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Four books this month. Not enough, but I’m hoping to pick it up in October.

  1. The Overstory by Richard Powers (4.5/5) – This is one of the big novels of the moment. I was very skeptical for a while because it seemed like a short story collection pretending to be a novel. It isn’t. Everything winds together eventually and wonderfully. The ending is imperfect and just a bit too heavy, but the experience f reading it was definitely worth it.
  2. The Golden Cockerel by Alexander Pushkin (4/5) – I got hold of a wonderfully illustrated little edition of this a while ago. Since, I read The Golden Cockerel by Juan Rulfo. Obviously, folktales wind together. Anyway, there was no real connection. But the Russians are the best and Russian folk tales are always a good read.
  3. Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee (5/5) – I’m teaching this for the first time in several years. Lee is one of the best writers of prose out there, I think. This book does an excellent job of honestly illustrating humanity and the themes present always feel like things worth considering. It’s focus on recent immigrants feels especially relevant now.
  4. The Imagined Land by Eduardo Berti (4/5) – Another from Deep Vellum Press, which continues to be my favorite indie press. This is a story about pre-revolutionary China translated from Spanish and written by an Argentine writer who currently lives in France. Which, yeah. It seems a recipe for things to go wrong, but it was a satisfying read. The first person narration and close-focus of the story were well-executed and to me, at least, it seemed authentic and well-researched.