Book Lovers: Meta-textual Romances edition

Step aside, enemies-to-lovers; editor-to-lover may be the newest romantic trope. Romances set in the world of publishing certainly seem to be having a moment, no doubt spurred on by the wild success of Emily Henry’s Beach Read in 2020 and her follow-up, Book Lovers (currently a Peak Pick!), this year. Get out your red pen and get ready for a sweltering summer read with these steamy romances. Who knew publishing could be so hot?

Overworked and underpaid editorial assistant Izzy needs to get her publishing house’s most difficult author, Beau, to turn in his manuscript so she can secure a long overdue promotion, in Jasmine Guillory’s By the Book. Izzy may be in over her head with said writer who’s in just as much of a rut as she is, but as she works with Beau, they discover they may have more than just a deadline to bring them together.

In Kris Ripper’s charming friends-to-lovers romance, Book Boyfriend, PK dreams of being a writer while working as an editorial assistant. PK’s best friend, Art, who he’s secretly been in love with since a drunken college kiss, needs a place to crash after a bad break-up. Unable to have a real-life romantic relationship with Art, PK writes out his HEA dreams. But when the book takes off and everyone seems to be in love with the fictional version of himself, including Art (who doesn’t know PK is the author), PK’s plan to win Art over backfires and he finds himself at risk of losing not only his fantasy HEA, but also his best friend.

Continue reading “Book Lovers: Meta-textual Romances edition”

#BookBingoNW2022: Health or Healthcare Workers

Summer Book Bingo 2022 deadline is looming! As Sept. 6 draws near, here are some suggestions for folks trying to fill their Health or healthcare workers square – two novels that imagine the lives of nurses, plus nonfiction about building healthcare infrastructure, reflections on medical advancements, and two books for common health concerns.

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Over three days in Dublin, Ireland during the 1918 flu epidemic, nurse Julia Power works the quarantined maternity ward in an understaffed city hospital where pregnant women with influenza prepare to give birth. (historical fiction)

Lazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
In Civil War-era Philadelphia, Sylvia works as a nurse-in-training to a local midwife at Lazaretto Hospital, which is an anchor to an African American community. On the night of President Lincoln’s assassination, Sylvia helps deliver the baby of a Black maid, Meda, an event that ties together Sylvia and Meda’s lives. (historical fiction)

Sisters of Mokama by Jyoti Thottam
The true story of six Kentucky nuns who in 1947 traveled to Bihar in northern India to build a hospital, provide necessary medical care, and open a nursing school to train local women. Thottam, of The New York Times, pulls from 20 years of research, 60+ interviews, and the story of her mother, who was one of the young Indian women taken in as a nursing student.

The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town by Brian Alexander
A portrait of a small nonprofit hospital in Bryan, OH that sheds light on health care in America. From fall 2018 through summer 2020, journalist Alexander interviewed hospital personnel, patients, and others to get a full picture of how hospitals survive – or don’t. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2022: Health or Healthcare Workers”

#BookBingoNW2022: A book about books

This summer, slow-down from the modern virtual world of the internet and open up the older virtual world of the book. Contemplate this way we humans choose to share and expand those worlds of our joint imaginations, oh and complete your “Book about Books” #BookBingoNW2022 square at the same time!

As the saying goes – so many books, so little time (& so many ways to fill this square) – a category that literally encompasses a full lifetime of possible reading – here are just a few titles to kick off from this summer:

Autumn Rounds by Jaques Poulin– an elegant and slightly melancholic volume set in Quebec with a delightful eye for detail. The novel begins as the Driver of a milk delivery truck-turned-bookmobile checks beneath his vehicle for cats before starting out on his deliveries – “in case any have been drawn to shelter there by the lingering scent of milk.” The Driver sets out on his presumptive “last route” to deliver books in the company of a traveling circus troupe, becoming more and more enamored of their leader Marie, whose beauty recalls him to life. The small format of this book complements the intimacy of the story and makes it an easy companion for travel.

Snarky Literary Agent Nora meets aloof Editor Charlie, in Book Lovers by Emily Henry (an SPL Peak Picks* selection). Rich with sentences such as; …“youthful skin would make a woman more money (true in both acting and waitressing), good underwear would make her more confident (so far, so true), and good books would make her happy (universal truth),” the book provides both an amusing parody of the publishing world and a satisfying rom-com read with the hot chemistry of the two antagonistic lead characters intact – making it a perfect beach read selection. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2022: A book about books”

#BookBingoNW2022: Hobby or skill

It’s summertime in Seattle! Whether you plan to take your Subaru and hit the trail, set up a hammock by the ship canal, or you’d rather crank your window unit and relax inside with your fur babies, there’s an unending variety of new hobbies or skills you can try out or just read about, from self-care and relaxation to money-making side hustles.

In Knitting for Radical Self-care: A Modern Guide Brandi Cheyenne Harper offers tips for finding time for knitting creativity along with ten patterns inspired by revolutionary women of color; each come with detailed instructions, and Harper’s reflections on each woman’s personal and wider impact.

NPR’s Podcast Start Up Guide: Create, Launch, and Grow a Podcast on Any Budget by Glen Weldon is an all-encompassing guide to podcasting, including how to select a topic and tell each story to engage and grow your listeners. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2022: Hobby or skill”

#BookBingoNW2022: Banned or challenged book

Reading the news lately, it feels like there has been an increase in the challenging and banning of books, particularly around discussions of Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ representation. If you’re looking to fill your “Banned or challenged book” Book Bingo square, consider one of these titles:

In China, Unfree Speech:  The Threat to Global Democracy and Why We Must Act, Now is banned. It was censored due to inciting secession and taken out of libraries following passage of the Hong Kong national security law (2020).[1] The book itself is written by Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong protest leader. The book is divided into 3 parts: how Wong became a political activist, the letters he wrote while he was a political prisoner and a call to action for how we can change democracy.

Prisons often have different rules about which books are allowed in their libraries. One of these is The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, banned in North Carolina prisons and elsewhere because it was “likely to provoke confrontation between racial groups.”[2] The book itself is “a civil-rights lawyer’s disturbing view of why young black men make up the majority of the more than two million people now in America’s prisons.” (Kirkus Review)

All Boys Aren’t Blue: a Memoir-manifesto by George Johnson has been challenged at different schools by being “called  “dirty” and describe what they say is “pornographic” language, inappropriate for minors. They say the books could cause mental health issues for students.”[3] The book, a collection of essays, “centers the experiences, desires, and agency of a queer Black boy navigating his evolving selfhood and the challenges of society’s conditional love for his truthful existence.” (Kirkus Review) Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2022: Banned or challenged book”