Thursday, December 15, 2011
Today's book recommendations come to you from my friend and voracious reader, Dot. I'm farming out my post this month for three reasons: first, I have been on a spree of book posts (here and here and here) and I've depleted my general-recommendation-juices; second, Dot reads much more contemporary fiction than I do and has impeccable taste in good literature; third, the comments are always the best part of these posts. You all have such incredible and diverse ideas for what to read than what better idea than to take one of the best commenters and give her a post of her own? So without further ado...
When Tania asked me to recommend a few books for you all, I was thrilled. There's nothing I love better than bossing people around in a bookstore. Errh, or on the internet. You get it. So here's what you should find in your library / buy for your book-loving cousin JoJo / put on your Christmas wish list immediately:
Silver Sparrow (Tayari Jones). With its opening line, "My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist," we spin into the secret life of Dana Yarboro. And by secret, I mean *she* is the secret--her father's other family frolics around 1980s Atlanta unaware of Dana and her mother's existence. Told from the perspective of Dana and her father's "real" daughter Chaurisse, Silver Sparrow takes us deep into a family, casting our definitions of normal childhoods, love, and commitment aside in favor of the truth: to live in relation to others is complex, risky business.
Once Upon a River (Bonnie Jo Campbell). Enough of wishy-washy Bella Swan, readers. Here comes sixteen-year-old Margo Crane, searching to find her mother (and herself) in rural Michigan. The critics are calling this sharp-shooting, river-navigating girl the next Huckleberry Finn--I say she's just plain great.
The Financial Lives of the Poets (Jess Walter). Matt Prior quits his stable job in financial journalism to start a website that turns out not to be as successful as dear Tania's fashion exploits. The website? Financial advice in poetic verse. After the site's utter failure, we find Matt on the verge of losing everything: wife, house, life as he knows it. And then he meets Skeet and Jamie, the literary world's most darling drug dealers.
The Book of Men (Dorianne Laux). I know, I get it. You don't read poetry. You read Robert Frost in high school and now you are SO OVER IT. But Dorianne Laux is something different--this book's got poems about Mick Jagger, old boyfriends, Superman, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and a heartbreaking soldier she spots in an airport. If you want to remember what life, love, and everything truly feels like, read these poems.
P.S. Dot also has the raddest pinterest boards.
P.P.S. Why I never link to you-know-what.
P.P.P.S. Read anything good lately? Please oh please leave a comment and let us poach off your reading lists.
Labels: book recommendations