One Long, Hot Summer

So it has been one long, hot summer of me not reading much, and reviewing even less. I’m going to try to rectify all that today with some super short reviews, followed by an afternoon of reading in the sun.

Sweet Caress by William Boyd. If you’re going to read a middle-aged, white male might i suggest Boyd? He’s always been a favorite of mine. I read this on a plane, and while I don’t really remember much about it, I do remember that I liked it. Not my favourite of Boyd’s work, but a strong read just the same. Continue reading

We’re All In This Together by Amy Jones

I do not know who Amy Jones is, but I can tell you that she just might be my new favorite Canadian novelist. We’re All In This Together is a brilliant, laugh out loud funny, getting the family back together adventure with heart. Yep, I’ve used every cliche in the book and they are all true. This is the #1 book you should read this summer. Continue reading

The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer

The Way Things WereI’ve been putting off reading The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer for a while because I was pretty sure I was going to love it and i did. It’s about a family of Sanskritists during the tumult of 1970s to present day India. That description hardly does the novel justice. It is, in fact, an epic exploration of the family, memory, trauma and how the past exists in the present. Continue reading

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

My reading has been far from multicultural lately. Brits and white North Americans seem to be dominating. This is a situation I usually try to avoid, but when a novel about a dysfunctional family comes my way I have a hard time turning away. Enter The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

And the Plumb family is definitely dysfunctional. The four siblings have had to wait until the youngest turns forty for their inheritance. But that has not stopped them from spending it. All are caught up in financial and familial turmoil that a large lump sum of money could potentially resolve. But life is never that simple, is it? Oldest brother Leo does something (but what?) that means the windfall will not be going to his siblings. At least not as much as they had initially anticipated and built their lives around.

My only complaint about the book, which i loved, was the ending. Everything is wrapped up a little to neatly for me. They don’t get the money, but everyone lives happily ever after, or at least comes to terms with their state of affairs.

Who will like this book? If you like dysfunctional families as I clearly do, then The Nest will be a winner for you. It fulfills Tolstoy’s adage that each family is unhappy in it’s own way. There’s lots of lies and deceit and the kind of scandal that rocks life in suburbia. Oh, and Amy Poehler is blurbed on the cover, so you know it’s good.

The Past by Tessa Hadley

the-past by tessa hadleyTessa Hadley is one of those writers who is quite well known in the UK, but when I lived in Canada I’d never heard of her. For that reason alone, I was interested in reading The Past. But it also has that age-old story strain that I fall for every time: family gets together at summer home to make a decision. Continue reading

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. LockhartI feel like I’m the last person in the book blogging world to have read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. It was all the rage two summers ago, if I remember correctly. Some people loved it, some felt it was predictable, others merely jumped on one bandwagon or the other. It was kind of an ‘it’ book of the moment – one I knew I’d read, but maybe once all the hub-bub had died down. Continue reading

The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go

The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin GoSeriously, I have to start reading the blurbs on the back of books! I was drawn to The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go because I thought it was about climbing Mount Everest. Mount Everest is genre kryptonite for me. So i was a little disappointed to learn that Everest is only a small portion of the novel. But Go’s writing made up for that. He is a seriously good writer and I will read whatever he puts out next. Continue reading

How To Write A Novel by Melanie Sumner

How To Write A Novel by Melanie SumnerObviously the thing that attracted me to this novel was the title: How to Write A Novel. That’s like candy for people like me. And I must say that Melanie Sumner does a surprisingly good job at unfolding the story in a way that corresponds to a How To book about novel writing. Continue reading

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin KwanRemember way back in the summer of 2013 when I reviewed Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and loved it? Well, Kwan is back with China Rich Girlfriend and it is just as rich and crazy as ever. It’s the perfect summer read – smart, funny and not too heavy. Continue reading

Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas

Let Me Explain You by Annie LiontasFirst off, the thing that attracted me to Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas was the title and the cover. I instantly had an idea about what it was going to be about: a Greek family tale with a strong, and perhaps quirky, patriarch. And my guess was pretty dead on. Continue reading