I have been a terrible reader lately, and it is all because of the vile temptress of Netflix. For literal years, I’ve prided myself on being that pretentious person: not watching television, certainly not owning a television (goodness, no), not using the letters “T” and “V” in the same sentence, blah blah blah. My very patient friends have put up with this for a long time, and I’d like to publicly thank you. You were right, and I am now a huge, TV-addicted weenie.
In the last month, I’ve binged several shows, the most recent of which has been the American version of Shameless (which you can check out here). I’m having a great time, but I also have been majorly neglecting my to-read pile. Here’s what I have not been reading, but will maybe someday read when the latest season is over and also my laptop dies and maybe my internet gets disconnected:
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
Hilariously enough, this has just been announced as a TV series, but that’s not my reason for wanting to read it. I listened to Locke’s earlier novel, The Cutting Season, finding her writing to be captivating and realistic. She takes complicated characters and throws them a slow-burn thrillers while incorporating issues of racial discrimination, class inequality, and other thoughtful topics.
An Extraordinary Destiny by Shekhar Paleja
This is a layered, literary family saga focused on three generations of Indian men and how their lives are impacted both by “fate” and by the decisions of their elders. It’s also the author’s debut novel, and folks who have read it have been raving about his writing style.
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu
According to my Bibliocommons account, it was almost exactly two years ago when I read Fu’s other novel, For Today I Am a Boy, which is fascinating and lonely and, if not “enjoyable,” then definitely worthwhile. When I heard she had new novel about girls stranded in a disastrous summer camp, I was intrigued. Fu’s prose is sharp and not overly sentimental, so I’m eager to see what she does with this premise.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
I’m not solely judging this book by its cover, but holy moly is it gorgeous. Meredith highly recommended this one at our last staff meeting, and it would be wonderful for someone who wants to be deeply emotionally impacted by a story. If you click the catalog link above, you’ll see that it’s received high praise all over the place!
So, when will I get to these books? Who knows. I’d like to think I have more willpower to fight against the fierce embrace of streaming television, but that’s turning out not to be the case. With the weather getting nicer, however, it may be a perfect time to shut down the laptop, grab a book and tackle my to-read shelf outside.
-Kate Gramlich is a Readers' Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.