We're at the mid-point of 2023 and we’ve already checked off quite 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 along with their comments on the books they read.
You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith
What a moving book about becoming yourself after a painful divorce. The quotations included, the questions asked, and the vignettes of a life lived both in duress and in triumph all come together for a bittersweet study of joy and grief. A wonderful read.
The Sun Walks Down by Fiona McFarlane
A riveting read. I was grabbed by the landscape, the characters and the premise right off the bat. Set in South Australia in the 1880's, it's the story of a missing child and the varied crowd that searches for him amid the backdrop of the mountains and desert of the outback. I couldn't put it down.
Biography of X by Catherine Lacey
A fictionalized memoir about a non-existent star of the east village art scene. An America broken in two after the end of World War 2. A woman attempts to understand abuse at the hands of the person she loved. All at once.
Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane
Brilliant! 5 Stars! The best Lehane book forever! I read it in 2 days. A remarkable woman is the unlikely heroine. Set in Boston during the tensions around busing. On my top ten of all times
The Postcard by Anne Berest
A great translation about a difficult subject. Stunning!
Foster by Claire Keegan
It's a beautiful book of a child finding the family she needs and a good family finding a child to fill the hole in their hearts.
A Pure Heart by Rajia Hassib
A journalist's good intentions lead to tragedy during Egypt's revolution. Moving and timely.
The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler
A near-future thriller about intelligent life in an octopus species with its own language and culture. Mind-expanding.
Ways of Being by James Bridle
An artistic benevolent vision of how being aware of all the forms of intelligence on Earth can be optimistically engineered into our psyche, and how A.I. can serve as a beneficial tool for all.
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
A beautifully written multigenerational saga of 20th century India told through intertwining stories. You will find yourself immersed in the lives of some unforgettable characters. Verghese, who is a physician, respects traditional attitudes of childbirth, genetic inheritance, and "The Condition," with modern medicine of the times. Reflections on the importance of water, both realistically and metaphorically, stream throughout the book. I loved it!
The Book of Charlie by David Von Drehle
Von Drehle's study of Charlie White’s life focuses on how a man makes it to such an age with all his faculties and physical capacities still in place. In Charlie’s case, many of the anecdotes over his life span focus on his lens of seeing life’s challenges through a lens of comedy, joy and/or daring.
Niki by Christos Chomenidis
I haven’t read a book with such specificity in regards to food and relationships in quite some time. A novel with beautifully drawn complex characters. Niki becomes not only a character, but a friend.