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