A Visit from the Goon Squad

by Jennifer Egan

I should have liked this book, very Gen Z, music industry based, but had such a hard time keeping track of the characters and who was speaking in each chapter. And I guess I had a hard time really empathizing with the people in the story. It had me wondering how this book won a Pulitzer. I read one other Egan book, Manhattan Beach. That felt more cohesive somehow.

A Carnival of Snackery

by David Sedaris

I’m been the biggest fan of Sedaris for a while. This is the first of his diaries I’ve read. At some point, half way through?, I began to slow down. He is very funny, but at some point the book seemed like a carnival of complaining. But by the time I finished, I was loving it so much. How great is it that the author lets you into his personal world with such wit, irreverence, and quirky joy?

Fates and Furies

by Lauren Groff

This is so my kind of book. When I read the jacket description, something about the challenges of a long marriage, I wasn’t sure I would like it. But it was beautifully written. The kind of writing that makes you have to use your brain, the kind of writing that makes you want to be a writer. I was drawn into the story and the mood of the time and place and the feeling of the characters. At times it got very academic-y, in a way that might alienate readers, but I forged ahead. Then, half way through, there’s a whole retelling, as the story is told from the point of view of the wife, and like in a marriage, those views can be very different. Very glad I found this book.

The Women

by Kristen Hannah

My most recent book club read. I liked it! I really liked The Nightingale by her but not Firefly Lane so much which felt too YA for me. But The Women, historical fiction about the women who served as nurses in Vietnam, really impressed me. And surprised me since I don’t really gravitate toward war books. What was so good about it, and this was true about the Nightingale, (which is also about war) is that you feel like you are there. I could imagine myself being the main character, and that made the subject matter so interesting. Hannah is very good at writing in a very accessible, unfussy way and making you really care about the events. Great book!

The Alice Network

by Kate Quinn

A book club book. Historical fiction about women who worked as spies during WWI and WWII. It was pretty good, engaging. I hurried through it so that I could discuss it when we got together and then we didn’t end up getting together. I actually listed to the audio book for part of it and I’m not used to readers doing different voices for different characters and the french accent was a bit rough. But you know, France, spies. what’s not to like?

Crying in H Mart

by Michelle Zauner

Amazing. Memoir about family, grief, food. I heard this book was good but put it off for a while because I was worried it would be too sad. But I loved it. It was so well written and so real. Isn’t that how a memoir is supposed to be? Unflinching? Not tidy or pretty. Real. I loved reading about the role of food within Asian-American families and how meaningful and multi-layered that connection is. Truly engaging and captivating.

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