Tuesday, March 17, 2020

I'm on the Hunt for These Books This Spring


The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

It is 1953. Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the first factory to open near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a prominent Chippewa Council member, trying to understand a new bill that is soon to be put before Congress. The US Government calls it an 'emancipation' bill; but it isn't about freedom - it threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land, their very identity. How can he fight this betrayal? Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Pixie - 'Patrice' - Paranteau has no desire to wear herself down on a husband and kids. She works at the factory, earning barely enough to support her mother and brother, let alone her alcoholic father who sometimes returns home to bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to get if she's ever going to get to Minnesota to find her missing sister Vera.




Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy's old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she's repeated the process every day since. Life hasn't gone according to Judy's plan. Her career as a children's book author offered a glimpse of success before taking an embarrassing nose dive. Teddy, now a teenager, treats her with some combination of mortification and indifference. Her best friend is dying. And her husband, Gary, has become a pot-addled professional "snackologist" who she can't afford to divorce. On top of it all, she has a painfully ironic job writing articles for a self-help website--a poor fit for someone seemingly incapable of helping herself.




Writers and Lovers by Lily King (Update: Read)

Blindsided by her mother's sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.




Had I Known: Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich

A self-proclaimed "myth buster by trade," Barbara Ehrenreich has covered an extensive range of topics as a journalist and political activist, and is unafraid to dive into intellectual waters that others deem too murky. Now, Had I Known gathers the articles and excerpts from a long-ranging career that most highlight Ehrenreich's brilliance, social consciousness, and wry wit. From Ehrenreich's award-winning article "Welcome to Cancerland," published shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, to her groundbreaking undercover investigative journalism in Nickel and Dimed, to her exploration of death and mortality in the New York Times bestseller, Natural Causes, Barbara Ehrenreich has been writing radical, thought-provoking, and worldview-altering pieces for over four decades.




Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

A literature professor tries to rediscover who she is after the sudden death of her husband, even as a series of family and political jolts force her to ask what we owe those in crisis in our families, biological or otherwise.




Braised Pork by An Yu

One autumn morning, Jia Jia walks into the bathroom of her lavish Beijing apartment to find her husband dead. One minute she was breakfasting with him and packing for an upcoming trip, the next, she finds him motionless in their half-full bathtub. Like something out of a dream, next to the tub Jia Jia discovers a pencil sketch of a strange watery figure, an image that swims into Jia Jia’s mind and won’t leave.



Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

A dual narrative in which a woman finds a cookbook buried in the basement of her new home and becomes captivated with the cookbook's previous owner, a 1950s housewife. Dissatisfied with her own life, she becomes absorbed in learning the story--and the secrets--of the last woman who lived in her house.




Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

Ever since she can remember, Vanessa has been able to see people's fortunes at the bottom of their teacups. To avoid blurting out their fortunes, she converts to coffee, but somehow fortunes escape and find a way to complicate her life and the ones of those around her. To add to this plight, her romance life is so nonexistent that her parents enlist the services of a matchmaking expert from Shanghai.
 
After her matchmaking appointment, Vanessa sees death for the first time. She decides that she can't truly live until she can find a way to get rid of her uncanny abilities. When her eccentric Aunt Evelyn shows up with a tempting offer to whisk her away, Vanessa says au revoir to California and bonjour to Paris. There, Vanessa learns more about herself and the root of her gifts and realizes one thing to be true: knowing one's destiny isn't a curse, but being unable to change it is.




Redhead by the Side of the Road

From the beloved and best-selling Anne Tyler, a sparkling new novel about misperception, second chances, and the sometimes elusive power of human connection. Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building, cautious to a fault behind the steering wheel, he seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart when his woman friend (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a "girlfriend") tells him she's facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah's meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever. 




