I need something great to read — the kind of something that makes it impossible to do anything else, the kind of book that you take on vacation to read on the beach, and then don’t care if you’re reading in the hotel room, the car, or next to the ocean, because you’re living in those pages. (It’s happened to me: stuck on a sofa in Coronado, the beach blocks away, but I’d have to stop reading in order to find my flip flops, and that wasn’t an amenable option.)
What I’m reading instead: about seven books at once, none of which have hooked me around the neck like The Hours, Four Seasons in Rome, Everybody Was So Young, High Fidelity, The Imperfectionists.
My editors are looking for lose-yourself books too. Meanwhile, our bookstores are closing and what are we readers to do? Help us: what are you reading?
The Paris Wife by Paula McClain, a novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first spouse Hadley and their years together. When she first meets Hem, Hadley thinks: “I knew I would do a lot of things to keep him happy.” And that line alone is enough for me. Read the NYTimes review here.
My editor Diane adored Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan’s best-selling novel about rock n’ roll and the music business and friends and relationships — think pop culture with a literary twist. She is bringing it to me tomorrow.
My hair goddess says to read The Hunger Games, but only the first one in the series, not the others. Yes, it’s soon to be a movie, but yes, she says, it’s still good. (And she has good taste in books, so I believe.)
Did you know Steve Martin is a genius writer? Among other things, he wrote Shopgirl, which became a movie in which he starred with Claire Danes. His latest: An Object of Beauty, which is set in the Manhattan art world. I’m a sucker for setting.
On the to-buy list: Room, by Emma Donoghue — the story of a five year old boy who has spent his life in an 11 by 11 room with his mother and the terrifying nighttime visitor Old Nick. My editor, Diane, thinks it sounds a bit like the beauty-in-tragedy story we all fell for in Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful.
Have you heard of any others we should know about? They don’t have to be new, just good. What are your favorite lose-yourself books?