By: Rianna Turner
This week has been one of the rainiest the Coastal Bend has seen this summer. The dreary days and lack of sun can be nice if you’re trying to avoid the perils of sun sickness, but unfortunately, the dense humidity and slick roads can make outdoor activities and travel unenjoyable. Curling up with a good book can be the perfect activity on a day when you’re confined to your home, and these new titles have some quality that will pair with the weather perfectly.
They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us – Hanif Abdurraqib
Now, I may be making a biased suggestion — it is a rainy day and this is, in fact, the book I am reading. However, this collection of essays on music, pop culture, race, and most of all, experience, is perfect for an overcast day such as this. The breezes and rain on the windows might transport you to the Midwest, where Abdurraqib grew up and began to listen to the world around him. That’s really what the book is about: listening to your people, your culture, and the music that carries those sounds to your ears.
Two Dollar Radio
The Terrible – Yrsa Daley-Ward
Yrsa Daley-Ward is well-known for being an Instapoet. If her name seems familiar, it’s possible you’ve seen her name tagged in a post, under a group of words that might have left you frozen. The Terrible captures Ward’s essence outside of poetry; this is her memoir, and it is sure to require the attention and captivation only allowed by reading on rainy days.
Penguin Random House
An American Marriage – Tayari Jones
This novel details the plight of a pair of newlyweds, Roy and Celestial, as they face circumstances neither of them could have imagined. Soon after they marry, Roy is wrongly convicted of a crime, and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Their marriage is tested, torn, and wrought, and this love story finds its way into the hearts of the characters who have been treated the same way.
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Still Lives – Maria Hummell
The protagonist of Still Lives, Kim Lord, is an artist and prominent voice in the feminist community. Before her exhibit that focuses on violence against women is unveiled, she disappears. Getting to the bottom of the mystery is an unlikely figure, museum editor Maggie Richter, who uses the skills she learned from a failed journalism career in an attempt to excise herself and her acquaintances from blame. This book has been described as avant-garde and new-age noir, a perfect mystery to devour all of in one day, from the confines of a blanket.
The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster – Sarah Krasnostein
There are often times when I realize a job has to exist, although I’d never considered it before. I had that realization when learning about “The Trauma Cleaner” — a book about Sandra Pankhurst, a woman who specializes in cleaning up after homicides, suicides, fires, floods, hoarders, addicts, life, and death. Sandra recounts her own trauma while tidying away the trauma of others, and is described as “the extraordinary true story of an extraordinary person dedicated to making order out of chaos with compassion.” The book has just enough gore to still be a viable rainy day read, while carrying the potential to lift you out of a dreary day funk.
St. Martin’s Press
Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang – Lamont “U-God” Hawkins
This memoir found its place onto just about every “Best Reads” list of the year thus far. Great for music lovers and readers alike, this is the story of Lamont “U-God” Hawkins and his ascent into the Wu-Tang Clan. This quote from Hawkins gives a gist of what the memoir covers: “It’s time to write down not only my legacy, but the story of nine dirt-bomb street thugs who took our everyday life — scrappin’ and hustlin’ and tryin’ to survive in the urban jungle of New York City — and turned that into something bigger than we could possibly imagine, something that took us out of the projects for good, which was the only thing we all wanted in the first place.”