The Nix by Nathan Hill
This is the perfect summer read: engaging but not too dense; a real delight that feels substantial without feeling like work. The Nix tells a compelling mother/son story that spans a generation and is interwoven with highly relevant cultural, historical and political themes. Highly recommended for fans of Jonathan Franzen.
Normal by Warren Ellis
I love tiny books, and this is a very tiny book! Think of it as James Patterson’s “Book Shots” for a more alternative crowd. Normal is a quick, exciting, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny piece of speculative fiction that fans of Margaret Atwood will be sure to love.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
This is Zadie Smith’s return to form – at least as good as (if not better than) her stunning debut, White Teeth. The story chronicles the lives of two frenemies from a low-income neighborhood in London who struggle mightily with their separate, yet intertwined, life journeys. Swing Time asks some big questions: can you ever fully leave the past behind? Can you climb the ladder of class and wealth without stepping on people on your way up? This novel deals with heavy themes, yet has a light touch – the mark of a true master.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life is not for the feint of heart. In fact, I’d say Hanya Yanagihara has crammed quite a lot of life (the good, but mostly the bad and the ugly) into this sizable tome about four friends living, loving, and working in present day New York City. Nevertheless Yanagihara’s prose is almost hypnotic and so compelling that you’ll want to find out what happens to these heartbreakingly well-realized characters. The heavier themes deal with childhood abuse, chronic illness, and loss.
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
An odd take on a odd genre. White Tears finds author Hari Kunzru re-imaging the existential detective fiction of Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy. I have to admit that I enjoyed this book, but did not completely understand everything that happened in it! This one is for the more adventurous reader. For fans of Paul Auster and Jonathan Lethem.