I love to read, and have been reading a lot lately … books of all types. Classics, memoir, historical and contemporary literary fiction.
I haven’t written about books I’ve loved lately, so this week, as I’m the team member at GreatNewBooks.org this week to recommend a book, I’m including 4 more here to make 5.
5 Books to Pick Up and Love
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
I’m recommending Ordinary Grace at GreatNewBooks.org this week. I truly loved it. Here is a clip of the post which will go live on Wednesday, Sept. 10.
Last spring, when one of my friends clasped her hand over mine and said, in a reverent tone, “Have you read Ordinary Grace?”, I knew I had to read it and that it would be a book I would love.
I love authentic book recommendations. It’s what the 9 of us on the GreatNewBooks team want our book recommendations to be, ones which are original and true, ones not biased by receiving free books to help promote, but ones which are based on books we’ve found in other ways, books we genuinely love and want to share here. Authentic.
Ordinary Grace is set in a Midwestern small town in the 1960s, as seen through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Frank Drum. His world revolves around root beer floats at the drugstore, baseball games in the dirt lot and on the radio, and passing time down along the trestle bridge (where they aren’t supposed to be), exploring with his brother.
“Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.” The prologue begins with talk of “the dying that summer”. But Ordinary Grace isn’t about the dying, though—the book isn’t grisly or horrific in any stretch of the words—but instead is about Frank and his friends and family as he comes of age in the summer of 1961.
Ordinary Grace reminds me most of the movie Stand by Me, which when it came out, took over the world, it seemed, in 1986. Like Stand by Me, the boys in Ordinary Grace find a dead body, and in the time surrounding the discovery, grow up in many other ways as well.
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
A grim but powerful novel based on the true story of Agnes Magnusdottir in Iceland in the early 1800s. Beautiful language. Also gruesome.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Set in the 1970s in Ohio, it’s the story of a mixed race family and how they cope with their daughter / sister’s disappearance, and coming to the truth of what really happened. A moving story about being the first of a kind in a closed-minded society.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Truly, my favorite book of all time, right beside my long-favorite, Jane Eyre. Doerr’s writing is evocative and true in a way I’ve never seen before. The story of a blind girl in a village being bombed in WWII France, combined with the story of a boy forced to be a radio specialist for the Nazis, is one of the most well-written I’ve ever read. I loved it, and have read it 3 times so far, including given away many copies to friends. It’s that good. More here...
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
I met Lisa at the Muse and the Marketplace conference in Boston in May, after having listened to her writing panel. She is engaging and smart, and her book, Still Alice, is as well. It is becoming a movie, which will be released in theaters soon. The story is contemporary, of a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s. It is unforgettable.
What books have you read and loved lately? Thanks for sharing!