Usually, I head right for the fiction sections but this time around, a display of non-fiction caught my eye(mainly due to a couple of the books on the table being ones I've recently read) as soon as I returned my latest loans. The theme was biography and The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell rang out loud and clear to me as a must-have.
W. Kamau Bell was the host of the sadly short lived Totally Biased late night talk show on F/X and these days, doing a series for CNN called United Shades of America as well as the podcast Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor Of All Time Period. The book is a combo package of autobiography and essays, chronicling his life and times along with looks at the impact of childhood superheroes, game changing movies like Creed and dealing with daily racism.
Bell doesn't shy away from his own faults, detailing his development of social consciousness and merging it with his comedic voice and making amends for his mistakes, both public and private. The writing is filled with his particular brand of emotionally engaging and savvy humor that never allows the reader to not take his important points seriously.
As a fan of his work, this book is a wonderful insight into his talent and mindset, making me wish that he had another late night show on right now as we could certainly use his keen eye for observation on the current events/pop culture scene:
I did head over to the fiction shelves,of course, and couldn't resist grabbing a copy of Fredrik Backman's new novel Beartown. The title small town doesn't have much going for it, other than the local hockey team that is on the verge of being in the championship game.
A good portion of that successful surge is due to Peter, their general manager who was recruited to return to his home town after his stint as a NHL player. However, when his star player Kevin is arrested due to an assault on his own daughter Maya, Peter has some hard choices to make as well as most of the town over which is more important, sports or justice?
Backman's prior books do have a blend of whimsy and darkness,so this story certainly sounds like one of his. Yet, this one may be more of a deep dive than A Man Called Ove or My Grandmother Says To Tell You That She's Sorry,judging on subjects at hand. One thing's for sure, it will be well worth finding out.
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin was originally published in 2010 and showcases a pair of storm-crossed potential lovers; Ben, a talented surgeon and Ashley, a writer heading to her own wedding.
When the two of them agree to share a charted flight in order to get home sooner, they never expected to spend more than a few hours together.
Yet, when their plane crashes and strands them in the snowy Utah mountains, Ben and Ashley have no choice but to stick together to survive, particularly as Ashley is too injured to find her own way back to civilization. During their travels, more than one threat looms ahead but there is one danger that they can't escape,love.
This does sound a little soap-operaish but it may be some good escapist fun here and hopefully the film adaptation stays true to the source material in the romance department(don't Pelican Brief us on this one,Hollywood!):
A more recent release that landed in my mail box is the upcoming debut novel by Cara Delevingne(last seen as the Enchantress in Suicide Squad) that she co-wrote with Rowan Coleman and goes by the name Mirror,Mirror.
The title refers to the band that misfit high school friends Red,Leo,Naomi and Rose belong, where they share a love of music and sad home lives. The foursome feel stronger together but that all changes when Naomi suddenly vanishes and is then found later in a comatose state.
The remaining three have to play detective to find out if what happened to Naomi was intentional or not and if so, who did it? And is that person out to get the rest of them? Kind sounds like Pretty Little Liars meets Josie and the Pussycats in Riverdale but hey, why not? This might very well be the kind of book that may not be on the Top 40 yet has a good beat that you can dance to:
My fall reading plate is full and then some,folks, but the search for a good read is a never-ending one. No matter how many books you have on hand, you always want to find that special story that makes the whole world go away and mundane tasks like answering the phone truly nonessential.
Such a quest can not be denied,although you might have to delay it for basic life reasons as stuff like phone messages do tend to pile up there: