Some recent reads worth checking out:
Joyce Carol Oates: The Falls
I enjoyed this fast-paced novel. I’ve been reading and listening to a few of Oates’ books this summer. She’s a pro at taking a current issue, in this case, the Love Canal corporate environmental poisoning, and weaving it into the elements of a great novel. This one takes place in the 1950’s near Niagara Falls, NY, when awareness about the effects of corporate pollutants were just beginning to attract attention.
Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys.
This slim novel packs a punch with a surprise twist at the end. Based on the true story about the Dozier School in Florida where skeletons of African American boys were unearthed in 2011, remnants of the Jim Crow South at a horrific reform school, Whitehead tells the story through two characters who become friends. This book surpasses Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, which I didn’t like as much. An important read as our nation continues to grapple with its racist past… and present.
I listened to 95% of this in the car and then got the book from my library to finish. Any Wizard of Oz fans would love this charming, historical fiction novel about L. Frank Baum, his wife Maud, her mother, the suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage, and how the classic Wonderful Wizard of Oz came to fruition. The story alternates between the late 1800’s upstate New York, the Dakota territories, and Chicago, to 1938 Hollywood on the set as the movie was being filmed. Maud Baum, 77 years old and 19 years after her husband’s death, befriends the young Judy Garland. I read a biography of lyricist Yip Harburg years ago, and found myself humming songs from the movie while reading.
We watched Max and Helen Based on a novel by Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, the film is a romantic revenge story. You can’t go wrong.