Books On My Reading List This Week – June 14, 2022

Read Along with Me

I hope you’re managing to stay cool in this crazy heat wave! My grandfather (may his memory be for a blessing) used to tell me that indoor projects should be saved for the winter, when it was too cold to be outside, in Wisconsin. I’m quickly learning, now living in the south, that those indoor projects now get saved for the summer, when it’s too hot to be outside. So I’ll be getting to more indoor tasks around the house.

I hope you’re continuing to visit MapleStreetStudioHRS to see all of the new items I’ve been adding. There are a number of new bookmarks, paper quilling cards, and new magnets added this past weekend. Subscribers to my blog receive a discount code for 10% off in my shop. Check the bottom of the blog post update emails for the code.

My reading list week includes a new release from Christian Fennell that feels very timely given the current state of affairs in our country today. I am very interested to read Fennell’s perspective through this book. I’m also planning to enjoy a recommendation from a reader of my blog, The Book of V by Anna Solomon. I so appreciate getting feedback and recommendations from my readers! And I’m continuing to read two books from last week’s reading list.

Join the conversation! Tell me what you’re reading this week in the comments.


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Books This Week

LOVE, GUNS & GOD in America by Christian Fennell
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LOVE, GUNS & GOD in America, through its portrayal of violence, race, and ideological confrontations, is a vivid and raw inspection of America today. Set in the American south, the novel follows two young children–fleeing a white nationalist upbringing–to their chance encounter with a large mythical man in the woods who helps them on their journey to California. When captured, events take a horrific, racial turn, one that many years later still haunts all those involved. LOVE, GUNS & GOD in America is both thrilling and timely.

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Alabama Afternoons by Roy Hoffman

A collection of portraits of many remarkable Alabamians, famous and obscure, profiled by award-winning journalist and novelist Roy Hoffman
 
Alabama Afternoons is a collection of portraits of many remarkable Alabamians, famous and obscure, profiled by award-winning journalist and novelist Roy Hoffman. Written as Sunday feature stories for the Mobile Press-Register with additional pieces from the New York Times, Preservation, and Garden & Gun, these profiles preserve the individual stories—and the individual voices within the stories—that help to define one of the most distinctive states in the union.

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Hoffman recounts his personal visits with writer Mary Ward Brown in her library in Hamburg, with photographer William Christenberry in a field in Newbern, and with storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham and folk artist Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas at their neighboring houses in Selma. Also highlighted are the lives of numerous alumni of The University of Alabama—among them Mel Allen, the “Voice of the Yankees” from 1939 to 1964; Forrest Gump author Winston Groom; and Vivian Malone and James Hood, the two students who entered the schoolhouse door in 1963. Hoffman profiles distinguished Auburn University alumni as well, including Eugene Sledge, renowned World War II veteran and memoirist, and Neil Davis, the outspoken, nationally visible editor of the Lee County Bulletin.
 
Hoffman also profiles major and minor players in the civil rights movement, from Johnnie Carr, raised in segregated Montgomery and later president of the Montgomery Improvement Association; and George Wallace Jr., son of the four-time governor; to Theresa Burroughs, a Greensboro beautician trampled in the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge; and Diane McWhorter, whose award- winning book explores the trouble- filled Birmingham civil rights experience. Juxtaposed with these are accounts of lesser-known individuals, such as Sarah Hamm, who attempts to preserve the fading Jewish culture in Eufaula; Edward Carl, who was butler and chauffeur to Bellingrath Gardens founder Walter Bellingrath in Theodore; and cousins William Bolton and Herbert Henson, caretakers of the coon dog cemetery in Russellville.


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The Town Beyond the Wall by Elie Wiesel
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Michael—a young man in his thirties, a concentration camp survivor—makes the difficult trip behind the Iron Curtain to the town of his birth in Hungary. He returns to find and confront “the face in the window”—the real and symbolic faces of all those who stood by and never interfered when the Jews of his town were deported. In an ironic turn of events, he is arrested and imprisoned by secret police as a foreign agent. Here he must confront his own links to humanity in a world still resistant to the lessons of the Holocaust.

The Book of V by Anna Solomon

Lily is a mother and a daughter. And a second wife. And a writer, maybe? Or she was going to be, before she had children. Now, in her rented Brooklyn apartment she’s grappling with her sexual and intellectual desires, while also trying to manage her roles as a mother and a wife in 2016.

Vivian Barr seems to be the perfect political wife, dedicated to helping her charismatic and ambitious husband find success in Watergate-era Washington D.C. But one night he demands a humiliating favor, and her refusal to obey changes the course of her life—along with the lives of others.

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Esther is a fiercely independent young woman in ancient Persia, where she and her uncle’s tribe live a tenuous existence outside the palace walls. When an innocent mistake results in devastating consequences for her people, she is offered up as a sacrifice to please the King, in the hopes that she will save them all.

In Anna Solomon’s The Book of V., these three characters’ riveting stories overlap and ultimately collide, illuminating how women’s lives have and have not changed over thousands of years.

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