The New Life of Hugo Gardner by Louis Begley

After four decades of what he believes to be a happy, healthy partnership, Hugo Gardner's world is overturned when he learns that his wife, Valerie, is not only requesting a divorce but has left him for a younger, more vital man. Hugo, an octogenarian political writer and retired journalist for Time, must rethink the way he's lived, and reassess how he'd like to spend his remaining years. Reconsidering past relationships in his mind, with years of distance, Hugo begins to see things in a new light: Valerie, whose youth and ambition eventually came between them; his children, whose support might be more financially than emotionally motivated; and his friends, who, like him are rapidly aging before his very eyes. With an ominous oncologist's report hanging over his head, Hugo decides to get away for a bit, to a conference in Paris. There, a new romance blooms and Hugo finds himself wondering if growing old in Paris might be the perfect antidote to the drama he left behind in New York.




Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream by Blair Imani

Over the course of six decades, an unprecedented wave of Black Americans left the South and spread across the nation in search of a better life--a migration that sparked stunning demographic and cultural changes in twentieth-century America. Through gripping and accessible historical narrative paired with illustrations, author and activist Blair Imani examines the largely overlooked impact of The Great Migration and how it affected--and continues to affect--Black identity and America as a whole.




My Wild Garden: Notes from a Writer's Eden by Meir Shalev

On the perimeter of Israel’s Jezreel Valley, with the Carmel mountains rising up in the west, Meir Shalev has a beloved garden, “neither neatly organized nor well kept,” as he cheerfully explains. Often covered in mud and scrapes, Shalev cultivates both nomadic plants and “house dwellers,” using his own quirky techniques.  He extolls the virtues of the lemon tree, rescues a precious variety of purple snapdragon from the Jerusalem–Tel Aviv highway, and does battle with a saboteur mole rat. He even gives us his superior private recipe for curing olives.




The Year 1000---When Explorers Connected the World and Globalization Began by Valerie Hansen

Valerie Hansen, an award-winning historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world’s first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies, which sparked conflict and collaboration eerily reminiscent of our contemporary moment.


Procrastibaking: 100 Recipes for Getting Nothing Done in the Most Delicious Way Possible by Erin Gardner

Pastry chef and beloved blogger Erin Gardner provides the ultimate guide to procrastibaking with pride and purpose in this inspired collection of 100 recipes, from easy one-hour projects to weekend affairs. From Case-of-the-Mondays Morning Treats, to Late-for-Everything Loaf Cakes and Fear-of-Success Snack Cakes, this book has a chapter for every procrastibaking need, and recipes to satisfy any craving for distraction. Not feeling that work project? Work on some Peanut Butter S’more Bars instead. Term paper due tomorrow? Making some No-Bake Cookies-n-Cream Pie will get the creative juices flowing. Does your mother-in-law have you channeling Scrooge? This calls for a procrasti-masterpiece, like a Gingerbread House...from scratch.

So don’t be ashamed. Put down the laundry basket. Ignore the emails.

It’s time to procrastibake.





Rage Baking by Katherine Alford and Kathy Gunst

50+ recipes, short essays, and quotes from some of the best bakers, activists, and outspoken women in our country today—this cookbook encourages women to use sugar and sass as a way to defend, resist, and protest.




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

13 comments:

  1. Separation Anxiety sounds so good.

    Thanks for stopping by my post today!

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  2. I love Anne Tyler's work. I've read another book by Karma Brown and loved it so would like to read her new one as well.

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    1. Anne Tyler is one of my favorite authors. I've never read Karma Brown. I'm glad to hear that her writing is good.

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  3. What great choices!! Separation Anxiety is now on my TBR--thank you! Anne Tyler is a must-read for me! Recipe for a Perfect Wife went on my TBR the minute I saw that fabulous cover!

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  4. The only one I've read is Recipe for a Perfect Wife, which I loved! The others look good.

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  5. Anything by Tyler immediately goes on my wish list!

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  6. I didn't know Ann Tyler had a new book. ALL of these look good. Rae

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  7. That's a great assortment of books you're looking forward to for spring. Now will all the changes, you'll have to see how to track them down!

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