One of the worst things about having chronic headaches was how difficult it was for me to read books. Not even difficult – nearly impossible, especially in the year before my surgery. Every so often I would plow through a book that really captured my attention (Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, for example), but mostly I found it just too difficult to stay focused on the words on the page. I became obsessed with jigsaw puzzles for a while, and I did the coloring book thing too, but I very much missed the joy of opening a book and knowing I was in for a great story, hours of escape, and the simple pleasure of turning the pages to find out what happens next.
The surgery on my neck, which took place in May, was very successful. I recovered remarkably quickly, after a few weeks of severe discomfort and a few issues that were unexpected, which are too boring to talk about. Three weeks after surgery I started reading again, and since then, I haven’t stopped. I have been indulging myself in book after book after book, and it’s been wonderful!
Here are some of the best books I’ve read over the past few months. I’m not listing all of the hugely popular books that it seems everyone is reading, because if you’re a book lover, you already know about them. These are books that may not be on your radar yet. I keep my synopses brief because everyone interprets stories a little bit differently. Enjoy!
(There are no affiliate links. I won’t make money if you click through. This is just for your info.)
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
An immigrant Indian family’s experience as the first generation born in the US comes of age.
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
A young woman and a much older, celebrated writer have a relationship. Then she comes into her own, creatively. Supposedly this is based on the real-life romance between the writer and Phillip Roth.
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Anne Tyler is a writer whose books I read every time a new one is published. Others I do the same with are Alice Hoffman and Elizabeth Berg.
Clock Dance introduces us to another one of Tyler’s quirky communities of lovable and interesting characters. If you like Anne Tyler’s books, you’ll like this one.
I‘ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
A sweet and easy-to-read story about a young woman who decides not to marry her fiance after meeting an unusual old woman.
Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
A beach read, including sex, love, murder, family secrets, a movie star, and a bit of upstairs-downstairs intrigue. The title of this book does not do it justice, in my opinion.
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
I don’t remember how I discovered this book, but I’m so glad I did. Based on the true story of a horrible plane crash in Paris in 1962 that killed many of the upper echelon of (White) Atlanta society, it’s a book of interwoven lives and how each person is affected by the deaths of friends and family. I read it right after reading “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones, and the two books are connected in many ways. Both are great.
White Houses by Amy Bloom
A fictionalized account of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok.
Coming up in the fall are some books from writers I love, including:
Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver