• The Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 8/11/21 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Paper & Blood, Kevin Hearne's second and final book in his quirky Ink & Sigil fantasy duology; The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd's historical fiction story about a plantation, oppressive power, and enslaved people at the turn of the nineteenth century in Charleston; and Jack, a quiet, gorgeous book from Marilynne Robinson that's focused on a meandering romance between an unlikely pair of characters just after World War II.

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

01 Paper & Blood by Kevin Hearne

In Kevin Hearne's latest book, the second and final installment in his Ink & Sigil duology, we catch up with the gloriously Scottish, unfailingly calm, crankily aging sigil agent Al MacBharrais and the loyal, lazy, creative, mischievous hobgoblin by his side, Buck Foi, for adventure and more of their somewhat grumpy attempts to save the world.

Paper & Blood is a quirky, lighthearted fantasy with entertaining pop culture references, copious Scottish lingo, magical creatures in the wondrous wilds of Australia, and steadfast partners like Nadia (an accountant who moonlights as a pit fighter), as well as potentially ill-advised companions like the ancient Druid Atticus O'Sullivan and his sentient dogs.

I really enjoyed Hearne's Ink & Sigil last year, and it made it onto the Greedy Reading List Three Offbeat Series I Just Started and Love.

02 The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

In 1803 Charleston, plantation owners wield cruel and immense control over their many enslaved people. In The Invention of Wings, young Hetty, whose real name is "Handful," is given to eleven-year-old Sarah Grimke as a gift for her birthday, and the two girls' lives become unevenly, twistingly intertwined forevermore.

Sue Monk Kidd spins this historical fiction story, inspired by the real-life Sarah Grimke, and includes excruciating details of the time, including various horrifying punishments for enslaved people considered disobedient; the oppressive power exercised over the humans who are considered by many in the region to be white "property"; and the incredible, brave spark that leads some of those in even the most dire situations to keep hope and to resist.

Sue Monk Kidd also wrote The Book of Longings, which made it onto my Greedy Reading Lists Six Historical Fiction Books I Loved This Year and My Twelve Favorite 2020 Books.

03 Jack by Marilynne Robinson

Jack, a quiet, gorgeous book from Marilynne Robinson, focuses on a meandering romance between an unlikely pair of characters just after World War II.

John Boughton is the self-loathing, drifting prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister, and Della Miles is a thoughtful, pensive, upstanding high-school teacher and also the child of a preacher.

The two--John is white, and Della is Black--keep crossing paths in segregated St. Louis, and Robinson explores complex issues regarding race and related societal pressures of the time; John's and Della's evolving thoughts about faith and meaning in life; and the fraught, heart-wrenching, tender, likely ill-fated romance between the two main characters.