Patchett's sharing of the lives of the children, the husbands, and the wives in Commonwealth is filled with nuances that create a complex spiderweb of family that is beautiful as it is fragile. Who would've thought a kiss could tip dominoes that continue to fall for five decades? This sweeping family saga is my favorite Patchett to date-highly recommend.
Trained by Florence Nightingale herself, English nurse Lib is hired to observe and document an eleven year-old girl who is supposedly a living miracle. Anna O'Donnell has not eaten for four months, due to the grace of God. Donaghue's historical fiction is addictively compelling with rich storytelling. THE WONDER is a mystery and a high lit thriller that you'll ponder over long after you turn the last page.
Jim Grimsley's memoir HOW I SHED MY SKIN is a documentation of a white boy growing up in the South in a typical segregated society. With candor and honesty, Grimsley examines the way he was raised to believe racism is normal and for the greater good. Grimsely's story isn't an unusual one, but it is special in the way he seeks to understand the history of the family and community.
Miranda July's The First Bad Man blew me away, made me uncomfortable, and astonished me. Her raw and emotionally riveting writing style is unforgettable.
Emma Cline knows us. The girls we are, shaped by the confusing signals from the boys and men, wanting to be seen, and then embarrassed for the wanting. The influence of society's irrational standards and general discomfort in being a girl are laid wide open in The Girls. It's through a brutal and harsh lens we see ourselves. Sometimes the seeking and longing experienced by young women change the entire trajectory of our lives. Emma Cline articulates this path with a depth and breadth that is spellbinding and heartbreaking. Highly recommend.
Don't hesitate, just jump into the lives of Straub's Modern Lovers. I loved this book that explores the nuances of lifelong friendships, stale cobwebby marriages, and new beginnings.
This beautiful book is a celebration of life more than a meditation on dying. Brilliantly lyrical, read this and pass it on.
I am out of breath and speechless having just finished Lauren Groff's epic Fates and Furies. This book is beyond words. The title is perfection given the two main characters. Please read it. It will consume you and go places you can't even begin to imagine. Highly recommend.
Adults don't read enough fairy tales and Fredrik Backman aims to change that with My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. This modern day fairy tale has superheroes, warriors, snow-angels, and monsters as well as Wikipedia and audio books. I adored this book and found Elsa to be a brilliant mighty girl: up for the challenge her grandmother left her, not afraid to ask questions, able to mourn then forgive, and with an uncanny take on the nuances the past can have on one's future. Did I mention she's seven?
The reason books like this need to be written is to remind us that everyone deserves to be loved unconditionally. The character of Tretch is your brother, your son, your favorite co-worker, your nephew. He is one of the most true, kind, genuine teenage boys you'll ever meet. It takes great courage to be honest. Walton's main character realizes that truly being honest opens you up to be loved. When you read ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN, you'll hold your breath, your heart will break, you'll wish you could see Tretch's dance moves. Guess what? In your mind's eye, you do.
This is not the book you think it is. This is not a book about a fat girl. This is not a book about dieting. This is a book about societal change. This is a manifesto that should be read by every feminist, no matter their gender. This is a book that must be discussed. DIETLAND is disturbing. It's supposed to be and it's brilliant.
It's not often that I begin and end a book within hours, but A Thousand Miles From Nowhere became an obsession that I had to finish immediately. Truly spectacular, Henry Garrett's story unfolds despite Hurricane Katrina, not because of it. Fans of Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy will not be disappointed.
Tina Fontana is a reluctant hero in The Assistants. She's an assistant to a powerful and wealthy media mogul and terribly underpaid, like all the rest of the assistants to influential men. A freak accounting error takes Tina down a rabbit hole that ultimately changes the course of her career. I loved this book and you will too. Take this book on vacation this summer. I dare you to NOT read it in one sitting.
The Arrangement illuminates the portion of MFK Fisher's life where she discovers her calling and comes into her own voice because of, despite of, her failing first marriage and her secret love affair with her husband's best friend. Much of Warlick's book is the back story, the motivation, the appetite behind MFK's desires for both love and satisfaction. This dreamy historical fiction was extremely gratifying.
Taylor Brown's first novel follows two unlikely lovers across Sherman's March through Georgia in the final year of the Civil War. Fallen Land is intense. Brown's descriptive language paints a vivid portrait of the south's devastation during this war. Callum's horse Reiver is a central character and this story moves quickly, mimicking Reiver's incessant race home to the Georgia coast. Highly recommend.
I loved this book that documents thirty minutes in the day of the life of the people who live in the Seville apartment building. The cast of characters are richly diverse including a philandering grad student, a shut-in who mans a sex-line, a construction worker with a secret, and a boy who thinks he can time travel. During the entire story a goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. Fishbowl is fascinating, delightful, and heartbreaking. 5 stars!