Friday, September 6, is National Read a Book Day, coming on the heels of beach reads season. My wife and I managed to tally up some pages this summer and I wanted to share a few of our recommendations in case you’re looking for a way to celebrate the book event.
One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper. If I tell you that this is the story of a man diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition who tries to decide whether his life is worth living, you might be surprised to learn that I found it quite funny. That’s because that’s what Tropper does–takes difficult situations faced by likable but fallible characters and infuses them with humor to soften the blow and make the medicine go down easily. Full disclosure–my wife and I are full-fledged Tropper fans having read This Is Where I Leave You, The Book of Joe and Plan B. He never disappoints.
Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok. This psychological thriller keeps you guessing to the end. Sylvie, the got-it-together older daughter of the Lee family flies to the Nederlands to say goodbye to her dying grandmother and then vanishes. Her younger sister tries retracing her steps to discover what happened to her and what she learns is that one of the many things her sister was really good at was keeping secrets. If you like a page-turner, I’d recommend.
The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves. If you like quirky characters like Eleanor Oliphant or A Man Called Ove, you’ll love Aanika Rose, a socially awkward but true-to-herself English major who meets and falls in love with Jonathan Hoffman. Their ability to fall in love is so refreshing in light of many of the superficial relationships we see on social media and in celebrityville. Of course every novel has to have conflict, so the relationship does not go smoothly but they are given a second chance to make it work. See if they do or not.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book shows up on most best-loved novels of all times so I decided to give it a try this summer. At 1,146 pages, I wouldn’t exactly call it a beach read but I’m working my way through it—shooting for 50 pages a day. I have to admit the first 30 pages did not grab me but midway through I’m beginning to see what all the hoopla is about. This book is a commitment that I think I will feel much accomplished once I’ve finished and also much wiser.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This book had bookstagrammers googling this make-believe band because the story was so convincing. Told through an oral history format, it traces the rise and breakup of an iconic 1970s rock band and their sultry lead singer, Daisy Jones. Filled with backstage drama, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and imperfect characters that you become heavily invested in.
The Dry by Jane Harper. My son recommended this one and I agree—it’s worth the read. Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his friend Luke who served as Falk’s alibi twenty years ago when he was accused of murder. Now Falk questions what really happened to Luke and sets out to investigate, uncovering long-buried secrets. The scorching hot weather during a two year drought provides the perfect backdrop for tempers to flare and suspicions to arise.
Waiting at Hayden’s by Riley Costello. Some books are worth a re-read and my daughter’s book is one of them. This is a love story that follows one couple who meet and fall in love before they are ready to settle down and a woman who is ready to settle down but hasn’t met the love of her life. There are twists, comic relief, insight into today’s dating world and links to watch scenes unfold and to shop the characters’ clothes. I’d loan you my copy but the pages are worn so I advise you to buy your own copy and support a local author!
Don’t miss out on what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and receive weekly updates of my blog.