Claire’s Week in Books, 4th to 11th September



the-nixThe Nix, by  Nathan Hill

This is one of the big books of the fall. Big as in buzzy, but also big as in 600+ pages. I’m undecided as to how badly I want to read it – there’s a DNC-based element to the plot, and I love fiction that has anything to do with politics. Some people have apparently found this novel a bit tedious in that white-man-fiction kind of way, but i actually quite like while male  wirters. (I loved Franzen’s The Corrections, though not so much Freedom.) I have to admit I’d be more tempted to actually started if its length didn’t intimidate so much, but I snagged the advance review copy, so at least it was free. Watch this space!

behold-the-dreamersBehold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue

This is another buzzy book of the fall – Rich White Problems meets the Immigrant Experience – and it was one of the Book of the Month Club picks for September, chosen by Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney whose book The Nest has been super well received this year too.

the-art-of-memoirThe Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr

I’m working on a novel/memoir hybrid, and suspect there’s memoir in my future, too, so when my friend asked if I wanted to go with her to hear Mary Karr at to Busboys and Poets, the answer was, of course, yes. I wasn’t sure I’d walk out with the book, but who was I kidding? I like that the chapters are short – in theory at least, this should make it easy to pick up every day and read a few pages, letting them sink in.



Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

Yes, I should probably have called this post Big Buzzy Fall Books. This is another one on all the lists. I haven’t yet read Bel Canto, though it’s been on my list forever, and for some reason I thought Ann Patchett’s writing would be more lyrical and harder work to read than it is. I really enjoyed her insightful and well-crafted sentences as well as the characters and story here, though I did find it hard to keep some of the characters straight, and I wasn’t quite sure why it couldn’t be told as more of a linear story. Also, the thing I had been told this book was about and that I kept expecting to happen doesn’t even begin until half way through and isn’t, to me, what the book is “about” at all. But it was a pleasure to read. Recommended!

  In The Queue

the-nestThe Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This one was a summer book, and if I’d got around to writing what have been my yearly “Beachworthy Books” post, it would probably have made it. It’s about four siblings, all of whom have been living beyond their means in the expectation of a whopping inheritance that is due to them. But then one of the brothers squanders the inheritance, and there’s hardly any left. Rich People Problems! New York! And a beautiful hardback. Can’t wait!

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