Inbox/Outbox: February 24, 2017

Spring has sprung in Richmond, meaning I am both lounging outside a lot reading, and diving into an anxiety spiral about climate change. Anyone have any good climate change books to recommend? I could use a few. Anyway:

Inbox (Books Acquired)

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon (March 7, Amulet Books)— “Sons of Anarchy meets Thelma and Louise.” Again, for the people in the back: “SONS OF ANARCHY MEETS THELMA AND LOUISE.” The daughter of the leader of a local biker gang befriends another girl sent in as a spy for a lawyer intent on bringing down the gang. Saving this one for next week’s vacation!

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (February 28, Dial Books)— An 11-year old boy with a dog named Carl Sagan goes traveling to record what Earth life is like on his iPod, with the goal of sending it off into space like the Voyager Golden Record from the 1970s. I love space, I loved dogs, I love Carl Sagan. Let’s do this.

Outbox (Books Finished)

The Man Without a Face by Masha Gessen— Vladimir Putin is a lying, thieving autocrat who murders political opponents and dissident journalists, and he also bends the ear of our President in ways that are increasingly frightening. This biography of Putin, about whom very little is actually known, was very illuminating–the things he has in common with Trump as far as squashing the press, an inability to think rationally in the face of criticism, and a complete lack of respect for even the semblance of democracy or free thinking, makes the…bond…between the two regimes a little more sensical.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson— Well, that was creepy. Everything you’ve heard about Shirley Jackson is true. She writes like she’s using a scalpel, and every page in this little novel will make you feel more and more tense until you’re basically a ball of WTF IS GOING ON on your sofa. Or maybe that was just me.

In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)

Girl at War by Sara Novic— Reading the Putin biography made me realize I know precious little about most of Eastern Europe. Ok, all of Eastern Europe. This novel about a girl whose childhood is ripped apart by the Yugoslavian civil war in Zagreb (yeah, didn’t even know where that was) was already on my shelves, so it’s beginning my new dive into literature of the region. I was afraid my lack of knowledge of the conflict or the history of Croatia would hinder my ability to get into this story, but I was totally wrong. It’s engrossing and educational (which is a nice bonus–it isn’t Novic’s responsibility to teach, but it’s happening and I’m glad for it).

City of God by Paulo Lins (translated by Alison Entrekin)— This was a “wandering around the library and it caught my eye” sort of thing. A story of gang life and poverty in Rio’s favelas, based on the author’s childhood.

That’s it for me! How was your week in books?

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Amanda Nelson: Amanda Nelson is the Managing Editor of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA. Follow her on Twitter: @ImAmandaNelson