6 Long, Absorbing Books to Get You Through Your Vacation

0
119


The Goldfinch” is the gold standard of vacation reading — propulsive, thought-provoking, sweeping and full of such texture, you’ll still remember the name of a minor canine character six years after reading it. (He is Popper, a portly Maltese.) I used it as a life raft during a family vacation in a sweltering beach house with five toddlers. (Against all odds, I survived.) As for the plot, our critic summed it up perfectly: “‘The Goldfinch’ is at once a thriller involving the theft and disappearance of [a] painting, a panoramic portrait of New York (and, for that matter, America) in the post-Sept. 11 era, and, most especially, an old-fashioned Bildungsroman, complete with a ‘Great Expectations’-like plot involving an orphan, his moral and sentimental education and his mysterious benefactor.” (771 pages)

Image
Credit…

If you love books about groups of friends (“The Group,” “The Interestings,” “Commencement”), you will love “A Little Life.” Yanagihara follows Jude, Willem, Malcolm and J.B., college friends who move to New York City at an unspecified time. We see them grow up, navigate the city, establish careers (some with more success than others), fall in love (ditto) and attempt to distance themselves from their own histories (ditto again — especially for one member of the group, who has endured horrific abuse). Our critic wrote, “It’s a big, emotional, trauma-packed read with a voluptuous prose style that wavers between the exquisite and the overdone.” “A Little Life” should come with a warning: Bring tissues. There’s loss in here, and lots of it; this might not be your cup of tea. (832 pages)

Image
Credit…

When we meet Ifemelu, the Nigerian-born star of Adichie’s eye-opening, continent-straddling novel “Americanah,” she’s working on a fellowship at Princeton and writing a blog about racial issues in her adopted country. The story traces the arc of Ifemelu’s adjustment to the United States — where she has to travel for an hour just to get her hair braided — and her longing for home, which goes hand in hand with her love for Obinze, her old flame in Nigeria. Our critic wrote, “Though ‘Americanah’ takes the shape of a long, star-crossed love story between Ifemelu and Obinze, it is most memorable for its fine-tuned, scathing observations about worldly Nigerians and the ways they create new identities out of pretension and aspiration.” If you have time after finishing this one, don’t miss Adichie’s slim but wisdom-packed “We Should All Be Feminists.” (588 pages)



Source link