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The Books on My Nightstand Right Now
The stack includes a great vacation read, a superhero memoir, and a novel-turned-movie that’s currently No. 1 on Netflix.
Sometimes you have a tsundoku (aka pileup of unread books) that you’re not terribly excited about — it’s built up from a variety of sources and the books have stayed unread for a reason. But sometimes you get really lucky and, for one reason or another, there’s an influx of books in your life that you’re super stoked about but haven’t yet gotten to because you’re one person and can’t physically read five things at once.
That’s what’s currently happening on my nightstand: I’ve got a stack of books I’m either in the middle of reading (and really loving) or that I’m eager to start. Lucky me! Here’s a peek at what’s in the pile.
Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
I just finished this one — my book club pick — last night, and it was one of those stories I was sad to see come to an end. It’s just so fun, honest, and completely absorbing. I fell into the world of this super wealthy family and their super wealthy problems, which sounds obnoxious, but totally works because the author is so talented at bringing you into the world and minds of the three female protagonists. If you’re looking for something to savor on the plane or beach this summer, this is it.
We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu
This is a memoir by the Chinese-Canadian rising actor Simu Liu, most recently in the Marvel blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — but I actually like him best in the cult fave sitcom Kim’s Convenience. I’m diving into it next; my husband has already listened to the audiobook version and gives it two thumbs up. I love the premise of it being an “immigrant superhero origin story,” as I’ve been on a recent Asian American memoirs kick, and this one promises to be especially fun, given Liu’s Hollywood ties (Ryan Reynolds blurbed the back cover!).
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
In an effort to achieve my goal of reading more consistently with my kids, I’ve borrowed three copies of this YA novel from the library so we can all enjoy it together. It was a recommendation from a friend who said she read it with her two daughters and mother — and all three generations enjoyed it. The description reads a bit like a modern-day Heidi, one of my favorite childhood stories, with a 12-year-old protagonist who was abandoned as a baby and raised by strangers in an isolated area of Massachusetts, and who now must confront her history and past.
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
I’m tiptoeing into the world of fiction writing, and this book, highly recommended by Brooke, has been a revelation. It really breaks down the craft into manageable, bite-size chunks that’s much more appealing than the idea of squeezing 90,000 words out of my brain without a plan. There’s just so much in this book that makes sense, like how each story can basically be categorized as one of 10 genres, and what the beats for each of those genres are. If you’re a writer looking for focus, clarity, or inspiration (Brooke wrote a fantastic post on the topic last week), this is an amazing little guide.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
And finally, this is a book (and now also the No. 1 streaming movie on Netflix) that’s been on my nightstand for a while now, but simply because other, more pressing reads with deadlines (like book club meetings and library due dates) have come along and gotten in my way of finishing it. I started the story a few weeks ago and instantly fell into the world of the main character, a charming curmudgeon who is obviously about to have his world turned upside down and must learn to grow from the experience. If I don’t get to this book in the coming weeks, it’ll be what I’m bringing on my first long weekend getaway of the summer.
Let me know if you’re reading anything riveting that I should add to my pile!
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