Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning nonfiction work follows the lives of several families in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as they struggle with rent, landlords, and evictions around the time of the 2008 financial crisis. This book is on many reading lists going around lately, and I’d also recommend it to anyone. The book will fill you with every emotion as you work through it, and it’s a great place to start conversations with friends about the housing crisis and poverty in America.
I love working some poems into my days wherever possible – a leftover habit from college, I think. This collection of poems has been filling that need for me lately. I picked this up after our visit to Scotland last year when I was looking around for more Scottish literature to read.
This is a collection of essays by Muslim women in their own voices. The themes covered by the essays are broad and nuanced: faith, feminism, love, family, community, immigration, education. Truthfully, this is one of my favorite things I’ve read this year. So many of these essays resonated with me, and I keep coming back to them in my mind long after I have put the book down.
Americanah has been on my “to read” list for what feels like ages. I finally started reading it and am partway through – so far, I love it. I’m really enjoying the strong writing style combined with such a compelling narrative. I’m hoping to finish this up soon!
I mentioned in 10 Travel Books to Read in Quarantine that we’ve been reading and cooking our way through Dishoom by Shamil Thakrar and that it had piqued our interest in India. We ordered Patterns of India after searching for something with a photography bend. This book features tons of Chitnis’ beautiful photography in Rajasthan, India as well as some of her essays about the area. I am loving it.
A quick read for a tragic story set in North Carolina. This novel is at once a mystery and an exploration of the social issues of our time around race, class, and coming of age. The topics are not easy to read, but the book itself is hard to put down.
I think A Good Neighborhood would be a great pick for a book club. I was eager to discuss it as I read through.
Urrea’s nonfiction work about US-Mexico border policies and the people involved with it came out 15 years ago, but it feels just as, if not more so, important to read today. The book tracks the well-known story of the Yuma 14 as they tried to cross into Arizona in the harsh desert. It is horrifying. It is important. Highly recommend reading if you, like me, haven’t picked it up before.
This one made its way into my pile thanks to some inspiration from a Brit Lit class my sister is taking. The last time I read Jane Eyre was for school in 2003. I enjoyed the novel when I was younger, and revisiting it was really fun. Of the three English classics I’ve read lately (Vanity Fair, Middlemarch, Jane Eyre), Brontë’s novel is my favorite.
Our Town by Thornton Wilder might be my favorite play ever. I read it for the first time in 10th grade English class, as a requirement. And maybe you’ve read it, too. Or seen Paul Newman in the PBS dvd. (I love Paul!)
Our Town follows the lives (and deaths) of characters in the small town of Grover’s Corners. I love the structure of the play, and I also love the plot. It depicts life itself, a story that encompasses all other stories, and connects to every person.
Recommended for: Taking a step back.
Our Town is a great way to step back from the hubbub and worrisome details of life. It reminds us of the importance of human connections, while emphasizing the fleeting, ephemeral nature of life.
Will I read it again?
Yes! Over and over and over.
You know how it is: you’re twenty-one or twenty-two and you make some decisions; then whisssh! you’re seventy: you’ve been a lawyer for fifty years, and that white-haired lady at your side has eaten over fifty thousand meals with you.
How do such things begin?
What are you thoughts on Our Town? Do you love it like me, or not? Got any other theatre recommendations?