It's been a while since I've done a reading round-up, so here's a quick rundown of the books I've read this summer:
- The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull
- I learned about Cadwell Turnbull from a story of his on the Levar Burton Reads podcast. The Lesson is a phenomenal novel. Like N.K. Jemisen's Broken Earth, it uses science fiction to explore colonialism and oppression, and, also like those novels, it provides a narrative that does justice to those ideas and also works as an immersive story. Expect big things from Cadwell Turnbull in the future.
- Radio Dark by Shane Hinton
- I'm a pretty slow reader, so it's rare that I knock out a novel, even a shorter one like this, in one sitting, but I read it all in one afternoon. The story involves a mysterious pandemic that leaves people catatonic, so it was pretty prescient.
- Songbirds and Stray Dogs by Meagan Lucas
- Meagan Lucas is a great writer and an all-around good literary citizen, so I'd been meaning to read this one for a while. It's a phenomenal debut featuring one of most memorable female protagonists in Southern lit.
- The Gimmick by Vern Smith
- This is a collection of oddball crime fiction and urban grit centered around the titular novella. It's a good one.
- The Great Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Conan Arthur Doyle
- I've been a fan of Sherlock Holmes in various TV and movie incarnations, but I don't think I've read any of the original source material except for maybe The Hound of The Baskervilles, which I'm pretty sure I read decades ago but don't remember very well. The stiffness of Watson's second-hand narratives and the cultural baggage of the late Victorian era are sometimes overbearing. But overall these stories are entertaining and engaging, and it's easy to see why Holmes is arguably the most well-known character in British lit.
- Sway by Sheldon Lee Compton
- This collection from my Cowboy Jamboree stablemate finds his writing moving in a more toward magical realism direction while staying rooted in signature Appalachian grit. He's a writer's writer, and this collection is a perfect example why.
- I'll Still Be Here Long After You're Gone by Daren Dean
- Another collection from a CJ stablemate. Dean carries on Larry Brown's legacy with these tales of the down-and-out.