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Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch, is a disturbing novel, but one that is perfect for book discussion groups. The book is narrated by Dr. Marc Schlosser, a general practitioner who has a following due to his ability to look as though he is listening to his patients and because of his propensity to liberally dispense opiates.
There are some authors whose books I’m always going to read—no matter what. If Jonathan Franzen’s next novel is a kitschy romantic comedy between a cat lover and a bird lover, I’m going to read it. If Louise Erdrich decides to abandon psychological literary fiction to write a slapstick western, sign me up! I may not like everything by these authors, but I’m such a fan of their writing that I’m always willing to try. Jeanette Winterson is one such author for me.
Hanya Yanagihara's second novel, A Little Life, takes up the stories of four young men who, alike in exceptional drive and talent, form a tight-knit bond of friendship in college, a bond that is tested during the ups and downs they each experience in New York in the decades following their graduation.
A strong sense of place anchors Robert Goolrick’s mythic Southern Gothic tale, Heading Out to Wonderful. Set in the late 1940s in a small town in Virginia, the story is told from the perspective of lapsed time. Sam Haislett, who was a young child at the time of the events he narrates, relates the tragic tale of a doomed love affair between two lonely outsiders.
People always ask me why I like to read so much. It’s like asking me why I like to breathe. It’s something I can’t live without. The first book I ever read was called PUG. I was in the first grade and I remember that my immediate thought was, I wish I’d known how to do this sooner. I haven’t stopped since. Without a book I feel naked. When I have a book in my hand I know I hold someone’s heart, someone’s dreams, and someone’s life. I know someone sat and wrote and gave me their gift. I know someone has allowed their story to be told.