A brutally honest list of books I’m currently reading — or, haven’t finished yet part three

Grace Schutte

More stories from Grace Schutte

May 10, 2023

What started out as a random book thrift in Vancouver, Canada turned into one of my favorite reads of the year.

People, it is embarrassing that the series continues into its third installment, but here we are, yet again, for the finale (I hope) of books I’m currently reading — or haven’t finished yet. 

Despite waning on for far too long, this installment is notable in another way, that being the timeline. We have officially hit the one-year mark. The next four books, sigh, haven’t been cracked open in over a year. 

Love” by Roddy Doyle 

I couldn’t tell you what this book is about. Well, I could — and I will — but it will require me to read the back of the book, which would mean I’ve spent more time ogling the outside rather than the content found within. 

“Love” is one of those books that has a stunning cover, it’s a front-facing beauty. I’d been shelving at Barnes & Noble in the fiction section (remember back when I used to work there?), when I locked non-proverbial eyes with it. 

It’s a simple cover, really — a deep green background with a sole pint of what I assume to be Guinness standing center stage, all foamy and stout, with the title of the book etched in gold font on the glass. It was a classic don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover moment when I read the back: 

“As (Joe and Davy) try to reconcile their versions of the past over the course of one night, ‘Love’ offers a delightfully comic yet moving portrait of the many forms love can take throughout our lives.” 

This was not what I expected in the least: two old Irish gents grabbing beers and catching up. But how wholesome, I’m not complaining. 

The few pages I read during my lunch break give me the impression this is a quick read, full of witty, back-and-forth dialogue and many time jumps. It deserves better. 

Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo

This one hurts. This one has been a pain in my neck as I’ve dodged and evaded spoilers around each and every corner. 

Do you realize how difficult it was to live through the “Shadow and Bone” Netflix release and all the subsequent TikToks surrounding the Grishaverse? Do you? 

I was doing a great job, too, until a few months ago, when I was spoiled not by the algorithm or my eyes unwittingly scanning the last page. No. I was betrayed by one of my own. And that is a different kind of pain. It lingers. Like a phantom limb. How it aches, even now. 

Last I checked, Nina was dying; Matthias was still being a meathead; Inej had been stabbed and was falling to her death over the course of three chapters; Kaz was sulking; and Jesper and Wylan were being cutie patooties in not-yet-openly-declared love. In other words, the usual. 

I imagine the last 200 pages will be much the same. Should I ever read them. 

They Both Die At the End” by Adam Silvera

Speaking of aching. 

Whatever bookmark I was using at the time is long gone, and I have no idea how far I got in this one. All I know is that I love Adam Silvera’s writing style, and the concept of this piece is breathtaking. 

Maybe my not finishing the book is a form of self-preservation, or maybe even self-care? Or maybe the cabin-getaway I bought it in anticipation of was a day too short? Honestly, my bet is it’s a combination of both. 

Death Note” by Tsugumi Ohba 

Not the note (ha, get it?) you expected the series to end on, is it? Well, it’s true.

I typically zoom through manga, but I never got used to Ryuk’s Ryuk-ness, and I can’t say I’m a fan of Light, either. That’s not saying you have to like your main characters, but it doesn’t hurt when you can at least understand them. 

Granted, I didn’t give them much of a chance to win me over. 

I wanted so badly to like the edgy horror stuff (and my calling it that further proves my incompatibility), it just wasn’t my style. 

But, when all is said and done, as the end of the semester nears and the study materials start to accumulate more and more, at least I know I have several avenues to choose from for my procrastination. 

(That being said, any and all recommendations are welcomed gladly.) 

Schutte can be reached at [email protected].