Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Today I Like ... Summer Reading

I've been on one of those glorious stretches of good book after good book and had to share what I've been reading for the past few weeks:

The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer for fiction last year and it's no mistake. I was amazed at how I tore through this 800+ page novel in about two weeks once I got sucked into it. It's perfectly paced, with deftly drawn characters and Tartt has an amazing ability to make you root for extremely flawed people who aren't even acting in their own best interest. Plus, the art history lover in me adored that a Dutch master painting is at the center of all the action.

The Vacationers is a super new release by Emma Straub, one of my favorite breakout authors of the past few years. Her novels are like wonderful beach reads with brains, little soap operas of characters you feel certain you've known or met sometime in your life. I will admit I have a weakness for novels centering on spoiled New Yorkers that alternate perspectives, so this was completely in my wheelhouse. A perfect book for anyone who's ever been on a family vacation.

I've just started reading Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead (last year I read her debut, "Seating Arrangements") and I already have had dreams about the characters! This book delves into the ballet world, in a time period of particular interest to me because it begins following young ballerinas in the late 70s and early 80s...the exact period my mom was a young ballerina. The direction of the main character's life turns on her involvement in the defection of a Russian ballet danseur, a thinly veiled version of Mikhail Baryshnikov. It's really great so far, and reminds me of a great movie starring Baryshnikov himself, "The Turning Point."

So what are you reading these days? What's the best thing you've read this year that you can't get out of your head?

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