Monday, July 08, 2013

Vacation, gotta get away...

A friend is going on vacation to the beach. She needs reccs for some books - and we are not talking drugstore romance novels here, people. This woman is seriously smart, and seriously interested in good contemporary fiction. And she came to ME. No pressure, though. Here's the list I sent her.
Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan. This is kind of light but utterly charming and smart in a techie way. If you like it, then check out Scarlett Thomas’s PopCo as well. Same sort of quirky vibe.

May We Be Forgiven – AM Homes/The Dinner – Herman Koch; I read these one right after the other. I enjoy pairing books like wine, and these two complement each other very nicely. Homes is an especially adept writer & I am now plowing through other books of hers.

The Bartender’s Tale - Ivan Doig. Doig is a great storyteller. His writing is blunt and at times even clumsy, but you become completely invested in his characters’ lives. I also loved his The Whistling Season.

Bereft – Chris Wolmersley. Just a beautifully written & deceptively quiet book. Thank you to my Aussie friends for referring me to this....

Mudbound/When She Woke - Hilary Jordan. Both of these are very intense (When She Woke is a modern-day retelling of The Scarlet Letter), and completely different. Other than Jordan’s skill, you wouldn’t think the same author had written both. Neither is a happy read, but satisfying in many ways nonetheless.

Neither of these is new, but I read/reread them recently and remembered how much I liked and was impressed by them:
Skippy Dies – Paul Murray. This was one of my favorite books of 2011. It kept another friend occupied for a month while she hiked Nepal, so it's got that going for it...

Behind the Scenes at the Museum – Kate Atkinson. Atkinson writes layered, interwoven, complex novels. This is probably my favorite book of hers. I have her newest, Life After Life on deck.

Happy reading, and enjoy the sand in your toes. And your swimsuit. And your sandwich.

4 comments:

Bearette said...

Reading the Ivan Doig now...thanks for the recc. Behind the Scenes is my favorite Atkinson book too.

tut-tut said...

Interesting; just discovered A.M. Home via Thea Goodman's website, and I just got that very book out of the library. What a writer. I'm hooked in that can't-look-away mode.

tut-tut said...

FYI; You may want to go to MY blog and see a YouTube of A.M. Homes there. Great minds, or what?!

jessmonster said...

I'm so excited to see that you're blogging again! I kept trying to comment from my phone and finally remembered to do so from my laptop!

I have Life After Life on a suspended hold but haven't set it to come in yet - too many other things and I'm reading SO SLOWLY these days. Did you ever watch the TV show based on Case Histories (and the other Jackson Brodie books)? It can't quite capture all the complexities of the books, but I thought it was surprisingly good.