It’s been a while since I shared a book report, but lately I’ve been reading SO much that I just couldn’t wait any longer. Maybe this could even become a real thing??
First up is the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante, specifically My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. If you’re looking for reads that are super-engrossing and highly addictive, these first 3 books in the series are it. Have a trip planned? Bring these books. The story follows two best friends in Naples as they grow up in the ’50s and ’60s, through marriage and family drama, and as they explore careers and the search for love. The dynamic of the friendship is so… intricate and tumultuous, but so very true. Ferrante essentially weaves together the stories of an entire neighborhood as it transitions with the stories of these two women. What’s especially interesting to me as I was reading these books is that the main characters are so very different from each other — in how they approach trouble and respond to it, where their values lie, even their familial obligations — but both are strong female characters in their own way, especially despite certain events.
Next up: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. So, I picked this up at a local bookstore because I liked the title. I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t read the back description either, so I was quite surprised when I opened it to read and discovered the book is actually a compilation of stories by the late Keegan. A promising young author, she unfortunately passed away and this is a collection of her more popular stories. One in particular stood out to me and actually continues to haunt me. It’s called ‘Challenger Deep’ and follows the tale of 5 people trapped in a short-circuited submarine. They are in pitch black and have no way of navigating back to the surface of the ocean. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but the suspense and… lack of resolution in this story really plagues me. I can’t stop thinking about it and feeling this immense anxiety about these fictional characters. Someone, please, read it so we can talk about it.
Lastly is Missoula by Jon Krakauer. I tend to read way more fiction than anything else, but I’ve been trying to keep it a bit more ‘real’ lately and dig into books that feel more cerebral. This book is my first crack at that and, let me tell you, this is not light reading. The victims’ stories are heart wrenching, the lack of action on the part of the police and town is appalling and frustrating… it’s a tough read. Given the current climate of improving women’s rights, the spotlight on street harassment, and even the discussion around equal pay, this book is such an important addition to the conversation. The writing is straightforward and crisp, while the message really drives home something they we all definitely need to hear in order to ever fix this epidemic of sexual assault.
These are just a few of my latest reads — if you have any suggestions for my next stack, leave ’em below!
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Missoula by Jon Krakauer, The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante.
photography by Jojotastic.