When people say they are seasonal readers, most of the time, they are referring to reading scary books in the fall and beach reads in the summer. For me, being a seasonal reader has nothing to do with the types of books I read but how I read them.
In the spring or summertime, you can easily find me sitting on my patio or at the pool with a physical book in my hand. I love to sit in the sun and turn the pages absorbing knowledge and Vitamin D. In the colder weather, I love listening to books on Audible.
I think this is because I tend to busy myself with projects around the house in the winter, and instead of listening to music, I download a book. And, I go through these books pretty quickly. One productive day of organizing my kitchen can also yield several chapters of a great story.
Here is what I’ve been listening to lately:
From the moment I heard about this book, I had to have it. The plot centers around a lifelong friendship between two women, one Black and one white, who are forever changed by a tragic event in their neighborhood. Then, I heard it was written by two women, one Black and one white, and listened to a few podcasts about their writing process. I couldn’t wait to read it, and it didn’t disappoint.
The story is about the shooting of a Black teenage boy who is mistakenly targeted as a criminal they were trying to apprehend. The co-authors share every perspective of this incident from the boy and his mother (heartbreaking), the police officer and his family (frustrating), and various members of the Black community (intelligent, inspiring, and honest). The Audible version was so well done, and the story and characters are unforgettable. My first five-star read of the year and I finished it on January 2nd.
After finishing one fantastic book, I wasn’t sure if I could top it with this one. But every book is different, and one doesn’t have to top the other. The People We Keep is the coming of age story of April, a 16-year-old musician who fights with her unfit father and decides it is time to hit the road and see where it takes her. She finds herself in town after town playing her guitar and meeting interesting people along the way. Some of them are kind and generous, others not so much.
If you like plot-driven stories, this may not be the book for you. This book follows April’s life, her travels, and how she survives it all. It is slow in some places, and there were times when I was impatient. But, April is a force to be reckoned with and not always the most likable character. But, I was rooting for her throughout the book and found the ending quite satisfying.
This book was on many 2021 bestseller lists and won lots of literary awards and high praise. Podcasters who like to talk books raved about this one so much that I avoided it like the plague. Why? Because I don’t have good luck with books that are over-publicized. The hype never seems to deliver. See my review of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins-Reid for proof of this.
Funny story – my sister has been talking about this book nonstop and begged me to read it. As a former lobbyist, my sister dug into her political science toolbox and came out swinging. She campaigned for this book to be voted to the top of my TBR pile. I tried to debate her by informing her of my aversion to science fiction, but she was a relentless opponent. I finally conceded and downloaded the book.
Unfortunately, when I went to listen to the book, I quickly realized I had purchased the Spanish version. Thinking it was a coup attempt on her reading tastes, my sister rallied, dipped into her personal funds, bought a copy, and presented it to me as an early birthday present. So, I’m finally reading it – against my will – just kidding. 🙂
And guess what?! So far, it is so good. I’m only on chapter 3, but I’m already hooked. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Maybe science fiction was a viable candidate for my reading list all along. Who knew?
If my reading life keeps going as well as this, I will be delighted. The next book on my list is The Personal Librarian.
So, what books are you reading lately? Are you a seasonal reader? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to support your local indie bookstore!