Though I’m still in the process of choosing my books of the year, a few recent reads deserve brief mention here.
Sweetness #9: A Novel by Stephan Eirik Clark
Recommended by California author Eden Lepucki when she was on The Colbert Report to discuss the whole Amazon vs. Hatchette dealio. It’s Mad Men, but with artificial sweeteners instead of advertising. It’s also much longer-form than Mad Men (unless there’s one hell of a time jump coming up in the final episodes), going from the 1970s to the present day. While the theme is ostensibly the evils of eating artificial, I remain a convert to those blue and yellow packets. Your mileage may vary.
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
Dentist goes crazy. Many Red Sox references.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Moriarty also wrote The Husband’s Secret, which I quite enjoyed despite a few confusing Aussie references. (Both author and setting are Australian.) In both that book and this one, Moriarty sets up a tangled web of school mums, husbands, townspeople, and kids, adds a complicating factor or two (an affair, a murder, etc.), and stirs. Quite enjoyable, even—or especially—when they’re having tea or calling cookies “biscuits.”
Wild: From Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
I enjoyed this book so much it inspired me to research the Pacific Crest Trail and buy a small fanny pack. On the down side, I feel like Reese Witherspoon is a little too glam for Cheryl.
The Miniaturist: A Novel by Jessie Burton
Sugar, sodomy, and the Dutch.