Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Highly recommended if you appreciate great writing and Westerns. If you enjoyed the TV series back in the day, you’ll love it. It’s even better because the book is always better, right?
This is my first introduction to McMurtry, and his writing style is outstanding (flows smoothly, economical, no wasted words). Characters are great. Story moves along at a good clip. I had no idea it’s part of a series of books, so I’m looking forward to reading those as well, and probably everything else McMurtry’s written.
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Highly recommended if you love Earth and trees. And if you don’t love Earth and trees, you most like will after reading it.
What do you like or find interesting about it? Couldn’t put it down. Life-changing read. Hugely impactful, and you’ll never look at trees the same way again.
I’m reading The Virginian by Owen Wister.
I highly recommend it. I recently became interested in the American West, and picked up this book which is considered to be the novel that created the archetypal cowboy for modern westerns. I’m surprised at how detailed the book is, and how much deeper and more colorful it is than any traditional western. The dialogue is amazing, the characters are funny, and I’m learning tons about the old west.
Alligators in the Arctic and How to Avoid Them by Evergreen College polymath Peter Dorman took me through the critical issues in climate change. Even though Dorman is an economist, he does not let economists off the hook.
The title sounds horrible, but it makes sense once you read this memoir by former Nickelodeon child actress Jennette McCurdy who shares her story of parental abuse, disordered eating, and the #metoo sexual harassment issue in Hollywood. Not only is McCurdy a resilient and growthful person working on her mental health, but she is also a phenomenal storyteller whose dry comedic timing in the Audible version she reads will make you laugh while you're about to cry. Like any good memoir, this is one you can enjoy without knowing the actress or having watched her iCarly show, as it's a deep look into the socio-cultural issues of our day through the eyes of a girl-turned-woman who deserved so much better.
I am currently reading The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón, who is our newest U.S. poet laureate. This poetry collection, Limón's sixth, is divided into four sections—one for each of the seasons—and is a reflection of the interconnectedness between the human and nonhuman, between our ancestors and ourselves. Her poems that touch on nature's little mysteries plus Limón's ability to find evidence of poetry everywhere reminds me of Mary Oliver's work. For fans of Mary Oliver and contemporary poetry in general, I recommend this book.
I recommend Union: A Democrat, a Republican, and a Search for Common Ground by Jordan Blashek and Christopher Haugh. It follows two friends with different political affiliations as they drive 20,000 miles through 44 states while interviewing people from different walks of life. The chapter that takes place at the Trump convention in Arizona after his election is my favorite. Part Studs Terkel, part Nomadland, this road narrative gives the reader a better understanding of the turmoil that is tearing this country apart and of a way back to civil discourse.
I just ordered The Neapolitan Sisters to support alumna and celebrated author Margo Candela. This is her fifth novel with Penguin Random House. She is a former Journalism student and previous El Vaquero News reporter, and will be coming to speak at GCC (virtually) on Oct. 13. I haven't had a chance to get through it, but I'm very excited for it.
Reut Cohen Schorr
The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America’s Greatest Political Family by William J. Mann If you are into American Political History, I would recommend reading this book, especially if you are intrigued by Eleanor, Teddy or F.D.R.
What I found interesting was how truly complex these people were and how truly flawed they were also. In some ways this was a very compelling read, but at the same time it was an emotionally hard read.
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