Late to the party

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I’m calling these my “late to the party” books. When they were ragingly popular, I checked them out from the library and couldn’t get into them. I gave up.

But then came audible. And now these are the most recent five-star books on my list.

The Longer Version

This spring, I listened to My Brilliant Friend on my way to and from work each day. It took forever–both the story and the length of the book are epic–but it was so worth it. I loved the book and wrote about it on Goodreads (as did Rick Riordan in a post that made me even more of a fan girl than I already was):

Elena Ferrante gives us the gift of exquisite (sometimes excruciating) close ups, full of richly textured detail, alongside a ruthlessness about Elena’s inner life. She also makes the squabbles and foibles of a neighborhood I’ll never know become epic stand-ins for all of human life. I’ve never read a book like this.

Then, while driving cross-country with my family this summer, I tuned into A Man Called Ove at the recommendation of my brother-in-law. I was immediately captured by Backman’s use of free indirect style to create an unforgettable voice. I fell in love with Ove with all his curmudgeon ways, as lots of others had managed to do before me. Over on Goodreads, I wrote this in mid-book:

As for the story, the voice makes it astonishingly funny with an undercurrent of grief. Can’t wait to keep listening.

And this when I finished:

Great use of free indirect style & metaphor to create a character so real he can’t die.

So even though I was late to the party on both of these titles, I’m so glad I finally arrived.


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