June 25, 2014
TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann. I really enjoyed this one. I loved 'Let the Great World Spin', which is by the same author, so I had high expectations. It delivered. The author weaves several stories together, and it's fascinating to think about how our lives are impacted by those who came before us and how they may have an affect on people in the future. He also uses the historical facts surrounding some famous men as a backdrop, but the main characters in the book are fictional women who merely brush past those men in life. Beautifully written.
The Dinner, by Herman Koch. I had high expectations for this book, too, especially when you read the reviews on the cover. On the cover, Gillian Flynn ('Gone Girl') writes, "Chilling, Nasty, Smart, Shocking, and Unputdownable." So naturally, that's what I expected. Overall, it was an okay book, and it would probably be a good one for a book club, because I can see the discussions it would naturally start. How far would you go to protect your children? I wouldn't go so far as to use those descriptors, though. I'd say it was smart, thought-provoking, and a decent read.
This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz. This book is so refreshingly different. The writing is raw and unique, and it is written just as people talk. I could hear the voices as I was reading. The characters are Dominican, which I will admit is a culture that I am not very familiar with, and the setting is the Northeast US - specifically New York and Boston. Overall, I didn't feel a ton of emotional resonance, but I think that's primarily because the topic (basically the main characters cheats on all his girlfriends) and culture is so foreign to me. I still enjoyed it and found it fascinating.