While the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 24th has left me feeling numb, I will continue to lose myself in my reading, as it truly helps me find balance and restore my mental health. That’s one thing they can’t take away from me.
The Week in Books
Betty by Tiffany McDaniel — 5 out of 5 stars
I had heard this novel was a heartbreaking and beautiful piece of work, so I went in with some high expectations…and wow, did it deliver! Loosely based on the author’s grandmother’s childhood, we see life through Betty’s eyes growing up the child of a Cherokee father and white mother. Fair warning, there is a lot of trauma in these 460+ pages, but there is also a lot of love and hope. I really can’t recommend this book enough.
Code Talker by Chester Nez — 5 out of 5 stars
The outcome of WWII may have been vastly different if not for the secret code created by Navajo Marine recruits utilizing their native language. Only a handful of people outside of the codetalkers knew of this, and it wasn’t until records were declassified decades later that Americans (and the world) found out about this secret, unbreakable code that was pivotal in the victories in the South Pacific. Chester Nez was one of the original twenty-nine young men who created the code, and this is his story. Mr. Nez tells not only of his Marine service, but also of his childhood and his life after the war. While reading this, I really felt like Mr. Nez was sitting next to me telling his story. Highly recommend.
The Devil in the Red Dirt by Michael P. Smith — 4.5/5 out of 5 stars
Set in 1960’s Australia, this is a multi-layered crime novel filled with unspeakable violence and truly flawed, unlikeable (yet unforgettable) characters. While the dark underbelly of humanity is exposed, there are also strong loyalties and glimmers of hope and redemption. I’ll admit it took me a bit to really get into the story, but once there, I couldn’t stop reading. One of my top five favorites of the year, highly recommend.
All These Subtle Deceits by C.S. Humble — 4 out of 5 stars
The first in a series featuring the strange town of Black Wells, Colorado. After Lauren is attacked by supernatural forces in a nightclub bathroom, she seeks help from a local exorcist who just happens to be excommunicated from the church. What follows mixes dark humor with horror, and adds a twist to the standard “possession” trope. Very entertaining, I can’t wait to read the next Black Wells installment.
Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies
This Census-Taker by China Mieville — 3 out of 5 stars
I’ve been a fan of Mieville’s weird fantasy fiction for some time, so when I came across this novella at the library I just had to read it. I honestly don’t know what to say about it other than its stranger than hell, even by Mieville standards. Not something I could really recommend except for die-hard Mieville fans.
Stay safe and Happy Reading!