I have some catching up to do on books, too. Here are a few I've read recently. More to come, as I've gotten off to a quick start this year.
Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng.
This started out slowly, and although it was okay, and the writing is good, I couldn't tell where it was headed. But then! It got interesting. The first half of the book is detail and character-heavy, as the authors sets the scene. The second half is plot-heavy and quickly becomes a page-turner. The story centers around two families, and the characters are all very different and written in wonderful detail. You really feel like you get to know all of them. It was fascinating to think about situations from various perspectives, and it's made all the more powerful by not forcing the reader to choose sides.
Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout.
This book feels like a character study. If you enjoy people-watching, and imagining what their lives are like and what they're thinking, then you'll love this. If you enjoyed My Name is Lucy Barton and want to know what happens when she returns home to visit her siblings, then you'll love this. Personally, while I enjoyed the writing and the interesting characters, I wanted something more to happen. And when it didn't, I was okay when it ended.
The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah.
I loved this book. It starts in 1974, when Leni is a 13-year-old girl. Her father has returned from Vietnam a changed and unstable man. Along with Leni's mom, they move around the country, searching for stability and a place to belong. They move to Alaska to live off the grid and make their way in the wild, settling in a small and very tight-knit community of homesteaders. It's a beautiful and gripping story that kept me up way too late, because I simply didn't want to put it down.