Coffee Time Tuesdays: Keeping It Classic

Hello, dear readers, and happy May! How can summer be just around the corner? I’m still holding on tight to spring: the mild chill in the air, the trees in bloom, the soft, lingering smell of linden flowers, the tentative iced coffees and light sweaters.

Today I’ve got a classic Coffee Time Tuesday column for you, where I cover all the good things: what I’m reading, a mini-TBR for May, and a new book release to kick off the last month of spring.

Yesterday I had a book club meeting where we discussed Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. This is a sci-fi modern classic about a human envoy who travels to another planet to get it to join an intergalactic alliance. 

The foreign planet, Winter, is this strange, frozen realm, whose inhabitants are gender-fluid. These people’s ability to embrace male or female characteristics depending on the situation, but otherwise be pretty much genderless, shapes their society in a very interesting way.

This is what attracted me to Le Guin’s acclaimed novel. I don’t read sci-fi. In fact, I stay as far away from it as humanly possible. So it’s no wonder I was, for the most part, confused while reading this book. But the main themes are explored extremely well, making you re-think just how big of a role gender plays in our society. Here’s an extract from the book that says it all.

“Consider: There is no division of humanity into strong and weak halves, protective/protected, dominant/submissive, owner/chattel, active/passive. In fact the whole tendency to dualism that pervades human thinking may be found to be lessened, or changed, on Winter.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness


Although the book club is doing a wonderful job of taking me out of my comfort zone, I’m happy that my next read is A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood, which sounds more like my cup of tea. The book follows a day in the life of an English professor shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. And domestic, mundane fiction is definitely well within my taste.

Otherwise, I’m planning to start You’ve Reached Sam, an intriguing and emotional YA novel by Dustin Thao, that everyone seems to love. It follows Julie, whose perfect future plans are shattered by the unexpected death of her boyfriend Sam. 

But when she calls him just to hear his voicemail one final time, she’s shocked to hear that he picks up. This was intriguing enough to convince me. What kind of connection is causing Julie to reach her dead boyfriend, and how will she make use of it? I’ll report back when I get my answers.

And to keep it light and manageable, I’m also hoping to get to Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing Trees. This is one of the books my partner bought for me on my birthday last year, and I don’t know much about it. All I know is that explores family themes, genealogy, and a fig tree as a subtle protagonist, and that’s all I want to know. I’m curious how the mystery around this book will affect my reading experience.

New Book Release

The Daydreams by Laura Hankin sounds like a deliciously entertaining book to pick up during sunny evenings. It follows four former teen stars whose show, The Daydreams, used to be a big hit in 2004. Now living very different lives, the protagonists decide to listen to the fans and do a reunion, each for their own selfish reasons: revenge, second chances, and forgiveness.

But as secrets come to surface, the characters have to come to terms with the real reasons behind their show’s downfall.

This sounds like an angstier version of Daisy Jones & The Six, with a more modern take on fame, and the nostalgia of the early 2000s. The Daydreams was published today, so you can grab a copy now.

And that’s it for today’s Coffee Time Tuesday! What are you planning to read in May?

Published by Eliza Lita

Founder and editor-in-chief: Coffee Time Reviews. Freelance writer and Higher Ed comms person.

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