Summer Reading, Part II

My summer reading started off strong. My next few reads fall into my habit of reading a lot of books by white women. I’m about halfway through the Simon Serrailler series by Susan Hill, a mystery series that is only so focused on the mysteries in each book. In many ways it’s a series that develops and follows a small cathedral town in England. I’m enjoying the characters and pretty invested in them and their little village. The books aren’t quick reads, mostly because they’re long and I enjoy the writing so I don’t skim much, but they also aren’t difficult reads.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price is a young adult novel based, not surprisingly, on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. 

It appears to be the first in a series of Jane Austen mysteries. I definitely enjoyed seeing Elizabeth Bennett as an aspiring lawyer and the Bennett family read right to me. Other aspects of the adaptation were less easy for me to accept. It was definitely a fun read though.

For a book club I read Kate Moore’s Radium Girls.

Wow, it was quite a read. Moore did an astounding job of researching the stories of these young women. It is not an easy read, but I read it in two days (it had to be finished before the book club discussion and I was flying most of the way across the country, so…). I’ve put Moore’s next book on hold at the library because I am so impressed with her research and her ability to weave a narrative. She also chooses stories of women, stories that haven’t been frequently told.

Finally, for this post anyway, is Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany by Andrew Maraniss. This one breaks my ‘no reading white male authors’ rule. It was recommended by a good friend who is an elementary school librarian. I trust her implicitly when it comes to books. And food. And fashion. But especially books.

This book is aimed at middle schoolers or so and is a fascinating look at the early years of basketball. I was surprised at how fascinated I was to learn more about how basketball was created and how quickly it spread. The reason my friend recommended the book, however, was because of how closely the story links to events today. Maraniss is not explicit in connecting the rise of fascism in Europe with what is happening in our country today but he definitely hints at it. It’s a book young people should read and it’s written in a way that will, I believe, quickly appeal to them.

Every book here is written by a white author. It’s helpful for me to look back in this way to help be more thoughtful in my book choices.

One reply

  1. Charlene O'Brien says:

    Love this list. I just finished Radium girls, too. What a story. How did we not know this was part of how OSHA started? I will look into the other titles. Thanks for posting!

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