Reading Addict

Favorite Reads of 2011 by Laura

Fiction

The Old Romantic by Louise Dean

This was one I wanted to read again the moment I finished it – indeed, as I was reading it, I wanted to read it again, if that makes any sense. It clips along at a galloping good pace, with excellent dialogue, oddball yet believable characters, and some of the funniest scenes I’ve read related to family and class, ever. Good show!

Endless Obsession by Nick

I recently heard a fascinating interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” program with author Scott Spencer. He spoke candidly and thoughtfully about his latest book A Man in the Woods which focuses on a man on a hunting trip who accidentally kills another man. Aside from one of Gross’s personal idiosyncrasies (her penchant to utter dryly ‘that’s funny’ rather than simply chuckling when she finds something humorous) there was something else that I couldn’t ignore.

Reconstructing Childhood by Rebecca

When God was a Rabbit is a book as entrancing as its title. A coming-of-age story that spans four decades, the book left me dizzy, trying to reconstruct the narrator’s childhood as it was told in fragments and limited by perspective. This is an amazing way to write domestic fiction, because that is how we all really experience family. Who hasn’t begun recalling a family story only to discover that your version is completely different than that of your sibling’s?

An Open Letter of Apology to Ayelet Waldman by Laura

Dear Ayelet Waldman,

For years, I only knew you as Michael Chabon’s wife. Yes, I’d also read that you were a writer of some sort as well, but what mattered was that you were married to the guy who had me in thrall with the epic The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and hilariously weird Wonder Boys. What must it be like to be married to a genius like that? How did he butter his bread, what music did he listen to, what wonderful thoughts did he share with you during dinner?

Scott Spencer Walks the Line by Nick

Scott Spencer now ranks among my favorite authors. Although, it should be mentioned I haven’t completed a single novel of his. I’m working on it. I know this because of his material, what he chooses to mine for his stories. He explores the tension between passion and guilt, violence and fragility. He deals with obsession often resulting in a turning point within the story; an act after which nothing can return to the way things were. It’s not so subtle, it’s often dramatic, and it keeps you turning the page.

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