Late to the party

Over the past few weeks I have been happily catching up on some books I’ve been meaning to read for years. News of upcoming titles from the authors finally gave me the push. That and my friend Emma Straub (she’s not really my friend, but she would be right?) is a brilliant writer (Modern Lovers, The Vacationers) who owns a bookstore named Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, US and I take her recommendations very seriously.

Jennifer Egan – Oh my goodness! I finished reading her last novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad and I honestly was reading slowly at the end to keep me from finishing it. It’s a novel written in linking short stories and it’s so, so good! I think I’d been putting it off, to be honest, because I’d always heard how great it was and was worried I’d be disappointed.  Not disappointed!  Egan’s new novel, Manhattan Beach, just hit the shelves and her backlist includes many others.

Meg Wolitzer – I am halfway through The Interestings, her latest novel (she also has an impressive backlist) and I’m smitten. It’s a big, thick novel about teenage friends and the paths their lives take, together and apart in New York. She’s brilliant and funny and I love her too. Her new book, The Female Persuasion comes out next year.

Donna Tartt – Yes, only now have I read The Goldfinch in all of it’s 800 page glory! I picked it up the first day my kids went back to school and walked around with it so much for the next week you would have thought I have gained some muscle. It was amazing, I wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s the story of a boy’s life after losing his mother. I’m not going to tell you anything because I went into it blind and think you should too. Tartt also has two other amazing books.

I have also loved this year Grace O’Connell (Be Ready for the Lightning), Rebecca Rosenblum (So Much Love), Maile Meloy (Do Not Become Alarmed) and J. Courtney Sullivan (Saints for all Occasions).

Obviously, I have been reading all women writers these days and I think I’m going to continue to do so. In the words of one of my favourite Queen songs, “Don’t stop me now / I’m having such a good time / I’m having a ball!”

-Sarah C.

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