Reading time has been something of a luxury this week, but I’ve been sneaking and grabbing it whenever I can. Ten pages here, fifteen there, three while my French press sets in the morning. It’s not the best way to read, but one could do much worse, and my stolen moments have actually added up to a not-embarrassing page count. Here are the highlights. I’d love to hear about what you’ve been reading lately in the comments.
Inbox (Books Acquired)
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani (Riverhead, June 4) — Hello, scandalicious summer reading! It’s 1930, and 15-year-old Thea Atwell has just been uprooted from her family’s home in Florida and, basically, dumped at the titular camp by her parents. Why they’ve ditched her is known only to Thea. We readers are given to understand that, whatever the reason, it was something very naughty. I’m about a third of the way into this novel, and I’m intrigued by how DiSclafani is gradually telling us about Thea’s background, leading up to what I can only assume will be the big reveal of her secret. The verdict is TBD, but it’s off to an interesting start.
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (Little, Brown, April 23) — What do I really need to say here? A new David Sedaris collection is always cause for a readerly celebration. I prefer to pour a glass of lemonade mixed with sweet tea vodka (living in the South isn’t all bad, you guys!), pretend to smoke a cigarette, and giggle my way through Sedaris’ silly and oh-so-self-conscious essays. I was happy when this one arrived on my doorstep this week, and I’m having a good time reading Sedaris’ short pieces as palate cleansers in between meatier selections.
Outbox (Books Finished)
Drinking With Men by Rosie Schaap — Who doesn’t love a strong drink shared over interesting conversation with good people? Or good conversation with interesting people? Schaap’s memoir about her life spent in bars is an ode to regularhood (you know, frequenting the place where everybody knows your name) and the bars that build communities. It’s funny, candid (Schaap did a stint as a devoted, drugged-out Deadhead), and much more insightful than I expected a memoir about bar life to be. Schaap delves into spirituality, the relationships she formed while bellied up, and the life lessons she learned with drinking partners. She grows up, lives through 9/11, deals with the complexities of marriage and loss, and makes sense of the world, all over drinks. And it’s fantastic! Highly recommended.
In the Queue
The Best American Short Stories 2012 edited by Tom Perrotta — This series is always a guaranteed win, and this year’s installment is, I think, even better than usual. Even the introduction is awesome! Stories by big name writers sit alongside stories by people you’ve never heard of before, but who make you wonder, “Where have you been all my life?” It’s a beautiful, equalizing thing, The Best American Short Stories. I’ve been dipping in for a story each morning for the last several days and think I might have the makings of a new reading ritual on my hands. Whether you’re a longtime short story fan or are looking for a way into them, you won’t go wrong here.
The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich — My good friend and fellow Bookrageous podcast host Josh mentioned this book during our latest recording, and I was frantically mashing buttons trying to download it while he talked. It sounds hilarious and fun, and that’s exactly what I need more of in my reading life right now. I can’t wait to dig in.
Your turn, readers! How was your week in books? Read anything you’re dying to talk about?
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