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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 9/11/23 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm listening to Edan Lepucki's science-fiction time-travel novel, Time's Mouth; I'm reading Paulette Jiles's newest historical fiction novel, Chenneville; and I'm reading Al Hess's dystopian novel World Running Down.

What are you reading these days, bookworms?


01 Time's Mouth by Edan Lepucki

When Ursa was a child she was horribly abused by her father, and while she feels that she's pushed beyond it, the trauma has shaped her.

When she flees to remote California, her ability to travel through memory to revisit the past secures her a revered role in the counterculture 1950s community that builds around her.

A friend's borrowed, rambling home becomes a house for unwed mothers and mothers-to-be, with the women on site treating Ursa as a goddess and the children being horrifically neglected, sometimes with fatal results.

Ursa's own son Ray is shown some favoritism but is kept in the dark about his mother's ability. Her careless neglect causes him to flee--cutting ties with Ursa forever. But Ursa's ability to travel through time has, unbeknownst to all, passed on to Ray's child Opal. A meeting of grandmother and grandchild could change everything forever.

I received an audiobook edition of this book courtesy of and Recorded Books, Inc.


02 Chenneville: A Novel of Murder, Loss, and Vengeance by Paulette Jiles

I got full-body chills when I saw that Paulette Jiles had a new historical fiction novel coming out. The enthusiasm of my obsession with her book News of the World was (borderline? full-on?) irritating to the rest of my book club years ago, but I couldn't help myself.

In Jiles's Chenneville, titular character John Chenneville is a former Union soldier who has spent a year since the war ended recovering from a severe brain injury. Now he's on a quest for revenge for the brutal, senseless murder of his sister and her family.

He single-mindedly travels through Reconstruction-era United States on a search for A.J. Dodd, who has slaughtered innocents and, Chenneville believes, requires Chenneville to exact justice upon him.

I received a prepublication edition of this book, scheduled for publication tomorrow, courtesy of NetGalley and William Morrow & Company.


03 World Running Down by Al Hess

Al Hess's World Running Down tracks the adventures, challenges, unexpected meetings, and joys of a trans salvager in a dystopian Utah.

Valentine Weis is coping with body dysmorphia, and he dreams of making enough money to afford citizenship in Salt Lake City, where the privileged have access to endless food options, shelter and safety, and, most importantly to Val, surgical and medical options to aid his transition.

But for now, Val is eking out an existence in the rugged city outskirts, facing danger from pirates, cyborg animals, certain AI beings, and even his own salvaging partner.

Yet he remains hopeful for his future--and begins to believe that despite the constancy of his fight for survival, he might even be falling in love.


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