It’s a great time to read – on the porch, on the beach or at the pool! And don’t forget audio books while you are taking your walk outside or on the treadmill.
“Every Day Is a Gift” by Tammy Duckworth is a universal must-read. I highly recommend the audio version as her narration lends even more gravitas to a remarkable life. She is a true patriot and warrior. She shuns any offers of pity. This is not a political book. Her story will humble you.
Another view of America comes from Roya Hakakian. “A Beginner’s Guide to America” is a blend of fact and a bit of fiction describing her experience as an immigrant to this country. Always enlightening to see ourselves from a different perspective. When traveling to other countries, I often try to imagine what it would be like to live there; this is her reflection on that scenario.
Perfect fiction for summer starts with “Early Morning Riser” by Katherine Heiny. This story of a woman who moves to upstate Michigan as a young, single teacher and her life over the ensuing decades is by turns funny, sad, hilarious, and ultimately familiar.
Engaging and satisfying to the last word.
“Raft of Stars” by Andrew Graff was a tad predictable but a good read about finding our truth – who we are and who we want to be. Two boys take off into the wilderness under the mistaken impression they have committed a crime.
“Red Island House” by Andrea Lee revolves around a vacation home built on Madagascar by an American woman and her Italian husband. She is Black and has to come to terms with her role as an owner and employer on the island. I found this to be an atmospheric triumph. I felt a part of the island, but the chapters are more like vignettes of the Madagascar culture. That was far more interesting than the lives of the woman and her husband.
“How Beautiful We Were” by Imbolo Mbue takes place on the African continent. The story of a country devastated by pollution – environmental and psychological – at the hands of an American oil company. But the native people and their government are complicit in many ways to the damage. A sobering, contemporary read.
“Brood” by Jackie Polzen is a gorgeously written but often melancholy book. The unnamed narrator takes on a brood of chickens after a miscarriage. The writing is soulful but not hopeless and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Of Women and Salt” by Gabriela Garcia is a short, terse book chronicling the lives of women immigrants and how they chose to come to America from Cuba and why some stayed behind. Very topical reading and again, always smart to read other perspectives.
“Lone Stars” by Justin Deabler is rooted in Texas but the cultural issues faced by four generations of this family are relevant to any region. Stirring and ultimately joyous.
Our mystery/thriller this month is “Every Last Fear” by Alex Finley. Grabs you with the opening line and keeps a steady pace with each chapter ending just before you learn a critical detail. Twisty but never preposterous.
For more information, visit beckysbookclub.com.