Quick Lit June 2017

From the publisher: "From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child."
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From the publisher: "As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day."
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West Wing fans, listen up. This is a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the Obama White House, through the eyes of someone who worked for him for more than ten years, first supporting him as a freshman senator, then as assistant to the president and director of scheduling, and finally as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff at the White House. Word is this is like your "gossipy older sister" dishing on what really happens behind the political scenes.
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I can't believe I didn't read this book years ago, because now that I've read it, it reminds me so much of my all-time faves Wallace Stegner, Wendell Berry, and Marilynne Robinson. I don't want to say too much, but I found this up-close look at an unlikely relationship between two long-time acquaintances in small-town Colorado completely absorbing, and Haruf hits just the right tone with his light touch. Listen to me recommend this book in Episode 84 of What Should I Read Next? to Shawn Smucker. This is definitely one of those books where the flap copy doesn't do it justice. This was my first Haruf novel, and I'll be reading more.
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I was the FIFTH person to read this newish YA release in my family! Everyone but the 7-year-old has enjoyed it so far. This is the story of 16-year-old Will Porter, who's been blind all his life. We meet Will on his first day at a "mainstream" school—not his old school for the blind—and it could be going better, though he makes a few friends and develops a serious crush. Then Will finds out he qualifies for an experimental procedure that could enable him to SEE, for the first time in his life. But he's not sure if he wants it—and from Will's point of view, we discover just how complicated this vision thing really is. Make sure to read the author's acknowledgements for some very interesting backstory.
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