Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lazy Summer Reading

Possibly my favorite way to indulge in something luxurious is to find a great book and read for an entire afternoon. I don't have to be anywhere else and I don't have to do something more productive with myself. I can get lost in a story and emerge hours later.

Eric with books and baklava
Here are a few books for your summer afternoons:

Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

Eric Sanderson wakes up with no memory of who he is and only pieces together his history through letters from his past self, the First Eric Sanderson. His letters direct him to his therapist, who insists that he shouldn't open any packages that arrive for him. He agrees, until he's attacked in his living room by a fish that comes out of nowhere. The story explores the idea of conceptual fish as well as the power of language, memory, loss, and giant sharks in a captivating way. It was absorbing and moving in ways I didn't expect. The conceptual fish have swirled around my mind since reading the novel last summer.

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

Set six months before an asteroid hits the Earth, a detective in New Hampshire attempts to prove that a suicide case was actually murder. The world that Winters creates is realistic and disturbingly familiar. Some people have gone "bucket list," New Orleans is some kind of debauchery-filled black hole, others decide to end their lives before the asteroid does, and others continue doing work they feel is needed. I finished this novel within a day and kept having to remind myself that there was no six-month countdown. I've got the second in the trilogy on hold and am anxiously checking my email for a message from the Chicago Public Library.

Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis

These two novels in Willis's Oxford time traveling series are completely absorbing. Set during World War II, three historians go back to the Blitz era in England to research how the contemporaries dealt with the bombings. However, the links to modern times close unexpectedly and they end up trapped in the 1940s. Willis succeeds at conveying the complexity of living with a war - the fear, resilience, and loss, coupled with the urgency the characters feel to return to their own era. Remembering the final chapters brings back the emotions Willis provoked. This will be a series I return to again and again.

Got any recommendations for me?

1 comment:

  1. I just finished one called The Status of All Things that was a cute, easy read.