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Our Favorite Books: 2024 Midyear Edition

Updated: 4 days ago

We're at the mid-point of 2024 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.

Andrea's Picks:

Long Island by Colm Tóibín

Long Island is a quiet book about three people who are questioning where they are in life. They are all adults whose past experiences weigh on them, but also inform their actions. Ellis, Jim and Nancy are kind of a love triangle with their own stories to tell. Their silences speak as much as their words. A beautiful, engrossing novel.

One Hour of Fervor by Muriel Barbery

Such an interesting book...cerebral, beautiful, poetic, precise, odd, and intense.  An intricate story of friendship, family, Japanese customs, art and love that is fascinating. With an array of wonderfully imagined characters, Barbery leads you on a haunting journey of self-awareness and restraint. I shed a few tears.

Ben's Picks:

Molly by Blake Butler

Written in the wake of his wife's suicide, Butler's memoir perfectly captures the truly infinite depth of love, despite the fact that one mind can never truly touch another. The most beautiful book I have ever read.

James by Percival Everett

A retelling of Huckleberry Finn through the eyes of Jim, or more appropriately, James. A crystalline examination of one of our nation's greatest sins through the lens of its foundational literature. Everett is a true giant of American letters. Georgia loved this too.

Doug's Picks:

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch

Been awhile since I couldn't put a book down. I'm not saying you'll like it. I am saying it is compelling, timely, the anxiety relentless and the writing extraordinary. Sure, read a review like NYT's by Markovits before you commit. And ask, will I stay or will I go? Elsie, Andrea and Georgia loved this too.

The Little Liar by Mitch Albom

My wife handed me this book when she finished, "You will like this one." After the last page I'm comfortable saying, this is my choice for novel of the year!  

Georgia's Picks:

Knife by Salman Rushdie

The author remembers in great detail the attack on his life at the Chautauqua Institution in 2022. A frank discussion of the attack, the aftermath and his healing, which was buoyed by the love of his wife and the devotion of his friends.

Your Presence is Mandatory by Sasha Vasilyuk

Takes place from WWII to present day. A Russian soldier is forced to keep secret the shameful fact that he was a German prisoner of war. Excellent story of lies, love and regret.

James' Pick:

The Dolphin House by Audrey Schulman

Based on a true story that involves the potential connection and horrors of love, science, and  intelligence.

In Ascension by Martin MacInnes

Stretching from the depths of the ocean to the edges of the cosmos, in a way that is intimate to the infinite depths of the human heart. Examining our own personal origins.

Melanie's Picks:

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

One of the sources the author used in writing this novel is The Midwife’s Tale by Lauren Thatcher Ulrich (who wrote one of my favorite quotes, “Well behaved women seldom make history”) Also inspired by her diaries, we are drawn into the life and times of Martha Ballard. Martha definitely lives up to Ulrich’s quote. A mother and midwife in late 18th century Maine, she is a woman ahead of her time. She never lost a woman in childbirth! This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of an unrecognized woman in American history.

A fascinating historical novel based on the life of a woman physician in 15th-century China. Immersive and inspiring. 

Roxanne's Picks:

A dynamic concentric circle of a book about Edward Albee, the artistic souffle of Greenwich Village circa 1960, and the cosmic trio of Mike Nichols, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  Both engrossing and illuminating!

Until August by Gabriel García Márquez

I devoured this in a day which is no surprise given its novella size.  However, the voice and story of the main female character continue to reverberate.  Her solo trips to the island where her mother is buried result in spicy escapades and life changing epiphanies. Andrea and Georgia loved this too.

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