One of the most stressful parts of being a bookworm is the knowledge that I’ll never be able to read all the books I want to in my lifetime. In spite of this, it’s always a joy to add new books to my reading list. I find books through podcasts, NPR and NYT reviews, friends and coworkers, and of course all the readers I follow on #Bookstagram. In this series, I’ll be sharing some of the books that have caught my eye each week. While I don’t always get to my recently discovered books right away, I want to share what I’m excited about and what’s on my reading radar.
Here are the books I added to my queue this week:
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. At back-to-school meetings this week, one of my colleagues said this was the best book he read all summer and that he plans to use selections from it to supplement his teaching of There There by Tommy Orange. I’m not teaching American Literature this year, but Indigenous history and literature is a major gap in my reading life and knowledge base. I’m hoping to read this soon and then visit his class during this unit. There’s also a new young people’s edition of this book adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese.
Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman. Confession: I’ve never watched a full season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, but I always watch the season finales! This season I watched the finale with my husband for the first time and his hilariously incredulous reaction made my viewing experience all the better. We stumbled across Bachelor Nation in a Little Free Library while walking our dog so of course it had to come home with us.
Family of Origin by C.J. Hauser. If you haven’t yet read the Hauser's The Crane Wife published in The Paris Review, go do that now and you too will want to add everything she's written to your reading list.
From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein. I was sent the new paperback release of Beck Dorey-Stein’s memoir by Random House this week, but it wasn’t until I heard Beck on Sarah’s Bookshelves Live that I knew I needed to move this one to the top of my list. Beck is funny and earnest, and her unique insider/outsider perspective as President Obama’s stenographer sounds like the perfect way to peer inside the Obama White House.
The Good House by Ann Leary. I loved this week’s episode of Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next podcast because I adore Mary-Laura Philpott. I knew from reading other interviews that she and I have very similar reading taste so I was eager to hear what Anne recommended to her. I’ve never read any Ann Leary, but this story about a potentially destructive friendship between two women sounds like my kind of book.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. Ok this one’s actually been on my radar for awhile. Last summer I attended a fantastic professional development session with Julia Torres about using YA in the high school English classroom. She gave my department a ton of book suggestions, including this verse novel. I finally bought the book this week and hope to find a way to incorporate it into my poetry unit this semester.
Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham. Learning about book people’s favorite books is one of my ultimate joys and this list made me giggle. I was particularly struck by Maris Kreizman’s recommendation for Of Human Bondage, which relied on one of the best Goodreads reviews ever written.
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