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Recommendations wanted

Do you ever feel like a book finds you when you need it? Like the Universe or God or the interconnectedness of all things is working together to ensure you read a book when you need it most? May was one of those months. Nearly every book that found its way to me came when I needed it most. Now, I’m hoping all the summer books find me: the books that are light, quick, and full of love, humor, and easily resolved problems. Recommendations wanted.

In May I read 14 books, 10 of which were four stars or better. Here they are, in no particular order:

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Ernest Cunningham is a hilarious crime fiction mystery that’s medium-to-fast paced. A fascinating break of the fourth wall, the author/narrator speaks directly to the reader, always assuring you’re following. Perfect beach read.

Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez is a literary fiction book that’s medium-paced, emotional, and mysterious. I consider it a summer read because you won’t be able to put it down and it’s quite funny, a heady combination of heavy feminist subject matter and light magical realism.

Sight Hound by Pam Houston is a medium-paced fiction about loving and losing our best friend…in the form of a furry pup. About so much more than friendship, it’s a book that forces us to confront our fears and accept love and bravery in all their many forms.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante is historical literary fiction that’s emotional and reflective and reads very much like memoir. A tale of friendship, coming-of-age, and the complexity of relationships. Told in Ferrante’s densely packed and rich sentence structure, it’s almost hard to read, each chapter leaves you so full.

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken is a medium-paced emotionally reflective memoir about still-birth. A phenomenal story of loss and grief, it attempts to answer the question: how do we go on after loss.

What Comes Next and How to Like It by Abigail Thomas is a medium-paced, humorous, and emotionally reflective memoir about aging and all it affects: relationships with lovers, children, and pets. For those more interested in aging with courage than grace.

Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell is a medium-paced memoir through snippets. Emotional and reflective, it's a heart-wrenching story of friendship and love. Bring your tissues.

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy is a medium-paced memoir about miscarriage and resilience on the surface, but is deeply a story about what it means to be a woman in a certain time: what’s expected of us when we’re told the world is ours.

Into the Woods by John Yorke is a medium-paced reference book for writers and creatives about the history of story and structure. It assisted me greatly in finally understanding some things about the difference between story and situation.

Breaking Ground on Your Memoir by Brooke Warner is a fast-paced umbrella reference book for writers. It is like drinking from a fire hose and gives an overview of what a memoir needs to help keep a writer on track, but doesn’t delve into specifics.

I’m currently in different stages of reading:

-The 90-Day Memoir by Alan Watt

-The Writer’s Notebook by Tin House

-Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

What’s a book you’re looking forward to reading now that summer’s here? Do you read less or more in the season of sun? I tend to read the same amount, but my genres shift significantly away from the deep and intense to the light and carefree (no memoirs please, as much as I adore them!). If you’re looking specifically for some summer reads, I highly recommend:

-Becoming Duchess Goldblatt by Duchess Goldblatt

-Magic in Manhattan (a series) by Sarah Mlynowski

-Confessions of a Slacker Mom by Muffy Mead-Ferro

-The Year of the Goat by Margaret Hathaway

-The Thursday Murder Club (a series) by Richard Osman

-Silver Trilogy and/or Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier

-Running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall

-Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Steve Hockensmith

-Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

-Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene

-The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery

-Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

- Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

-Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan

-anything by Emily Henry, David Sedaris, or Graeme Simsion

Sunday Dutro is an avid reader and eBook convert living in Thompson Falls with her beautiful family and an enormous “to be read” pile. Reach her at [email protected].


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