Deaf Republic, by Ilya Kaminsky
Easily the best book of poetry I’ve read in years. My M.O. with poetry collections is to devour them and immediately loan them out to friends in order to spread the love, but I’ve kept this one on my coffee table since I bought it a few months ago — just in case I need to read it again, which I’m sure I will this summer (at least a few times). Set in the occupied city of Vasenka during wartime, it’s a narrative collection about silence, resistance, violence, and something like joy in the face of political unrest. It’s so, so good. You should read it. (Just not my copy.) —Kaelyn Riley, Senior Editor
Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler, by Lynne Olson
Stories about World War II have largely been about men, but thanks to a slew of recent books, we’re hearing for the first time about the amazing women spies who helped win the war.
The one I’m enjoying is Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler, Lynne Olson’s riveting biography of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the woman who ran Alliance, one of the largest resistance networks in Nazi-occupied France.
Olson tells the extraordinary tale of Fourcade — an elite French socialite who surprises everyone with her audacity, nerve, and inner resources as she took on the faces of evil.
She built a network of some 3,000 agents under her command, and orchestrated, along with Britain’s MI6, countless dangerous missions and clandestine acts against the Germans. The agents provided crucial intelligence on Nazis boats, submarine operations, and the development of the V-1 and V-2 rockets. One group provided a map of Nazi preparations prior to the Normandy invasion that helped make D-Day possible.
Unlike the fictional espionage novels I’ve been reading lately, this is a true, harrowing tale of bravery, spycraft, and the amateur spies who risked everything to save France. —Steve Waryan, Copy Chief
Priestdaddy: A Memoir, by Patricia Lockwood
But can priests be daddys? The answer is yes, if they were married before they joined the Catholic church, and so it was that poet Patricia Lockwood grew up with a father who gave communion on Sunday mornings and shredded guitar in his underwear on Sunday nights. Priestdaddy is a memoir, largely about a year where Lockwood and her spouse returned to live in her parents’…