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You Should Read This!

5 Books | by Shannon McManus

Books I love so much that I have to share!

Beartown

Beartown

Books

Now an HBO Original Series “You’ll love this engrossing novel.” —People Named a Best Book of the Year by LibraryReads, BookBrowse, and Goodreads From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anxious People, a dazzling and profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.By the lake in Beartown is an old ice rink, and in that ice rink Kevin, Amat, Benji, and the rest of the town’s junior ice hockey team are about to compete in the national semi-finals—and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys. Under that heavy burden, the match becomes the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown. This is a story about a town and a game, but even more about loyalty, commitment, and the responsibilities of friendship; the people we disappoint even though we love them; and the decisions we make every day that come to define us. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

The Color of Water

The Color of Water

Books

From the bestselling author of Deacon King Kong and the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird: The modern classic that spent more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list and that Oprah.com calls one of the best memoirs of a generation.  Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother.The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in "orchestrated chaos" with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. "Mommy," a fiercely protective woman with "dark eyes full of pep and fire," herded her brood to Manhattan's free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother's footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents' loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. "God is the color of water," Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life's blessings and life's values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth's determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.Interspersed throughout his mother's compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

Books

The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas. It is one of the author's most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet. The story takes place in France, Italy and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815–1838. It begins from just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile) and spans through to the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book. An adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy and forgiveness, it focuses on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty. In addition, it is a story that involves romance, loyalty, betrayal and selfishness, shown throughout the story as characters slowly reveal their true inner nature. The book is considered a literary classic today. According to Luc Sante, "The Count of Monte Cristo has become a fixture of Western civilization's literature, as inescapable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, Noah's flood, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood."

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Books

Bronte’s novel about a shy, quiet governess who becomes a tutor in a great house and falls in love with its lonely and mysterious master is one of the great classics of English literature. Unique in its attention to the thoughts and feelings of a female protagonist, Jane Eyre was ahead of its time as a proto-feminist text. When it was published in 1847, however, Bronte was attacked by critics for what they felt was anti-Christian sentiment in her unflinching critique of the oppressions of Victorian society.

Truth Like the Sun

Truth Like the Sun

Books

It is 1962, and the city of Seattle is about to be famous. Roger Morgan, an audacious young promoter, wants to pull off the ultimate coup de théâtre: the World's Fair, rising out of the downtown fog to show the whole nation that the future has arrived. In the run-up to the Fair's grand opening, Roger is everywhere at once - entertaining Elvis Presley and Lyndon Johnson, dipping in and out of secret card games and smooth-talking his way out of awkward financial questions - all under the haze of many a whiskey and the shadow of a looming crisis in Cuba.Roger dazzles everyone he meets, and is still a backstage power forty years later when, at the age of seventy, he makes a surprise bid for mayor. Helen Gulanos, a journalist new in town and keen to make her mark, sees her retrospectives on the 1962 Fair become front-page news as Roger's candidacy ignites the public imagination. She resolves to uncover the real Roger from behind the warm handshakes and glossy receptions - because even Seattle's golden boy must have something to hide.Woven into in this city of dreams is a cat-and-mouse-tale of back-room deals, idealism and pragmatism, the best and worst ambitions, and the aspirations that shape our communities and our lives. Hard-nosed yet profoundly humane, Truth Like the Sun is the most ambitious novel yet from the beloved author of The Highest Tide.

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