Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More summer reading

It's almost officially summer, and already I've been working my way through this stack of books. Most of them I got from the annual summer recommendations of various media--New York Times, NPR shows, Wall St. Journal, Amazon, etc. Here's what I've read so far, and what I think of them:

City of Thieves, by David Benioff---WOW! Amazing. Set in Leningrad during the end of WWII, it's a story of friendship and coming of age in the bleakest of times. I think it might be a bit hyped in the media--and for this once, believe it. It's a great story, with all the cliches to make it so--I cried, I laughed, I didn't want to put it down.

The Ten-Year Nap, by Meg Wolitzer--This one is a fictional view of the lives of several different women as they reconcile their roles at home to that of work, and in the process develop and sever friendships. Because I'm a mom at home for now, I found a lot of truisms in this book. The story was good, but what I enjoyed most about the book was relating to the characters and the domestic situations they were in. It's a mommy book, for sure.

Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan--Set in mid-twentieth century Mississippi, this story is told through the eyes of characters toughing it out through life on a small, impoverished farm. Their stories make up the bigger story of the time--the conflict of race--as well as the ever-present story of family conflict, disappointment, and failed expectations. It's powerfully written, and sometimes shocking.

Next up, as you can see from the stack: The Children's Hospital, by Chris Adrian, Moloka'i, by Alan Brennert, The Memory of Running, by Ron McLarty, and Enslaved by Ducks, Bob Tarte.

Finally, I'm going to reread Ursula, Under, by Ingrid Hill. This is a sweeping epic that thrilled me a few years ago, and I've been missing all those characters, so I'm going back to it.

Now enough about me. What are you reading?

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