Reporter Rebecca Mariscal
‘Northanger Abbey’ by Jane Austen
We kicked off our Rivertown Reads book club this month with “Emma,” which led me into a Jane Austen marathon reread. ‘Northanger Abbey’ is her gothic parody, and extremely underrated. It follows the young Miss Catherine Morland as she adventures out of her small village and into the world, first in Bath and then to her love interest’s home, the titular Northanger Abbey. There she finds a family plot that seems to rival those of her beloved gothic novels.
The book is full of the wit and tongue-in-cheek writing that Austen is known for. It’s a comfort in times like these to curl up with a classic that is guaranteed to have a happy ending.
Reporter Rachel Fergus
‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker
Vampire and monster stories aren’t really my thing. But, I am currently working toward a master’s degree in literature and ‘Dracula’ is on the syllabus.
The plot isn’t bad and there are some legitimately hair-raising moments, even for 21st century readers who have been bombarded by spin-offs of this classic book.
At first I was flabbergasted by the way that women are spoken of throughout the novel but as I have continued to read and look at a few pieces of criticism, I can see how people are able to argue that the novel should be considered a feminist text. I’ll see how I feel about the book when I am finished reading.
Multimedia editor Michael Brun
‘Fulgrim’ by Graham McNeill
This is the fifth book in Black Library’s long-running Horus Heresy series. Equal parts Dune and Game of Thrones, the series is a galaxy-spanning epic that blends elements of science fiction and fantasy. It’s a tale of larger-than-life heroes tragically succumbing to their base instincts. Never subtle, but wholly entertaining.
Reporter Hannah Black
‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite
This is a book one could, and certainly may want to, read in an afternoon. It begins with older sister Korede helping clean up after younger sister Ayoola’s third boyfriend winds up dead. This isn’t your typical true crime fiction novel, however. ‘My Sister’ satirizes patriarchal Nigerian society and explores what one can get away with in a power structure where a woman’s physical beauty is valued over most other traits and can obscure a person’s more sinister characteristics. It’s also an exploration of sibling loyalty in the most extreme circumstances.
News director Anne Jacobson
‘The Sheen on the Silk’ by Anne Perry
I usually have an upstairs book and a downstairs book going. I would never want to read “Dracula” in any form before going to bed, for instance, I’d never sleep.
This week my upstairs book weaves 13th century church politics -- Constantinople, Rome, emperors, kings and pope-makers -- into a hist-myst whodunit. Did you know that the year 1276 had five popes?
Reporter Steve Gardiner
‘Billionaire Wilderness’ by Justin Farrell
Yale professor Justin Farrell spent five years studying the ultra-wealthy in Teton County, Wyoming, the richest county in the United States and the community where wealth income inequality is the worst in the nation. He points out that the middle class in Jackson Hole are the lawyers and doctors. Farrell spent hundreds of hours interviewing the wealthy about buying up the pristine landscape, dressing down to look like locals, and the guilt and social anxiety they feel about hiring mostly Mexican immigrants to provide the services they need to maintain their luxury homes. He also interviews the poor workers who live crammed in small trailers or basement rooms in order to provide those services. It is a well-researched, inside look at the world of extreme wealth.