Three Books I'm Reading Now, 5/29/23 Edition
The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm reading The Guncle author Steven Rowley's upcoming novel, The Celebrants, about old friends holding living funerals for each other to cope with difficult periods in life; I'm listening to a madcap story about a nerdy misfit who's mistaken for a drug kingpin at his high school reunion, Addison J. Chapple and Rachael Flanery's Santa Ana; and I'm reading Michelle Hoffman's upcoming rom-com, The Second Ending.
What are you reading these days, bookworms?
01 The Celebrants by Steven Rowley
Steven Rowley's novel The Guncle was full of heart and humor, quirky family love, and fun references to musicals and movies--yet Rowley also offered poignancy, an exploration of grief, and the impossible-seeming prospect of going on after deep loss.
His newest novel centers around college friends who made a pact after one of the six died before graduation: if any of them is going through a crisis and needs to know they are loved more than they love themselves, they can call upon the others to assemble, no questions asked.
The members of the group may have grown apart, but when one of them feels adrift and lost, they come together in sassy, funny, messy and imperfect, loving support.
You can check out my full review of The Guncle here.
I received a prepublication edition of this book, to be published May 30, courtesy of NetGalley and G.P. Putnam's Sons.
02 Santa Ana by Addison J. Chapple with Rachael Flanery
Santa Ana is a madcap story about a misfit who's mistaken for a drug kingpin at his high school reunion
The authors alternate points of view to show the perspectives of the statistics geek, the best friend intrigued by him, the meathead, the "it" girl, and an omniscient narrator with a twisted sense of humor.
The California setting is vivid, and the story is zany, entertaining, and full of dark humor. The absurdity is keeping me hooked so far.
I'm listening to Santa Ana courtesy of Libro.fm and Blackstone Publishing.
03 The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman
Prudence Childs was a prodigy. She taught herself to play the piano as a toddler, became famous, played at the White House, and appeared on television. She inspired a generation to take up the piano--before realizing her grandmother was exploiting her, and breaking from both her family and her fame. She falls into a career writing jingles. It's creatively unsatisfying but pays the bills.
Decades later, Prudence agrees to participate in a popular televised dueling piano competition--against Alexei Petrov, a young Russian pianist who has flawless technique. But Alexei's parents pushed him so ruthlessly, he never made friends or developed a life outside of music.
When the two face off, they each have something to prove--to their families, their exes, those who have doubted them--and to themselves.
I received a prepublication edition of this book, to be published May 30, courtesy of NetGalley and Ballantine Books.