The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm reading Shoulder Season, Christina Clancy's novel set in 1981 Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, at a Playboy resort; The Manningtree Witches, A.K. Blakemore's story about witch hunts in 1643 England and the young women who aimed to thwart them; and Instructions for Dancing, Nicola Yoon's newest young adult book about heartbreak, romance, and unexpected new beginnings.
Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?
01 Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy
Beautiful, sleepy Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, in 1981 feels like an unlikely setting for a Playboy resort. But for small-town teen orphan Sherri Taylor, the resort is an open door to a life of excitement and opportunity, an appealing shift from the dead-end, broke, desperate life path she'd be on without it.
With plenty of youthful explorations of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll, plus young women striving to strike the seemingly impossible balance of femininity and power within a male-held power structure, Shoulder Season spans forty years, an important love triangle, and the course of a woman's life, from a modest Midwestern start to new beginnings in the California desert.
Clancy's story was inspired by the actual Playboy resort (which predated what is now the Grand Geneva) that was once in the area, and she interviewed workers and guests from the Midwestern hub where hit musicians, family vacationers, single men, and Bunnies all came together for the promise of something bigger.
02 The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore
In a small town in seventeenth century England, Puritanical fanaticism is opening the door for witch-hunting paranoia.
Rebecca West is fatherless, without marriage prospects, and generally defiant--all of which render her vulnerable to suspicion and subject to the various, often harmful whims of men.
Odd events are ascribed to dark forces, and dangerous rumors begin to swirl around the women on the outskirts of society regarding covens, spells, and carnal desire. Meanwhile, pious, black-cloaked Matthew Hopkins comes to town and begins being called the Witchfinder General.
Can the headstrong young women save their society from the arrogant men and their unchecked power?
If you like witchy books, you might also like the titles on the Greedy Reading List Six Wonderfully Witchy Stories to Charm You.
03 Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
In the newest young adult book by Nicola Yoon (author of the wonderful Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star), Evie Thomas is reeling from her parents' divorce--and from her haunting secret knowledge that her father was seeing his girlfriend before he split with Evie's mom.
So she doesn't believe in love or happy endings anymore. Her sister dates boy after boy, two of her best friends are making eyes at each other, and she's sick of all of it. She's written off love.
Then something really strange happens. As she's putting her former favorite romance books in a Little Free Library, a wizened old woman approaches her with some advice, and soon afterward, unexpected visions start overwhelming her. She's able to see the past and futures of the couples around her.
And how did she get roped into taking dance lessons, anyway?