Three Books I'm Reading Now, 4/28/21 Edition
The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm reading an upcoming book from Chris Bohjalian (author of Midwives), a historical fiction story Hour of the Witch; I'm listening to Ross Gay's charming, funny, observation-filled, introspective book of essays, The Book of Delights; and I'm reading Great Circle, Maggie Shipstead's newest book and its multiple story lines, to be published next week.
Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?
01 Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
Bohjalian's newest book takes place in 1662 Boston, where strong-willed women like young Mary Deerfield are suspicious and frequently considered dangerous.
Hour of the Witch is a historical thriller about the first divorce in North America and the witch trial that followed for the twenty-four-year-old, faithful Puritan wife trying to escape her violent husband.
Bohjalian traces the city's collective suspicion as it grows into panic and paranoia, twisting Mary up in its grasp as the community swarms and snarls to condemn her for imagined, feared dark forces.
I received a prepublication copy of this book courtesy of Doubleday Books and NetGalley.
If you like stories about witches, you might like the books on the Greedy Reading List Six Wonderfully Witchy Stories to Charm You.
02 Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
Great Circle spans the wilds of Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Los Angeles, from the early twentieth century to modern day.
In interconnected stories--all of which feel equally compelling so far--Shipstead brings to life these disparate places, times, and focuses on various colorful characters within them.
Great Circle traces events starting with a sinking ocean liner in 1914 and the introduction of Marian and James, twin babies rescued from that tragedy; it follows the path of the twins' lives as they grow up; the story tracks young Marian's ignited passion for aviation and her adventures; and the book injects the modern-day story line in which a famous young actress takes on the role of portraying Marian in a film.
I'm hooked on this so far. I received a prepublication copy of this book courtesy of Knopf Publishing Group and NetGalley.
03 The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
“...in almost every instance of our lives, our social lives, we are, if we pay attention, in the midst of an almost constant, if subtle, caretaking. Holding open doors. Offering elbows at crosswalks. Letting someone else go first. Helping with the heavy bags. Reaching what's too high, or what's been dropped. Pulling someone back to their feet. Stopping at the car wreck, at the struck dog. That alternating merge, also known as the zipper. This caretaking is our default mode and it's always a lie that convinces us to act or believe otherwise. Always.”
Ross Gay resolved to spend a year writing about a joy or delight, large or small, every day, beginning on his birthday, and he pulls together the highlights of these experiences as The Book of Delights.
He examines his self-imposed process (he's not allowed to hoard or save delights for days that might light on the good stuff; he has to find or notice something new each day), reflects on human nature, recognizes the intense delights of food and love and friendship, shines a light on small, messy, lovely moments, and considers everything in between. I'm listening to this as an audiobook, and his voice (his writing style and also his speaking voice) are immensely appealing. So far he's wonderfully joyful and mischievous.