The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
I read this book on a relaxing weekend away, which can lend an unfair advantage to a book. I read it quickly because there were no interruptions and I was free to spend hours in coffee shops. This book has multiple storylines. Some are stronger than others but all the stories move along at a good pace and have intriguing characters. In the end, I enjoyed the book, but not as much as the author’s previous novel What Alice Forgot.
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
I love Penny’s character driven mysteries. This one is a bit heavy on the characters and a little light on the mystery for my taste. I wouldn’t have wanted this to be my first introduction to this author and her characters. But, as an already enamored reader I enjoyed the book. If you are already a Louise Penny fan, this book will only make you like her more; if you haven’t met her yet, start with one of her other books.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The third time was indeed a charm for me. I’d struggled to get past the beginning of this book twice before. The first time, I hit the simile “a voice as soft as the penis in his pants” and just couldn’t shake it off. The second time, I made it a little deeper into the book, but the narrator’s actions and behavior made it impossible for me to root for her enough to make it through three hundred pages about her struggles. This time it was assigned reading for my memoir class and reading it with a writer’s eye was enough to get me over the initial hurdles I’d hit in previous attempts. In the end, I ended up really liking the book and appreciating it both as a writer and as a reader.
Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison
Suzanne Morrison captures the internal struggles of faith and doubt with a lightness and ease that is approachable and engaging. A memoir of an extended yoga retreat and the associated spiritual (or not) journey, Morrison’s book is funny and authentic – the kind of book you walk away from wishing the author was your pal and regularly requested coffee dates.
Dopefiend by Tim Elhajj
I was pleasantly surprised by this assigned reading for my memoir class. The story of a father’s journey out of heroin addiction, I expected this book to be rife with sensational drug use and tangential behaviors I couldn’t relate to. Instead, heroin is rarely mentioned and enabling behaviors are only mentioned in passing. Elhajj tells an honest and relatable story of the recovery process and outlines the very human struggles to embrace the behaviors (honesty, courage, etc.) that lead to wholeness. The writing is artful and the story compelling. I haven’t read many recovery memoirs, but I suspect this is better than most.