Our Favorite Books: 2022 Midyear Edition
Since it's the mid-point of 2022 and the start of summer, we’ve checked off a few good books from our reading lists this year. And, since we love talking about what we’ve read we asked the Bookstore1 staff "What are your favorite books you've read so far this year?" Here are their picks.
Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh What a great and timely read. As abortion rights are threatened in this country, Jennifer Haigh shines a light on an abortion clinic in Boston and the lives that are touched by it. Claudia, the main character, works there; other characters include protesters, clients, and Claudia's pot dealer, who helps her with the stress. Haigh infuses these characters with humanity. They are all from poor, tough places, and Haigh opens our eyes to their worlds. Propulsive and moving, I couldn't put it down.
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
Beautiful, intense, sad, haunting, heartfelt, scary, loving, mesmerizing, poignant, astonishing story of dementia. While Otsuka expresses the tale of a daughter’s experience with her mother’s illness from a distance, it is so immediate that you feel you are in the middle of their lives. Breathtaking.
Doug and James' Pick
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
Wow! Incredibly crafted mystery through time & space that attempts to answer if we exist in a simulation, or the reality that we have always accepted.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Doerr writes of the longevity of books and libraries and how they endure through time. Spanning from 15th century Constantinople, to present day Idaho (where he lives), to a 22nd century spaceship, one wonders how these settings and characters could possibly intersect. But, they do in surprising ways.
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
A small moving book about generosity, history, family and religion. Bill Furlong didn’t come from much, but he had a benefactor. As he learns what is really happening in the “laundry” where young women end up, his memories of kindness move him to action. A quiet read that shows the power of a moral compass. Terrific!
A History of the World in 100 Animals by Simon Barnes
An intoxicating look at the relationships between Humans and Animals over time from both of their perspectives, and how it has altered one another and the planet. A great way to learn more about history, nature, and mythology. Filled with amazing Illustrations and paintings. Each chapter is its own discovery.
Vagina Oscura by Rachel E. Gross
A wild journey into a long-neglected and maligned body part. I found myself equally enraptured and enraged the whole way through. Complete with haunting illustrations by Armando Veve, Vagina Obscura provides scientific, philosophical, psychological, and historical perspective on the past, present, and future of the vagina.
Small Odysseys edited by Hannah Tinti
A vibrant, eclectic collection of short fictions. Each ends up feeling like a small nourishing snack. Enjoy!
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.
They're Going to Love You by Meg Howrey
Describes the world of the artist/performer, in this case a ballet dancer and choreographer, better than I have seen in a long time, really excellent.
A Place in the World by Frances Mayes
Mayes at her best— prepare to be swept away by her passion for place and some of the best descriptive prose around.
The Twilight World by Werner Herzog
Difficult to put down once you start. Full of unforgettable individual moments that make up the Quixotic saga of Hiroo Onoda with a blend of poetry and prose. Definitely reads like a Herzog film.
Hide by Kiersten White
A fast paced and horrific re-imagining of the myth of the Minotaur for anxiety-ridden millennials.
In the Early Times: A Life Reframed by Tad Friend
A sins of the father type memoir by the New Yorker staff writer is a stunning portrayal of fatherhood and the difficult process of seeing our parents age. I started writing out quotes I found miraculous upon first starting the book and then gave up because every page is prosaically jaw dropping.
Pure Colour by Sheila Heiti
Starts out as an artful telling of a college girl's experience, then zooms magically into an entire metaphysical take on death. Life changing!
A Brief History of Equality by Thomas Piketty
A refreshing perspective from a leading economist on the interplay between economic development, the distribution of wealth and income, political conflict, and equality. Pure Piketty!