Happy Tuesday! I’m excited for this weekly reading fix because I read some AMAZING books this week!
I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I finished My Name is Lucy Barton, and although this is not a sequel, I strongly suggest you read that book first. Anything is Possible is a series of short stories about the characters in Amgash, Illinois that are mentioned in Lucy Barton. The characters in this story are all connected to each other in some way, and as you read through the book, each story builds upon what happened in the previous ones. The setting, Amgash, is a very poor town, and the characters are each dealing with their own sadness and pain, however, you don’t leave the book feeling sad at all. Strout has a way of letting you into the characters’ heads and you can really relate to how they are feeling. The book focuses on the relationships of the characters, which are, as in real life, complicated. As I read each story, I found myself wondering how I would act if facing a similar situation. This book was as good as I had hoped it would be, and I’m excited to go back and read some of Strout’s other books.
The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
This book has been on my TBR list for a LONG time (It was published in 2009, and I just never got around to reading it). I saw it sitting on a library shelf last week and I’m so glad I picked it up. This is the story of Henry, a twelve year old Chinese American boy living in Seattle during WWII, and of his friend Keiko, a Japanese American girl, whose family is caught up in the anti-Japanese sentiments of the time. The book alternates between the war years and “present day”, which is 1985 in the story, when Henry and Keiko are in their fifties. I’ve found that I really enjoy books like this, where the plot goes back and forth between two different time periods. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and I particularly enjoy this time period. Although the ending was a bit predictable, how the author got there was not, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, particularly the last 50 pages or so. If you’ve never read this one, give it a try!
Richard and Mildred Loving met and fell in love in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1955. Richard was white, Mildred was black and American Indian, and when they eventually married, they were violating the law in Virginia. This is the true story of their 9 year fight to legalize interracial marriage. The book is really beautiful to look at and read. The format was not what I expected, but I really liked it. The story is told in verse, interspersed with illustrations and pages detailing court decisions and other landmarks in the fight for civil rights. I read this in one sitting, and loved the book. However, it left me with such a feeling of sadness that our country took so long to right this wrong. (According to the book, the last anti-miscegenation law, in Alabama, was reversed in 2000!) This is one aspect of American history that I did not know much about, and it reminded me that one of the reasons I love reading so much is that it allows us to learn from the past, to build a better future. This is a must read book, and I would suggest the hardcover over the ebook version, so you can better see the artwork.
If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few weeks, you know I love this mystery series. I talked about it first in this post. There are only two more books left until I’m caught up and I’m tempted to read them both right away, so you may be seeing more of these next week. If you want to give these books a try, I suggest starting with the first one, A Share in Death.
That’s it for this week! I’m putting together a post for Thursday on summer reading – what books are you looking forward to reading this summer?