magical tasks in order to reclaim their lives.
Meanwhile, mysterious forces with dangerous plans converge upon Lovesend, drawn by the resurrection of the kids. The teens are trying to come to terms with what their existences might look like now, and their families are still reeling from their loss.
The kids will need to figure out the reasons for their disappearance--and their return--if there's any hope of a future for them.
I received a prepublication edition of this book, scheduled for publication February 13, courtesy of NetGalley and Random House.
03 Unsinkable by Jenni L. Walsh
Unsinkable is historical fiction set in two timelines by Jenni L. Walsh.
The book's earlier timeline is set in the early 20th century, as Violet, a young ship's steward bent on providing for her family, works aboard The Titanic, while the later timeline takes place in the time of World War II as Daphne, an intelligent and educated young woman who is emotionally closed off, serves as a spy assisting the French Resistance.
I'm listening to Unsinkable as an audiobook, narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Alana Kerr Collins, courtesy of Libro.fm and Harper Muse.
Walsh is also the author of Becoming Bonnie, Side by Side, A Betting Woman, and The Call of the Wrens.