Posts Tagged ‘Suffolk’

It’s nearly April – and the weather is teasing us, as usual. But the books are getting me through. Here’s what I have been reading to close out the month:

Forward Me Back to You, Mitali Perkins
I love Mitali’s sensitively written novels about teenagers finding their place in the world. This one follows Kat – a tough-talking biracial girl from California who’s recovering from an assault – and Robin, a Boston boy adopted from India as a toddler by white parents. When they go to Kolkata on a summer service trip, things change in powerful ways for both of them. I could not put this down; it felt so realistic and layered and often funny. Found at Copper Dog Books last summer.

The Golden Season, Madeline Kay Sneed
Sneed’s gorgeous, thoughtful debut novel follows Emmy Quinn, a West Texas girl who makes the difficult decision to come out to her football-coach dad (and by extension the whole town) during her college years. The narrative captures my Texas – the relentless dry heat, the football obsession, the bless-your-heart church ladies and the surprising beauty – so well. Fantastic. To review for Shelf Awareness (out May 31).

Sisters in Arms, Kaia Alderson
Eliza Jones and Grace Steele come from very different Harlem backgrounds. When they both sign up to serve in the WAC, they find themselves thrown together through training camp in Iowa and in all kinds of difficult circumstances. Fascinating, layered historical fiction about Black women serving in World War II. Found at Bookmans in Tucson.

Kind of a Big Deal, Shannon Hale
A girlfriend was reading this YA novel, so I picked it up at the library and flew through it. Teenage theatre star Josie Pie dropped out of high school to make it on Broadway, but she flopped and is now hiding out in Montana. She discovers a strange ability to jump into books – which makes her (further) question her current choices. This one took some odd turns, but it’s a fun story.

A Valiant Deceit, Stephanie Graves
Olive Bright is eagerly training pigeons for the war effort – and reluctantly faking a relationship with her commanding officer. When another officer turns up murdered, Olive (of course) wants to investigate. I loved this second cozy British WWII mystery following Olive, her birds and the village community of Pipley.

The Stubborn Light of Things: A Nature Diary, Melissa Harrison
Harrison is a noticer – and this collection of her columns from The Times shares her observations from rambles in London, where she used to live, and rural Suffolk, where she lives now. Beautiful, thoughtful and wise. Found at the wonderful Book Catapult in San Diego.

Most links (not affiliate links) are to my local faves Trident and Brookline Booksmith. Shop indie!

What are you reading?


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It’s Green Day over at Poppytalk, and also here, as I’m participating in their Spring Color Week. Abilene is starting to “green up,” especially with our recent rains, but these photos are all from Oxford, taken in spring 2008.

This church, now the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, is right around the corner from the ACU houses on Canterbury Road. (It’s technically on the Woodstock Road.) Its gardens are small, but vibrant.

My friend Vince, an American Ph.D. student (whose wedding we attended this summer), gave me a tour of Worcester, his college. It was still chilly – I wore my raincoat and wellies – but oh so green.

I love the sunsets in South Parks (see yesterday’s post), but mostly I love that it’s one long bolt of green, unfurling down a hillside. (I rode my bike down it once, for the pure pleasure of it – and after spring came, I nearly always took off my shoes and walked barefoot in the grass.)

This is Mary Kate, who belongs to Julie, and belonged to our ACU group that spring. Doesn’t she look like a literary heroine in this pose?

I spent one blissful afternoon in the gardens of New College, where my friend Owen proposed to his wife, and where the cloisters speak of romance and mystery.

My housemates and I took a May excursion to Suffolk, where Lizzie lives, and where all of us were able to relax for a few days. We had dinner at the local pub, watched the six-hour Pride and Prejudice, jumped on a friend’s trampoline, sneaked into a castle, and walked several miles on Five Bridges Road. This is the “album cover” photo; they’re all blowing on blades of grass. (From left: Lizzie, Grace and Jo.) I love these girls.

Happy green Tuesday to you.

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