According to Merriam Webster, a hiatus is “an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (such as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted “
Well, my reviewing hiatus is coming to an end.
If you’ve been following my posts and reviews, you may have noticed the silence over the last few months. It’s not that I haven’t been reading, but I’ve been reading differently. The political and social storms of the last year have taken over the conversation – at the dinner table and wherever people gather. The book groups I work with have been similarly affected by political overload.
Living just outside the beltway, the past year hasn’t been measured from January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2018, rather from the inauguration/women’s march to the government shutdown. The events of the year have led to new involvement and activism, and the expectation of daily upheavals of one variety or another.
Not surprisingly, in the book world, some of the emerging themes dovetail with current events. Harrowing stories of immigration and survival appear weekly as memoirs and fiction. Each has the power to put a human face on very difficult issues, particularly for readers who may have little contact with immigrant communities. Racism, assimilation, and America’s economic and cultural divide are also common topics. While I have added a number of these to my to-be-read lists, reading them while absorbing the news is often just too hard.
So what have I been reading? In addition to books for group discussions, I’ve upped my reading of “comfort books”. For me, it’s a combination of historical mysteries and new books that are getting buzz in newspapers and online, though I’m steering clear of “ripped from the headlines” themes. Look for posts on the following titles over the next few weeks as I start reducing the backlog:
- Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
- Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance – a view one year later
- Y is for Yesterday, an appreciation of Sue Grafton
Out of gratitude for your patience as I worked through this, I’m including a link to end of the year top book picks from a variety of sources. Bookreporter.com is one of my go-to sources for future book group choices. Here is Bookreporter.com’s compilation of 2017 Best Books lists.
So when next we’re in touch, please let me know what you are reading. I’ll happily share what I’m carrying in my bag!