Mystery, adventure, science, shady pharmaceutical dealings and an unassuming hero. What more could a traveler look for in a book? State of Wonder (DB73464) was an airport bookstore purchase for me years ago, and I recently pulled it back off my bookshelf to revisit the magical yet scientific and evenly paced tale of a journey to the Amazon that started in a professional capacity, but quickly developed into a story of personal triumphs and challenges.
Marina Singh, a doctor from Minnesota, reluctantly leaves the comforts of her office-lab life to discover what has happened to a research envoy from her company gone rogue deep in the Amazon rain forest while running tests on a highly lucrative plant they’ve identified. The mysterious journey quickly spirals into questions of her own life choices, insecurities and fears. The twists and turns of Marina’s journey draw you in with bated breath and white knuckles, and has you rooting for her success. But as the story develops, so does your understanding of what true “success” is for Marina.
Anne Patchett released her first novel since State of Wonder called Commonwealth (DB86217) in 2016. This saga follows 5 decades of a family after one chance encounter changes the course of their history. The book was named “exquisite” by the New York Times in a raving review, as well as other acclaim.
Patchett is more than just an author, she’s also in the book selling biz. She opened her own bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee where she currently lives and operates a bookmobile which frequents the local farmers markets and fairs, and cashes in on the food truck phenomenon sweeping the lunch and shopping crowds across America. She claims that it’s added another rewarding dynamic to the business of a novelist: helping curate what your readers read and have available to them, as well as the general availability of new and creative works of writing. When interviewed about her bookstore, she’s said: “If writers are to survive, we must take responsibility for ourselves and our industry into our own hands”.
We’ve got more Patchett in our collection if you’re interested, which you can find here.