The book review marathon continues… here we go!
True Biz by Sara Novic was interesting to listen to, since so much of it takes place in the deaf community (but was so cleverly and tenderly done!). We follow a teacher and two of her students through a season at their boarding school for the deaf and their crises (personal, political, romantic). This felt like a coming of age story and a warm starting place to understand deaf culture.
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng has been on my radar since she spoke at a library conference this past summer about this novel, set both in the future and yet in the present. New government laws exist to preserve American culture, and in particular seems to target those of Asian descent, like our protagonist. Twelve-year-old Bird sets out to find his missing mother, a famous poet made more famous after these laws were enacted. This was a thought-provoking read, but not as absorbing to me as Little Fires Everywhere.
Microjoys by Cyndie Spiegel sounded like a nice concept, but was really just an essay collection of Spiegel’s own joys with some platitudes attached to make it self-help-y. Eh.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan blew the doors off, and is one of my favorite books of the year. I don’t even want to attempt to summarize it for fear of tipping anyone off to the story, the twist, the heartache, the lessons about bees. This is a big book (464 pages) that flew by and kept me reading continually. A return to form for Picoult – recommended!
Gateau by Aleksandra Crapanzano is a joy of a cookbook to read and flip through. I can’t wait to try some of these simple French treats!
Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander was just a lovely, touching little novel. Meredith hasn’t been outside her Glasgow apartment in 1214 days, but leads a busy and fulfilling life. But, more people enter her orbit, and Meredith has to unpack past trauma, new friendships, and taking back control of her life. This was just an endearing novel, and I enjoyed it.
All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers was an audio listen, and it pulled me in straightaway (and is set in Indiana, so bonus points!). Journalist Margot has returned to her small Hoosier hometown after there is a murder of a woman – and to try and solve the mystery of her childhood friend, who disappeared 20 years earlier. I thought this was a great suspense novel – character motivations, twists and turns, a surprise ending, this was a really good listen!
Dirt Creek by Hayley Scrivenor was also an audio listen, but I think was diminished in my estimation because I listened to it after All Good People Here, which was just a MUCH more compelling story to me. Australia, missing girl, Greek chorus narrators, whodunit, you get the gist.