Three Books I'm Reading Now, 5/9/22 Edition
The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm reading First Time for Everything, the upcoming novel (to be published tomorrow!) from Henry Fry about a young man resolving complicated questions about his romantic life, career, and his future at an East London commune; Revelations, Mary Sarratt's immersive historical fiction set in medieval England about Margery Kempe and her religious visions and pilgrimages; and We Are Not Like Them, Christine Pride and Jo Piazza's exploration of a complicated friendship and of race in modern-day America.
What are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?
01 First Time for Everything by Henry Fry
In Henry Fry's new (to be published tomorrow!) novel First Time for Everything, Danny Scudd has spent five years trying to make good on his dreams. He left his small British town and his parents' fish-and-chips shop, moved to London, and is trying to become a successful journalist.
Sure, his boyfriend is insufferably pretentious...and Danny's realizing he's also been unfaithful...and his roommates are kicking him out in order to start a family. Danny has a lot to figure out--and quickly.
When he moves in with his best friend in a commune-like East London community, Danny reckons with his life and his priorities and choices regarding his romantic partners, professional future, and his friendships.
I received a prepublication digital edition of this book courtesy of Ballantine Books and NetGalley.
02 Revelations by Mary Sharratt
I've been reading Mary Sharratt's Revelations over the course of this "school year" with my women's group.
In Revelations, Sharratt offers an immersive historical fiction novel that includes thoroughly researched details of medieval life and is built upon the framework of facts from the lives of Julian of Norwich and our main protagonist, Margery Kempe.
When the book begins, it's 1412 in Bishop's Lynn, England, and Margery has almost died after giving birth to her fourteenth child. She takes a vow of celibacy--although she doubts her unreliable businessman of a husband will adhere to her wishes--and begins to carefully share her vivid religious visions with trusted others.
She confides in Julian of Norwich, a famed anchorite (who lives, walled up in confinement, adjacent to a church, reading, writing, and studying, and reliant on supporters to feed and care for her). Dame Julian encourages Margery's religious awakening--and confides that she has been writing a radical booklet about her own visions.
Margery sets off on an ambitious pilgrimage across Europe and the Near East, sharing Julian's papers and her own visions, meeting at times with aggression, lies, and immense challenges; at other times feeling her hope and religious fervor stoked by her experiences.
03 We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza
In We Are Not Like Them, Christine Pride and Jo Piazza offer a story about lifelong friends Jen and Riley, one white, one Black.
Jen married young and is about to become a mother, while Riley is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors on their hometown Philadelphia television station.
Their lives have gone in different directions, but the women still care about each other. When Jen's police officer husband is involved in the shooting of a Black teenager, the women's friendship is stretched to the breaking point.
This exploration of love, race, friendship, and more is told in alternating points of view.