I think I mentioned this in my last book club post, but thank god I have an affinity for being a bookworm as this little habit of mine has gotten me through what might just be the longest winter of my life. If you are looking for some suggestions, read on.
By Nightfall – Michael Cunningham
I was blown away by the simplicity and beauty of this novel by Michael Cunningham, best known for his 1998 novel The Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Peter Harris, the protagonist, seems to have it all: a beautiful wife, a successful career as an art dealer, a daughter in Boston and a beautiful apartment in downtown New York. But one never really has it all, do they? His wife, Rebecca, has a 23-year-old brother Ethan, whose visit stirs things up just a bit. Dubbed early on as “the mistake” by their parents, he was unplanned, which has caused him a life of questioning. Ethan engages Peter in the midnight hour and makes him question himself for he, like Ethan is lost and searching for more. A thoughtful look at a marriage, desire, and family and a quick read too at only 238 pages, I highly recommend.
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Once I started Me Before You, I simply could not put it down. What a beautiful love story (and you know me, I love a good love story). Set in a small town outside London, we meet Louisa Clark, a simple girl who has just lost her job at a coffee shop. Her family struggling to make ends meet rely upon her weekly wages for survival and thus she must find a job and fast. She responds to a call for a care assistant to Will Traynor, a quadriplegic. Their relationship, a bit bleak at first, over time becomes one of the most moving friendships I have read about. I promise, there will be tears, but good ones at that. Will and Louisa create a bond that allows them both to become their best selves. What all relationships should help us do.
One More Thing – B.J. Novak
Do you miss The Office? I sure do. When I heard that one of my favorite characters and writers from the show, B.J. Novak, had published a collection of short stories, I knew that it was exactly what I needed in my life. A little humor. The stories in this collection, 63 to be precise, will have you laughing, disturbed and sometimes even shedding s tear or two. I learned one of the greatest lessons, though, from B.J.’s acknowledgments. “A clear voice is the best kind to aspire to have.” Words from his father that I will certainly take to heart. If I had to pick just one story as my favorite it would have to be “A Good Problem to Have.” Or wait “Never Fall in Love.” Shoot… I can’t decide. Pick up this genius work of art. It will certainly be one I go to again and again when I need a little pick-me-up.
Please accept my apologies in advance as it might take a little time for my next “Book Club” post as I have just started The Goldfinch and at nearly 800 pages I fear it will take me a bit of time to finish. But let me tell you, what a beautiful work so far. I’m mesmerized.