What our Book Club has been reading over the past month: Becoming by Michelle Obama Fear by Bob Woodward An American Marriage by Tayari Jones Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver The Salt Path by Raynor Winn Tribe by Sebastian Junger
Ben Dolnick, who wrote The Ghost Notebooks, discusses the wonderment of books in New York Times Sunday Review.
by Leila Slimani. Translated from the French by Sam Taylor. A chilling one-sitting story of a nanny over the edge. It raises the question of who parents leave their most precious children with for ten hours a day while they pursue careers. And. The lack of appreciation for these caregivers as human beings with the right to lives and feelings. How can a person spend that amount of time raising kids from infancy not become attached? Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes not. The translation is pretty well done, but there are… Read more The Perfect Nanny →
Best of the Year Golden Hill, Francis Spufford Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie Autumn, Ali Smith Shipping Out, David Foster Wallace Worth the Read The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin Warlight, Michael Ondaatje Memento Park, Mark Sarvas French Exit, Patrick DeWitt The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry Asymmetry, Lisa Halliday The Innocent Wife (Red River), Amy Lloyd The Witch Elm, Tana French Bitter Orange, Claire Fuller Light Reading The French Girl, Lexie Elliott Laura and Emma, Kate Greathead The Ghost Notebooks, Ben Dolnick Social Creature, Tara Isabella Burton The Banker’s Wife, Cristina Alger A… Read more Carol’s Carrel 2018 →
From Esquire. Already read Laura & Emma, Warlight, French Exit. Okay, Good, Very Good. Dr. Husband read A Long Way From Home. Not so much. He did love Milkman. Man-Booker winner 2018.
by Sarah Perry. Should have realized after reading Perry’s Essex Serpent that this would be another unscary Halloween story. Melmoth, the old witness who sees all of our bad deeds, is a witchy figure dressed in black. She lurks everywhere. The one who denied seeing Jesus rise from the dead. She’s the lore of many countries told to little children by their sadistic parents. Guilt. Shame. Conscience. She follows them through life. Spooky? No. For such a horrible portent, the stories told through letters and documents and by Helen, a… Read more Melmoth →
by Mark Sarvas. A beautifully crafted storytelling device trumps a lackluster story. Matt Santos tells his story telepathically to an overnight guard at the auction house where a valuable painting he’s unexpectedly inherited awaits sale. Matt Santos is the anglicized name of the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants who discovers he’s the recipient of a newly discovered art treasure. The painting was taken during WWII under the Nazi’s and has been discovered at the National Gallery and traced to Matt’s holocaust survivor family. His father has rejected the work and… Read more Memento Park →
by Michael Ondaatje. The story of Nathan’s narrow beam of a life. Ondaatje’s writing has a richness and depth that is rare. His melodic poetic wordplay is a craft beyond compare. His metaphors sublime. As with one of my all-time favorite novels, The Cat’s Table, he returns to the table metaphor often in this work. The war light itself shines on Nathaniel and his world in England after WWII. The story is told through his narrow lens which is unfortunately dulled by a personality lacking curiosity or emotion after being… Read more Warlight →