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Outlawed by Anna North

The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Cowboys in a revisionist female-centric Western.

The setting and storyline are both familiar and deliciously divergent, as a midwife’s daughter in a transformed 19th century America is forced to flee her community for reproductive transgressions and joins a band of female and nonbinary outlaws.

While my experience of reading generally doesn’t include imagining a screen treatment, I couldn’t help but think of this as a film, with Tilda Swinton as the gang leader, and protagonist Ada’s part the hottest casting call of the year. The most fun I’ve had reading a Western since Tom Spanbauer’s Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon, back in the early 90s.

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr5915717

Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

The only fault with this brilliant collection of master essayist Didion is its brevity.

As I read, I kept hoping in vain that some sort of literary alchemy would add chapters before it would end. Such is the magic of the keen lens with which she looks at the world, combined with her unparalleled clarity of telling what she sees. These uncollected pieces include essays on Martha Stewart, Gamblers’ Anonymous, Robert Mapplethorpe and a visit to San Simeon.

It’s rare to find an essayist’s work that stands up after four decades, especially short works of journalism. Didion’s towers.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover 9780593318485

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