Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. By and large, I read work that can’t easily be categorized in one genre, but historical novels have a special place in my heart. Daisy Goodwin is one of the foremost historical novelists of recent years. Her […]
I’m done with school (for now) which means that there’s no such thing as summer reading– in fact, I’m probably enjoying my final free summer, which means that I want to fill it with as much reading as possible. I took a trip to the bookstore to compile my summer reading list.
The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis: I’ve already started this one, and though I’m less than 100 pages in, I’m already hooked. The story follows two characters, Darby and Rose, who are separated by over half a century. Darby moved to New York in the 1950s, and Rose (in 2016) becomes fascinated by a crime in which Darby was implicated. It is part mystery, part love story, and I just can’t wait to read more of it.
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler: Another book about New York, this stood out to me because it is a story about a girl who is the same age as me. Admittedly, I don’t know much about the plot: but I know it is about a 22 year old girl working in an elite restaurant in NYC, and the “education” that follows. I suspect it will tug at my heartstrings, and I’m excited to read a coming-of-age story about a character in her twenties (as such stories often feature teenage protagonists).
The Fates and the Furies by Lauren Groff: The back says this is a “deeply satisfying novel about love and art,” so I’m looking forward to diving into this novel (which was a National Book Award finalist). The story centers around Lotto and Mathilde, a glamorous married couple who appear to have a dynamite relationship (but the back cover suggests that there is more to their marriage than meets the eye). I’m sure this novel will be beautifully written.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett: I’m interested in this novel, because it deals with the challenges of writing a story about somebody you know. Franny Keating tells her lover, author Leon Posen, about the unusual circumstances of her childhood. Posen writes a successful book based on Franny’s life. I don’t know what comes next, because I haven’t read the book, but I’m curious to read about how Patchett portrays the complicated issue of selling a personal story.
I love having so many crisp new books to read this summer! What are you hoping to read? Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram.
Last semester, I took a single-author course for my English major on Jane Austen. I’ve read most every page Austen has written (okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I studied a whole lot of her works, even some obscure ones and partial drafts.) They’re […]
I mentioned how much I was loving Robert Galbraith’s mystery novels in my August favorites, but it took me all of September (and most of October) to get through The Silkworm. That’s not to say that this book isn’t engaging: in fact, it’s a page-turner. I’ve just been so busy with school, work, and my internship that I’ve hardly had the chance to read. But that didn’t stop me from staying up late last night to finish The Silkworm.
This book is the second in the Cormoran Strike series, following The Cukoo’s Calling. If the first book is brilliant, the second is exceptionally brilliant. Cormoran and his secretary Robin return to solve the case of a missing author. This novel centers around the obscure work of literary manic Owen Quine, and his collection of friends and enemies. Quine disappears just as his manuscript hits the literary community–and makes quite a splash. His libelous novel, Bombyx Mori, throws accusations at a number of prominent figures. When his distraught wife seeks out detective Cormoran Strike, he smells a rat and takes the case. Quine’s case turns out to be a never-ending rabbit hole of dark twists and grisly surprises.
Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, of the Harry Potter phenomenon. This series solidified my opinion of Rowling as a literary genius. Her novels are masterfully constructed with cohesive characters. I think The Silkworm might be even better than The Cukoo’s Calling. The Silkworm has more in-depth characterization of the principal characters. There is more suspense all throughout The Silkworm, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. The Silkworm is gritty, but any gore isn’t without purpose, so even a faint-hearted girl like me was willing to stomach it for the thrilling plot.
Have you read any of J.K. Rowling’s mystery novels? What did you think?
Great literature is priceless, but the fact of the matter is that books cost money. Any bookworm knows that there is no feeling like the feeling of holding a brand new book in your hands. Unfortunately, that hardback habit can put some pressure on your […]
I rarely blog about books that I read for school; although there probably is a niche market for Henry James reviews, somehow I think that the public is more interested in contemporary literature. However, Astonish Me is a 2014 novel that one of my professors used in […]
Jessica Knoll’s 2015 novel Luckiest Girl Alive bears a quote from Megan Abbott, author of The Fever, raving “with the cunning and verve of Gillian Flynn but with an intensity all its own.” Gillian Flynn’s name is in large print, and sends an obvious message: read this book if you like Gillian Flynn. This marketing maneuver isn’t entirely obsolete; there are many readers of Gillian Flynn who will probably enjoy Luckiest Girl Alive, but the books are not all that similar. Flynn, best known for Gone Girl, writes creepy thrillers, and while there are elements of Luckiest Girl Alive that are both creepy and thrilling, I wouldn’t call the novel a thriller. I also think I read somewhere that Luckiest Girl Alive is a cross between Mean Girls and Gillian Flynn, which attracted me to the book. However, none of these descriptions fully capture the nature of this novel.
Luckiest Girl Alive is about Ani FaNelli, a newly engaged New York woman who has recently been asked to return to the darkest part of her past. Ani attended the Bradley School, a prestigious high school that serves well-to-do students of old Pennsylvania families. While at this school, Ani endured what the blurb on the dust jacket refers to as a “shocking, public humiliation.” Well, let me tell you, “shocking, public humiliation” doesn’t even start to cover what Ani endured. The Bradley School is a dog-eat-dog world of sexual predators and social climbers, and Ani is naively sucked into the vicious environment. As events spin out of control, Ani experiences scarring events that affect her entire life.
Knoll is a skillful writer who creates an interesting and believable narrator. However, sometimes Ani’s anger is off-putting. Bring it to the beach if you want a novel that will keep you engaged, but be prepared to think about this book after you are finished. I admit, I was not sure how I felt about the book while I was reading it because I could not figure out where the novel was going, or what it was trying to accomplish. However, upon reflection I appreciate the grittiness and intensity of the novel, which deals with issues facing modern America. Though perhaps not Gillian Flynn-esque, Luckiest Girl Alive is a satisfying and thought-provoking read.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is a fantastic read, a page turner to the fullest extent. It takes place in Australia, a fun location for any land bound Americans like me. It follows the drama of elementary school life, the cliques and feuds formed […]