Where'd You Go, Bernadette? was a fun one!
I've read a TON in the last few weeks:
Leila Meacham's Tumbleweeds. Fun and quick:
My book club read for January is Kelly Jones' The Girl Who Heard Color about stolen art work during WWII and the story of a woman caught up in the Nazi's mission to "collect" art as told by her now-elderly daughter. Not super intellectual, but a good story.Recently orphaned, eleven-year-old Cathy Benson feels she has been dropped into a cultural and intellectual wasteland when she is forced to move from her academically privileged life in California to the small town of Kersey in the Texas Panhandle where the sport of football reigns supreme. She is quickly taken under the unlikely wings of up-and-coming gridiron stars and classmates John Caldwell and Trey Don Hall, orphans like herself, with whom she forms a friendship and eventual love triangle that will determine the course of the rest of their lives. Taking the three friends through their growing up years until their high school graduations when several tragic events uproot and break them apart, the novel expands to follow their careers and futures until they reunite in Kersey at forty years of age.
Amy Hatvany's Safe With Me, a story of what happens with a mother who's lost her daughter in a tragic accident happens to meet the girl who received one of her daughter's donated organs. Really good stuff. Hatvany writes about regular people and makes them relatable and interesting.
City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte, the sequel to City of Dark Magic. Totally crazy and wild tale of history, time travel, love, music and magic in Prague and Vienna (mainly).
Rabih Alameddine's An Unnecessary Woman was simply sublime.It reminded me a bit of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. IIRC, someone else here read and enjoyed that one (Gut was it you?)One of the Middle East’s most celebrated voices, Rabih Alameddine follows his international bestseller, The Hakawati, with an enchanting story of a book-loving, obsessive, seventy-two-year-old “unnecessary” woman.
Aaliya Saleh lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family’s “unnecessary appendage.” Every year, she translates a new favorite book into Arabic, then stows it away. The thirty-seven books that Aaliya has translated over her lifetime have never been read—by anyone.
In this breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, readers follow Aaliya’s digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut. Colorful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and Aaliya’s own volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left.
A love letter to literature and its power to define who we are, the prodigiously gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman's life in the Middle East.
City of Bones by Laurie R. King was sort of like Midnight in Paris meets a (maybe) murder mystery. I didn't find out until I was WAY into it that it was the second in a series. I think I would have benefited from reading them in order, although I did enjoy the book.
Now I'm reading The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman, a mystery set in 17th century Manhattan. Lots of NYC history, so I'm loving it.