Welcome to twitterature, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately on the 15th of every month.
What I’ve been reading lately, in a rather lopsided two-part installment. The tail end of my summer reading (new books), and The Spectator Bird, which is more indicative of the flavor of my autumn reading.
by Wallace Stegner
I picked this up after reading Stegner’s later novels Crossing to Safety and Angle of Repose. I finished it weeks ago, and I still can’t quite get a handle on it. Maybe that’s because the novel itself asks hard questions, and offers no easy answers. It’s a short read—only 224 pages—but if you’ve never read Stegner, I don’t recommend starting here. Pensive, wistful, thoughtful.
by Kathleen Flinn
This is the story of Flinn’s family of origin, from her parent’s courtship to her own teenage years. I didn’t like it as a memoir: the bumpy writing got in the way of her parent’s story. I was delighted to discover key parts of the story took place in Anna Maria Island, Florida, where my own family vacationed for many years growing up. Despite the book’s shortcomings, give it a shot if you have ties to Michigan, which plays a key role in her family’s heritage.
by Anthony Doerr
A haunting WWII literary novel that reminded me of Ian McEwan’s Atonement—not necessarily in a good way—and had me scoping Saint-Malo, France on Lonely Planet’s website. Recommended reading for fans of The English Patient and Life After Life (Atkinson, not McCorkle). Intelligent, detailed, literary.
by Celeste Ng
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this psychological drama that deals with love, loss, and a million what ifs. The interesting narrative perspective allows the reader to intimately enter into the mysteries that plagued this Chinese-American family. Don’t read the jacket copy first. The less you know, the better.
by Jessica Fisher
A brand-new cookbook from the author of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook, which I’ve come to rely on for its delicious and trustworthy meals. Easy to follow recipes and tempting photos highlight budget-friendly meals—for weeknights or for company dinners—that sound amazing yet still come in at $10 or less per meal. Easily adaptable for gluten-free, dairy-free, make-ahead, vegetarian, and freezer-friendly options. We’ve already tried a few recipes; my husband’s begging for poblano-chile enchiladas; my kids want the garlicky grilled-cheese.
by Maggie Shipstead
This book, set in the world of professional dance, is unlike anything I’ve never read in form and content. Spanning 30 years, told from 4 different viewpoints, this novel swept me into the world of classical ballet—a world I didn’t know I’d been longing to enter. The Times hated it, but nevermind that. (But a warning: there’s language, and so much cocaine.)
What have you been reading lately?