Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hello booklovers!

Here are three books that recently kept me up at night:

Innocent Spouse by Carol Ross Joynt
The true story of a successful Washington woman who worked for CNN and was married to a charismatic owner of one of the most popular bar/restaurants in the D.C. area. When he dies suddenly she is informed that she is on the hook for the three million dollars he owes the IRS, the result of shady business dealings she knew nothing about. The story of the legal, business (she had no desire to run a restaurant but had no choice), and personal (did I mention that she has a five year old?) challenges she went through makes for fascinating reading. The title comes from a legal defense that her lawyers will use to try to help her.
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
This novel is about a 26 yr old children's librarian who is very concerned for the welfare of a 10 yr old patron, an extremely bright boy who comes to the library every day. When she suspects he may be emotionally abused by his parents (they think he is gay and are sending him to "classes" to straighten him out), and then she finds him hiding in a closet at the library after running away from home, her efforts to return him to his parents turn into a road trip that looks a lot like kidnapping. This book is VERY funny, and at times serious, and you will love the main character.
The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson
This book is a wonderful and epic family saga made all the more interesting because it covers a time period that most of us can remember well. I really liked the alternating stories, by chapter, of the different characters. 
The following is from the book jacket:
"It begins in 1973 when the Erickson family of Grenada, Iowa, gathers for the wedding of their eldest daughter, Anita. Even as they celebrate, the fault lines in the family emerge. The bride wants nothing more than to raise a family in her hometown, while her brother Ryan watches restlessly from the sidelines, planning his escape. He is joined by their cousin Chip, an unpredictable, war-damaged loner who will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. Torrie, the Ericksons’ youngest daughter, is another rebel intent on escape, but the choices she makes will bring about a tragedy that leaves the entire family changed forever.
Stretching from the early 1970s in the Iowa farmlands to suburban Chicago to the coast of contemporary Italy—and moving through the Vietnam War’s aftermath, the farm crisis, the numerous economic booms and busts—The Year We Left Home follows the Erickson siblings as they confront prosperity and heartbreak, setbacks and triumphs, and seek their place in a country whose only constant seems to be breathtaking change. Ambitious, richly told, and fiercely American, this is a vivid and moving meditation on our continual pursuit of happiness and an incisive exploration of the national character."

Happy reading!