Three Books I'm Reading Now, 7/31/23 Edition
The Books I'm Reading Now
At the moment I'm listening to Timothy Egan's narrative nonfiction account of the immense power of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and how the bravery of a young woman destroyed its stronghold, A Fever in the Heartland; I'm reading Ethan Joella's heartwarming story of three interconnected members of a community coping with grief and loss, A Quiet Life; and I'm reading Lynn Painter's adorable rom-com about an eccentric high schooler coping with the grief of having lost her mom and navigating romance using the inspiration of her mom's favorite romantic comedies, Better Than the Movies.
What are you reading these days, bookworms?
01 A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan
In 1922, the Ku Klux Klan was roaring through states like Indiana, adding tens of thousands of members so that its ranks swelled.
Members of the hate group, focused on building fear and intolerance and profiting from its participants, used its wide reach to control elections and place members in high-ranking state and national political positions. Police officers, judges, lawyers, and other community leaders who were part of the white supremacist hate group looked out for each other, and they seemed impervious to inconveniences like the law or justice.
D.C. Stephenson was a con man and womanizer who had told enough enormous lies to reinvent himself into one of the most powerful men in the KKK. His life was built upon a lie, and his years of unchecked abhorrent, violent, narcissistic, horrifying actions made him feel invincible.
But when he met a young woman and promised her career assistance, then abused his position, she threatened to be his undoing--and to take down the hate group he'd spent his life profiting from and building into a force of evil.
Timothy Egan is also the author of The Worst Hard Time, fascinating narrative nonfiction about the Dust Bowl.
02 A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella
Chuck Ayers is a recent widower and is reeling from the loss of the love of his life. As he faces the scheduled yearly vacation to Hilton Head, he attempts to get rid of her belongings--and discovers aspects to her that he never knew when she was alive.
Kirsten Bonato has suffered a loss of her own, which threw off her plans for vet school. Now she's working at an animal rescue center and sorting out burgeoning romantic feelings for two different men.
Ella Burke is struggling to make ends meet and to fill her long days. Her young daughter is missing, and Ella is in limbo, desperately hoping she hears news soon.
A Quiet Life centers around these three characters, their unlikely connections, and their growing importance to each other over the course of a winter in a suburban community.
03 Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
I've been on a rom-com kick this summer, and while I'm picky about my light fiction reads, I've laughed and swooned over lots of wonderful books lately. (New Greedy Reading List to come!)
Lynn Painter's adorable rom-com Better Than the Movies is about an eccentric high schooler coping with the grief of having lost her mom and navigating romance using the inspiration of her mom's favorite romantic comedies.
Liz is a hopeless romantic who has been waiting her whole high school career to be swept off her feet in quintessential romantic-comedy fashion--with the perfect soundtrack playing in the background. But she may have to rely on her annoying next-door neighbor Wes to try to gain the attention of dreamy Michael, who has just moved back to town.
This is my first Lynn Painter book, but I love it so far and I'm looking forward to reading more by her.