So far I’ve read 20 books in 2016. That’s almost halfway to my goal of 50 reads this year. I’m making good progress, and I’ve found some real gems; some of the titles I’ve delved into recently were just so good that I lingered over them, not wanting them to end. Now I’m on book 21: The Magician King by Lev Grossman. It’s the second installment in his popular trilogy, which is also currently a show on SyFy. I haven’t yet decided whether I prefer the books or the TV series. In the meantime, here are some short reviews to help you decide what to pick up next:
Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel: With a style that’s intellectual and moving, and prose that’s constantly self-aware, Mandel weaves a complex mystery that centers on our primal human urge to wander, to leave.
Lingo by Gaston Dorren: Short, amusing vignettes reveal the history, development, and quirks of dozens of languages, both modern and ancient.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman: A baby washes up on shore and a couple decides to keep her, only it isn’t quite so simple in this expansive novel that touches on themes of marriage, love, trust, and community.
Paper Towns by John Green: Like the teenagers whose story it tells—a girl runs off and (sort of) leaves clues for her (sort of) friends to find her—this book is at turns awkward, mysterious, and ultimately hopeful.
The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin: This novel’s characters fall flat on the page and the book—despite its promising love triangle between a dashing horseman, a young photographer, and an Austrian empress—proves itself to be just shallow as a fortune hunter.
The Rules of Love and Grammar by Mary Simses: This breezy read was chock full of heartwarming moments: homey diners, small-town neighbors, and best friend memories; unfortunately, it had just as many clichés and plot holes.