• The Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 7/22/21 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Rule of Wolves, Leigh Bardugo's second and final book in the young adult King of Scars duology; I'm listening to Life After Life, Kate Atkinson's lovely book about second chances (and third, and more) at life; and I'm diving into A Passage North, Anuk Arudpragasam's recent literary novel about a young man considering his life as he travels to pay tribute to a recently deceased friend of the family.

Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?

01 Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

Rule of Wolves is the second and final book in Bardugo's young adult fantasy King of Scars duology.

In book one, King of Scars, Nikolai was a king rebuilding the kingdom of Ravka following a long civil war--and with twists and turns, intrigue, romance, and characters I loved becoming invested in, Bardugo set up another great storyline. (I mentioned her Shadow and Bone series in the Greedy Reading List Six Royally Magical Young Adult Series.)

Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina are king, general, and spy, respectively, and when Rule of Wolves picks back up with these characters, they're all coping with loss, facing danger, and braced for destruction as Fjerda invades.

Meanwhile, Nikolai is harboring enormous, dark secrets--and revealing them would almost certainly lead to his undoing.

02 Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

At the recommendation of my wise friend Laura, I'm reading (well, listening to) this immersive story about do-overs from Kate Atkinson.

Ursula didn't survive her own birth. But during her next go-round with living, she survived only to die young in an accident. When she lived her next life, she lived through her birth and that earlier danger, but she met her demise another way.

In Life After Life, Atkinson focuses her literary fiction lens on the character of Ursula, her relationships with members of her family, and with life during World Wars I and II. It would be a captivating book even without the redoing-life element. But Atkinson's thrusting of Ursula back into her same existence until she shifts her circumstances slightly (with enormous repercussions); opens up her life to be bigger and more fulfilling (and longer); and develops inner strength, conviction, and self-assuredness--that's the real magic.

03 A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam

At the beginning of Arudpragasam's A Passage North, twentysomething Krishan has moved home to live with his mother and grandmother in the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Then he receives a message that Rani, his grandmother's former caregiver, who lived in the household with all of them for a time, has died suddenly at her family's rural home in the north.

He begins the long journey to the war-torn area of northern Sri Lanka to pay tribute to Rani, and he's forced to more fully consider the devastating effects of his nation's thirty-year-long civil war as he views the destruction along his route.

Arudpragasam is also the author of The Story of a Brief Marriage. Here he offers a literary fiction story in which Krishan examines his young life, analyzes his romantic twists and turns, and questions his place in the world.

I received a prepublication digital copy of this title courtesy of Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley.