I have been on a bit of a book binge recently.
This always happens. I ban myself from accumulating books for one reason or another (this time the idea was to move and buying more books would mean moving those additional books at some point) and then I go insane when I let myself have a little leeway.
I was so good, using the library. I am lucky enough to be sent books regularly enough that I wasn’t feeling like I had no fresh book blood.
But I was in a serious fiction slump. Every time I opened the TBR cupboard doors (I have an actual cupboard that houses my physical TBR ‘list’), I felt uninspired by the choices available.
I want to stress again how completely ridiculous this all was. It’s not even a problem, just super normal summer restlessness.
I don’t even remember why I went into a bookstore the first time. But I did. And I bought:
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. This story of Cameroonian immigrants trying to make a life for themselves in New York City when the 2008 economic crisis brought their world down around their ears was just picked as Oprah’s Book Club selection. It also just came out in paperback which made it easy to decide to buy it.
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbot. This book about the darker side of gymnastics has been raved about by Sarah @ Sarah’s Book Shelves and I have been meaning to read it ever since. It popped into my head last week and when I found a copy in the store, I decided it meant that I was supposed to buy it.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I was messing around on Instagram one day last week when Reese Witherspoon asked me (personally of course) to help her choose her next beach read. Reese has cultivated quite a bookish following – she has now set up her own book club, RW Book Club. I was voting for Saints For All Occasions but The Alice Network won. People seemed jazzed about this post-WWII story that sees an American socialite teaming up with a female ex-spy and a hot-tempered soldier. Who am I to argue?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to read this book. I am holding off – I think it will make the perfect lake companion in early August. This book, a kind of fictionalized tale of an Elizabeth Taylor and all her husbands, sounds like something that fits perfectly into my Golden Age of Hollywood obsession.
After that binge, I assumed that I would be good for a while. It’s not like I had no books at all to read. But then I needed to buy my book club book and that meant that I brought home:
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. This was the book that my book club picked and my cousin had texted me a page from this book which was incredibly beautiful. I even started reading it before I’d left the store and was astounded by the care with which Roy had crafted her story.
Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani. The Shoemaker’s Wife made me cry my eyes out and since then I’ve been a bit hesitant to put myself through something like that again. But time heals all wounds and I think I’m ready for this multi-generational story of an Italian family and what happens when a decades-long feud spills over at last.
In the end, my book club changed their mind. Now we’re reading Roxane Gay’s Hunger this time. Either way, excellent choice right?
Now that I have all of this quality fiction waiting for me, I just need all the time in the world to read them!
Where should I start?