Thank you for joining me here! I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.
The Sign for Home by Blair Fell (Length: 415 pages). Deaf-blind 23 year-old man Arlo Dilly is an orphaned Jehovah’s Witness who wants to take a writing class at a local community college in Poughkeepsie New York. Enter interpreter Cyril, a gay man who has struggles of his own. I loved this book! It’s definitely different from typical novels as the “voice” of the deaf-blind is very distinctive and takes a few pages to get used to reading, but Arlo’s character is truly extraordinary. The middle of the novel is a bit slow but the last 25% absolutely flies by as you have to know how it ends. I’m not a fan of evangelical religions (and neither is the author, thank goodness) but this is a fascinating look at both Jehovah’s Witnesses and deafblind culture. Two thumbs up!
The Appeal by Janice Hallett (Length: 431 pages). This is a very clever mystery conveyed solely via emails and text messages, so a modern epistolary novel. There is a HUGE cast of characters, which I had a difficult time keeping track of, even toward the end, but this didn’t damper my enjoyment of the ride. Two young law students in England are tasked with sorting through all of the aforementioned evidence to piece together a solution to the mystery. (They are given this task by a partner in a law firm where they are apprenticing–this is the part I had to suspend disbelief as it’s not very clear why they had to puzzle this all out themselves.) Overall, this is a well-done mystery novel with a truly propulsive plot. I’d recommend reading versus listening to this one as you’ll likely want to refer back to previous emails. Let me know what you think if you’ve read this one too!
Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Length: 398 pages). Yes, the hype is real! This is my favorite of the three EH books I’ve read . . . this is a rom-com that is a bit enemies to lovers but with a twist. A literary agent and book editor both travel from New York City to a very small town in North Carolina, Sunshine Falls. A town that happens to be the focus of Nora’s author’s latest book as well as the town book editor Charlie grew up in. This book features the witty banter and (above-average) character development that EH is known for, as well as the typical frustrations when the characters don’t just TALK TO ONE ANOTHER. But all in all, this is a solid 8/10 for me. A fun summer read with memorable characters that you’ll want to discuss with another book lover in your life.
Finding Me by Viola Davis (Length: 289 pages). I was gifted this book by a very dear friend, and I really enjoyed the content overall. Viola grew up even poorer than poor, and came into her own decades later as a very talented actress, play by play by play. My only criticism of this memoir is that it could have used some serious editing, mostly when it comes to the organization of Viola’s anecdotes. The majority of the memoir proceeds chronologically but then she randomly mentions a child years ahead of when the child comes into her life, and you don’t hear about the child for several chapters. Otherwise, if you’re a fan of strong women, or Viola as an actress, this is absolutely worth a read.