What We're Reading, Vol. 3
The heyday of Halloween past, November is a transitional month. Leaves are still turning for some whereas the cold has decidedly set in for the Attic Editors furthest to the North. Is it autumn? Is it winter? What it decidedly is is hectic but cozy. With work deadlines, healthcare, and thousands and thousands of words to write, we’re all running around this month, trying to get the most done while still trying to take care of ourselves. Lauren shared her favorite television shows for cozy autumn nights last week, and sure enough, three of us have settled in to watch things together, albeit via iMessage. Still, we’re all doing our best to keep reading in little moments here and there, surrounded by candles or in coffee shops. Here’s what we’ve turned to this month:
This month I’m once again reading a lot of degree texts as term is in full swing. I have, however, found some time to read a book I’ve been wanting to read since I was a teenager and still invested in young adult series. This book is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and it’s a lovely fantasy ride through a world that Bardugo has spent many years crafting (it’s the same world that her previous Grisha trilogy was set in, for those who know it). I love that it’s an easy read, written for teenage minds, and can provide a small escape from the heavy reading of essays and manuscripts that are part of my day to day. If you’re looking for a similar escape or would love a fantasy heist novel then I wholly recommend it.
At the moment I am reading The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers on the recommendation of a friend, which follows a Yemeni-American man named Mokhtar trying to build his career and discovers a passion for the art of coffee.
As he travels back to Yemen to learn about both his roots and the roots of coffee, he becomes trapped in Sana’a by the civil war, a crisis that is still ongoing. The Yemeni civil war is one of the deadliest conflicts of our time, with an estimated 56,000 dead since 2016 and with 1.8 million children severely malnourished.
The last couple of weeks of reading are admittedly a bit of a blur to me. I took my time with Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under all through the end of October, and I have, since then, finally been reading Sally Rooney’s Normal People. It’s a fantastic read that follows the lives of two young people who come together and clash through high school and university. It’s absorbing to the point where I want to put everything else aside and speed through the rest of it (even though I started it over a week ago and have barely had time to read), but I’ll admit it feels a bit choppy with its time jumps. I’m interested to see how it all comes together in the end, as I felt similarly about Conversations with Friends until everything was wonderfully tied together.
I’ve only just started my real read this month; The Witches of New York has been on my radar for a while now and I’m slowly working my way into its intriguing plot line and interwoven characters. Ami McKay’s twinkling descriptions of intuitive magic as practiced by her witches have kept me on the hook through what’s been an admittedly confusing start. I hope the plot summary on the back cover will follow through on its promises.
The first half of my month was spent relaxing and nursing a cold with more Netflix than books, but it had a couple of literary magazine highlights thanks to a New York Magazine profile on Feminist Chef Gabrielle Hamilton and the Me Too movement in the restaurant industry, and a wanderlust-inducing new short by my all time favorite Amor Towles in British Vogue. I’ve still not gotten to the Sally Rooney lexicon waiting on my bedside table, but a taste of her style via short “Mr. Salary” has quenched my thirst until I’ve got the time for her full works.
Last time, you could have found me reading Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before anytime I had a couple of hours to spare. Now that I have finished the book and loved it, I had no doubts about what to do. I went to the bookstore and bought P.S. I Still Love You, the second book of the series. I love that the narrative starts right where the previous book ended. It really made me feel like it is one story that it’s being told here. The prose is still light and the drama is dramatic enough to keep me entertained but not so much that it feeds my own anxieties. And, I love Lara Jean so much! Even more, I love how Peter’s character really develops in this book. I can’t wait to read more!
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