Wrapping Up Summer Reading (Mini Reviews)

The Door, by Magda Szabó Three and a half stars, read in August 2018. The story of a strange, dysfunctional relationship between two strange women who are both uniquely intimate with and completely closed off to each other. I found it difficult at times, how deeply (and pretty frequently) they hurt each other, but the exploration…

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah, read April 30 – May 1, 2014 I go back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, I think because the ending didn’t have as much of an impact as I was expecting. But then I remember how I basically devoured this book, loving every minute that I was reading, feeling completely absorbed and…

The Glorious Heresies, by Lisa McInerney

Four stars, read in February 2018. I was drawn into this hard, once it got going. The audio narration is excellent, but gives no indications of the physical format—sections that are printed in italics, occasional illuminating “chapter” titles (they’re not really chapters but what do I call them?)—so the book wasn’t really working until I…

Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent

Five stars, read in September 2014. It’s been almost a year and a half since I read this book, and I still think about it often, wishing I could find more media that I can feel the same way about. I still don’t know what words to use to describe it . . . Haunting, maybe. Atmospheric….

Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver

Four stars, read November/December 2012. It didn’t quite suck me in the way The Poisonwood Bible and The Lacuna did, but Flight Behavior is beautiful and I loved the book. As always, Barbara Kingsolver is piercingly insightful about human nature, and quietly brilliant at expressing the miraculous and terrible wonder of the earth. Everything about this book…

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

Four stars, read in August 2011. Somewhere in South America at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxane Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening–until a band of terrorists breaks…

The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters

Four stars, read in November 2014. This book takes a lot of unexpected turns, particularly if it’s your first of Sarah Waters’ books (it was mine). I had the sense of a Downton Abbey-type situation when I picked it up, the story of the upper classes having to adjust to the postwar world, losing their…