I'm moving this post here because I want to not because Paquito said to.
I've been reading (listening to audiobooks) my ass off in quarantine. Mostly pulpy stuff or horror because that's what my brain can handle.
Here's my list:
-Great Economic Thinkers: Karl Marx: Das Capital - the only audio version my library offered and it was a shitty abridged and annotated version that did give some decent historical context but was very dismissive of text without giving real counter arguments.
-Under the Banner of Heaven, John Krakauer - A great way to gain perspective on the rise of Mormonism and the attitudes of manifest destiny in the American West. Also a horrific true crime story
-Zero K, Don DeLillo - A haunting piece of science fiction literature about fathers, sons, legacy, and destiny
-Those Across the River, Christopher Buehlman - A page turner with a great sense of place that falls flat once it reveals its central horror. It also thinks it has a lot more to say about race and racism than it actually does
-The Changeling, Victor LaValle - I loved this book and it sent me on a huge LaValle kick. It's a messy and creepy modern fairytale about parenthood, mental illness, race, and otherness. It had some pacing issues and a couple groan inducing reveals but it all worked for me.
-The Devil in Silver, Victor LaValle - My least favorite LaValle novel. A more ham-fisted story than the rest but I appreciated the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest influence and ultimately, I loved the protagonist. In spite of the sloppiness, the story did serve his character well.
-The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle - An incredible Lovecraftian cosmic horror novella that succeeds in its attempt to address the racism of its inspiration but also stand on its own as a work of American literature. If you're even slightly into cosmic horror, read this now.
-Big Machine, Victor LaValle - This book felt like an amalgam of all the previous LaValle novels in the best way. The protagonist is one of the best characters I've read and the book does an entertaining and often hilarious job of blending magical realism and horror with some lofty themes.
-A People's Future of the United States, Various Authors curated by Victor LaValle - Didn't finish this one. It's a collection of speculative short stories (of varying quality), by a diverse set of authors, that largely deal with post-collapse America. Not the right mood for the current moment.
-The Familiar Dark, Amy Engel - A DARK mystery novel set in rural, meth ridden Missouri. I love when an author gets small town America right and Engel nails it. The central mystery is so heartbreaking that it almost lessens the impact of everything that happens later but it's extremely well crafted and earns everything it reveals.
-The Roanoke Girls, Amy Engel - I'm going to be haunted by this one for a long time. It's another dark (even darker than the previous) mystery where the main character is both detective and victim. This one takes place in rural Kansas and again, hits the nail on the head. It captures the oppressive dread of a small town summer in a way that I've never experienced in fiction. It's about family dysfunction and sexual abuse, so be warned. But it has a great sprawling, creepy, house as it's centerpiece, which is fun.
Not sure what I'm going to read next, I started Libra, another DeLillo novel but I'm not sure that audio is the best format for this one.
Oh, I've also been reading The Chronicles of Narnia to my boys (in the published order). I loved them when I was a kid and I love them now, although I haven't gotten to the really racist bits. Also, my kids barely know who Jesus is, so a lot of the deeper meaning is lost in them.