Hot summer days, beach chairs, leisure time…all are improved with a good book.
This year, I’ve committed to #52booksin52weeks. Not because I find it hard to make time to read. No, I’ve always got a book in hand or stacked, waiting, by the bedside. There’s a more basic reason for noting which books I’ve finished over 52 weeks. Keeping a list.
The first 25 were in the bag and reviewed by May. So let’s not wait. Here are my next ten. And whether you’re looking for trip entertainment or a “it’s too hot to do anything else” read, perhaps something I’ve read will strike your fancy. Or maybe I’ll save you from wasting time on a book you’d hate.
Books 26 through 36
No. 26: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Some books are like candy bars (easily accessible, good tasting, and soon forgotten). Others are medicinal–like it or not, you’ll finish because, dang it, it’s good for you.
This book…it’s a beautiful white port. Different and unexpected. Challenging expectations. Complex. Every drop a pleasure. And as the wine settles in the mouth, its flavor refines. You go back for more, savoring every moment.
No. 27: Broad Band by Claire L. Evan
I had so much fun reading Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet and discussing this history with my husband. Evans is a good storyteller, and learning about the women who pushed boundaries and explored tech’s frontier was thoroughly enjoyable. We reminisced about Zork, our first PC, early chat rooms, our daughters’ “printer dance,” punch cards, and so much more.
No. 28 and No. 29: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin and Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg
No. 30: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Published posthumously, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is amateur sleuth Michelle McNamara’s hunt for the serial rapist and murderer she dubbed the Golden State Killer. Part memoir, part procedural dissection, all true crime, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark ranks up there with In Cold Blood and Helter Skelter for McNamara’s literary chops and ability to turn cold case files into gripping narrative. This book is an exercise in love for fans of the genre.
Thanks in large part to McNamara’s diligent work and unrelenting interest, a suspect is in custody. As the case progresses, more information will be revealed. I’ll go back to reread I’ll Be Gone in the Dark for all McNamara’s prescient moments. She was so very, very close to cracking the mystery.
No. 31: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
No. 32: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
No. 33: Kindred by Octavia Butler
No. 34: Stardust by Neil Gaiman
No. 35 and 36: Still Life and The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
Think “Gilmore Girls” and Stars Hollow without rapid-fire repartee. Still Life, the first in Penny’s series of Inspector Gamache mysteries, is as much about a town full of quirky people as the mystery. Maybe being Canadian helps (Penny is a hugely popular and proudly Canadian author) but I found Still Life (dare I say it?) bland. But 6.3 million books sales can’t be completely wrong, right? So I tried The Long Way Home. Bad news–when the murder weapon was revealed, I rolled my eyes and laughed out loud. The Long Way Home suffers from a contrived plot, little action, and characters whose dialogue endlessly rehashes less-than-interesting details. Throw in a bad guy with a silly name and non-existent cult and you get a terrible book. I won’t revisit Three Pines.
Need More Books? Here are another 47!