With the Book Riot pros in full swing for Book Riot Live, I’m filling Rebecca’s Chuck Taylors this week to share with you the highlights of my reading life this week. I’m planning for a long flight at the moment, and my page-turn-y selections probably reflect that.
Inbox (Books Acquired)
Blankets by Craig Thompson. Here’s an embarrassing story about me, internet: I’ve never read Blankets. Luckily, in celebration of the recent rerelease of Thompson’s masterpiece, Drawn and Quarterly sent me a copy. I can’t wait to right my wrongs. For the fellow uninitiated, Blankets is a coming-of-age story about struggling against Christian fundamentalism in the American Midwest. It won a ton of awards and was part of the early-2000s sweep of graphic novels that tried to change cultural perceptions of what comics could be.
The Illegal by Lawrence Hill (out now in Canada; WW Norton, January 2016 in the US). I adore Lawrence Hill and his writing on race and society is always nimble, nuanced, and profound. His worldwide bestselling historical novel Book of Negroes (first published in the US as Someone Knows My Name), about the Atlantic slave trade, was recently made into a miniseries co-produced by the CBC and BET. The Illegal is tells the story of a refugee forced to leave the fictional country of Zantroland in search of a better life in wealthy Freedom State. But while Freedom State is wealthy, it is fearful, and a crackdown on undocumented people threatens our protagonist. Sound familiar? I trust Hill to tell this story in a way I trust very few, and I can’t wait to dig in to it.
Outbox (Books Finished)
Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald. It took me a surprisingly long time to work through this novel, considering how quickly I usually read domestic literary fiction (which this is), but it was a pleasurable long read. Mary Rose is an author with writer’s block and huge expectations for the next installment of her wildly popular YA series. She’s also a stay-at-home mom managing her home and family while her wife is away for work. The whole novel takes place over a single week as Mary Rose comes to confront some secrets about her childhood she has long left hidden. It’s very different than the heady magic realism of Fall on Your Knees, but lovers of quietly explosive family storytelling will enjoy the way this tale unravels.
In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)
Mayor Rob Ford: Uncontrollable: How I Tried to Help the World’s Most Notorious Mayor by Mark Towhey with Johanna Schneller. Ok, so I already read the Robyn Doolittle journalistic take on the Rob Ford years, Crazy Town, but this one is from the ex-mayor’s former chief of staff. Mark Towhey had a front-row seat for the national train wreck that was the Rob Ford administration, and his tell-all has been widely reported on in the Canadian media for its purely trashy reveals. What Towhey knew, when he knew it, and why he didn’t go to the police about Ford’s actions is the big book news here, and I just have to find out what everyone else it buzzing about. And with its syrupy, gossipy core, I really can’t imagine a better book for a ten-hour flight.
What have you been into this week?