I went to Spain and I read so many books on airplanes! All the books! It was great! Let’s go:
Inbox (Books Acquired)
Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley (April 4, Workman)— Yesss, I’ve been waiting for this one for months! The public faces of yoga in America are so often white, waify, wealthy blonde women (though that doesn’t at all reflect the reality of my classes), and I’m so happy Jessamyn has written this book to show us the diversity of body types and people who can and do practice.
Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear— I finished the first book in the Maisie Dobbs series on a plane over the Atlantic, and immediately got on the waitlist for the second, Birds of a Feather, at my library (well, once I’d landed). Maisie is a private detective in 1930s London, and what I love about her is she isn’t even a little Sherlock-Holmes-ish. She isn’t anti-social or a super-genius or awkward or cruel; she’s kind and observant and uses hard work and extensive note-taking to solve mysteries. Plus, she scratches an Agatha Christie itch.
Outbox (Books Finished)
Human Acts by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith— A series of connected character stories all centering around Dong-Ho, a young boy killed during a student political uprising protesting authoritarian rule in South Korea in the 1980s. Almost all the characters are tortured or watch loved ones be tortured by police and/or military. The book is brutal and deceptively spare, and a social mirror we should all look into. Don’t skip the translator’s notes at the beginning of the book–they give a necessary historical context.
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eloisa James— A brilliant businesswoman who heads a governess agency (who is also nobility) crosses swords with a wealthy inventor who has suddenly become responsible for raising his young siblings. Misunderstandings, sort-of kidnappings, little boys with pet rats they use to torment household servants, etc., this book has it all! Lots of fun and a very lovable couple.
In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)
Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean by Morten Stroksnes, translated by Tiina Nunnally (July 13, Knopf)— “For readers of Bill Bryson” is what got me with this one, plus a latent love for all things ocean and cold weather. The author and his best friend take to the ocean off the coast of Norway in a tiny boat to get drunk and try to catch a Greenland shark (which can get to Great White sizes). What could go wrong?
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Le— Just started this one on audio, and I’m discovering that hard science fiction on audio is a bit difficult for me! The unfamiliar phrases and universe signifiers are making me pause and rewind a bit, but I’m getting the hang of it. In this one, a disgraced military captain is given a chance to redeem herself by recapturing a key fortress, but to do so she has to enlist the help of an undead sociopath. Fun!
That’s it for me! What did your inbox and outbox look like?