My mind is filled with the digestive tracts of various animals, cell division, the arrangement of leaves on plants… But I’m also distracted by the fact that I have three books awaiting review. So I’m removing the distraction with very short reviews (if you want to know what the book is about, check out the link).
Vactionland by Sarah Stonich
It’s hard to push a book when all I really want to say is “Read this. Read it slowly, savour it.” It reminded me of Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout but was, in my opinion, a touch more clever – the links between the characters at first seem tenuous and then reveal themselves to be simply glorious. I’m sure there’s a technical name for the device or process that authors use to plot out characters, chronology and connections – whatever it’s called, Stonich’s must have been stupendous for Vactionland.
Also, isn’t the cover of this book just beautiful?
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Try to read this novella in one sitting if you can as it keeps you focused on what is initially a rather odd point-of-view. There were aspects of the book that I really admired – most importantly, Offill’s writing is exquisite – pithy, dark and a few turns of phrase that are poetic (my Kindle highlighter was in overdrive). But can a story be too pithy? There were bits that I had to read over – had I missed a major plot twist…? No, the reader does have to work to fill in some key elements of the story (in a distracting way).
Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting
The ultimate story of ‘frenemies’ with some marvelously colourful and memorable characters to boot. I know plenty of people who say they aren’t into chick-lit – fair enough, but I doubt you’d put this one down if you read the first few pages.
That Vacationland cover is lovely. It must be set in Maine, right?
It’s not Maine! Set on a lake in northernmost Minnesota.
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