Recent reading

In the last few years I’ve written a “best books of the half-year” post (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015).  This year feels different, and I’m not going to do the same, but I have been reading a lot and I wanted to share some of those titles.  This is only books since I last wrote about what I’m reading, so it’s far from comprehensive.  I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading and enjoying lately.

The Glass Hotel, Emily St. John Mandel – I loved this book, which spoke so beautifully of the past, ghosts, regret, and the road not taken.

The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer – I love this writer’s voice, which I encountered for the first time in Andre Agassi’s Open: An Autobiography.  Still reading this one so not done yet, but oh, so beautiful.  My favorite line so far: “we exalt what is at hand.”

Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid – A truly unconventional narrative structure which worked, in my opinion.  This made me think a lot of A Star is Born and I loved it.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs, Anna Quindlen – I’ve read two Anna Quindlen novels during the quarantine (the other: Every Last One) and preferred this one.  Lovely. The idea of making art out of our lives really resonated.  Perhaps what I mean is: we exalt what is at hand.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne – as you can see I went on a large Boyne tear (The Heart’s Invisible Furies is one of my all-time favorites).  All I have to say is WOW.  This one, about a child’s perspective on Auschwitz, is gutting and beautiful at the same time.  Boyne knows heartbreak and loneliness, that’s for sure.

History of Loneliness, John Boyne – More loneliness, in the title and pervasively throughout.  One of my strange fascinations is the papal conclave, so I was interested in this view on the papacy as well.

A Ladder to the Sky, John Boyne – This novel has a Talented Mr. Ripley feel, and some entertaining references to famous 20th century writers.

Moonlight Mile, Dennis Lehane – Found in the Little Free Library by our house.  I love Dennis Lehane.  So Boston, and he can write a gripping page turner populated by deeply humane characters, which is a combination I love.

Friends and Strangers, J. Courtney Sullivan – I read this before quarantine but it comes out June 30th and I could not recommend more highly.  A thoughtful and fun (again, that magic combo!) exploration of motherhood today, and what it means to work, friendship, and marriage.



2 thoughts on “Recent reading”

  1. Thank you so much . I always save your reading reviews to add to my to read list . I also loved The Glads Hotel as well as Dean Koontz’s Devotion and The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern . I have also discovered poet Fred LaMotte, a modern day Rumi whose words remind me who and why I am .

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