Friday, May 26, 2023

Latest Recommendation - Those We Thought We Knew by David Joy


If you know me you know I read.

A lot.

I keep a record of the books I read in the sidebar of Meanderings and Muses.  See it?  Over there to your right - 👉       scroll down . . .

I do this for several reasons.

One, I love lists.

Two, I'd never be able to join in on the Favorite 10 (20, however some many) Lists at the end of the year.

Three, To remind me of the books I've read so I won't buy them again.  Re-read, sure, but re-buy - no.  Unless it's to give to a friend.


Even though I keep a running list of what I'm reading, it's pretty rare for me to dedicate a post to a single book.

If I do that, you can be sure it's because I found it to be pretty special.  Either the subject, or the characters, or the setting spoke to me.  Usually though, it's the writing.   The voice.  Sometimes, like in this case, it's the whole package.  Even the cover.

There are writers, and then there are writers.

The man can write.

Being completely transparent - all of David Joy's books are not for me.  That doesn't mean I don't get his brilliance.  

THOSE WE THOUGHT WE KNEW is a book I might not have tried right away except for the simple fact that it was suggested to me via NetGalley via a little widget assuring me I'd receive it, and I would enjoy it.

Boy Howdy, did I enjoy it.

Omg this book.  I would give it a parade if I could.  

The subject matter is timely.  And it's important.

The characters are jump-off-the-page honestly, sometimes brutally, written.

The setting rich in description and atmosphere, with spot-on rich, stylish dialogue.

The writing is brilliant.  Lyrical and raw and mesmerizing.  Hopeful and heartbreaking.
Asking tough, necessary, questions.

S. A. Cosby says "Those We Thought We Knew is a beautifully fearless contemplation. The best novels ask the hard questions and task us to come up with answers. Joy is asking the hardest question and daring us to answer truthfully.”

Description from NetGalley

“From award-winning writer David Joy comes a searing new novel about the cracks that form in a small North Carolina community and the evils that unfurl from its center.

Toya Gardner, a young Black artist from Atlanta, has returned to her ancestral home in the North Carolina mountains to trace her family history and complete her graduate thesis. But when she encounters a still-standing Confederate monument in the heart of town, she sets her sights on something bigger.

Meanwhile, local deputies find a man sleeping in the back of a station wagon and believe him to be nothing more than some slack-jawed drifter. Yet a search of the man’s vehicle reveals that he is a high-ranking member of the Klan, and th uncovering of a notebook filled with local names threatens to turn the mountain on end.

After two horrific crimes split the county apart, every soul must wrestle with deep and unspoken secrets that stretch back for generations. Those We Thought We Knew is an urgent unraveling of the dark underbelly of a community. Richly drawn and bracingly honest, it asks what happens when the people you’ve always known turn out to be monsters, what do you do when everything you ever believed crumbles away?”

I can thank for helping me discover a wealth of books and authors I might not have discovered without their generosity.  And I am thankful.

I try to repay that generosity by spreading the word and by backing up what I say by spending some money.

I've reserved a copy of THOSE WE THOUGHT WE KNEW at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC, and I'll be taking a drive to Sylva to be front and center in line to have my book signed on August 1 for Mr. Joy's book launch.  And to thank him for sharing his gift with us.

I hope to see some of you there.

In the meantime, here's a story he wrote for The Bitter Southener.  You should read it.

Life is good when there are writers like David Joy writing.

Let's hold on to our writers and not allow ignorant people opportunities to ban books that entertain us, educate us and open our minds.  

Speaking of The Bitter Southener; check out their general store -   (you're welcome! 😊 )

Note: FTC Disclosure Notice: Dear FTC - I received a digital copy of Those We Thought We Knew from No other compensation was offered or accepted beyond the possibility of a review of the book.

Also, i have no connection to The Bitter Southener other than as a reader and a fan.

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