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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 5/21/24 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Taylor Brown's newest historical novel, Rednecks, which centers around the riveting battles and rebellion against oppression surrounding the West Virginia Mine Wars of 1920 and 1921; I'm reading Fiona McPhillips's upcoming debut, a suspense novel about a working-class student in a prestigious Dublin private school and the deadly secrets she attempts to uncover; and I'm listening to The Island of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak's magical novel about a young girl in London yearning for a connection to her extended family; her distracted widower father, a botanist; and a fig tree with a lot of opinions that witnessed her parents' love affair.

What are you reading these days, bookworms?


01 Rednecks by Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is a must-read author for me, and I can't wait to dig into his newest book.

In Rednecks, Brown presents a historical novel centering around the events of the 1920 and 1921 West Virginia Mine Wars. Ranging from the Matewan Massacre through the Battle of Blair Mountain, Rednecks offers a mix of fictional and real characters in this riveting story of rebellion and oppressive control.

Brown unfailingly offers a character-driven tale set in a lushly built setting, with large-scale life-and-death, good-and-evil struggles that he brings to life through rich figures that fascinate and sometimes break your heart. I can't wait to dig into Rednecks.

Taylor Brown is also the author of Wingwalkers, The Gods of Howl Mountain, Fallen Land, a title I loved and included in the Greedy Reading List Six Great Historical Fiction Stories about the Civil War, and other novels.

I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of NetGalley and St. Martin's Press.


02 When We Were Silent Fiona McPhillips

Louise Manson is new to Dublin's most exclusive private school, Highfield Manor. She's from a working-class family, and this sets her apart from the other students at Highfield.

When Lou tries to bring a dark Highfield secret to light, she realizes that speaking out might be deadly.

Three decades after her Highfield days, Lou receives a surprising phone call. A high-powered lawyer is assisting with a lawsuit against Highfield, and Lou could help piece together recent and long-hidden secrets, if she'd only be willing to relive the past.

I'm reading When We Were Silent, scheduled for publication May 21, courtesy of NetGalley and Flatiron Books.

This is the author's debut novel.


03 The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

My friend James and I were recently sharing book recommendations, and he mentioned this author and this book in particular, so I added it to the top of my to-read list.

Since her mother Defne went into a coma and never woke up, young loner Ada Kazantzakis lives in London with her distracted botanist father Kostas, who has little brain space for anything but his plants.

A fig tree with its own voice and point of view witnessed Kostas's young love with Defne and illustrates the interconnectedness of nature and humans through the centuries.

Ada is seeking a meaningful link to her past and extended family; could a tree possibly be the answer?

I'm listening to The Island of Missing Trees as an audiobook.


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