Books · Reading Life

Still too many books….

I now have 149 books on my TBR list.

Last weekend we drove to OH to visit with family. It was an 8 hour drive — just right to listen to John Grisham’s new book Sooley. We loved the book, but it was such a tragic story. The MC, nicknamed Sooley, traveled to America from South Sudan to play basketball in a summer tournament, only to learn that rebel soldiers ransacked his village while he was away. Now he has no home to return to, and doesn’t know where his family has gone. A HBUC in NC gives him a scholarship to play basketball and a place to stay as he struggles with his new situation. The story traces his year in NC, and is tragic and beautiful. I loved the book.

I also finished Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit. The setting is the colony of Plymouth in Massachusetts, and there has been a murder in this “perfect, Christian” colony. One thing that struck me hard when reading this book is how I have never thought about all of the other points of view in the story of the founding of Plymouth. I have just taken for granted the story I have always heard of the “Pilgrims” (not the name they called themselves) — how they left England due to religious persecution, went to Holland only to fear corrupting influences on their children, so then they risked the voyage and dangers of the New World to create a “perfect” society. But my source was largely just the writings of William Bradford, who was biased toward telling a story that would encourage more settlers to come. He was naturally inclined to only share what would put the colony in a good light for his investors and anyone who might join their endeavor. This book gave voice to other points of view, and highlighted the mysterious death of Bradford’s first wife (not the murder in the book, by the way).

I have also finished The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline — my book club’s book for September. This story describes life as a female convict in 1800’s England, sentenced to transport to what is now Tasmania. The book focuses on several women — and also an aboriginal girl who is “adopted” by the governor’s wife as a “collectible” — and their experiences as slave labor in the penal colony of Australia and their lives after release from their sentences. This book was tragic in its story, and had a very satisfying ending, in my opinion.

SO — 3 books were removed from my TBR list, but more were added….

I am currently reading Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon. The setting is New York City in the midst of a blackout and traces several different love stories, all written by the individual authors. I’m on page 60 and am enjoying the stories a lot.

Enjoy your summer reading.

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