I just returned from a glorious trip to the beach that gave me plenty of time to catch up on my reading. (OK, some of my reading was done while waiting out flight delays, but I refuse to dwell on that.)
My time off allowed me to finish Early Warning and Golden Age, the second and third installments in Jane Smiley’s Last Hundred Years trilogy. I liked these books, but they didn’t captivate me the way the first book, Some Luck, did. That’s probably because the latter books moved away from the farm setting, which was part of the lure for me in the first place. (I married into a farm family.) I also read the last two on my iPad. It’s easy to flip back to the family tree at the front of the book when you’re holding a physical copy, but that’s more cumbersome with an e-book. Maybe that’s one reason I had more trouble keeping relationships straight.
I also read a few thrillers. I reviewed of All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford on Goodreads; you can see what I thought here. I also read The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, about a time-traveling serial killer, and I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, a twisty tale about a fatal hit-and-run. Any of these would be a fine addition to your beach bag if you like psychological thrillers.
But the standout read of my vacation? Eligible, but Curtis Sittenfeld. I was dubious about a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but I love-love-loved this book. I devoured it in two days at the beach. (You might be able to tell from the photo that it got a bit sandy and damp.) I liked Prep and American Wife, but this is by far my favorite Sittenfeld book yet.
On the last leg of my trip home, I started reading The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer. (I loved The Dive from Clausen’s Pier.) I’m really enjoying it and can’t wait to finish it. But first… laundry.
What are you reading this summer?