I may have overreached in thinking I could get back to the full descriptive format this month. Better luck to you, June.
- A Fierce and Subtle Poison, by Samantha Mabry*: A Texan teen in Puerto Rico is drawn in by local legend about a mysterious house and a cursed girl.
- My Year of Meats, by Ruth Ozeki: 1990s documentarian Jane is tasked with producing episodes of an ad/TV show sponsored by a Japanese meat company with a view toward encouraging Japanese housewives to buy more meat. She doesn’t cooperate.
- Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith: Two strangers, each with someone they’d like dead, consider the perfect crime. Murder is easy; It’s living with yourself after that gets sticky.
- A Rope and a Prayer: The Story of a Kidnapping, by David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill: NY Times journalist in Afghanistan is kidnapped by the Taliban and endures a multi-month ordeal in the tribal lands of Pakistan. Thanks to Catherine for sending me this one, and sorry it took me so long to read it.
- A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, by Anna Politkovskaya: This account of life during the second Chechen war was incredibly difficult to read—not because it’s poorly written, because it absolutely is not. The writing is stripped down and very basic. It’s the stories that will just tear your heart out. Politkovskaya was later murdered, underlining how important it is to force your way through the pages.
- A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman: This book was the third by order, but I knew then it would be my favorite of the month. A bestseller out of Sweden, it’s the story of a cantankerous old man who seems grumpy, petty and furious at the world. If you liked the movie Up, you’ll love this book. If you didn’t like the movie Up, I don’t even know what to do with you.
*Debut author – please support!