Every book recommended on this list was read and enjoyed by The What’s Content Chief and Resident Bookworm, Gina Pell. Earlier this year she published ten of her favorite Spring Fiction releases, which you can read here.
Gina’s criteria are relatively simple:
- The book must grab hold of the reader within the first 50 pages. It doesn’t have to be a pageturner but, like a great friend, one must be eager to revisit to it.
- An epiphany, new perspective, or aha moment(s) should be experienced.
- The end should feel satisfying (not to be confused with a resolution or tidy ending).
Convenience Store Woman is a unique and delightful novel about a square peg in a round world. It’s a quick, quiet read and a great reminder that we don’t have to follow a pack mentality of prescribed success to find happiness and meaning in life.
Lake Success tells the tale of a rather unlikable out-of-touch wealthy, New York hedge funder who takes a cross-country trip on a Greyhound bus that leads him into danger, despair, self-discovery, and an America very different than the privileged land of opportunity he believed it to be.
Italian Teacher was one of our favorite novels of the year. If you love enigmatic artists, Europe in the late 50s, and pondering the meaning of art and its value… this book is for you. The son of a famous, narcissistic painter tries so pathetically to make his way in the world under the constant shadow of his father with a surprising ending.
The Oracle Year is a fun, light read that chronicles the journey of a young man who one day discovers he can predict the future with pinpoint accuracy. Naturally, he decides to anonymously create a website and within six months the world is in chaos and his life is upside down. Knowing the future is not as fun as it sounds.
If Bearskin were a movie, Viggo Mortensen would star in it. In fact, the narrator is described as his doppelganger. Escaping troubles from a Mexican drug cartel brings our hero to a wildlife preserve in Virginia where he stumbles across the carcass of a mutilated bear and enters into a world of poachers, family feuds, and mystery.
Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee is a well-wrought, heartbreaking tale of the plight of two sisters one of whom is flamboyant and charismatic but mentally ill, the other reliable and a little drab. It’s a poignant example of how a relentlessly dependent sibling can shape everything and everyone around them much in the way crashing waves can hollow out solid rocks and cliffs on the shore.
We Begin Our Ascent is a fascinating behind the scenes look focusing on riders in the Tour de France who are the domestiques, the guys who draft for and support the star/lead rider. Meditative, enjoyable, and a great reminder that we’re all so seriously focused on the things we do no matter how small or great but in the end, it doesn’t matter as much as we think it does. We can dismount at any time.