I lead a quiet life and reading keeps me steady. Here are a few recommendations:
- Oona out of Order by Margarita Montimore. It’s got everything I like in a book: romance, grief, and time travel. If you like this one, you’ll also like Acts of Violet about a complex sister relationship, magic, mystery, love, and loss.
- Now is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson. I listened to the audio version of this book, which includes a postscript read by Wilson about the origins of this story. I cannot get enough of Kevin Wilson. Quirky and wildly relatable. After I read Nothing to See Here (who can resist combustible twins?), I devoured his short story collection and then Perfect Little World.
- Lessons in Chemistry. I love that Bonnie Garmus published this stunner of a debut at 65. A brother’s suicide features prominently in this book along with sexual assault, but it also features a super smart and hilarious dog, romance, single parenthood, healthy interdependence, and chemistry lessons amid 1950s America. Brilliant and fun.
- American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar. Pakistani-American Hayat, now in college, reflects on his teen years in Milwaukee when his mother’s oldest friend, Aunt Mina, brought a special brand of independence and beauty to the family landscape.
- Swimming Home by Deborah Levy. Suicide is present in this one, along with adultery. The French Riviera, antique firearms, a family on vacation. What could go wrong?
- How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz. I loved listening to this book on my commute. It was a live theater event and made me laugh out loud. A Dominican woman in middle age completes a series of career development sessions and shares her life story with her career counselor one meeting at a time.
- The Sunset Route by Carrot Quinn. A completely wild memoir about riding freight trains and so much more. I was freaked out, cried, laughed, and nearly vomited. Quinn is a masterful storyteller and lucky to be alive.
- The Latecomer. I will read anything Jean Hanff Korlitz writes. This is a family saga with so many layers and twists, but it’s also a subtle nod to the absurd. Frozen embryo number four is seventeen years late to the party, but when she arrives and grows up, the family is finally connected, like a long umbilical cord.