Must reads and others
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
I resisted this book because the story sounded weird and exhausting, but thanks to promotion by respected reader friends, I started it. It is now on my list of best reads EVER!
I strongly urge you to read, not listen to, this gorgeous and hopeful epic. A story that covers thousands of years from the seige of Constantinople, to current day terrorism, to an interstellar spaceship, but comes together in a marvelous, wondrous ending.
All That She Carried by Tiya Miles
This is non-fiction that works well as an Audible or for reading. The author was inspired by the discovery of an embroidered cloth sack that an enslaved woman had prepared for her daughter who was sold away. It is an unflinching, well-resourced documentation of the lives of enslaved people and the culture that sustained and tolerated it. Miles is a Cincinnati native, now a Professor of History at Harvard.
Sea State by Tabitha Lasley
A worthy read exposing the off shore industry workplace as a macho, misogynistic, depressing, and dangerous industry. There are hints of how deregulation has lead to untrained workers in highly precarious roles, but most of the book revolves around the author's poor choice of lovers ( married man with kids and a ruthless wife). Her constant drinking, drugs, and bickering, distracted from the truly interesting depictions of the regular workers who labor on the rigs. Still a good read.
New York, My Village by Uwem Akpan
A Nigerian editor wins a Fellowship to work at an esteemed New York publishing house.
From a "sublet", to bedbugs, to street food, and a neighborhood Starbucks that becomes his safe place, Ekong's travails in NYC are alternately funny, humiliating, shameful, and incredible
( a Catholic priest openly banning a Black family from his church???)
The author needs more editing as he sometimes gets tangled up in his own syntax, but if you are willing to get outside your regular reading box, this can be a rewarding book.