Summer Companion 2017

As the summer comes, it’s a time for a good beach read hunting. If you’re still struggling with the decision what to read this summer maybe this literary fiction selection of novels and short stories will solve your problem.

 

 

S ince I’ve already shared my thoughts on “Understanding The Beach Read” and how much this label excludes from its definition genres other works than fiction, I’d like to take this opportunity to present you, for your consideration, my suggestions for this summer reads. Unlike many people, I do not change for the summer what I usually read. I just read the same genre and try to catch up with great books that I haven’t had a chance or time to read earlier. Literary fiction can, and I genuinely believe, is a great companion for your vacations. Without further ado here’s the list.

 


“The NIX”DSC_9064
Nathan Hill

Published by Knopf 2016
628 pp.
Full review

 

Nathan Hill’s debut novel, “The NIX” is absolutely not one of those give-me-thirty-pages-chances books. Hill just in the first paragraph grabs your full attention. Albeit the novel has 625 pages, with maybe minor differences, it can effectively hold your interest until the end. It’s a story fo Samuel struggling with his life, weaknesses, and desires. His mother left him when he was a child. One day, Samuel watches her on a news report, as during the protest she throws a stone at a presidential candidate. When Samuel is facing a lawsuit from his publisher for not fulfilling the contract in exchange for dropping it, he offers a new book. A book about the attacker, Faye Andresen-Anderson, his mother. This event is jus an opening for a great journey for Samuel.

 


“Here I Am”DSC_9067
Jonathan Safran Foer

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2016
592 pp.
Full review

 

“Here I Am” tells the story of approximately one month of the life of Bloch family. A married couple Jacob and Julia are struggling with the eternal problem namely, how to live your life and while time passes still wanting with the same force to care about things and relationship that seem to be dear and valuable to them and that used to be at the center of their attention. Sam, Max, and Benjy, Bloch’s children as well as their grandparents Irv and Debora complete the story. The novel is full of irony, humor and indeed quite rightful reflections on the family life. In my modest opinion, the best novel published in 2016. It is undoubtedly a masterpiece of literary art. It’s an extraordinary example showing not only Foer’s literary craft but also his unrestrained imagination. Most of all, in all those beautifully crafted words and descriptions he preserves accurate, convincing and touching narratives of Bloch’s family struggles.

 


“Bream Gives Me Hiccups”DSC_8541
Jesse Eisenberg

Published by Grove Press, 2015
273 pp.
Full review

 

It is collection fo short stories from Jesse Eisenberg, who’s mostly known rather as an actor than a writer. This collection proves he’s a really great storyteller as well. Eisenberg wisely and interestingly chooses the form of each story: short prose, texts exchange between characters, email correspondence or dialogue. The variety of forms and stories Eisenberg tells make “Bream Gives Me Hiccups” a delightful and easy-reading collection. Moreover, he touches in a smart, humorous and ironic way challenging and important issues of nowadays societies. Honestly, when I’ve finished the book, I thought all of us could find themselves in at least on of those stories. Does it mean we all need therapy?

 


“Transit”DSC_9061
Rachel Cusk

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2017
260 pp
Full review

 

Rachel Cusk tells a story of a recently divorced, mother of two, writer – Faye who moves to London and tries to create a new life for herself and her children. The whole book is a record of her meetings and conversations with other people. “Transit” is full of stories loosely linked to each other. Mostly by the narrative voice of Faye. Cusk brilliantly navigates between different stories, especially that it is rather not a plot-driven novel. Although Cusk touches on complicated matters of life, the novel is full of irony and humor reflecting a human characters, egos, and weaknesses.

 


“Homesick For Another World”DSC_9057

Ottessa Moshfegh

Published by Penguin Press, 2017
294 pp.
Full review

 

The collection of short stories from Ottessa Moshfegh is quite an interesting read. The volume portrays in a series of stories different characters that are bonded by the feeling of entrapment in lives they live and complete obliviousness how to escape them.┬áThis debut of Moshfegh’s short stories proves how incredibly talented writer she is. Her unique talent to use repellent emotions and nefarious characters to compose and choreograph such an amazing collection is truly astonishing. Astoundingly the collection is very enjoyable and entertaining.

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