Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter Is Coming

The weather has been cold and dreary for weeks here in NYC, but winter doesn't officially begin until Sunday 12/21. Also known as "Winter Solstice," Sunday will be the shortest day of the year. The silver lining in all of this: perfect weather for snuggling up with a good book! Here are my winter reading picks:

A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
"Ozeki's magnificent third novel (All Over Creation, 2003, etc.) brings together a Japanese girl's diary and a transplanted American novelist to meditate on everything from bullying to the nature of conscience and the meaning of life."
I read this on our recent trip to St. Barth's and I was captivated. This book blends historical fiction, current Japanese culture and existentialism. Plus, the two narrators are seemingly so real and likable.  

This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper
"The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva-and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she's pregnant."
This book had me giggling out loud. It's a light read, despite its serious subject matter, and perfect for anyone stressing about spending lots of time with family this holiday season.

The Paris Wife, Paula McLain
"A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures the love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley."
Before visiting Paris this past summer I dove into 20's era historical fiction. This particular book got me hooked on learning everything I could about Hemingway and his cohorts. 

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler
"A tale inspired by F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's marriage follows their union in defiance of her father's opposition and her transformation into a Jazz Age celebrity in the literary party scenes of New York, Paris, and the French Riviera."
After finishing The Paris Wife I was hungry for more tales about Hemingway and his crew. This fresh perspective was informative and enjoyable. 

The Secret History, Donna Tartt
"Richard Papen, a relatively impoverished student at a New England college, falls in with an exclusive clique of rich, worldly Greek scholars and soon learns the dreadful secret that keeps them together."
I'm about halfway through Donna Tartt's first novel. I loved her Pulitzer Prize-winning The Golfdinch. The Secret History is rich with detail and elements of suspense. I'm intrigued, and I definitely don't mind staying indoors to finish it off. 


P.S. If you're like me and mourning the loss of The Newsroom on Sundays, check out The West Wing on Netflix. I didn't watch West Wing when it originally aired, so it's an absolute treat to take in now. 

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