(Interior shot of Brookline Booksmith, my happy place.)
The Titan’s Curse, Rick Riordan
This third book in the Percy Jackson series is so fast-paced it’s hard to keep up. Percy and his friends head to the West Coast on another quest: meeting deities, fighting monsters, and learning more about their own destinies. (Also: Blackjack the pegasus returns. I love him.)
Cosby: His Life and Times, Mark Whitaker
I grew up on The Cosby Show (the sweaters!), Cosby’s Jell-O commercials, and my dad quoting lines from Cosby’s comedy records. So I devoured this (long) biography of the man himself, from his tough childhood in Philly to his years on the stand-up circuit and his forays into TV. Meticulously researched and balanced; Whitaker loves his subject but doesn’t idealize him. To review for Shelf Awareness (out Sept. 16).
The Battle of the Labyrinth, Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and his friends go underground into the Labyrinth, in search of its creator (Daedalus) and a way to defeat the Titan army. The series’ mythology grows deeper and wider, with plenty of new deities and monsters.
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
I’d never read this slim classic before. Woolf’s language is powerful and vivid, though her narrative style is often confusing. Lovely glimpses of London and of all the nuances rippling under the surface of everyday life.
The Last Olympian, Rick Riordan
War is coming to Olympus (and Manhattan), and Percy Jackson must rally the troops from Camp Half-Blood. Heartbreaking and heart-pounding; a great conclusion to the series, balancing wacky mythology with deep truths about love and honor, war and sacrifice.
The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, Azar Nafisi
Nafisi explores American identity and literature through the lens of Huckleberry Finn, Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt and Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. She weaves in anecdotes from her life in the U.S. and Iran. I thought the first section was the strongest. Thought-provoking. To review for Shelf Awareness (out Oct. 21).
Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
This novel traces the journey of Father Jean Marie Latour, a French priest who becomes Archbishop of the diocese of Santa Fe. Gorgeous, lyrical descriptions of the rugged Southwest and a sensitive portrait of cultural and religious tensions. Meditative and melancholy, like all Cather’s novels.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Jenny Han
Lara Jean keeps a stash of letters to boys she has loved – top secret, until someone mails them and her love life spins out of control. Compelling in a teen-drama way, but I didn’t like any of the characters. Pass.
Tea & Cake London, Zena Alkayat
A pictorial tour of London tea shops – from the simple to the froufrou. I will be in London briefly this fall (!) and have bookmarked a few places to check out. Whimsical and fun with mouthwatering photos (though it needs a map).
Links (not affiliate links) are to my favorite local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith.
What are you reading?