5 Great Novels from 2010 to Read this Summer on a Porch, Patio, Plane, Train or Beach by Heidi Jacobs
Heidi Jacobs is Leddy Library’s subject liaison for English and History.
Summer is the time when many of us get to read what we want to read not what we have to read. For me, it’s also a time when I am reminded of why I love reading novels. I love when novels are so vivid that I forget where I am or that time just melts away. A great novel is one that introduces me to characters who stay in my thoughts when I put the book down. Here are a few books from the past year that have been those kinds of books for me.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has multiple narrators conveying details about overlapping personal histories. It looks at art, music, friendships, relationships, how we think about the past and its impact on our present. It’s an engaging read and innovatively written: it features what might be the only chapter of a novel written in powerpoint slides. A perfect summer read.
PS 3555 .G292 V57 2010 – 3rd Floor, Main Bldng
The Long Song by Andrea Levy
From the first lines of the novel, Levy’s narrator captivates you with her story about slavery in Jamaica and the slave rebellion of 1832. It’s a compelling story about a riveting time in history told through the perspective of a fascinating narrator. Levy is also the author of Small Island, one of my other favourite books of the past few years.
PR 6062 .E923 L66 2010 – 3rd Floor, Main Bldng
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
You might think the title gives away this novel’s whole story. Daniel “Skippy” Juster does indeed die but the story is much more than plot. Set in Dublin, this novel examines complex characters and their interactions with each other, their pasts, and their connections (or disconnections) with the Seabrook College for Boys. I took this book on a trip recently: it was so readable, I hardly minded the 3 flight delays and cancelled flight.
By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
Author of the beautifully crafted The Hours, Cunningham creates another elegantly written novel. It’s a novel about art, beauty, love and relationships, family and marriage. It features some of the most beautifully written sentences I’ve read in a while. It’s a concise, compelling read.
Leddy Library - PS 3553 .U484 B9 2010 – 3rd Floor, Main Bldng
The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna
Set in contemporary Sierra Leone, this novel confronts that country’s past and the effects of that past on individual lives. It weaves together past, present and future through intersecting narratives. When Forna won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize this month, the judges called it “a poignant story about friendship, betrayal, obsession and second chances – the novel is an immensely powerful portrayal of human resilience.” Indeed it is. I read this on a twelve hour travel day and was glad to have such a great read.
Leddy Library - PR 6106 .O766 M46 2010 – 3rd Floor, Main Bldng