The Week in Books #71

8/12 ✅

The. Week. In. Books. I am highly motivated at the moment to complete this stack and move on to the next one, which contains my birthday books from Mom and I’m very, very excited to get started on it!

1. Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline. SIGH. I was about 10 pages into this book when I dropped it in the bath and completely soaked it. I was able to dry it out so it was still readable, but I had to jump over to another book while it sat on the sunny balcony and it ended up a little wavy, haha. This is a good story based on the traditional Métis tale of the rogarou/werewolf from the author of The Marrow Thieves. There isn’t a lot of mystery but the pace is good, it’s considerably more adult, and the resolution is fairly satisfying (with Marrow Thieves the ending had me jump off the couch and shout YES! so it’s a hard act to follow). I enjoyed this one a lot and blasted through it really fast, wavy pages and all.

Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year–ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One hung-over morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher. By the time she staggers into the tent the service is over, but as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice. She turns, and there is Victor. Only he insists he is not Victor, but the Reverend Eugene Wolff, on a mission to bring his people to Jesus. And he doesn’t seem to be faking: there isn’t even a flicker of recognition in his eyes.

With only two allies–her odd, Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, and Ajean, a foul-mouthed euchre shark with deep knowledge of the old ways–Joan sets out to remind the Reverend Wolff of who he really is. If he really is Victor, his life, and the life of everyone she loves, depends upon her success.

Inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou–a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of Métis communities–Cherie Dimaline has created a propulsive, stunning and sensuous novel.

2. The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson. This is the second book of this trilogy, and I actually liked it even better than the first one. It’s got really great world building, creepy and cool characters (including mutants and homunculi), and lots of other great elements like mind control, zombies, unusual plants, and of course the giant alien dome known as Wormwood. I definitely recommend this series for anyone interested in a smart and unique science fiction set in Nigeria 🇳🇬 Seriously, it’s sooo good.

The Rosewater Insurrection continues the award-winning science fiction trilogy by one of science fiction’s most engaging voices.

All is quiet in the city of Rosewater as it expands on the back of the gargantuan alien Wormwood. Those who know the truth of the invasion keep the secret.

The government agent Aminat, the lover of the retired sensitive Kaaro, is at the forefront of the cold, silent conflict. She must capture a woman who is the key to the survival of the human race. But Aminat is stymied by the machinations of the Mayor of Rosewater and the emergence of an old enemy of Wormwood.


3. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. This is a sexxxy book! It reads like a novel but is non-fiction and based on the lives of three women Taddeo researched thoroughly for a decade. Maggie’s storyline was very, very similar to the novel My Dark Vanessa, it was spooky how many details were the same. Overall a great trio of stories that reminded me that we are all human.

In suburban Indiana we meet Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks and, after reconnecting with an old flame through social media, embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming. In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who allegedly has a clandestine physical relationship with her handsome, married English teacher; the ensuing criminal trial will turn their quiet community upside down. Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane—a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner—who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women.

Based on years of immersive reporting and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy. “A work of deep observation, long conversations, and a kind of journalistic alchemy” (Kate Tuttle, NPR), Three Women introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.

4. Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston. This autobiography was first published in 1948, and one thing that struck me was the value of currency at the time… Zora writes of a cousin making $3.50 per week and giving her 50 cents to buy her groceries and I couldn’t help but think that if I’m not making $3.50 every 10 minutes on shift then I’m not getting paid enough to survive hahaha. Not to mention that 50 cents doesn’t even buy you a stick of gum now. Things have changed so much. This is a surprisingly funny memoir filled with many memorable lines. It was interesting to read that after writing Their Eyes Were Watching God in seven weeks Zora wished she could rewrite it. She also said she regretted all of her books. Fascinating.

Dust Tracks on a Road is the bold, poignant, and funny autobiography of novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, one of American literature’s most compelling and influential authors. Hurston’s powerful novels of the South—including Jonah’s Gourd Vine and, most famously, Their Eyes Were Watching God—continue to enthrall readers with their lyrical grace, sharp detail, and captivating emotionality.

First published in 1942, Dust Tracks on a Road is Hurston’s personal story, told in her own words. The Perennial Modern Classics Deluxe edition includes an all-new forward by Maya Angelou, an extended biography by Valerie Boyd, and a special P.S. section featuring the contemporary reviews that greeted the book’s original publication.

We are doing a bit of a reshuffle in the house and this week we moved my bookshelves upstairs to the wall in the dining area. They fit perfectly on this wall just under the heat pump (1.5” to spare!) and look really nice up in the main living space again. Because my books are alphabetized I had to move them upstairs carefully to preserve the order… what an ordeal. Even with the dining table completely covered in stacks I was less than halfway done bringing the books up 😳

Hello, my name is Taylor and I am a book hoarder! To keep the books from overflowing these shelves (they didn’t all fit inside, eeep) I purged out over 100 to keep the collection within these 4.5 Billy bookcases. All titles removed were books I wasn’t making the time to read, or have already read and would have no problem getting another copy of if I ever wanted one. It added up quickly to 8 boxes with two layers each. It’s kind of embarrassing that I had amassed so many books 🤦🏻‍♀️

Purged books!

One comment

  1. If you consider yourself a read-aholic – I consider that a GOOD thing!! Well done on the reading, sorting and hauling all your bookie friends upstairs! Looks really great! Hope your neighbours indulged in the giveaways!!

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