Three Books I'm Reading Now, 7/2/21 Edition
The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm reading an upcoming suspenseful thriller from Blacktop Wasteland author S.A. Cosby; a light fiction story that's multigenerational, features a winery backdrop, and references racy reads from the 1980s; and a story inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn about four young orphans evading danger and coming of age on the Mississippi in the 1930s.
Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?
01 Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
I was so excited to see that S.A. Cosby has a new book coming out next Tuesday. I loved last year's gritty, character-driven mystery-thriller Blacktop Wasteland so much that it made my Six Favorite Summer 2020 Reads list.
In Razorblade Tears, two men are coping with the tragic, violent, mysterious deaths of their married sons. Derek and Isiah were estranged from their ex-con fathers, each of whom now regret every moment they didn't make sure the young men knew that they were perfect and beloved.
Buddy Lee and Ike have sworn off their brutal pasts and all of the tangles and troubles that went hand in hand with them. Buddy Lee lost his job and is holed up drinking in his trailer, and Ike, who knows a Black man can't afford to put a foot out of line, has built his landscaping company from the ground up and stayed clean for years.
But the cops seem to have given up on the case, the killers are still on the loose, and the men share a deep desire for vengeance. Their old days as hardened criminals could help them satisfy their thirst for revenge--as long as they're willing to give up everything else in the process.
This is brutal and heartbreaking and wonderful so far.
I received a digital prepublication copy of this book courtesy of Flatiron Books and NetGalley.
02 Blush by Jamie Brenner
Jamie Brenner's Blush centers around a family winery and the three generations whose lives orbit around the vineyard.
Hollander Estates has long been the respected grandfather of North Fork wineries on Long Island, and most members of the Hollander family took for granted that the winery would still be standing when great-grandchildren came along.
But the push to shift production to meet current-day wine trends and demands; the disconnect between generations' plans for the business and for their individual futures; and basic, intensely complicated interpersonal family relations are all threatening the vineyard's existence.
So far this is a lovely light fiction story that also focuses on racy reads from the 1980s in the form of past and current book clubs for women.
I received a prepublication digital edition of this book courtesy of G.P. Putnam's Sons and NetGalley.
03 This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
I'm listening to Krueger's This Tender Land as an audiobook, and so far I feel satisfyingly immersed in 1930s life along with Odie, Albert, and their best friends Emmy and Mose.
At the Lincoln Indian Training School in Minnesota, Indian orphans (plus Odie and Albert) spend their days being worked relentlessly, disallowed from speaking their native language or adhering to cultural traditions. They spend their nights desperately avoiding the cruelties and horrors they might suffer at the hands of the almost universally terrible adults in charge.
When events come to a head and the O'Banion brothers must flee down the Gilead River--in hopes of meeting up with the Mississippi and eventually hitting St. Louis and reuniting with a long-lost aunt--their recently orphaned neighbor Emmy and their steadfast best friend Mose don't hesitate to come along.
The author has said that this story was inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and it does feel like a modernized take (in terms of cultural sensitivity and perspective) on that type of tale. The writing is lovely and the characters are irresistible so far.
Krueger also wrote Ordinary Grace, reviewed on the blog here.