As someone who is permanently behind in her to-read list, I’ve found that the only way of tackling it is by turning to the thinnest volumes first and working my way up. Therefore, my reading decisions have no other rhyme or reason than page numbers. Thankfully, summer is the season when I read the most and I’ve been knocking off books I’ve kept on the shelves for years. I’m trying to limit my book purchases as much as possible, but one always seems to sneak in.
Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops by Ken Mandelbaum
I’m in the process of writing a YA novel that combines my love for musicals with my hatred for Catholic school. This means I’ve been reading all sorts of fascinating facts about the genre. My next foray into becoming an amateur expert is this book on Broadway’s biggest failures. From what I understand, this is the rare gem that combines thoughtful criticism with hilarious outtakes. I’m always game for anything that combines my need for both gossip AND historical analysis.
Pinned by Sharon G. Flake
This middle-grade/cusp-of-YA novel tells the story of Adonis and Autumn, two total opposites that only seem to share one thing in common: wrestling. Autumn is the star wrester and only girl in her school’s team, who is struggling with an invisible disability. Adonis is the straight-A, straight-laced student with a physical disability. Though I did have some issues with the novel itself, it does a fairly good job of describing environmental factors that prevent children from being their own best selves.
March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
I first began reading this trilogy before Trump’s inauguration and decided to reserve the last book for a time when I felt I needed to replenish my sense of hope. Uh, due to certain news event, the time is now. The graphic novel details Congressman Lewis’s life and the larger topic of the Civil Rights Movement. Beautifully crafted, clear in its chronology of events and explicit in the very real difficulties of the time period, it’s a reminder of how the power of the collective can bring about radical, positive change.
IN THE QUEUE (WHAT I’M READING NEXT)
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
Is there really any reason to explain why I’m so pumped to read this? I pretty much consider Roxane Gay to be the moral compass of the nation, not to mention that the title of this short story collection could be my middle name and that of my friends. From what I gathered in her book launch in Chicago, it contains a lot of narratives surrounding sisters, broken marriages and the occasional revenge plot. I am here for it.
Scratch: Writers, Money and the Art of Making a Living edited by Manjula Martin
This collection of essays and interviews from accomplished authors tackles that big industry taboo: money. How do you get it? Cause inquiring minds and wallets want to know.