By Vanessa Pesa
These are the books my book group has read this year. I thought I would provide my readers the list and a brief synopsis to give some ideas to tuck inside your beach bag this summer!
Wild by Cheryl Strayed – Strayed’s personal journey across the Pacific Crest Trail as she grieves the death of her mother, divorce and reckless behavior, including her inexperience in her current situation, all in an attempt to take back control of her life.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s wife, Amy, disappears. There are signs of a struggle and Nick is the main suspect, but maintains his innocence. Told from alternating points of view between Nick and Amy, this psychological thriller makes deciphering the truth near impossible as the scenes continuously unfold.
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman – Follow the true account of Piper Kerman’s conviction and 15 month sentence in a Connecticut correctional facility for a drug crime she committed ten years previous. Kerman learns to navigate this foreign world while learning from the fascinating women she meets, offering a rare, yet surprisingly humorous, look into the lives of women in prison.
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris – A fierce saga told in the voices of three Indian women, spanning three generations, starting in the present day and moving backward. A daughter, mother and grandmother’s stories are interwoven to come to terms not only with the past but to reconcile the future.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini – Following characters from all across the globe, this novel delves into the ways that families nurture, love, betray, honor and sacrifice for one another, and how the choices made resonate through generations.
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – Combining fiction and fact, this novel takes the true account of the 1893 World’s Fair and follows a serial killer who used the fair to lure victims to their death.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett – Follow Dr. Marina Singh into the Amazon jungle as she searches for her former mentor, who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug. Singh will confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she battles the harsh and unforgiving world that awaits her within the rainforest.
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman – A fictional collage of dreams by Albert Einstein in 1905, while creating the theory of relativity, in which he conjures various worlds, each dream story capturing a different world.
Her: A Memoir by Christa Parravani – A memoir about identity, love and survival, Christa loses her identical twin sister and searches for meaning in this and ultimately struggles with her own will to live on in her wake.
Selling the Lite of Heaven by Suzanne Strempek Shea – Advertising to sell her engagement ring after being left at the altar by a man who decided to enter the clergy instead, a young woman meets Randy, a recently engaged prospective buyer who keeps coming back to see her.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – Bernadette, a rockstar in life but a closeted agoraphobic, disappears when confronted by a family trip to Antarctica. To find her mother, Bee compiles official documents and emails to create this fascinating novel about a mother-daughter relationship mixed up in a crazy world.