Anna’s Summer Reading List
If you plan to be lazing about on a beach, a dock, campsite, boat or sofa this summer, you'll need a good book. Here's my list of 5 to take you through to Labour Day.
The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman – A funny and heartbreaking story set in Rome about the characters working at an English speaking newspaper. Each chapter is about a different character, giving the novel a short stories feel, but of course they all brilliantly interlock. Everything pops at the end as all becomes clear, at which point you realize just how beautifully this story fits together. You will be sorry to finish it. I may even read it twice.
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt – published in 2013, The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It’s a story about 13-year old Theo Decker, whose mother dies in an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He winds of stealing a priceless piece of art, which becomes an anchor but also his only connection to his mother. The 900-page sprawling story takes us from New York, to Vegas, to Amsterdam and beyond.
The Girl on The Train, by Paula Hawkins – Rachel takes the same train everyday, in and out of the city. Her daily journey has become so familiar to her she feels she knows the people who live in the houses she passes. She’s an alcoholic, almost broke and unable to recover from the breakup with her boyfriend, which all contributes to her unraveling when she sees something she shouldn’t have through the window on the train. She’s an interesting character with a dark voice. This story moves has a quick pace with lots of twists and turns, making it a fun and fast read.
In The Unlikely Event, by Judy Blume – The highly anticipated first novel in 15 years by Blume is again based on the central character of a teenaged girl, Miri. Three plane crashes occur in one winter in 1950s Elizabeth New Jersey, which is where Blume herself grew up. While this is billed as a novel for adults I think it’s a better choice for enthusiastic and mature teen readers.
Preparation For The Next Life, by Atticus Lish – A Chinese illegal immigrant meets a depressed Iraqi war veteran as they both seek refuge in the wreckage of post 9/11 in a love story that will have you praying things work out for them. It is both hopeful and devastating. It isn’t so much a sentimental love story as it is an intense one with a slow burn. Aren’t those the best kind?