Newish Releases: 8/14
There There by Tommy Orange
I'm switching things up today and featuring a book I didn't really care for. Just because I didn't like it doesn't mean it isn't a good book; it's just not a good book for me right now. There There is a debut from Tommy Orange. Written in vignettes similar to those in The House on Mango Street, There There follows the lives of several indigenous people as they navigate celebrating their culture, discovering who they are, and assimilating in a country their ancestors inhabited first. As someone who has never had to do that, I can appreciate how difficult it must be. This book isn't a light, happy read. If that's what you're after, There There is not for you. It's violence, drugs, poverty, and all the ugly stuff. It's honest. So, while it may not have been the best book I've read this year, I can see the value in the story and understand why it's getting such attention.
In keeping with the somber theme, Dopesick is my non-fiction pick of the week. I haven't had a chance to read it, but I plan to as soon as the library gets a copy. Dopesick explores the decades long opioid crisis in America and, unlike Hillbilly Elegy, a fantastic book, Dopesick doesn't just focus on the rural Appalachian towns but also takes readers to the rich suburbs to show the reader these drugs do not discriminate. Like I said, I haven't read it, but it sounds like an interesting, if heavy, read.
What's Jimmy Pat Doing?:
What isn't he doing, really? For the third time this year, he has new releases in both fiction and non-fiction and he's still blowing people's minds with The President is Missing. He's basically killing it. And slowing crushing the souls of booksellers everywhere as they, once again, shift the entire store to accommodate him.
Pick of the Week:
This entire post is a downer. So, my pick of the week is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Spoiler alert: she isn't. But, no worries, she will be. I love this book. It's a wonderful balance of funny and sad. Eleanor is accidentally hilarious; she's also heartbreaking. When we meet her, she is a thirty-year-old office worker with no friends, no social life, a rigid routine that includes a lot of vodka, and a strange relationship with her mother. Then, she meets Raymond. She doesn't mean to meet Raymond, it just happens. Slowly, and not without a fight, Eleanor accepts his friendship, comes to terms with her past, and begins moving forward.