I finally found two books that I thoroughly enjoyed. A friend recommended the first, A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman, a Swedish blogger turned author.

Ove is a curmudgeon - he has strong principles, strict routines and a really short fuse...Behind the cranky exterior is a story and a sadness...and a character you won't forget. Perfect writing and extraordinary characters...

VINEGAR GIRL by Anne Tyler is my other recommdation. It's a screwball comedy of manners ...a contemporary retelling of the Taming of the Shrew.  It has all the requisite Tyler trademarks including flawed characters, and fabulous prose. ( See a letter from Anne Tyler in an earlier post)


I love both these authors...and as much as I admire author Annie Proulx, do I really want to read about the destruction of forests? The Shipping News was one of my favorites...not sure if I'm attempting this new one.

Delia Ephron is a bestselling American author, screenwriter, and playwright. In Siracusa she takes a skeptical look at the institution of marriage. What could be bad about that?! It's on my TBR list.

Siracusa cover

Vacationing in a sun-drenched Sicilian village may sound idyllic, but in the hands of screenwriter and novelist Ephron, this trip is anything but. Two wealthy American couples, with a 10-year-old daughter in tow, have secrets to unearth and scores to settle during their stay in Siracusa.
 Ephron expertly builds the layers of suspense as conflict and deception push these fractured families toward a painful epiphany.

Barkskins cover

The first novel in more than a decade from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of The Shipping News is a cause for celebration among literary fiction fans. This epic novel (Proulx’s longest by far) holds rich rewards for the reader as it traces the destruction of the world's forests, from late 17th-century Canada to 19th-century New Zealand and beyond. 
Proulx's talents shine brightest in her vividly real and tragically flawed characters, who cling to the misguided belief that the bounty of the forest will endure forever.


Below are some notable books releasing the week of July 5th....
Hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend.

Suggestions from

BOBBY KENNEDY: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye (Biography)
Robert F. Kennedy is remembered as the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But his liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s, as Larry Tye illustrates in his portrait of Kennedy.

BUSH by Jean Edward Smith (Biography)
George W. Bush almost singlehandedly decided to invade Iraq, taking personal control of foreign policy, as Jean Edward Smith demonstrates in this comprehensive evaluation of the Bush presidency that will surely surprise many readers.

JONATHAN UNLEASHED by Meg Rosoff (Humor/Romance)
Could a border collie and a cocker spaniel hold the key to life? That’s the question Jonathan Trefoil poses to himself when his brother asks him to look after his dogs, and his confusing, chaotic life and world view begin to shift.

JULIAN FELLOWES’S BELGRAVIA by Julian Fellowes (Historical Fiction)
Set in the 1840s but opening at the Duchess of Richmond’s now-legendary ball on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, JULIAN FELLOWES’S BELGRAVIA is the story of a secret --- and how one family’s life will change forever.