The beginning of January was very busy for me. I was working on a super secret special project and also revising an early draft of my next book (still going with that), but I did find some time to read several standout books.
Jenny Offill's Dept of Speculation is absolutely sensational. It is a book I could read again and again. It takes some work, but the reward is well worth it. The sensitivity and subtlety really struck me. And it felt so authentic. A very unique book, but beautiful.
Coming Plague is an amazing non-fiction book. Hands down, my favorite non-fiction of all time. I had to reread for research. But two chapters led to four and then I was captivated once again and read the whole thing.
I loved We are All Completely Beside Ourselves. It was my book club pick, and it was a hit. It gave us a lot to talk about...half my notes I didn't even get a chance to bring up. I think this is Fowler's best. The way she captures this sense of otherness is uncanny.
I raced through the Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (also a bit of research), but I really enjoyed it. It was a wonderful story in which many of the characters dealt very difficult issues, but it was done so respectfully and even though it was heavy, it had a lightness to it that I appreciated.
I've just started The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud and The Arsonist by Sue Miller. I will admit I was drawn to the latter because it takes place in New Hampshire, where I spent much of my life before moving to North Carolina. I will say, it starts in just the right place, with just the right energy, and has me full of lots of questions already.
E.M. Hubscher is a fiction writer living in North Carolina. She is represented by the sensational Sharon Pelletier of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.