You know the drill by now: these are the books I acquired and finished this week. How about you?
Shiny Broken Pieces, by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra
I was so excited to be approved for the Digital Review Copy of this YA ballet novel, the sequel to last year’s Tiny Pretty Things, which was the only book that could hold my attention during the Great Summer Reading Slump. I’m usually wary of sequels, but willing to risk it in this case. Also, on the very same day a friend texted and asked if I wanted her ticket to the ballet at the Kennedy Center that night, so that’s got to be a sign of some kind, maybe?
Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee
People in the publishing industry have been raving about this one since last summer and it was impossible to buy on publishing day – it had sold out everywhere, including Amazon. I went to hear Alexander Chee speak at American University and it was a great evening. Plus, I know him a little on Twitter – as do many of us – so it was nice to meet him in person, and even nicer that he knew who I was.
In Twenty Years, by Allison Winn Scotch
I know Allison from The List App, and when she did a cover reveal for her new novel, I looked it up on Goodreads – only to find that it was totally up my street. It’s about a group of college friends – roughly my age – who reunite almost 20 years later. I have such fond memories of my own time at university and a wonderful group of friends from that time, too. Plus, it’s so fun getting a physical advance review copy!
By the Book, edited by Pamela Paul
This is a beautiful book, collecting New York Times interviews of many authors regarding their reading and writing lives. I gazed at it wistfully in Politics and Prose before Christmas, thinking what a great gift it would be for someone to buy me. But I got to buy it for myself, guilt-free, because it was a bargain $10 when I went to hear Rebecca Traister talk eloquently and thought-provokingly (if that is a word) about her new book, All The Single Ladies. (And now you’re all judging me for not buying that one, aren’t you – but does it help if I tell you that my flatmate did?)
The Devil’s Chessboard, by David Talbot
(Not, as I keep reading it, The Devil’s Cheeseboard, though I’d be sorely tempted to read a book with that title.) The subtitle of this book is Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, and the cover looks – let’s be honest – a little dull, but it had me at the prologue. I’m writing a piece on it for work, and let’s be honest, probably won’t get around to reading the whole thing, but I’m sure that if I did, it would be so interesting. If you are fascinated by the Kennedy years, the Cold War and/or the CIA, and you like a bit of intrigue Game of Thrones or Scandal style, this one might be for you.
Central Park, by Guillaume Musso
Guillaume Musso is a prolific, best-selling French author who writes romantic thrillers, often with an element of magical realism, like time travel, or ghosts, or something like that. He is very similar to Marc Levy in all of those ways, as well as in setting many of his books in the United States and writing in a way that is more actiony than the traditional French fare, which tends to be on the thinky and existential side. This one was techncially “realistic” but still required huge leaps of faith and suspension of disbelief. Still, it’s always fun to read about New York, and good for me to read in French.