Books Read: August 2020
Another month done and we’re now into September, which I welcome. I can’t wait for cool fall breezes and the for the election to be over. Here’s the latest on the reading front!
Red at the Bone
A short, haunting story of one family’s life, mostly centered around Brooklyn, but it touches on Tulsa, Chicago, and a small college town. The story begins with the coming of age party for Melody, but it goes back and forth in time and changes with each chapter on who’s telling the story. Jacequeline Woodson’s characters are vivid, amazing, and at the same time you feel the pain they’ve felt. This is a quick read that I really enjoyed and when it was over I thought a lot about those characters and about the ways in which the past continually influence the future.
This one got its very own review post!
The Dark Forest
The Remembrance of Earth’s Past series keeps getting better. This one was not quite as mind bending as the one before, but so many pieces came together. Cixin Liuis weaving together an ambitious story and I can’t wait to read the end. In this installment Earth unites to try and battle the foe, but the amazing thing is how much changes over the years, how much technology helps them but also quite possibly hurts them. I’m can’t wait to read how it comes together in the final book.
“The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. (p 484)
“But in this dark forest, there’s a stupid child called humanity, who has built a bonfire and is standing beside it shouting, ‘Here I am! Here I am!’” (p 485)
Growing up in Minnesota meant that The Little House on the Prairie books were a big part of my childhood, in fact I still own the copies I read as a little girl. But I never took much time to find out much about Laura Ingalls Wilder and in 2018 I read a review of a new biography of hers and added it to my list, finally reading it this month.
Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder is an exhaustive look at the author’s life. I found it interesting, but also maybe a bit too detailed for me, especially when it came to her daughter Rose. I’ll admit that this is as much a biography of Rose as it is of Laura, their lives were so intertwined and she edited all the books, so it makes sense, but I wasn’t nearly as interested in Rose’s life as I was Laura’s. I enjoyed this, but it took me a while to finish it, taking it in in small doses.
Journey to Munich
Another Maisie Dobbs was the perfect thing after a heavy biography and with World War II approaching, the storylines are getting better again. This time Maisie is sent to Munich to help save an important British businessman who’s gotten arrested by the Nazis. It’s quick paced and overall was the perfect book for getting away from the current awfulness and replacing it with the awfulness of the past.
The Last Flight
I always peruse the round ups of mysteries and thrillers in the NY Times book section and a few months ago The Last Flight popped up. Julie Clark does a wonderful job of weaving the story together, I couldn’t put it down and finished in a day. Two women, both trying to escape different dangers in their lives swap boarding passes after security in the airport and get on each other’s flights. One of the planes crashes but the story goes back and forth in time as we learn about both women’s lives and their reasons for running.