Quick takes- summer favorites edition

Young Jane Young. Oh man, did I love this book. This is really sharp, feminist, and funny. In a nutshell, it’s about a Lewinsky-esque scandal and how she and her family dealt with the aftermath. One of the few things I love about the time we’re living in is that Monica Lewinsky is awesome now and we’re realizing how we should have looked at that scandal way back then. The final section is in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and that really brought it up a notch for me. Seemed cutesy at first, then suddenly got poignant and I was not expecting that at all. I would like her to write a lot more things, please and thank you.

Our Kind of Cruelty. This one was deliciously infuriating. I never end up liking thrillers, but I thought this one was perfect. For me, it was not exactly suspenseful, because I never thought it would end any other way, but that was kind of beside the point. This made a point about how women are always held culpable to some extent for a man’s bad behavior, and I am here for it.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation. This one is kind of a love it or hate it, and, obviously, I loved it. This author has an amazing dark humor and I will read everything she writes forever.

Convenience Store Woman. What a little gem of a book. Very endearing and adorable main character. Really delightful story about finding your own bliss, and not the bliss that’s thrust upon you. Or something like that.

Clock Dance. I am a lifelong Anne Tyler superfan, and I’m so happy to see that she’s still at her best. I am absolutely in love with this main character. The setup, older woman has to be there for her adult son’s ex girlfriend’s emergency due to a mixup, was so Anne Tyler awkward and touching at the same time.

The Great Believers. Do you want to fall in love with like, a bazillion awesome characters, and then be gutted over and over again because this takes place during the AIDS crisis? Yes, so do I. She is such a terrific writer. This is of course very sad, one scene in particular will haunt me forever (fuck, I’m crying again just thinking of it,) but it’s more than just a sobfest. I’ll never forget this one.

The Coincidence Makers. Boy, did I love everything about this one, from start to finish. This has such a great concept, basically it’s about people working behind the scenes to engineer your fate, and it was perfectly executed. It’s a testament to this book that I was hoping it wouldn’t end a certain way, and then it ended exactly that way, and still I loved the ending. You got me there, ending.

Eternal Life. Another heartbreaker. This one’s about a woman who becomes immortal, so there’s going to be a whole lot of loss here. I loved this character so much. Perfect ending for the story.

Honorable mentions to The Summer Wives, The Odds, Pretend I’m Dead, The Incendiaries, The Brief History of the Dead.