I've been reading a lot of non-YA books for school and fun lately, and I thought I'd share some one paragraph reactions! Most of these would be considered "adult" books, but every time I apply that label to a book, I think of very inappropriate books and I start laughing.
Here we go...
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
This is a very fascinating non-fiction story about a Hmong family that comes to the US and the problems that they encounter with the health care system. I found this book so fascinating because it not only explains the traditions and history of a displaced culture, but it explores our health care system in the conflicts between superstition, holistic medicine, and Western science. It was sad, enlightening, and fascinating.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed is the author of a novel and a memoir, and she was the anonymous advice columnist Dear Sugar on The Rumpus. This book is a collection of some of her most insightful, humorous, and heartbreaking columns. Strayed is an amazing writer, and her column is not like Dear Abby's. She tackles some big issues, and she talks a lot about her own life a lot in her responses. The stories she tells are oftentimes heartbreaking, but always fascinating and entertaining. Strayed is an amazing writer and she has some incredible advice.
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson
I was initially drawn to this book because it has a young teenage protagonist and because it reminded me of Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. However...this book definitely fell flat for me. The only thing that seems to happen is the Earth's rotation slows. Days get longer, and so do nights, and life is thrown into chaos. Thompson's book looks at the effects this has on society and the protagonist's family, and throughout the entire book tension builds and builds and builds and then...nothing. The book just ends. I had a really hard time understanding the trajectory of the book, but the writing is really beautiful and the book is quite imaginative.
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores
This is a British book, though it has submissions from bookstores all over the world, and it is absolutely hilarious. As a bookseller, I have no problem envisioning some of these encounters. This is a really great, humorous read that would make a great gift or pick-me-up!
Broken Harbor by Tana French
I've been intrigued by Tana French's mysteries, especially considering the hype that Broken Harbor was released with, so I picked it up while at work. Told from the point of view of a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad, this is the story of a murder that should have been simple to solve, but wasn't. The book starts out with a lot of very creepy and strange events and evidence, and as the detectives get further into the mystery, it's quite frightening to see how a family can go from normal to victims so quickly. I will definitely be checking out a few more of French's books!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This book is huge right now--we can't keep it on the shelves at the bookstore. I've been itching to read it, but finally picked it up when I saw it on a reading list for a class next semester. The novel alternates back and forth between Nick and Amy, a husband and wife celebrating their fifth anniversary when Amy disappears, leaving the police to suspect Nick. The novel is broken into three parts, and in each section the voice and the story changes, forcing the reader to piece together the truth. I'm not sure what I expected when I started the book, but Flynn definitely surprised me and kept me on my toes. I loved how all of the details were connected, and no one is as they first appear. This is an excellent novel, and I am excited to check out Flynn's other books!