This week, I’ve been on a reading binge. I’m taking the subway when I could walk, just for the added reading time. I’m as thirsty for books as I am for iced tea. Here are a few books I’ve gulped down in the last few days, books that will stay with me for ages, but especially through the steamy months ahead.
Tayari Jones, Silver Sparrow
Talk about a timely book! Jones’ novel about inside and outside families feels particularly necessary in the wake of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s indiscretions. The book is told in the voices of the two daughters, the public and the private, and I was riveted throughout. Jones writes gracefully and honestly about her characters’ situation, and doesn’t offer any pat resolutions.
Emma Forrest, Your Voice in My Head
Forrest’s memoir is about a double dose of heartbreak–the death of her beloved shrink and the death of a romance. The two relationships are so well-drawn that I too mourned their loss, and cried in public places. Despite the subject matter, which includes suicide attempts and several scenes of self-mutilation, the book is often funny, and Forrest and her family are intensely likable. (Note: Emma Forrest will be at BookCourt on 6/ 29)
Hayley Tanner, Vaclav & Lena
Tanner’s first novel begins with a pair of best friends in Coney Island: Vaclav, who wants to be a magician, and Lena, who is roped into becoming his glamorous assistant. They are both children of Russian immigrants, and there is much humor and warmth to be found in the borscht-flavored setting. Lena’s story threatens to become tragic, but this book is more about the permanence of love than a single sad event. When Vaclav and Lena were grown, and the book was over, I was sorry to be out of their company.