Bookavore

voracious reader with a certain verbal attitude

Posts tagged the round house

23 notes &

Yesterday I was in a presentation at the library on gift recommendations for the upcoming holidays. This is what I recommended. These are bona fide gift recommendations in the sense that not only are they two of my favorite books of the year, but also I am giving at least one copy of each as a gift. Actually, now that I think about it, probably at least two each!

A common occurrence in the bookstore around this time of year was that somebody would come in looking for a book for a family member and I would ask, what sort of book does he or she like? “Huh. I don’t know, I just need a really good book,” would come the answer. Well, in case I miss you, here you go. These are just really good books.

Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon would be my favorite book of the year if I were in the habit of picking such things. Earlier this year I read (and loved) The Noonday Demon in anticipation of this book, after hearing editor Nan Graham say that his new book was one of the best books she’d worked on in her career. This book is somehow even better than Noonday. It is so, so good. Writing about books like this leaves me speechless, which is okay, because this book has been extensively reviewed and my two cents are not necessary. You could read just one chapter of it and you’d be better off as a human being for it. It is also very big and shiny, which makes it a good present. It is absolutely perfect for people who come in contact with children regularly, even though that’s a list of people who seem to not have much free time for reading—parents, teachers, nurses—but truly, I would give it to anybody I thought would read it. Like Solomon’s first book, I am still thinking about this one and it has irrevocably changed some of how I approach my self, and the world.

The Round House is Louise Erdrich’s new novel. It needs little introduction if you are keeping up with book news, as it won the National Book Award for fiction this year. However, I don’t think that “National Book Award” translates into “great present” for many of us, which is why I mention it. I have been an Erdrich fan for a long time and she has never disappointed me. I am particularly in love with this new book because it takes so much of what I loved about her previous books—stellar writing, incredible sense of humanity and intra-family relationships, humor, the setting of the Ojibwe reservation—and layers them over a more traditional sort of mystery. It is very good, and a good match with almost any reader of fiction. In particular, if you have trouble buying a book for your mom each year (this seems to be a real holiday issue), then save yourself the worry and just get this one (though not if she’s in publishing).

Filed under books far from the tree andrew solomon the round house louise erdrich

10 notes &

Three great new books, by three great authors at the top of their game:

The Round House by Louise Erdrich.

Broken Harbor by Tana French.

Dorchester Terrace by Anne Perry.

I can think of few things as satisfying as picking up a book by an author you already love, and the book being everything you want it to be (outside of the cold crunchy-smush of a recently-sliced watermelon). These three were exactly that. I read them in quick succession and was so spoiled that I am now living on bad YA novels about rich teenagers and seasons 4 and 5 of the X-Files until their spell wears off.

Filed under books louise erdrich the round house broken harbor tana french dorchester terrace anne perry watermelon