October brings perfect weather to curl up with one, some or all of these suggested books.
“Kings County” by David Goodwillie follows Audrey and Theo in Brooklyn in the early 2000’s as they find what ignites their passion and how much they are willing to sacrifice for it.
We travel to a remote island off the coast of Ireland for Lucy Foley’s murder mystery, “The Guest List.” A superb reminder of the drama of destination weddings.
One of my favorite writers, Carl Hiassen, pens a send up of Palm Beach society and the current political climate with “Squeeze Me.” A rollicking read from an author who never disappoints.
Tom Cooper sets his tale in Florida as well, but it is a darker, more malevolent saga. “Florida Man” weaves together drugs, organized crime, eco-politics and human drama in an engaging work.
“The Discomfort of Evening” by Marieke Rijneveld translated from Dutch won the 2020 Booker International Book Prize. This is not an easy read. Jas, the main character, lives with her family in a highly restrictive religious household. She tries to cope with major psychological trauma and has no support system.
Christina Baker Kline, who wrote “The Orphan Train,” brings us “The Exiles,” a story of three women in Australia in the early 1800’s when England used that country as a dumping ground for “unsavory” persons. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has already been optioned by the producer of Big Little Lies. If you want the full non-fiction story of this era of Australian history, read “The Fatal Shore” by Robert Hughes, which was written in 1986 but has been re-released in the last 10 years. An excellent work, well worth
“These Women” by Ivy Pochoda reminded me of “The Mars Room” by Rachel Kushner. It follows the lives of a group of women in South L.A. and the mean life on the streets there.
“The Color of Air” by Gayle Tsukiyama is a far more lyrical story though not without its own share of violence. Set in Hawaii, it is the story of Japanese-Americans, and alternates between 1918 and 1935. Tsukiyama also wrote “The Samurai’s Garden,” which my Book Club read in 1994, and we loved it.
Several nonfiction books this month:
“Here For It” by R. Eric Thomas is a funny, earnest memoir of growing up Black and smart in a White private school, gay in a religious Black family and church he is not sure approves of him. He becomes a successful writer and this is his story. Everyone looks at me askance when I recommend this book, but I promise you it is a fast, enlightening read.
“The Secret Life of Groceries” by Benjamin Lorr will make you infinitely more appreciative and aware of the complexity of our food chain.
In the theme of food, famed pastry chef and James Beard journalism award winner Lisa Donovan just released her memoir “Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger.” It highlights her backstory of getting into the industry and the ugly hidden side of sexual harassment and discrimination in the restaurant biz. Her work ethic alone is a marvel. Her treatment by chefs, including Sean Brock, is disappointing, to say the least.
For more information, check out beckysbookclub.com.