Taking inspiration from Kayla, I’m going to start tracking the books I read.
ALBA FRAGMENTS by Audrey Niffenegger- Not a book but a long short story, but I’m counting it because I’d been anticipating its arrival for so long. This is a sequel to one of my favorite novels, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. In FRAGMENTS, Niffenegger focuses on Henry and Clare’s daughter, Alba, who has inherited her father’s chrono-displacement disorder, causing her to time travel. Reading this felt like visiting old friends, as cliche as that might sound. The story definitely piqued my interest for the full length text to come. (note: FRAGMENTS is only available through Zola Books)
SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn- I asked for this novel for Christmas after reading and loving the author’s latest book, GONE GIRL, last year, and SHARP OBJECTS didn’t disappoint. My opinion is that Gillian Flynn is unparalleled in creating disturbed, sociopathic female characters. She’s also gifted in writing prose. I liked it a whole lot.
WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE by Maria Semple- I don’t know how to describe this novel other than saying that it is a funny missing persons story. The narrative is made up of letters, emails, articles, and much more that I can’t recall at the moment. I loved Bernadette because she reminded me of my mother, and this is a compliment to the character. Also, the whole time I was reading it, I kept hearing “Bernadette” by The Four Tops in my mind, which is not a bad thing at all.
THE LONGEST DATE: MY LIFE AS A WIFE by Cindy Chupack- I’ve been a fan of Chupack’s acerbic prose since THE BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS BOOK; THE LONGEST DATE is, in a way, a sequel, since it deals with life after marriage. It was hilarious and heartfelt and I only wish it had been longer. A favorite quote: “Being single in your late thirties means you have to do some seriously stupid shit to prove you’re still fun, like ride in the back of a pickup, rappel down a waterfall, or go on a two-day river rafting/camping trip.”
DARK PLACES by Gillian Flynn- Now that I’ve read all three of Flynn’s novels, I can say that I found this one the creepiest and most disturbing, but I was sort of expecting that, considering the book is about a girl whose brother supposedly murdered their entire family as part of a Satanic ritual. Dark places, indeed. It was a great read, though. Then for something completely different, I turned to:
A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith- More so than almost any other book, this novel makes me really emotional, so I’m going to keep this short and say that Betty Smith is unparalleled in creating characters so rich they jump off the page and come live with you, and the plot and prose are achingly beautiful.