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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 5/28/24 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Amor Towles's collection of short stories and a novella, Table for Two; I'm listening to Sarah Grunder Ruiz's Love, Lists and Fancy Ships, about a yacht stewardess who is caring for her grieving nieces while also trying to a check off an ambitious list of bucket list items before she turns 30; and I'm reading Steven Rowley's sequel to The Guncle, The Guncle Abroad, in which Uncle Patrick tries to support Maisie and Grant five years after the death of their mother--as Patrick's brother Greg prepares to remarry in Italy.

What are you reading these days, bookworms?


01 Table for Two: Fictions by Amor Towles

In Table for Two: Fictions, Amor Towles offers six short stories set in New York City and a novella featuring a beloved Towles character that's set in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

In the novella Eve in Hollywood, Towles imagines the events following Rules of Civility, which ends with Evelyn Ross's departure from New York in 1938 and the train journey she extends to Los Angeles.

The six New York-set stories all take place around the year 2000, and they consider the impacts of chance encounters, the complications of modern marriages, and more.

Amor Towles is also the author of The Lincoln Highway, A Gentleman in Moscow, a book I really liked, and Rules of Civility, which I was even more taken with--the old NYC setting was so vivid, it felt like its own character.


02 Love, Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Jo Walker is a yacht stewardess. She fell into the job years ago while trying to find herself--after a youth in which her father died, her mother fell apart, her older sister Beth became pregnant by (and married) her beloved high school sweetheart, and after Jo moved in with the young married couple while she finished high school.

But none of Jo's losses or disappointments or life experiences could have prepared her for the horrific, shocking loss of her young nephew Samson, Beth's son and Jo's birthday twin, in a biking accident.

Months later, Jo's grieving sister sends her two living children, Kitty and Mia, to stay with Jo for the summer. Jo has been set on achieving a zany bucket list of items before her thirtieth birthday--and the girls are set on helping her any way she can. But the girls' emotional pain naturally creeps through from time to time, and it's bringing up uncomfortable feelings in Jo--who vividly remembers the loss of her beloved father when she was young and who adored Samson--who has always pushed down her grief.

Meanwhile, Jo keeps crossing paths with a handsome, charming man new to town. But she's sworn off of relationships since her last disappointing boyfriend cheated on her, so she supposes they'll have to just be friends. Or is she reconsidering her stance on love?

I'm listening to Love, Lists and Fancy Ships as an audiobook.


03 The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

It's been five years since Patrick O'Hara served as a caregiver for his niece Maisie and nephew Grant the summer after their mother died.

Patrick's acting career has taken off, and he's wrapping his second successful TV series.

His own love life is stagnant, but his brother Greg has announced plans to get remarried--in Italy. Maisie and Grant are not fans of their dad's plan, and Patrick steps in to try to support them--but he also has other concerns: Greg seems to have cold feet, and the upcoming wedding is causing multiple layers of mayhem within the extended family and beyond.

But how can Patrick try to teach Grant and Maisie about loving again when he's cut himself off from relationships? Could he ever be open to a new love?

I received a prepublication edition of this title courtesy of NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam.

Steven Rowley is also the author of The Guncle and The Celebrants. He is married to Byron Lane, the author of A Star Is Bored, a book I loved.


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