What We’re Reading: September

Five staff members, eight books, and hours of good reads. This is September’s “What We’re Reading” post.

Fiona: I am currently reading Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding by Lynn Darling. I am reading it for my book club and it is interesting because it is about a woman who is experiencing a major life milestone (only child leaving for college) and she chooses to isolate herself in the Vermont woods in a shack to figure out her next steps. I am about a third of the way through the book and she is still setting the scene. I am intrigued about where she is going with the book and how it works out for her. I have also been re-reading some Agatha Christie books with her Miss Marple character which I have always loved.

Geoff: I am reading American Pastoral by Philip Roth. It is pretty dense thematically. It deals a lot with upper-middle-class and Jewish American identities throughout several generations in Newark, New Jersey. It is about a father’s quest to find his daughter after she allegedly blows up a store in protest of the Vietnam War. I am also reading (very slowly) A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. It is a retelling of the history of the United States from the perspectives of Native Americans, slaves, women, and the working class. Both are great reads!

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Hayley: I am reading Seashell Season by Holly Chamberlin. This story takes place in a small beach town on the coast of Maine and is about the reconnection of a mother and her daughter who was abducted as an infant 16 years prior.  The story is written from both the mother’s and the daughter’s perspectives as they recall their own individual pasts and reflect on the new life they share together.  I am also reading Marcus of Umbria: What an Italian Dog Taught an American Girl about Love by Justine van der Leun.  This story is set in Collelungo, Italy where the main character originally sets off to for a vacation, but, ultimately, discovers much more about life and love.

Jocelyn: I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, and it takes place nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts. Since Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is technically a play the book is actually the play script. While this book has received many mixed reviews I personally loved it. The story line creates a mini movie in your head. While reading it all I kept seeing was Daniel Radcliffe playing his role of Harry Potter and all the other amazing cast members of the movie franchise. It is definitely a must read for every Harry Potter fan.

Victoria: I’m almost finished reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. As expected, it’s an excellent novel: sweeping, affecting, and lyrical. I was especially delighted to read the following sentence one evening after I’d shopped for stationary and Christmas gifts at Atticus:

They met often for tea in Atticus Bookstore and talked—or she listened since he did most of the talking—about West African politics and family and home and she left, always, with the feeling of having been fortified.

I’m also reading To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors after the Civil War (Tera Hunter), as part of Yale’s Open Course on African American History since Emancipation. It is, unsurprisingly, occasionally a very heavy read, but Hunter does a good job of recognizing the fullness of black women’s lives during this time period, including their community building and self-agency.

Categories What We're Reading | Tags: | Posted on September 23, 2016

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