Summer is winding down. I can’t believe it. I have been on the reading roll. For a while I was hooked up on finishing a book for my book club but unfortunately it went into the pile called “life is too short”. I’m not one for old novels. We are reading Middlemarch by George Eliot and I can’t get into it.
Here is what I have read so far this summer. The Master Butcher’s Singing Club by Louise Eldrich. She is a fantastic writer. I had never read any of her books before but she has won a variety of awards, owns a book shop out west and is continuing to churn out highly acclaimed books. The characters are interesting. The setting is out west after WW2. Really enjoyed it.
The Kite Runner is one of those books that everyone is talking about this summer. Last summer, it was the Da Vinci Code which I did not like but the Kite Runner is great. Quick read. A bit trite but interesting perspective. A story of an Afghanistan family, their roots and then coming to America. I literally read it in an afternoon.
Life of Pi, another quick read and hot book. It was ok. It would not be a recommendation from me.
The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel was next. I really liked this. Very well written. Interesting look into life in rural areas. Interesting characters. I’ll read another one of Kimmel’s books.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night was really good. This book has also gotten a lot of press. It is written through the eyes of an autistic boy. Very clever. Very insightful. Quick read. Really liked it.
The Known World which won the Pulitzer Prize this year is an interesting read. I admit that I whizzed through certain sections but it is an interesting book. Insightful look into the world of slavery. The story focuses on a slave who buys himself freedom and then what happens having the position. I did not love this book. It is not easy to get through but I did because the content is very interesting.
Plainsong is about a small city outside of Denver and how characters come together. I really liked this book. It is one of those books u start and are not sure but just continue to turn the pages. Real life stories.
I enjoyed Shirley Hazard’s The Great Fire, so I read Greene on Capri, A Memoir by her. Enjoyable. I’m going to read Transit of Venus next. She’s a great writer.
I am right now reading A Ship Made of Paper that takes place in the suburbs of New Jersey. Race relations, affairs, etc. Well written. I like it.
None of these are as good as Middlesex which was my favorite last summer. Also, it is tough to come across a novel so well written and complex as that book. But, hey, my summer hasn’t ended and there is still a big pile next to my bed for summer reading.
You might like Dani Shapiro’s FAMILY HISTORY, Tamim Ansary’s WEST OF KABUL, EAST OF NEW YORK and Julie Otsuka’s WHEN THE EMPEROR WAS DIVINE.
I liked Haruf’s second book, Eventide.
The best read of mine this summer was THE SHADOW OF THE WIND — Barcelona in the ’50’s with a boy who loves books so much that he hunts down a mysterious author.