By Washington Post book critic Ron Charles
The year is off to a terrific start for book lovers. Here are a few titles you might enjoy reading next.
When the COVID pandemic sent the world into lockdown, Peggy Orenstein was already mourning the loss of her mother, and she desperately needed some relief from anxiety and grief. She found it by making a sweater from scratch.
Now she describes that journey in a memoir that’s equally hilarious and moving, called “Unraveling: What I Learned About Life While Shearing Sheep, Dyeing Wool, and Making the World’s Ugliest Sweater” (HarperCollins).
It’s a yarn you’ll love, whether you care anything about sheep, or knitting.
READ AN EXCERPT: “Unraveling” by Peggy Orenstein
“Unraveling: What I Learned About Life While Shearing Sheep, Dyeing Wool, and Making the World’s Ugliest Sweater” by Peggy Orenstein (HarperCollins), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound
At the start of Aleksandar Hemon’s new novel, “The World and All That It Holds” (MCD), a young apothecary in Sarajevo witnesses the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which sparks World War I.
Over the following years, he’s drafted into the military, falls in love with a fellow soldier, and finds himself driven from one calamity after another across Europe and Asia.
This is a captivating novel about the tragedy of war, the salvation of storytelling, and the resilience of true love.
READ AN EXCERPT: “The World and All That It Holds” by Aleksandar Hemon
“The World and All That It Holds” by Aleksandar Hemon (MCD), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound
In 2012 when Jeremy Lin pulled the New York Knicks out of a slump to win seven games in a row, the Taiwanese American player became an international sensation – and the subject of some disturbing racist taunts.
Now, Matthew Salesses has written an insightful novel inspired by Lin’s experience.
“The Sense of Wonder” (Little, Brown) jumps between tragedy and comedy, between pop culture and anti-Asian prejudice, and in the process creates its own remarkable winning streak.
READ AN EXCERPT: “The Sense of Wonder” by Matthew Salesses
“The Sense of Wonder” by Matthew Salesses (Little, Brown), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound
Since publishing “The Satanic Verses” more than three decades ago, Salman Rushdie has been living under a death threat imposed by the late Ayatollah Khomeini.
Last summer at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, a man stabbed Rushdie 10 times. Fortunately, the novelist survived – and he will not be silenced.
This month Rushdie is publishing “Victory City” (Random House). It’s a grand historical fantasy about a poet who grows a vast empire from a bag of seeds.
This is the latest masterpiece from a writer who’s spent the last 50 years spinning tales that have breathed magic into history.
READ AN EXCERPT: “Victory City: A Novel” by Salman Rushdie
“Victory City” by Salman Rushdie (Random House), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound
From 2002: Salman Rushdie on life after fatwa (“Sunday Morning”)
For these and other suggestions, contact your librarian or local bookseller.
That’s it for the Book Report. I’m Ron Charles. Until next time, read on!
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For more reading recommendations, check out these previous Book Report features from Ron Charles:
Produced by Robin Sanders and Roman Feeser.