Having made a cracking reading start to the year, it's rather tailed off of late. Sigh. Here's hoping the rest of the summer is better.
22. Title: Spoilt Brats
Author: Simon Rich
Recommended by: no one. I'd read this man's shopping lists. Purloined The Writer's press preview copy (complete with his review quote on it).
Read: 1 - 3 July
Score: 10/10. Obviously.
Like Last Girlfriend on Earth, this is a collection of Rich's short stories, but rather than love, they're centred around the theme of parents and children. It's not quite as funny as the previous collection, and there's definitely a sadder tone to some of the pieces. It includes the absolutely cracking story about the guy who makes pickles that was included in The New Yorker a year or so ago, and is no less funny, clever or charming the second time round.
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Recommended by: I saw this in the NYT's 'summer books to read' list last year and suggested it to London Book Club as our read for July. Bought from Amazon.
Read: 16 - 26 July
I adored this book. Centred around a group of friends who meet as teenagers and go on to live their differing lives, it's packed full of gorgeous writing, nostalgia, and an enveloping sense of... familiarity, I think it is. The characters are so beautifully drawn, warts and all, that I felt a real sense of missing them when I finished the final page. HIGHLY recommended, and there's a great piece here by an LBC member which encapsulates it all far better than I could.
23.5. Title: &Sons
Author: David Gilbert
Recommended by: I don't remember. Bought from Amazon.
Read: 26 - 30 July.
Critics loved this, and it's very well-written, but oooof... I just can't get on with books that are written more for the writer than the readers. Dense and a bit too clever for me. The first book I've given up on in well over a year.