Friday, June 20, 2014

If You Read Only One Book This Summer...

While I probably read about 4-5 books a week, that may be a lofty number for someone to achieve even in a summer. As mentioned in yesterday's post, I had started, and now finished, finished reading This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Topper and I loved every minute of it.

Publisher's Weekly calls it "An excellent balance between the family history and its present-day fallout, [with an] ability to create touchingly human characters and a deliciously page-turning story." Although the story is built around the premises of four siblings coming together to mourn the death of their father, it's more of a closer look into the lives of each sibling, told from middle brother Judd's point of view. His wife has been having an affair with his boss, and the novel focuses mainly on his desire to figure out what he truly wants and what his life has led to so far. Each sibling is certainly a class act; there's Paul, the oldest who can never get over an accident that ruined his college baseball career. Wendy, who will be played by Tina Fey in the movie, struggles with her affection for her high school sweetheart and balancing a family, and the youngest Paul, the classic sex-driven screwup. I never found myself bored and was definitely sad when it ended. This is a "belated coming-of-age" novel, since Judd truly doesn't develop his identity and sense of self until his father passes away, causing him to reevaluate everything in his life. I laughed and I felt sad and empathetic (I never actually cry when reading). As Judd so poignantly notes to encompass the entire theme of the book, “love in real life: It's messy and corrupt and completely unreliable. He never sugarcoats anything, and it's so easy to picture yourself right there along with the Foxman clan.

This Is Where I Leave You is the perfect mix of light humorous beach read and deep thought provoking novel. Make sure you finish it by September in time for the movie to come out (Did I mention how excited I am?). I loved this one so much that I bought Topper's most recently published book, One Last Day Before I Go.

Although there are like twenty books waiting for me to read on my iPad, I'm always down for new book recommendations. What books have you been loving lately? Any ones that you're looking forward to?

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