What better time to pick up a book, a kindle, or listen to one, than the dog days of summer which are approaching and becoming more and more canine-like as the pandemic lingers. Check out our TWE Bookshelf picks for the summer.
Here’s what some of our TWE featured authors are reading as they wait out COVID-19. They may inspire you to seek them out. Having authored fascinating books of their own, they are finding time now to escape into other writers’ worlds.
This is the first of a TWE Bookshelf series because, as you know, WE LOVE BOOKS and these next few months are a perfect time to find ones that will capture your imagination!
Lisa See on The Library of Legends (William Morrow Paperbacks) by Janie Chang
“In these past weeks of staying at home, I’ve been so busy finishing the next novel and speaking to virtual book clubs that I’ve only just begun reading again.
There are many historical novels that begin in 1937 when the Japanese invaded China, but Janie Chang has found a new and fascinating story to tell about the university students and faculty who trekked hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to escape the Japanese while preserving not just China’s best minds but also China’s most precious books.
I was entranced by the magical spirits, immortals, and fox spirits in The Library of Legends. Janie Chang has beautifully melded history and the spirit world to create an adventurous love story for all of us readers who love books and who, in a perfect world, would do anything to save them.”
Lisa’s most recent book is The Island of Sea Women.
Dionne Searcey on The Nickel Boys (Doubleday) by Colson Whitehead:
“I’m currently reading The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. I didn’t take a long leave of absence from my day job as West Africa Bureau Chief for The New York Times while writing my own book, In Pursuit of Disobedient Women.
Now I’m spending my off hours during this pandemic catching up to great books that were released while I was buried in revisions and in the logistical hassles of moving my family across the Atlantic Ocean and back to America from our home in Senegal.
Whitehead’s book, which won a Pulitzer Prize this year, tells the story of the forgotten horrors that occurred at the Nickel Academy, a Florida home for boys. The author says that the home was just one place, but certainly if it could exist there, there are others with awful secrets that have yet to be discovered.
My own newspaper’s review of the book points out that like Nickel, the others will be exhumed only if there is “anyone who cares to listen.” To me that’s the most important goal of being a journalist and an author: getting people to listen.”
Laurie Burrows Grad on The Giver of Stars (Penguin Random House) by Jojo Moyes:
“In these times that test us to the limits, I find that listening to books helps me through the long days. We are in media overload and the 24/7 news cycle creates more anxiety and stress. Listening to audio books, while walking outside, helps me calm the pandemic panic. I recently read a wonderful book called The Giver of Stars, written by Jo Jo Moyes, and set in Depression-era America.
It centers around a group of stalwart women whose goal is to distribute books to the rural areas of Kentucky. These women form a Pack Horse Library and show their metal by facing danger and obstacles in order to educate others in the importance of facts and information from books. The fortitude and understanding among these women show how the strong bonds of friendship carry them through despite the men who often keep them down.”
Laurie’s the author of The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now.
Fernanda Santos on Captains of the Sands (Penguin Classics) by Jorge Amado
“Reading has been an escape, a chance to travel into worlds and witness lives created and lived by others as my own world and life has shrunk under the weight of this pandemic.
I recently re-read Captains of the Sands, by Jorge Amado, a Brazilian author from my home state of Bahia who writes with great beauty–of words, of scenes–about a gang of street kids in this book.
I’m currently reading and loving Children of the Land, a memoir by Marcelo Hernandez about growing up in an undocumented family in the United States.”
From Penguin Classics: “Captains of the Sands captures the rich culture, vivid emotions, and wild landscape of Bahia with penetrating authenticity and brilliantly displays the genius of Brazil’s most acclaimed author.”
Fernanda is the author of The Fire Line, The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots…
Hope you enjoy these suggestions and more to come over the summer. Another TWE suggestion is Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society. It’s just become a bestseller and Natalie is thrilled.
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