Anything Is Possible is the story of Lucy Barton, continued from Strout’s prior book My Name Is Lucy Barton, but this time it is told in short vignettes, Olive Kitteridge style. Some of her observations just slay me, and the side characters that appear are so real that you will be sucked into Lucy’s hometown immediately. This is Elizabeth Strout at her best, and nobody does it better! Olive Kitteridge and Lucy Barton fans will love this book.
"Beloved, racism and bigotry are ugly, uncomfortable issues to grapple with." Tears We Cannot Stop is a heartbreaking, deeply personal and very current look at what it means to grow up black in America. Mr. Dyson writes about racism, white privilege, the mistrust of the police by the black community as well as black-on-black violence, the hypocrisy of "light privilege" in the black community, and other moral failings. There is a lot to grapple with here. This is undoubtedly the most honest book on race in America you are likely to read, and if everyone can read it with blinders off, they may learn and understand much.
My favorite book of the summer has been Ben Winter’s Underground Airlines. This imaginative thriller is set in present day America, the history of which is very much the same except Lincoln was assassinated before he could become President and the Civil War never happened. As a result the country is still a union but very much divided because slavery exists in four Southern states, the “Hard Four.” Modern day slave labor is here making cheap exports and the abolitionists have their work cut out for them with 3 million of it’s citizens legally enslaved or “bound persons.” If the premise doesn’t sell this book the story will. You won’t be able to figure out all the twists and turns or put it down until the very end.