What We’re Reading: June 2012

On the first Friday of each month, we share what we’re reading, which may include everything from magazines and blogs to novels and books for work or pleasure.

Earlier this year I read Silver Sparrow, the most recent novel by Tayari Jones, and I utterly adored it. I’m still recommending it to people. I’ve been eager to read her two earlier novels, and I just started her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, which is about the Atlanta child murders of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Like Tayari, I grew up in Atlanta and have long been fascinated by these murders. Tayari, who is ten years older than I am, was a child herself at the time of these murders, so I’m particularly enjoying her perspective on these tragic events. — Carrie

This month, I was swept away by an amazing fantasy novel: The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day One by Patrick Rothfuss. The world Rothfuss creates is rich in detail and wonder, and the characters seem to leap off the page. The Name of the Wind is the story of Kvothe, known in the world of Four Corners by names such as the Bloodless, the Arcane, and Kingkiller. His story is that of a man turned legend, the truth inside the myth. It is an engaging and suspenseful story, one that grabs you from the very first and keeps you breathless until the end.  Truly, this is fantasy writing at its finest. The follow up novel, A Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day Two, is equally engaging and finely written, a brilliant follow-up to a truly incredible first novel. — Heather

I’m reading Elisabeth Badinter’s controversial polemic, The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women. Badinter, a celebrated French feminist, makes a case against “natural” or attachment parenting (e.g. breast-feeding, constant skin-to-skin contact, co-sleeping, and cloth diapers), arguing that these all-consuming activities limit women’s professional mobility, independence, and personal fulfillment. Though I have little interest in reading this year’s popular mothering books, such as Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Bringing Up Bebe, I was drawn to Badinter’s book for its use of historical and anthropological perspectives. I don’t even have children, but I feel less shameful and guilty for having read it. — Amy

I’ve been mostly reading shorter pieces lately.  Some recent favorites include a great article on women’s health from the Dissent website and the latest issue of Doris, a zine I’ve been reading for years.  I read a few thought-provoking posts on the blog Working Class Perspectives, which is run by the Center for Working Class Studies at Youngstown State University in Ohio.  And I’ve also been enjoying articles from Religion and Politics, which is an online news journal “dedicated to the two topics thought unfit for polite company.”  — Sarah

I’m a third of the way through Jane Eyre. What is going to happen between Jane and Mr. Rochester? Their banter is quite something. Since I bought my Kindle a year ago, I’ve been reading more books that are in the public domain. I guess the allure of a free book is irresistible even to those who spend most of their day in a library! — Emily

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