Reporter Rebecca Mariscal

‘The Deep’ by Rivers Solomon

This book is based off the song “The Deep” by Clipping, the rap group including Daveed Diggs of "Hamilton" fame. The book, and the song, tell the story of mermaid-like creatures who descended from African women thrown from slave ships.

They have short memories, necessary for any chance at an idyllic life after traumatic beginnings. Each generation has a designated historian, the only one who remembers their history, or much of anything at all.

The main character, Yetu, bears the weight of all these memories, and she struggles under it. She flees from them to the surface, where she tries to discover who she is on her own.

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This is an intriguing, imaginative story that takes on the lasting impacts and intergenerational trauma of slavery in our world in a fantastical setting. The underwater world is beautifully described, through sensations rather than visuals. It is a novel story that still has feelings of familiarity.

Reporter Rachel Fergus

‘Till We Have Faces’ by C.S. Lewis

“Till We Have Faces” is the final novel written by .C.S. Lewis. It is a retelling of the story of Cupid and Psyche written from the perspective of Orual, Psyche’s older sister.

In the myth, Psyche’s jealous older sisters (In Lewis’s retelling there is only one sister) convince Psyche to look upon Cupid’s face while he slept, which he had forbidden.

“Till We Have Faces” looks at the repercussions of this action on the sisters. Lewis’s narrative is slowly unwoven to reveal both amazing world building and the complicated relationship that Orual has with friends and advisers, Psyche, the gods and with herself. While most of the book is Orual’s written complaint against the gods, the final portion of the novel reveals the mercies that Orual has unknowingly received.

Reporter Steve Gardiner

'A Time for Mercy' by John Grisham

In a time when police reform is in the daily news, Grisham’s latest (2020) and 35th novel brings back Jake Brigance, the protagonist from Grisham’s first novel (1989), “A Time to Kill.”

Brigance is pulled into a case he does not want to take involving a sheriff’s deputy who came home drunk and beat his girlfriend while her two children were upstairs. The 16-year-old son, Drew, came downstairs, thought his mother was dead, grabbed the deputy’s gun and killed him. In the small town of Clanton, word quickly spreads about the killing and Brigance defending the boy.

What follows is an interesting collection of views about our laws, our law enforcement and our courts. With tension in the community, struggles in Drew’s family, and drama in the jury room, Grisham keeps the story moving right to the end.

News Director Anne Jacobson

'Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War and the Fight for Western Civilization' by Joe Scarborough

When I read a book -- whether it's for escape, entertainment or edification -- I typically find something in the pages that speaks to me in the current moment. The best "reads" are like talking with good friends: The conversations -- even when you're covering familiar ground -- enrich life, provide insight, and challenge perceptions. Perhaps this is why I enjoy rereading books, some of them again and again.

"Saving Freedom" came out as our nation's talk of "saving democracy" grew. My silent conversation with this 2020 HarperCollins publication seems like a deep discussion with an acquaintance, packed with facts and suppositions that you might bring to a dinner table with friends, but only after careful thought. You want more details.

The book opens in 1947. Great Britain is drained, America seems distracted, and Stalin's Russia is stalking Greece, Turkey and beyond. Author Joe Scarborough makes clear that the world as we know it almost didn't materialize.

Harry Truman -- that strange little myopic man from Missouri -- is untested, but with future Secretary of State Dean Acheson's help, he forges a bold international policy with political antagonists including Arthur Vandenburg and "Mr. Republican" Robert Taft. The Truman Doctrine is born.

I doubt that I will read "Saving Freedom" again, but I leave behind dots, question marks, arrows, exclamation marks and the occasional word in the margins so I might revisit passages. And I will. These notations will serve as reference points ... and perhaps be part of the silent conversation the next person has in reading this copy of the book.