Books books books. How much do I love to read? I love to read more than just about anything. However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve become far less patient with mediocre books. After 50 pages, if I’m not interested, I will put a book down and start a new one. I would say about half of the books I buy never get finished, but that’s ok. The books I do read from start to finish are always books that I enjoy, learn from and keep a part of with me forever.
I’ve read some really great books this year, and I’m looking forward to more coming up this fall. If you read any of these books, or have read them, I would love to hear what you think – either leave a comment or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you have any recommendations, let me know about them! I’m always looking for new, good books to read.
My Absolute Darling: A Novel by Gabriel Tallent
Not for the faint of heart or easily disturbed, this book is a masterpiece of writing about a very difficult topic – child abuse and incest. If these are triggers for you, do not read this book, but if you can handle these difficult topics, it is a book that should not be missed.
The Locals by Jonathan Dee
Small town life is disrupted by a big city interloper in this post 9/11 fable about the power money has over those who have it and those who do not. A Peyton Place-ish novel for the 21st century.
A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass
A legendary children’s novelist and illustrator dies and his longtime companion and personal assistant is left to handle his estate, leading to revelations about him – and about herself – that are startling and inspiring. Julia Glass’s book The Three Junes is also a wonderful read.
Love and Trouble – a Midlife Reckoning by Claire Dederer
This memoir, an honest, sometimes painful and ultimately beautiful story, is one that any midlife woman will appreciate. Coming to terms with who you were then and who you are now is part of what midlife is about.
Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor
A girl goes jogging and disappears, and 20 years later her remains are found. Everyone in the small Arizona town where she lived who knew her is affected, especially her mother. A sweet story about a sad event.
The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer
I’m a sucker for anything about time travel, so The Scribe of Siena was right up my book-loving alley. A woman in present day New York is transported to 14th century Siena while visiting her late brother’s house in that city. As she learns to blend in, falling in love during a tumultuous time in history, and traveling back and forth between the 14th and 21st century, you’ll be captivated and won’t want to put this book down.
The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton
A woman embezzles hundreds of thousands of dollars from her children’s private school and then leaves her family. Written with humor and dry wit, this first novel is a fun, easy read.
The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve
In 1947 a young, pregnant mother is left to care for her children alone when her husband goes missing after a terrible fire on the coast of Maine. Moving into her missing husband’s aunt’s great house on a hill, she falls in love with a boarder- and then her husband returns. With a bit of a gothic novel feel to it, this is a page-turner.
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout is one of those authors whose books I will read without even knowing what they are about. Anything is Possible is no exception to my belief that Strout is one of the best contemporary writers around. She takes the simplest of people, the smallest of stories and makes them as big as the world. Before you read this book, read My Name is Lucy Barton, to which this is closely connected.
On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
Elinor Lipman writes fairytales for grown-ups. Each of her books is a little confection of fun and mischief. On Turpentine Lane is about a young, single woman looking for love in a small town in Massachussets while dealing with the sudden separation of her parents, her brother dating her ex-boyfriend’s sister, and a house she bought with a lot of mystery attached to it. If you haven’t read any of Lipman’s other books, you should.
Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Everything I Never Told You sat on my shelf for 2 years before I read it, I am embarrassed to say. When I saw that the author Celeste Ng had a new book coming out shortly that was getting rave reviews, I figured it was about time for me to read her first one. It is an amazing book. The story of a family after their eldest child dies, your heart will break for each of the family members left behind.
I’m about halfway through Little Fires Everywhere and it’s even better than Ng’s first book. Don’t miss either of them!