Book Review Shorts :: 2022 Beach Reads

Short reviews of my 2022 Beach Reads
Short reviews of my 2022 Beach Reads

The Sea, The Sea
This Booker Award winner from 1978 is the story of Charles Arrowby, a retired theater director who leaves London and rents a house on the sea where he plans to write a memoir, or as he decides it is turning into, a diary. He is haunted by four loves from his past, who all show up in some form and disrupt (along with others) his contemplative plans.

Rich in style, theme, narration and imagery, this book helps to substantiate the claim that books written 50 years ago are just better.

A Fine Balance
This book made it to my TBR when Amor Towles tweeted his appreciation for Gentleman in Moscow inclusion on the list of New York Times Best 25 Books of the last 15 years (voted on by readers). A Fine Balance was on that list as well, and I had never heard of it.

A Fine Balance is the saga of a woman, a college student and two tailors (uncle/nephew) who come to share a flat in mid-1970s India during the “Emergency” and highlights the horrible circumstances of poverty, caste and religious persecution. It is an excellent – though difficult to read at times – book.

French Braid
This latest from Anne Tyler is Tyler doing what she does best – presenting a dysfunctional family in pretty ordinary circumstances to see how they relate. Some you care about; some you don’t. It begins not quite at the end when two cousins run into each other in a train station, goes back to a family vacation in the 1950s and builds the family from there – parents, two sisters and a brother; marriages and divorces; children, some intended and some not, and step-children. Fans of Tyler will enjoy this read and appreciate her latest exploit.

Anxious People
My June Book Club pick, I had to get this one in before the meeting. It seems people are either hot or cold on this book by the Swede Fredrik Backman, who burst on the scene a decade ago with his quirky style in A Man Called Ove. I’m hot. I love his unconventional style and tone, and I think it fits the characters he creates – similar to Ove and My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. Anxious People is about a lot of things ;-), but primarily a group of people thrust together in a hostage situation with a would-be bank robber.

You may be able to tell that my beach reads aren’t typical “beach reads.” I wrote about that once here.


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