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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 3/18/24 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Micaiah Johnson's science-fiction novel Those Beyond the Wall; I'm listening to Kristin Hannah's historical fiction about women who served in the Vietnam War, The Women; and I'm listening to Dolly Alderton's contemporary literary fiction about a stand-up comedian's breakup, Good Material.

What are you reading these days, bookworms?


01 Those Beyond the Wall by Micaiah Johnson

In Ashtown, a gritty desert community, the Emperor rules with a ruthless hand and holds the ultimate power. The only person he can trust is Scales.

Scales is a mechanic, a fighter, and she keeps everyone on track.

But when Ashtown citizens start turning up dead, Scales must team up with a straitlaced Ashtown partner and an abrupt, brilliant City scientist in order to try to capture the killer.

I received a prepublication digital edition of this science fiction title courtesy of NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group--Ballantine.

Micaiah Johnson is also the author of The Space Between Worlds, a book I loved.


02 The Women by Kristin Hannah

I loved Kristin Hannah's book The Nightingale and mentioned it in my Greedy Reading List Six Books about Brave Female Spies.

But I've been frustrated by what feels like odd pacing, soap-opera elements, outlandish events, or too-easy resolutions in other Hannah stories, despite the premises that sound absolutely captivating (for example, The Great Alone and Winter Garden).

I'm here for another Hannah read because of another premise I couldn't resist.

Kristin Hannah's The Women shines a light on the women who served pivotal roles in the Vietnam War--but whose existence was largely ignored, forgotten, or denied by Americans at home.

Frankie leaves her idyllic, privileged Southern California life--and the control of her conservative parents--in order to serve as a nurse serving soldiers in combat.

When she returns home, she faces anti-war sentiments, the shock of returning to her pre-war life, and coping with the trauma of many months overseas amid destruction and death.

I'm listening to The Women as an audiobook.


03 Good Material by Dolly Alderton

Andy and Jen were in love, living together, and happy. Weren't they?

Now Andy, a struggling stand-up comedian, is left reeling, trying to figure out what went wrong.

He's obsessed with trying to figure out why Jen broke up with him, and no amount of rehashing events, deception of mental-health professionals, or nosily mining for information is too much, in Andy's mind.

Jen's perspective comes in late in the book and adds layers of information and context to the funny, poignant story.

I'm listening to Good Material as an audiobook.

Dolly Alderton is also the author of Everything I Know about Love, Ghosts, and Dear Dolly.


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