What an exciting post title that is! I can’t believe it’s the 4th Tuesday of July already. This month has flown by, been really busy.
So we took Elliot for his two-day freshman orientation this week, in the neighbouring town of Eugene. It’s about a 2-hour drive down the freeway, a sleepy little town full of college students on bikes and grey-haired people in expensive but sensible sandals, like Keens or Tevas. It continues to embrace its own stereotype, and I took pictures of tie-dyed Grateful Dead t-shirts on display in shop windows. I swear I saw those same t-shirts on a trip I made there in the late 80s. Here is a visual for you:
Now, on to the books! This month,
Global Mom: This was rather an emotional read for me, as it’s about a family who moves a lot internationally, and I swung wildly between feeling bone-tired at the thought of another move and all the hard work involved in learning a new place, and stabs of pure jealousy because I want to move again. This doesn’t tell you much about the book, but go read my review and enter to win your own copy.
The Fame Thief (Junior Bender #3): This one is fun, with a total 40s noir vibe to it, but it has its very serious side to it as well. Gangster holdover Irwin Dressler hires burgler Junior Bender to figure out who ruined the reputation of Dolores La Marr, who was rated by Life magazine as the most beautiful woman in the world in 1950. Junior’s pretty sure that now, over 60 years later, whoever the guilty party was is long gone, but instead he finds out that some grudges get stronger with age.
Together Tea: Highly recommend this look at immigrant families and how they find themselves changed by their changed environment and how they can find their way back to their true selves. It’s also a really good story! Linked to my review.
The World’s Strongest Librarian: A young man learns to deal with Tourette’s through weight-lifting and supportive family. He also thoroughly confuses Mormonism and Christianity, which I found annoying–surely a decent editor could have helped?
Love and Other Subjects: This one has a slow start but I ended up being glad I stuck with it. Carolyn Jenkins is a first-year teacher and wants above all to do a good job at teaching, but nothing in her suburban middle class background prepared her for the poor inner-city school she’s at. Also a love interest who is uber-patient.
The Illusion of Separateness: so far, very good but a little light considering its subject matter, which is the inter-connectedness of all humanity. Here’s the publisher’s description: a harrowing and enchanting story of how one man’s act of mercy during World War II changed the lives of strangers, and how they each discover the astonishing truth of their connection. Whether they are pursued by Nazi soldiers, old age, shame, deformity, disease, or regret, the characters in this utterly compelling novel discover in their, darkest moments of fear and isolation that they are not alone, that they were never alone, that every human being is a link in an unseen chain.
Apologies to My Censor: Mitch Mowley goes to China to write for an English-language paper and so far, does a lot of drugs and gets drunk. I’m waiting for the stories to start, and judging from the back cover, they should soon.
Sight Reading: I actually started this one and it’s good, but that was over a month ago; I remember it has to do with music and with one man’s relationships with two different women.
Kind of Cruel The latest Sophie Hannah. I love her stuff. Literate suspense, and always dealing with women and families.
After Her The latest Joyce Maynard. From the publisher: Loosely inspired by the Trailside Killer case that terrorized Marin County, California, in the late 1970s, After Her is part thriller, part love story. Maynard has created a poignant, suspenseful, and painfully real family saga that traces a young girl’s first explorations of sexuality, the loss of innocence, the bond shared by sisters, and the tender but damaged relationship between a girl and her father that endures even beyond the grave.