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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 9/12/22 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Elizabeth Strout's upcoming novel featuring the characters of Lucy Barton and her ex-husband, William, Lucy by the Sea; I'm reading Gennarose Nethercott's debut novel, Thistlefoot, a fairy tale informed by Jewish folklore; and I'm reading The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin, another debut novel, this time about friends from different generations facing the ends of their lives together.

What are you reading these days, bookworms?


01 Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout

In Elizabeth Strout's upcoming novel (to be published next week) Lucy by the Sea, Lucy Barton and her ex-husband William, characters from earlier Strout novels, leave New York City to stay in rural Maine during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The nearby ocean is a haunting presence but also a steady, everchanging comfort to Lucy. Strout takes us into the heart of the stressful, unusual situation in which the longtime friends and exes live in intimate solitude together, wondering about and worrying about their daughters, themselves, and the world.

I didn't feel particularly connected to the characters of Lucy or William in Strout's novel Oh William! But I generally love Strout's books, so I hope to dive back into reflections, vulnerabilities, and unexpected moments here in Lucy by the Sea.

I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley.

Click here to check out my reviews of Strout's Anything Is Possible, Olive, Again, My Name Is Lucy Barton, and Oh William!


02 Thistlefoot by Gennarose Nethercott

I've been so excited to read this upcoming (to be published tomorrow) debut novel from Gennarose Nethercott. Thistlefoot is heavy on Eastern European folklore and feels like an immersive fairy tale.

In Thistlefoot, estranged siblings Bellatine and Isaac, a woodworker and a con artist and street performer, are reunited to claim a mysterious, bizarre inheritance: a sentient house on chicken legs.

Informed by Jewish folklore, Thistlefoot is a strange, epic adventure tale.

I received an electronic prepublication edition of this book courtesy of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and NetGalley.

If you like books like this, you might also like the books on my Greedy Reading List Six Magical Fairy Tales Grown-Ups Will Love.


03 The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives in the terminal ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. Her life expectancy isn't long, but Lenni still has a lot she wants to do and be.

In the hospital's arts and crafts class, she meets 83-year-old Margot, a spirited, rebellious new friend. Collectively they've been around 100 years, but it doesn't feel like enough, and they each want to leave their mark on the world.

With the help of Father Arthur, the hospital chaplain, and a kind palliative care nurse, the friends make a plan to create one hundred paintings, one to represent each of their years of life.


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