Hindsight // Foresight September 4, 2017

Mark Solarski

Hindsight this week

Reading picked up the pace this week with some deadlines coming.  I finished Sing, Unburied, Sing (out tomorrow and a Book of the Month selection); The Color Purple, Stella by Starlight (a Diverse Books Club pick for September), Trell (out September 12), and American Street (recommended by Jennifer Latham, author of Dreamland Burning).  Some of that was simply finishing an audiobook around the same time and some of that is Stella by Starlight is a short middle-grade book (though I don’t read them as fast as you’d think since they don’t hold my attention as well).

If you didn’t catch it, there’s a strong underlying theme of race and the impact of racism in all of those books.  Between people doing drugs, black people dying, black men being wrongly convicted of crimes, and the Klan coming to threaten black voters, I needed to change pace in my reading.  It was an unintentional heavy theme for my last several books.  (For the record–I recognize that sentence is dripping in privilege.  I get to take a break because it’s not my life and for some people it is.)  With all that said, I’m currently listening to You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me (Sherman Alexi’s memoir of his mother) and reading Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane.  Alexi’s memoir isn’t at all “light,” but I’m back to being beholden to my library TBR and I really wanted to listen to him read it since his voice gives his work a cadence you miss otherwise.

With that backlog of finished books, I’m finally doing what I said I was going to do and sitting down to knock out several drafts so I’m not left writing the day before a post.  I’m at my usual Starbucks where I had a weird interaction with a guy that I’m choosing to interpret as funny and not analyzing too hard, though we could certainly go there.  I was sitting here on Wednesday, finishing my post on Sing, Unburied, Sing for Thursday and wearing my GIANT noise-cancelling headphones that I always wear (I’m here for the pumpkin spice not the 80s Madonna and MJ mix) when this guy tries to talk to me.  Well, one, that makes me remove my headphones–something I wouldn’t normally do to someone unless I need to tell them something important…like, their fly is down or the building is on fire.  Otherwise, GIANT headphones are usually code for “I would like to be left alone pleaseandthankyou.”  So I remove my headphones so he can comment that my leopard-print sweater doesn’t match my shoes today.  I laugh, say “yeah” and put my headphones back on.  It took me a minute to figure out he was referring to my leopard print rain boots (the only other leopard print I own, FTR) I wore on Monday after the hurricane delayed everything and turned everyone’s yard into a mudpits.  So, okay dude, you’ve noticed me more than once.

He then tries to talk to me again, so AGAIN I have to remove my big ass headphones so he can ask me what I do.  To which I respond that I have a different job but what I’m working on in that moment is a review for my book blog.  “Blog” apparently was the magic word because suddenly looking like he smells something awful.  “Oh.  You blog?”  and with that he turns back around to wait for his drink.

Books and blogs.  Saving women from douche-canoes since at least 2000.

Acquisition wise, there were some good Kindle sales so I picked up a couple cookbooks that were on sale, Radium Girls (I’d had my eye on this one!), Hello Sunshine (from the MMD Summer Reading Guide), and A Trick of the Light from the Inspector Gamache series.

Foresight this week

Coming up this week, I’d like to finish Since We Fell and Underground Railroad.  It’s the last of the three books for Diverse Books Club since I’ve already read The Hate U Give and finished Stella by Starlight last week.  After that, I probably need to jump on Crossing to Safety for the MMD book club.  I’ve also got a new thriller that was a Book of the Month pick–Emma in the Night, picked by guest judge Krysten Ritter that is calling my name and that I won’t be able to renew because I suspect the hold list is going to quickly become a mile long at the library.  I lucked into finding it when I did.

I also need to go ahead and select my book of the month–I’m leaning towards Little Fires Everywhere, though I asked for an ARC on that so I’m holding off confirming my box in case that longshot request is granted before tomorrow.  I didn’t love Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, though my dislike of that wasn’t the writing or characters but the way she chose to explain the main character’s death (how it happened).  Since she can’t possibly make that same choice in this book (since no one drowns from what I can see ) and it’s been favorably reviewed, I want to give this one a chance.

Have suggestions for what I should read next? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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