The Great (Reading) Escape

Last week, while eating that vicious, calculating, world renowned tooth-cracker called overcooked bowtie pasta (oh yes!) I broke the cap off one of my front teeth. Or so I thought.

My dentist was out of town (of course she was) and her entire office was closed (of course it was) because they had not had a vacation since the beginning of the pandemic, so they shuffled me over to their sister office (is that like a sister wife?) for the repair. Which would be quick (hahaha) and minor (bwahahahaha).

Three hours, a pulled tooth, the drilling in of an implant, the attaching of a fragile temporary front tooth, a bazillion trillion dollars, three prescriptions, and a whole lotta nitrous (which was not nearly enough drugs!!!) later, here’s what I read and am reading to relax. Highly recommend ALL of the following:

If you think you don’t want to read a story about foster care, you are mistaken. Sarah writes beautifully and poetically about what it feels like to enter the foster care system by choice, as foster parents who intend to adopt. One of the best memoirs I’ve read this year.

My dear friend Damhnait (which I pronounce “Downith” with her approval) has written such a joyful adventure — yes, with its serious moments, too — set in 1985 about a young teacher who leaves the big city for a teeny, teeny, tiny fishing village in Newfoundland. I loved this book in both hard copy AND as an audiobook for the sounds of the local dialect.

And here’s another dear friend, Suzy Vitello, with the story of what happens to a family with “issues” after a major earthquake in the pacific northwest. Nobody does sharp insight into characters and their motivations, and in crisp, gorgeous prose like Suzy. I loved every beautifully flawed person in this story, and as I live in a family where me and my adult siblings can go years without speaking, I nodded a lot in the reading. You’ll love this one.

It’s an understatement to say Ouita Michel is one of the prides of Kentucky. Big heart, big smile, incredible chef, compassionate business woman, and great sharer of family recipes so accessible I can make them! I could not wait to read Ouita’s memoir/cookbook, but it was so worth the wait.

I heard Morgan on a podcast talking about her book and ordered it immediately. Such sharp, personal observations about ancestry, race, heritage, family, etc. A great young writer. Morgan’s work made me question many of my long-held notions, and I thank her for that.