What We’re Reading, February 2021

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February 19, 2021

Photo by Thought Catalog

With only a slight easing of the current restrictions and our Netflix options dwindling, we have been changing into our PJs just a bit earlier and enjoying some downtime reading. Short stories, autobiographies, nonfiction revelatory and inspirational books as well as fictional accounts of harrowing journeys…here’s what our team is reading this month.

Lot: Stories.

by Bryan Washington

A collection of raw short stories on race, immigration, sexuality, and class, set in a working-class neighborhood in Houston. Every story feels like a little punch. I am loving the strong characters throughout the collection and how dialogues are cut back.
 

Get your copy here.

Valentina’s pick

A Promised Land

by Barack Obama

Obama writes like he speaks: in rich, expressive language that makes this doorstop of a book immensely readable, even when he’s detailing political machinations that would be tedious in other hands. This deeply personal account will resonate with anyone interested in the thoughts of a President who pursued power not for power’s sake, but for what good he might achieve with it. A stark contrast for what was to follow…

Get your copy here.

Matt’s Pick

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

by Katherine May

We often think of winter as a season to retreat–to hide away until spring. But May proves there is profound power in the cold; that winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible. She reminds us that there is grace in letting go, stepping back and giving yourself time to repair in the dark. 

Get your copy here.

Tanya’s Pick

American Dirt

by Jeanine Cummins

American author Jeanine Cummings tells the fictional story of a Mexican mother and son’s journey to the border after a cartel murders the rest of their family. The novel has been critiqued for cultural and experiential appropriation, placing it within the ongoing debate in the literary world of who can tell what stories (look into the #ownvoices movement if you are interested in knowing more).  However, beyond the debate (which is interesting in itself), American Dirt is a fast-paced and highly enjoyable read. I found it hard to put down and would definitely recommend it as a work of literary fiction.

Get your copy here.

Clara’s Pick

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

by Mark Sullivan

Like many true stories, its a raw, gripping and challenging read about a young Italian man’s heroic involvement in the lesser-publicised accounts of World War 2 in Italy. An inspiring story and a gripping account of courage, romance and espionage but does not shy away from recounting the harsh realities of war.

Get your copy here.

Nix’s pick

Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas . . .

Get your copy here.

Vernon’s pick

The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

by Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry’s poetry is like a companion. It whispers eternal truths into rote, every day living, calling back to simplicity, wonder, and nature. I’ve found it even more poignant in the dark months of this winter. This collection includes several of my favorites: Manifesto: a Mad Farmer Liberation Front; The Peace of Wild Things; The Sycamore; and Song in a Year of Catastrophe.

Get your copy here.

Sarah’s pick

Note: Some of these links are affiliates, which means that if you make a purchase, a small percentage comes to support the activities of The Lausanne Guide.

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