The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm reading three upcoming titles; one memoir and a novel are coming out tomorrow and one memoir will be published next week.
Uncultured is Daniella Mestyanek Young's memoir of growing up in The Children of God cult, of her escape, and of her experiences in the military; The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream is Jeannie Zusy's novel about a loving, complicated family relationship; and Stay True is Hua Hsu's coming-of-age memoir of growing up Taiwanese American and coping with grief after the loss of his friend.
What are you reading these days, bookworms?
01 Uncultured by Daniella Mestyanek Young
Daniella Mestyanek Young grew up the daughter of high-ranking members of The Children of God cult in Brazil. Her mother was forced to marry the cult's leader when she was thirteen and worked as secretary for "The Family" for many years.
While in the cult, Daniella was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused, while being told these acts reflected God's love. She was not allowed to attend school.
At age 15, Young escaped to Texas, enrolled in school, and made a new life for herself. Uncultured is an account of Young's perseverance, growth, reflections, and strength.
I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of St. Martin's Press and NetGalley.
For more more more memoirs that you might want to try, check out these Greedy Reading Lists:
02 The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream by Jeannie Zusy
When Maggie gets a call that her older sister Ginny--diabetic but a sugar lover, with intellectual disabilities--needs more help than she's getting living on her own, she brings Ginny and her occasionally vicious dog to live with her in upstate New York, becoming her big sister's caregiver.
But Maggie already has a maxed-out life: she's separated from her husband, she has two boys, she's getting by on a freelancer's pay, and she's just starting to date again. Meanwhile, Ginny is bull-headed, hooked on sugar and porn, and not inclined to cooperate with Maggie's requests.
In The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream, Jeannie Zusy offers a messy, heartwarming family story with dark humor--and a sense that the matter of who's taking care of who is not as cut-and-dried as it may seem.
I received an electronic prepublication edition of this book courtesy of Atria Books and NetGalley.
03 Stay True by Hua Hsu
Eighteen-year-old Hua Hsu reveled in his uniqueness. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, he enjoyed making 'zines, searching for vintage records, and being different.
Ken, who was Japanese American in a family that had lived the United States for generations, favored Dave Matthews Band and Abercrombie and Fitch and was in a fraternity. In Hua's view, Ken was as mainstream as they came.
Yet each of these young men questioned whether there was really a place for them in American culture. The two bonded deeply and became close friends.
Several years later, Ken was killed in a carjacking, and Hua was left reeling. He began writing what became Stay True in order to cope with his loss, explore the concept of belonging, face his own grief, and memorialize his friend.
Hua Hsu is a staff writer at The New Yorker.
I received an electronic prepublication edition of this book, to be published September 27, 2022, courtesy of Doubleday Books and NetGalley.