Last Fall after reading dozens of new book titles, publisher notes, and excerpts, and of course looking at beautiful book covers, I presented my first reading list, for Fall/Winter 2016.
The books on this list caught my attention for various reasons, which are noted below along with the publishers notes.
As of March, I am updating this post with reviews from most all of these books. I was sidetracked from the list several times which is OK because I found my favorite book of the year and also spent recent weeks watching all 9 films nominated for best picture.
My Reading list for Fall/Winter 2016, updated with links to reviews
The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict
“In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein’s wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.”
The Terranauts: A Novel by T.C. Boyle
A science fiction novel from a master storyteller; the excerpt I read reminded me of Brave New World.
“It is 1994, and in the desert near Tillman, Arizona, forty miles from Tucson, a grand experiment involving the future of humanity is underway. As climate change threatens the earth, eight scientists, four men and four women dubbed the “Terranauts,” have been selected to live under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. Their sealed, three-acre compound comprises five biomes—rainforest, savanna, desert, ocean, and marsh—and enough wildlife, water, and vegetation to sustain them.”
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
I’ve been a fan of Zadie Smith since White Teeth!
“Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.”
I didn’t write a whole post of this book, you can check my goodreads for some thoughts.
Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon
Based on a death-bed confession, this book – or description at least – seems epic!!
“Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of keeping secrets and telling lies…From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of the “American Century,” the novel revisits an entire era through a single life and collapses a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most moving and inventive.”
I liked this book even though I was a bit underwhelmed based on my “epic” expectations which I addressed in a previous post.
I Will Send Rain: A Novel by Rae Meadows
This book’s setting during the Dust Bowl reminded me both of Grapes of Wrath and some stories from my ancestors.
“Annie Bell can’t escape the dust. It’s in her hair, covering the windowsills, coating the animals in the barn, in the corners of her children’s dry, cracked lips. It’s 1934 and the Bell farm in Mulehead, Oklahoma is struggling as the earliest storms of The Dust Bowl descend. All around them the wheat harvests are drying out and people are packing up their belongings as storms lay waste to the Great Plains. As the Bells wait for the rains to come, Annie and each member of her family are pulled in different directions.”
This is the one
News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
“In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.”
I have to admit that this is the one book on the list I started but couldn’t finish. However, my dad was reading it, and I think he liked it.
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
Reading this book will sustain my WWII genre reading frenzy.
“The Nightingale meets Water for Elephants in this powerful novel of friendship and sacrifice, set in a traveling circus during World War II, by international bestselling author Pam Jenoff.“
To Capture What We Cannot Keep: A Novel by Beatrice Colin
“Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.”
Help me out – What books did I miss this fall??
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