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The River Where You Forgot My Name: Giving a Voice to Julia Clark

The River Where You Forgot My Name by Corrie Williamson / Southern Illinois University Press: 80 pages, $15.95

The Only Good Indians: A Must-Read Montana-Based Thriller

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Gallery / Saga Press: 336 pages, $16.99

A Timely Reflection on Transracial Adoption

Bitterroot: A Salish memoir of Transracial Adoption, By Susan Devan Harness, University of Nebraska Press: 360 pages. $21.95

For Fans of Boys in the Boat...

Faster, By Neal Bascomb, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 368 pages. $28.00

In Faster, Neal Bascomb takes on the story of one particular racecar matchup of political consequence: the 1938 Pau Grand Prix, in which a Jewish driver in a French-engineered car owned by an American heiress triumphed over the Germans in their Mercedes. Much as in Boys in the Boat, another story about the entanglement of sports and politics in the lead-up to WWII, Faster reads like a novel. Despite the fact that the outcome is a matter of historical record, I felt compelled to read on well past my bedtime, suspense drawing me forward. 

Louise Penny's Paris: A Perfect Pandemic Escape

All the Devils Are Here. By Louise Penny. Minotaur Books: 448 pages; $28.99.

I came late to Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. Friends had recommended it for years, but I always had something Very Important to read instead. Then the pandemic arrived. While others searched for answers in titles like Spillover and The Decameron, I missed traveling and just wanted escape. So, in April I picked up Still Life, the first Inspector Gamache book, and escaped vicariously to Quebec, a place I have visited in person briefly only once. Louise Penny is a beautiful writer, and the combination of lushly described eastern Canadian countryside and satisfyingly complex mysteries solved in a few dozen chapters perfectly fit my quarantine cravings. Although I haven’t loved every book in the series, Penny’s characters feel like friends now, people I have safely visited when I couldn’t see anyone else.