It's official: we are finally completely and totally moved into our new home! Moving definitely has its ups & downs and one of the brightest upsides, born out of necessity during my many seemingly endless weeks of being internet-free (a downside for me) has been rediscovering my love of reading, in actual book form. I've forgotten how absolutely addicted to books I had been... and how exciting it is to discover a new author. Just in case you're still looking for good summer books or beach reads, these are a few that have kept me up late into the night, wide awake in the middle of the night, and up in the wee hours of the morning. (If you saw the circles under my eyes, you'd know I was not exaggerating.)
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
From Amazon: "An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: This knowing, generous and slyly sly new novel follows a group of teenagers who meet at a summer camp for artsy teens in 1974 and survive as friends through the competitions and realities of growing up. How these five circle each other, come together and break apart, makes for plenty of hilarious scenes and plenty of heartbreaking ones, too. A compelling coming of age story about five privileged kids, this is also a pitch-perfect tale about a particular generation and the era that spawned it. --Sara Nelson"
Although it's been called "genius" by the Chicago Tribune and "wonderful" by Vanity Fair, my superlatives are more along the line of sleep-wrecking, thought-provoking and and discussion-inducing. I truly want to drop everything I have to do and start reading again... since I'm only on page 142/469, so I shouldn't be reviewing at all yet - but I can tell you I've woken up twice over the past 3 nights at 3 in the morning just to read what happens next, which is odd since it's not an action-filled book and each chapter doesn't end with a cliff-hanger. But the writer's style keeps my interest since the timeframe jumps from decade to decade and hints are given about what happens to characters. I will definitely be reading more of Meg Wolitzer's books.
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
From The Boston Globe: “An engaging tale about art, cupidity, and a Faustian bargain . . . Shapiro convincingly depicts the rarefied art world that lionizes a chosen few and ignores the talented, scrabbling outsiders on the fringe. Shapiro is adept, too, at showing the white-hot heat of an artist engaged in creating a painting. She knows art history, painting techniques, and how forgers have managed through the centuries to dupe buyers into paying for fakes . . . Inventive and entertaining.”
The Goldfinch revived my love of art, but The Art Forger sealed it. It's a mystery wrapped up in a love story wrapped up in an art lesson. Again, I had to know what happened next, and any story that can keep me on my toes is a book that I will recommend.
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
From Amazon: "...Kate's in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from... her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it’s already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.
An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn’t jump. Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, it’s the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn’t save."
Having teens, I thought I needed to read this book. Do I really know my kids as well as I think I do? Could there be a "school life" that I know nothing about? It was a good book that made me want to keep an open avenue of communication with my kids and wonder about being a teen today.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
From People: "There's rich, there's filthy rich, and then there's crazy rich . . . A Pride and Prejudice-like send-up about an heir bringing his Chinese-American girlfriend home to meet his ancestor-obsessed family, the book hilariously skewers imperial splendor and the conniving antics of the Asians jet set."
Another book that's been on my reading list forever that I finally got around to reading! I loved it for the education about a culture I don't know about. It was a fun read.
On my bedside table to read next are The Heist by Daniel Silva and Flash Boys by Michael Lewis (a little yin & yang!) and at the rate I'm plowing through The Interestings, I'll be reading at least one of them this weekend.
What book recommendations do you have?