Three Books I'm Reading Now, 3/3/21 Edition
What I'm Reading Now
Here's what I've got going at the moment: a dark, intriguing story of interconnectedness between unusual characters; a novel about a family straddling cultures and in which family members to find their way back to each other by traveling around the world; and a popular book by Matt Haig that explores shifting realities and asks how much of a person is determined by circumstance, by choice, and by chance.
Remember, clicking on the covers below takes you to the books on Bookshop, where you can buy books online and benefit independent booksellers.
I'd love to hear which books you're reading and enjoying these days, bookworms! Greedy readers want to know!
01 Two White Queens and the One-Eyed Jack by Heidi von Palleske
In von Palleske's modern gothic novel, two young boys share the experience of a tragic accident. Then they encounter a set of twins and the life paths of the boys and girls become intertwined, shaped by circumstance and by fate.
Set on the shores of Lake Ontario and in gritty Berlin from the 1960s to 1980s, the story from von Palleske sets her eclectic characters on a course of discovery, mistakes, love, forgiveness.
This book will be published March 9, 2021.
I received a prepublication copy of this book courtesy of Dundurn Press and NetGalley.
02 The Arsonists' City by Hala Alyan
A rich family story, a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home.
In the novel The Arsonists' City, Hala Alyan presents a family in which a Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three first-generation American children with an ancestral home in Beirut come to terms with deep loss. They return to Beirut as a touchstone and to attempt to pull together again.
With plenty of secrets, messy interpersonal family interactions, love, and loss--and all of this against a background of Beirut, a city shaped by and "smoldering with the legacy of war."
I received a prepublication copy of this book, which will be out March 9, 2021, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley.
03 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Nora Seed feels like she can't go on. Life is too much, there's no hope for anything better, and her future contains nothing but disappointment. Her despair leads her to try to end her life.
She finds herself transported to an in-between state that is not life and not death, in the form of a library that exists outside of time and holds shelves full of the "books" of all of her possible life paths.
A trusted figure from her childhood serves as her guide to the library, advising her to review her Book of Regrets and plunge into alternate lives to see if a different set of circumstances might fit--and might save Nora from ending it all. The particulars of each future she might drop into are determined by the different combinations of decisions Nora could have made in her life. Some are notable, others comfortable, and still others are full of destruction and pain.
There's a lot to unpack from Haig's (also the author of How to Stop Time and others) fascinating premise. I'm reading this along with my mom, as part of an online book club for March, and for my in-person book club. Trifecta!
If you like books that play with time and alternate realities, you might also like the books on the Greedy Reading List Six Riveting Time-Travel Escapes.