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Search tags: read-other-books-by-this-author
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review 2018-08-29 05:25
Sing, Unburied, Sing
Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward

With writing most often described as lyrical and lush, Ward's elegiac prose eases you gently into harsher truths. Having read Salvage the Bones, I was happy to see this new title offered on NetGalley, especially with that amazing cover. But despite the fact that I got the kindle version, I decided to listen to the audiobook, which added an AudioFile award to the many others this book has garnered, including the National Book Award for Fiction. This is a powerful, deeply moving story, combining the gritty underside of life with the ethereal world of those who have left but refuse to be forgotten. Compelling and truly a wonder, as you might expect.

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review 2018-08-29 03:42
The Accomplished Guest
The Accomplished Guest: Stories - Melody Beattie

I chose this book because I love Ann Beattie's writing, and I found the theme — of people paying visits, traveling to see old friends, or receiving visitors themselves — intriguing. Despite the fact that these were collected from a range of publications, I found the theme especially apt, and enjoyed discovering the connection to it in each story I read. I feel like I have grown up with Beattie's writing, and this collection is one of her best. The characters have flaws but so much soul, and I would guess that, given the subjects she tackles, they will appeal to a wide audience. Told with compassion and humor, this is definitely recommended.

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review 2018-08-28 04:18
Grief Cottage
Grief Cottage: A Novel - Gail Godwin

I read one or two of Godwin's books long before I began tracking my reading with any kind of purpose, but when I saw her new book on NetGalley, I was eager to read it. Pitched as a mystery/ghost story and a moving exploration of grief, it delivered on all counts for me. I almost wanted to call it Grief Town, because everyone in this book is grieving, far beyond Marcus' loss and whatever happened in the ruined cottage down the beach. Godwin's story comes alive with her deft prose, her quirky and compelling characters, and her evocative setting. It's not so much a mystery — since the missing pieces are not all that hard to put together — but it's a story of loss, love, and how to carry on when things don't work out the way you planned. Perfect beach read, if you are still able to do that, but trade that in a pinch for a comfy chair by the fire with a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate.

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review 2018-08-21 03:38
New Boy
New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare) - Tracy Chevalier

I've read several of Chevalier's books, so when I saw this one offered on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to get a copy. After reading two other books in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, Vinegar Girl and Hag-Seed, I was curious to read Chevalier's take on Othello. I think this is a departure for Chevalier, whose historical fiction I love, but I am not sure what she intended here. Her protagonists are reimagined as 11-year-olds, and the drama occurs over the course of one school day, with most of the action taking place on the playground. For me, this format diminished the impact of the story. I am not sure why Chevalier set this in the '70s, especially when the words and actions of her characters seemed more in line with today's kids, as opposed to the much less eloquent and exceedingly more immature kids I remember, having been an 11-year-old in the '70s.  


To be fair, Chevalier on her worst day is significantly better than so many other published writers, that of course I finished reading it, and I have no regrets. Now, on to her other books on my TBR pile...

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review 2018-08-14 04:48
Tell Me More
Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say - Kelly Corrigan

It's almost embarrassing how much I love Kelly Corrigan's books; but I am comforted in my fandom by the fact that my best friend feels the same way. We are both convinced that if we all lived closer, we would definitely be friends. Corrigan's writing confirms this for me — her stories of life with two teenage daughters make me feel like she has been a fly on my walls, especially given that mine are pretty much the same age and with similar tastes. Her husband, like mine, is calm in the face of daily dramas; and their research on parenting equips them with tools only a Dad can wield — Corrigan confirms that we mothers are just in too deep. I bookmarked pages for my husband that I found hilarious, but it was lost in my translation; he begged me to let him read it on his own, without my highlighting the good parts for him. He feels a certain kinship with her too, since they are both University of Richmond grads, but he tired quickly of my yelling out names of college friends she mentions, asking, "Hey, did you know...?" There is some territory here that Corrigan has explored before, but I appreciated the way she organized the essays, with 12 things that seem so simple and yet so significant. As always, Corrigan delivers a thoughtful, moving, and often hilarious account of life in the trenches.

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