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Chapter 18 - New to Me

Spring break is over, spring cleaning in the bag, and I've finally been able to catch up on some books on my TBR list. My list of books in waiting is long and varied. It ranges from history to science to biography to fiction in all it's glorious genres. Of course, the list grows longer each week with new books by well known and loved authors catching my eye.

This time of year I am gravitating toward summer reading which for me is a little lighter. I definitely don't pick books I have to think about very hard, so a few on my "just read" list qualify for that category. Others are new in paperback which makes them so much easier to take to the beach, lake, or on the plane to read.

Here are some I've read recently and recommend.

Someone Else's Shoes by JoJo Moyes - I have been a big fan of Moyes' works since I first read Me Before You. A reader would have a hard time button holing her books because the topics range from contemporary to historical fiction generally with an ethical component involved. Someone Else's Shoes starts out with a mistaken swap of bags at the gym which leads to a domino effect of situations for the two women involved.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus - I mentioned this in an earlier blog and finally got around to reading it. I am averaging about 2 1/2 books a week while doing other things besides reading. The premise of the book is that a qualified woman scientist in the 1960's is "constructively discharged" from her job. She subsequently finds success as a cooki ng show host (think Julia Childs). Ultimately, there is some redemption from her work situation but a word of caution - there is a secondary theme of atheism here which might turn off some. (Thank you bestie, for pointing this out!)

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver - I am ashamed to admit I have never read a Kingsolver book before. I know, I know, she has so many and so many people have told me I should read _______(put in any Kingsolver book). This one intrigued me because it is a retelling of Dickens' David Copperfield in contemporary Appalachia. It is a book I finished quickly and would reread. The protagonist Damon Fields (also known as Demon Copperhead for his flamboyant red hair) grows up in western Virginia among poverty, drug and alcohol abusers, and domestic violence and manages to overcome much of it. Dickens did a great job of writing about social issues in his time and this book (current Pulitzer prize winning) did the same for our time here in America. Now I have to reread David Copperfield!

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir - This is relatively new in paperback and is the story of an astronaut, Ryland Grace on a suicide mission to rescue Earth. While there is a lot of science in the story, it is a tale of a brave man who ends up making decisions that change his perceptions as well as his life. This is being made into a movie for release in 2024 and I strongly suggest reading the book before seeing the movie as my understanding is that the movie has veered far off the book path!

Happy Place by Emily Henry - This is definitely beach fiction at its best. A group of college friends meet yearly for a week vacation in Maine with their significant others. This year much has changed, one couple has wedding plans and another couple is broken up but haven't told their collective friends about it. The third couple is struggling to make a go of their organic farm in upstate New York. Emily Henry writes engaging stories that may not be Pulitzer worthy but are enjoyable and fun.

Anything you've just read from your TBR pile? Let me know!


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