All book blurbs are from Goodreads.
This month I only ordered one book from Book of the Month.
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood (2017). Don’t be freaked out by the title! It’s totally not what you think. This is a memoir in which the author chronicles life with her married priest father. “Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met—a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates ‘like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972.’ His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church’s country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents’ rectory, their two worlds collide.”
In My Home There Is No More Sorrow: Ten Days in Rwanda by Rick Bass (2012). This one I got cheap as part of a website’s spring cleaning sale. I admit I was drawn to it because I sponsor a child in Rwanda through Compassion International. Reviews are quite mixed; we’ll see how it turns out. “Rick Bass traveled to Rwanda, roaming from the bustle of Kigali to the breathtaking volcanic preserves of the last few mountain gorillas. Now he offers an extraordinary portrait of what can be found in that country today—heartbreaking evidence of the genocide that occurred there a generation ago, dazzling natural beauty, and young people who have emerged from tragedy with a blazingly optimistic spirit and a profound artistic voice.”
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009). I read My Own Country several years ago and couldn’t put it down, so I’m looking forward to this work. “Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America. When the past catches up to him — nearly destroying him — Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.”
The Plantagenets by Dan Jones (2012). I saw this one mentioned by a fellow blogger. I’m actually a direct descendant of the Plantagenet line, so I got this book to learn more about my ancestors. “The Plantagenets transports readers to the era of chivalry and the Crusades, the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. The first Plantagenet king inherited a broken, bloodsoaked realm from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that would stretch at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. His descendants and their fiery queens, including Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart, Edward II, and King John, shaped England into the country we recognize today and gave it many of the laws, contracts, and bodies of governance—like Parliament and the Magna Carta—that would shape our own nation.”
The Wars of the Roses by Dan Jones (2014). This is basically the sequel of the previous novel. “The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, celebrated historian Dan Jones describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors.”
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (2016). I’ve been wanting to get this one for months but wanted to wait for the paperback version to be released on May 2nd. “Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America; from the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day.”
Still Waiting by Ann Swindell (2017). Huh, I didn’t know this book was a brand new release until just now! This one I got on a whim (or did I…? I think God plopped this one into my Amazon cart when I wasn’t looking.) “Most of us don’t willingly choose to wait. We pick the shortest lines at the grocery store and avoid construction routes whenever possible. These are relatively short holdups, but they point to the deeper truth of what we try to evade on the larger scale of our lives: the anguish and heartache we experience during extended times of waiting when something we have hoped for gets delayed. Because waiting is painful and hard, too often we try to rush through it, seeking to jump ahead to the hoped-for resolution, opportunity, or healing. It’s easy to overlook that waiting is an inevitable part of our walk with God.”
Only seven books this month! Probably because I’ve been caught up all month reading The Plantagenets, which has remarkably minuscule font for a 500+ page book and itty bitty margins, so it takes me literally an hour to read 25 pages. I love the book, but have determined my royal ancestors were officially nuts. In David’s words, “Well, at least now we know where you get it from.” Touché.