Thank you for joining me here! (Reminder: the page numbers I list here reflect the number of Kindle pages, not paper pages.) I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer (Length: 482 pages). I’m a huge Krakauer fan, so I was excited to finally dive into this book. I wasn’t disappointed–this is classic Krakauer, where he alternates educating the reader on the history (and geopolitics in this case) behind an event, as well as diving into the people who are part of the events in question. I am absolutely fascinated by Pat Tillman’s story, and I truly enjoyed learning about him as a person. He was so complex, well-read and with a remarkable sense of duty and loyalty. I finished this book very angry with Bush, Rumsfeld, et al for perpetuating the false war against Iraq, as well as creating the conditions that made Tillman’s case ripe for a cover-up of horrifying proportions (a cover-up of the fratricide that killed Tillman as well as the basis for the war itself). This is a must-read, and is still relevant to our times today.
The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie (Length: 224 pages). I have read a few Agatha Christie books and was in the mood for a new one. I don’t believe I’ve read any starring Miss Marple, and this mystery apparently is the second book in that series. This is a fast, fun read with a solid mystery at its center (but aren’t all Agatha mysteries perfect?). The multitude of law enforcement type characters was a bit confusing but once the story progressed I realized I could ignore their differences and focus on the mystery. I enjoyed being surprised by the solution to the mystery, and I found the character development to be perfect (not too much, not too little) and the settings of the novel (a dance hall and a mansion) to hold my interest. Would recommend!
The Institute by Stephen King (Length: 577 pages). This King novel came highly recommended to me, and they were absolutely correct that I would love this book. This is a typically lengthy King read, but I honestly don’t think a word was wasted here. The plot of the book centers around a government experiment on children with telekinetic and telepathic powers. I could NOT put the book down and finished it in one day. The book is totally appropriate for teens ages 13 and up, so long as they are okay with the subject matter (experimentation on children). I found the character development to be really well-done here, the plot is sufficiently fast-moving and the ending wrapped all of the loose ends up to my satisfaction. I ADORE this book, and will be recommending it to everyone I know.
Welcome to the United States of Anxiety by Jen Lancaster (Length: 270 pages). As a big fan of this author’s previous books (which include Such a Pretty Fat and Bitter is the New Black), I was confident I’d enjoy this most recent non-fiction book. Lancaster has constructed the book around the five stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but through the lens of our country’s rapidly increasing levels of anxiety, of the individual. The chapters are on specific causes (think–social media, politics, environment, diet, etc) and they are all spot-on. And this was written PRE-pandemic. Her humor (mostly sarcastic) results in a book that is anything but anxiety-provoking, and it’s worth a read if you’re in the mood for something easy and fun.