Although my tastes these days tend toward feel good stories, and I’ve forgotten about checking on all the award winners this year or grabbing new publications as soon as available, I am still always looking for a good book to take me away from reality.
Fiona Davis took me to the New York City Library and favorite neighborhoods I wonder if I will ever see again in The Lions of Fifth Avenue. An historical novel framed around a series of book thefts spans two generations of women as they navigate family and careers. With a smattering of women’s rights and a big dose of family drama, the story is easy to follow and with a read-it-in-a-setting vibe. It was a Valentine’s present to me through Libby, the library’s email guru, after a friend recommended it. If you are a lover of New York City, a lover of libraries, or just want to escape into the stacks again, The Lions of Fifth Avenue will satisfy.
William Kent Krueger’s Thunder Bay also has an historical bent, with a suspenseful plot and a taste of the Old West in the seventh book in Krueger’s Cork O’Connell mystery/detective series. Search for a long-lost son mingles with gold in Canada and the Ojibwe tribe in Northern Minnesota. In his style of rich character development and slow moving plot, Krueger gave me a different perspective and a reason to turn the pages. This paperback has been sitting on my shelf, and now Krueger has his eighteenth to be published in August, 2021. I need to catch up.
I’ve preordered a stack of books:
- Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro The story of Klara, an Artificial Intelligence Friend, who observes behaviors from her shelf in the store, hoping someone will choose her.
- Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams The misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and a young woman investigating his adventures a century later.
- The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan During World War II, a BBC radio program hold a cooking contest with the grand prize as the program’s first-ever female cohost. Four women vie for the chance to change their lives.
and, in case you are wondering, some of the award winners for 2020 are:
- Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
- Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown for the National Book Award
- Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain for the Man Booker Award
- Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet for the Women’s Prize for Fiction
- Raven Leilani’s Luster for Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Have you read any of them?