I love a good book flight. The idea is borrowed from wine: a tasting flight groups carefully chosen wines together, to better allow tasters to compare.
I haven’t read any full book flights (think three to five titles) in a while, but many of my recent reads have serendipitously born serious similarities to each other. These books have had similar plot lines or addressed the same issue from different angles, making the reading experience exponentially richer.
Here’s a look at some recent reads that have been better together:
The heroine of Reay's third novel is Lucy Alling, a Chicago girl who makes her living selling rare books. She's been using suspicious methods to boost her sales, and when that comes to light it ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend. But Lucy gets an unusual shot at redemption, which takes the form of a literary tour of Europe, including a stop at Haworth, the Brontë sisters family home, where things come to a head. Publication date: November 3. More info →
You all have been telling me to read this slim little book for years and I'm so glad I finally did. This is the story of the twenty-year relationship between a New York writer and a gentlemanly London bookseller, as told through their correspondence. A must-read for bibliophiles. (And yes, I promise to follow this up with its sequel-of-sorts, The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. ) More info →
When a teenage Hollywood star mistypes an email address, his message ends up in the inbox of a small-town teenage girl in Maine. The two strike up a witty correspondence, even though (or really, because) she doesn't know who he is. When his latest film is shot on location in her town, the relationship moves from online to real life. But the paparazzi make his life miserable, and the girl has secrets of her own. A look at the different varieties of stardom and the obstacles it creates to ordinary living. More info →
At 7 months pregnant, a Mormon housewife has a chance connection with her celebrity crush (think Colin Firth), and the two strike up an improbable friendship. They're drawn together by their quick wit and brilliant banter (which are wholly responsible for the book's enjoyable dialogue). Over the years, the relationship becomes more significant to them both, even though they have little in common on the surface. An exploration of family, stardom, and whether or not men and women can be friends. I didn't love reading this book (well, except for all the witty banter), but I did love talking it over with a friend after I finished it. More info →
Public shaming used to be a common punishment, but it was stopped long ago: not because it was ineffective, but because it was deemed far too cruel. But with the dawn of social media, public shaming is back in a big way, and it's being carried out by ordinary people. Ronson walks the reader through some recent examples of lives ruined over one public mistake: a fabricated quote in a book, one ill-considered tweet, one Facebook photo that went viral. This is one of the scariest books I've read in a long time, and I'm not saying that lightly. More info →
I recently hinted that Moyes took her much-anticipated sequel to word-of-mouth sensation Me Before You in an entirely different direction: in a harrowing plot twist, Lou discovers that one damning photo has the power to ruin a young girl's life—but how to recover it? More info →
Don Tillman can count his friends on one hand, has never been on a second date, and is clearly (to the reader, at least) on the autism spectrum. When a colleague surprises him by remarking he would make a wonderful husband, Don creates "the Wife Project" to find his perfect partner. (To Don, that means creating the perfect questionnaire.) But when he meets a woman that's all wrong for him—at least on paper—he's forced to reconsider what he really wants, and what love really looks like (all while his scientific, orderly approach to life is getting wrecked). Fast, fun, and smart. Heads up for a few f-bombs and racy scenes. More info →
Sweet 21-year-old Shandi "fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K” when he steps between a gunman who's high on drugs and her 3-year-old son. When the crisis is over, Shandi hurls herself into a new mission: getting him to love her back. Her blond god Thor that she fell in love with so quickly turns out to be a brilliant geneticist, whose genetic makeup contains some “specific duplications and deletions.” What Shandi doesn't realize is she's stepped into the middle of someone else's love story, not her own—but that story proves to be far more interesting than she ever could have dreamed. More info →
What books have YOU read lately that have been better because you paired them with another title?