12 August 2010

36 hours, 2.5 books

One of the best things about traveling is the actual travel time. For me, time on an airplane = time spent reading = happy time. Last weekend I went to Santa Fe for an entirely too brief (one might say crazy-short) amount of time. Here's what I read and recommend:

THE COOKBOOK COLLECTOR by Allegra Goodman. This novel is full of humanity at its best and worst impulses. Set mostly in the Silicon Valley and NYC during the rise of the “dot.com” business and IPOs, it features sisters Emily, a brilliant programmer, and Jess, a romantic philosophy student. Each sister tries to prove to the other that her way of life is superior, despite their parallel searches for life’s greater meaning, but when September 11, 2001, comes along, both sisters realize that what’s really important has been in front of their faces all along. Currently on the IndieBound bestseller list for hardcover fiction, published by Dial Press.  NB: My Random House sales rep gave me an ARC of this book to read.

ONE DAY by David Nicholls. I bought this book hoping to find a quick and absorbing read for a flight to Santa Fe, but I soon realized that in addition to being those things, it was also full of heart. Emma and Dexter meet on the day they graduate from university and this novel follows each one every year on that date for two decades. Their relationship goes through many phases—they are variously penpals, friends, allies, indifferent acquaintances, unrequited and requited lovers—and along with the glimpses into their lives we get parallel histories ranging from pop culture to politics. Simultaneously funny and heartbreakingly true, this book will appeal in particular to fans of Nick Hornby. Currently on the IndieBound bestseller list for paperback fiction, published by Vintage Books.

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