Hello! Another month has passed and, as I often do, I’m following the lead of Modern Mrs. Darcy and sharing quick reviews of what I’ve been reading.
A word about these reviews: I generally don’t finish books I don’t like so if a book makes this report I was at least interested enough to read to the end. Some books I like better than others, obviously, and this month The Library Book was a standout for me.
Also, this post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. More details are here if you’re interested.
Now, onto the books…
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke. I was intrigued by the setting of this novel (East Texas) as well as the main character (Darren, a Black Texas Ranger). Darren is pulled back home in the wake of two people who have been murdered in tiny Lark, Texas: a black attorney from Chicago and a young local woman. He investigates the murders while grappling with his own complicated life, which has recently come to a head. Bluebird, Bluebird is the first of (currently) two books in the Highway 59 series. In addition to being a novelist, Attica Locke is a writer and producer for movies and television, including Hulu’s recent Little Fires Everywhere.
The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe by Richard Rohr. I adore Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who writes and teaches on concepts like contemplative prayer and radical compassion. In The Universal Christ, he asks what it means that Jesus was called “Christ” and looks at the ways that our culture, our religious differences, and our human limitations keep that Christ small. It’s a truly liberating book. Regarding, Fr. Rohr, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I am only able to comprehend about 10% of what Fr. Rohr writes, but the good news is that that 10% is life-changing.
Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God by Sarah Bessey. I had heard of Sarah Bessey but never read her, so I was glad when this title showed up on my book club’s list for the year. This spiritual memoir begins with a horrible car accident the author was in and looks at the way her relationship with God was changed by the physical and emotional trauma she experienced and still deals with today.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. It’s so hard to adequately explain what The Library Book is about. It’s an Amazon bestseller in the History of the Western US and Library and Information Science sections, but that doesn’t begin to cover it. It’s basically a history of the Los Angeles Public Library, and the broader history of libraries in general, with many memorable characters appearing on its pages. The book begins with a mysterious fire that occurred at the main branch of the LAPL in April of 1986, and the story of that fire and the person suspected of setting it is woven throughout the book and holds all the different parts together. I really enjoyed this book and I suspect other readers and library lovers will as well.
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson. Has there ever been a book you keep repeatedly seeing and hearing about until you finally had to pick it up? Never Have I Ever was that book for me. It begins when a mysterious new neighbor shows up at a book club meeting and takes over, mixing drinks and engaging the women in a game of never have I ever. She has an agenda, however, and it involves a secret from the past of our main character who is the book club hostess. This thriller is darker than that description would suggest and I struggled a bit with that at first, but quickly found myself caught up in the story and couldn’t wait to see how it ended.
What have you read lately? Anything good? I’d love to hear about it.