My most recent crop of books includes a couple of rereads, plenty of easy-but-worth-it beach reads, a stand-out story encased in award-winning writing, and a complete dud.
Told from the perspective of the different main characters, this easy novel is the story of a wealthy family, their children, and their children’s spouses. It is cleverly written, switching voices from chapter to chapter, and it presents a charming depiction of life on the upper east side of New York. This book presents nothing complicated or difficult, yet I found it to be entirely enthralling.
TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE
I seem to have a thing lately for novels written from the perspective of different characters. This book takes it one step further, including a narrative presented from the viewpoint of a group, along with the first-person perspectives of the main characters. The story, set on the east coast, follows a gaggle of moms, their children, and a particularly mysterious story line. Easy, effortless, fun.
THE VOLTAGE EFFECT
If I had it to over again, I think I would major in economics. The study of how and why things work is one of my favorite topics, and I really enjoy books authored by economists. The Voltage Effect specifically looks at why some ideas work and others don’t. It also discusses scalability (such a buzz word in the business world), what it means, what it includes, and how to tell if an idea will scale successfully. Some might find this book dry, but I loved it.
WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES
I decided to read this book because it won the PEN/Faulkner award. After reading several books that were not beautiful specimens of fine writing, I found myself instantly leaning in and loving the top-notch prose of this book. It’s so well crafted. The story has an unexpected nuanced twist that I did not see coming, and I found myself feeling things I never expected to feel for an animal. Give this book a shot. It’s interesting, endearing, and original.
This was a reread for me. I like to return to Big Magic regularly, and it never fails to inspire and remind me of how sacred and mysterious creative living can be. The first time I read this book it redefined creativity for me, challenging my assumptions and presenting a way to think about creativity (namely, a living entity) that has shifted my approach ever since.
FIVE STAR WEEKEND
Such a great read! I would categorize this as elevated beach reading. It’s not difficult, but it offers some memorable characters, an interesting plot line, and a genius idea for connecting with friends from different chapters of your life. I also particularly enjoyed it because the main character is a food blogger. Trigger warning for husband death, which isn’t really a spoiler as the entire book is centered on this plot point from the beginning.
I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK
I love Nora Ephron’s movies (You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless In Seattle), and it has long been on my list to read one of her books. I thought that if she writes beautiful films, she must also write beautifully about her life. This was not my experience with I Feel Bad About My Neck. She is funny, but in a crabby, cynical, older-lady kind of way that I did not enjoy. I laughed here and there, but most of the book is her complaining about growing older, and the whole book felt kind of ho-hum to me. Maybe other books of hers are better, and if you have read any, I would love to know.
This is also a reread for me. I love this book and how it challenges the way I think about life, particularly the second half of life. I never know what to say about this book to other people because it does present some very alternative views on spiritual issues, which requires maturity, openness, and wisdom to navigate. But I do love Richard Rohr. His work and life are beautiful, and this book always reminds me to stay open, curious, and humble.