Although I haven’t read all the books still on my to read pile from last year, I am already thinking about new books to be published soon in 2019.
Here are five I want to read, with more to come:
- The Suspect by Fiona Barton – a psychological thriller
- The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley – a Flavia de Luce mystery
- The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict – historical fiction with actress Hedy Lamarr as the main character
- Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman – romantic comedy with one woman’s trash becoming another woman’s treasure
- Spring by Ali Smith – the next installment of her seasons
Looking back is sometimes easier than looking forward. Scrolling through my reviews for 2018 brought back connections I made through books, and, as I tried to identify one book from each month, I remembered the year. I found a book for each month except June, and the one posting for that month titled A Prescription for Comfort Books was a reminder of my fall.
Here are my favorites for 2018 – have you read any?
- January, 2018 – I started the year with Roz Chast’s Going Into Town, my favorite book of the year.
- February, 2018 – a complicated puzzle of lives and loves – The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake
- March, 2018 – Eleanor Roosevelt and her true love in Amy Bloom’s White Houses
- April, 2018 – a thrill a minute in Christine Mangan’s Tangerine
- May, 2018 – Ruth Ware returns with another mystery thriller in The Death of Mrs. Westaway
- June, 2018 – oh, my aching back – a good title for my memoirs
- July, 2018 – Anne Tyler returns to Baltimore in Clock Dance
- August, 2018 – Delia Owens, a naturalist, writes her first fiction book in Where the Crawdads Sing
- September, 2018 – a creepy thriller – Louise Candish’s Our House
- October, 2018 – the power of women in Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls
- November, 2018 – a children’s book with a message for adults by Kate DiCamillo – Louisiana’s Way Home
- December, 2018 – nonfiction – The Library Book by Susan Orleans
Coffee – I look forward to that first cup every morning, and today is National Coffee Day in the United States, where you can savor a free cup at a few coffee shops. What could be better than a good cup of coffee and a good book?
First, where can you get a free cup of coffee today?
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Krispee Kreme
- 7 Eleven
I wondered about coffee references in literature. Can you think of any? Here are a few from books I’ve read:
- from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women: “I’d rather take coffee than complements right now.”
- from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises: “Good. Coffee is good for you. It’s the caffeine in it. Caffeine, we are here…”
- from Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukura Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage: “The fresh smell of coffee soon wafted through the apartment, the smell that separates night from day.”
- from J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye: “That’s something that annoys the hell out of me – I mean if somebody says the coffee’s all ready and it isn’t.
- from T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: “I have measured my life out in coffee spoons.”
Brazil is the largest producer of coffee (the United States is the largest consumer), so a new book set in Rio de Janeiro – The Caregiver by Samuel Park – seems appropriate for a coffee day.
Quick Summary: “…examines the relationship between a mother and daughter after years of mutual misunderstanding. Ana, a voice-over actress, struggles to provide for her six-year-old daughter, Mara, in late 1970s Rio de Janeiro. Desperate for money, Ana takes on a dangerous job with revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the corrupt police chief. …Ana must separate from her daughter to save her from retaliation. Mara, with the help of her mother, escapes to California and years later finds work caring for a woman who’s dying of stomach cancer. During their time together, Mara begins to understand Ana in new ways as she considers her role as a caretaker.”
What are you reading as you sip your coffee today?
Related Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Some universities and colleges have a “Common Read” requirement for incoming freshmen. The chosen book becomes the catalyst for writing and discussion during orientation or throughout the year in the First-Year Seminar classes.
Here are my Top Ten from books freshmen are reading for the Fall, 2018 semester.
Have you read any of them?
- Tufts University – Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
- Mt Holyoke College – The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
- University of Pennsylvania – The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thorton Wilder
- University of Maryland – The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
- Johns Hopkins University – The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It by Jo Ann Robinson
- University of Massachusetts Amherst – Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
- University of Cincinnati – Radioactive by Lauren Redniss
- University of Arizona – On Trails by Robert Moor
- University of Oregon – The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
- Princeton University – Speak Freely by Keith Whittington
Click here to find your alma mater and the book freshman are reading for the Fall.