Here are three of my favorite books recently, including the next one in my list…
The Matrix by Lauren Groff (September 2021)
I finally got this great seller – about a young widow who was kicked out of court and put in charge of a dark, cold, muddy house in England – after readers complained about this in the comments section. “I do not know how to make the Matrix fully,” Kate wrote. “There is not a single verse that is spoken by a man, it shows the love of the most beautiful women and friends, and all the women are wonderful. I read it almost once; now it has been painted in my life.” The beginnings may sound thick, but an obscure poetry book is incredibly versatile.
Shuggie Bain author Douglas Stuart (August 2020)
Several of my friends ate the Booker Award-winning book last year, but I was concerned that the themes – drunkenness, infidelity, violence – were too black in the winter. However, I messed up this year and could not put it. Shuggie is a kind young man whose world revolves around his drunken mother, Agnes, living in a cottage on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. The notes are so clear that you feel like you are standing right there while his father, the taxi driver, is asleep, his mother lights the curtains, and is struggling with his sexuality (when neighbors call him “wrong”). What a beautiful, frustrating start. I hugged the book after it finished.
Joan Is Okay and Weike Wang (January 2022)
I was fortunate to have a review of this book, which follows a Chinese-American doctor who was busy with work in New York as he walked through a busy hospital, the death of his father, his older brother, his needy and missing mother. (in the last few chapters) a global epidemic. The quirky protagonist reminded me of other people in my family, who always “don’t find” human traditions but live alone, and you love them so much for this. She also reflects on her experience as the daughter of a first-century Chinese parent: “For many years, I was a very picky eater, and if anything, I was a respectful person. Seriously, my mother said, answer yes to your father’s name or mine… I hated all my work… Wang’s first book – Chemistry – won eight gazillion prizes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
And the next: The Boy Kings of Texas by Domingo Martinez (July 2012)
I read about this memoir – about a Mexican-American boy who grew up in the border town of Texan – and listened to the author read the title of This American Life. At that moment, young Martinez boarded a gun in his mother’s car, while his father tried to cross the border with a truck loaded with marijuana. His writing is funny, true and enlightening, and I can’t wait to read the whole book.
What have you been reading lately? Please share below… and here is a bunch of books we have loved for years, if you are looking for ideas!
PS My favorite book of all time, and what is the most beautiful thing you have ever read?
(Photo by Studio Firma / Stocksy.)