3 good books
🐈⬛ 🛣 🪄
Chilean Poet by Alejandro Zambra (translated by Megan McDowell - 2022)
Gonzalo meets Carla for the first time at 16 and they fall in love the way only teenagers can. When he loses her the first time, he turns to poetry to soothe his broken heart. When she turns up in his life again a decade later, Gonzalo is still a poet, Carla now has a son, and they quickly fall into an unofficial family unit.
As Gonzalo is thrust into the role of a stepfather, he finds the words that exist for this role and their negative connotations do not match his experience. When Gonzalo and Carla’s relationship ends a second time, we’re all left wondering what becomes of a stepfather without a stepson.
You’ll like this book if you’re looking for a sillier and sweeter look at the poet cafes of Bolaño’s savage detectives.
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (2021)
From the author of A Gentleman in Moscow comes the tale of two brothers trying to go west and start over. Their father has died, their Kansas farm has been foreclosed, and Emmett, the older brother, has just been released from a juvenile detention facility where he’d spent 16 months as punishment for his role in a fight that led to an accidental death.
Duchess and Woolly, two stowaways from the same facility, are also looking for a fresh start when they boost Emmett’s car and take it east to New York, turning the brothers’ road trip into a chase in the wrong direction.
You’ll like this if you’re looking for a fun, updated take on the family journeys of Steinbeck and Faulkner.
The Magician by Colm Tóibín (2021)
The Magician, a work of historical fiction, recounts the life of German author Thomas Mann, tracing his life along the books that led to his Nobel Prize in 1929 and the major geopolitical changes of the twentieth century.
Those are the facts of the story, but underneath, Tóibín takes great care with a character for whom desire was dangerous and home became a nebulous concept as two countries looked to him as a voice of reason in time of war.
You’ll like this one if you take your history with some fictional chasers.