Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vacation Reading Recap

Even though we didn't read all of the books we took on vacation, we still got a lot of great reading in!

I started with Will Ferguson's 419, a novel about Nigerian scams. I would be interested to know how Ferguson came to write this book, as his other books are humorous memoir travelogues and this is quite a bit darker. A U.S. man dies in a car wreck. To the authorities, the wreck doesn't seem to be an accident. But why would this man be involved in foul play? Or try to kill himself? The man's son and daughter, Warren and Laura, discover how deeply their father was involved in a scam originating in Nigeria. Well done. Great read.

Then I read Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes. A friend had read and loved loved loved this book, recommending it highly. I really enjoyed this as well, reading about Lou (Louisa) as she finds out who she is...and who she isn' she stumbles into a caregiving position for Will Traynor, a young man who became a paraplegic in an accident. Warning - there might be crying. But it's good crying.

My favorite was Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. I'm glad we took it on the Nook, as it's a hefty volume, coming in at over 700 pages. In it, we go with Theo Decker as he spends an afternoon at a museum with his mother. That afternoon changes Theo's life. Tartt captures the importance of art and beauty, and also raises questions about life and good and evil. That makes it sound lofty and inaccessible, and it is neither. Great story, great read. I loved this.

The Newlyweds (Vintage Contemporaries) by Nell Freudenberger We got this at Powell's, the decision to buy influenced by blurb by Ann Patchett, one of our favorite authors. Amina, a woman from Bangladesh (a "Deshi"), comes to the U.S. to marry George, who was born and raised in Rochester, New York. While George and Amina communicated extensively via email, and George visited Amina in Dhaka before Amina made the move to Rochester, there are still things they don't know about each other by the time they get married. Well drawn characters kept me reading and Amina and George discover more about each other and themselves.

On the last half of the last flight back home, I started Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield. Set in about the late 1800's, it follows William Bellman from childhood, when he and some friends encounter a rook, and then as William grows into adulthood and runs the local mill. I am still reading this and am really enjoying it. I'll have to report more on it when I finish.


Clicking on the underlined book titles will take you to Powell's page for each book. Clicking on the book covers will take you to Amazon's web page for each book. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. It still sounds like a read-a-thon vacation. I love these mini-reviews and will defintely check out some of these books.

  2. It kind of was a read-a-thon vacation! Thanks for commenting!