Monday, August 24, 2009

Sara's Picks for Best Books of the Summer

Since summer is more or less behind us (where I live in the Northeast, it seems like it didn't get here until a few weeks ago, but I digress), I thought I'd write a quick post on the best books I read this summer. People are always asking me for recommendations, so I thought I'd beat them to it!

Again, these are not paid endorsements--simply good reads that I enjoyed over the past few months:

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. This collection of essays was funny, but in a dry, sardonic, cynical way--in other words, exactly my humor. Though I smiled throughout many of the essays, my personal favorite was "You on a Stick"--Sloane's retelling of being guilted into being in a long-forgotten best friend's wedding. Hilarious!

How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo. I just finished this book last week and really enjoyed it. Julie, a writer, tired of her life and her demanding job, convinces her boss to write a book about how single women handle their singlehood across the world. Her adventures are interspersed with the antics of Julie's friends, all with very different personalities who grow much closer by the end of the book. This has a very Sex and the City feel to it, which is probably because the author used to be a writer for the show. The idea of Julie writing a book gets a bit lost in the shuffle and some of the threads in the story never get tied up, but overall, this was a good read. There was no sunny, "everything is beautiful" ending, which I kind of liked--a very true glimpse of life.

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs. I read her first book, The Friday Night Knitting Club, and enjoyed that, as well. I didn't think Jacobs broke any new ground here or anything--she simply wrote a solid, well-crafted book with nicely developed characters and a storyline that kept me interested.

Testimony by Anita Shreve. I find that her books are hit or miss, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I love her elegant writing style, which served this particular book very well. A sex scandal at a private New England school causes a ripple effect of damage throughout the community--to the students involved, the school's headmaster, and the students' families. She alternates narrators, which I think added another layer of depth, and it shows that even the most private of moments or most impulsive of decisions can have serious repercussions for years.

There are a few precious days of summer left, so it's not too late to check a few titles off your reaidng list!

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