Wednesday, May 25, 2011
books: the imperfectionists and the frog king
i've got a twofer for you today, and i think you're going to like it: i read like a madwoman last week and finished two books, both of which i thoroughly enjoyed.
first up? tom rachman's the imperfectionists. i've gotta say, this novel was pretty much flawless. it's about an international, english-language newspaper based in rome, and the book alternates between brief, italicized vignettes about the family that founded the paper and longer chapters about members of its current staff (and one of its readers). by the end, not only do you feel like you've gotten to know the characters individually -- on an intimate and often heartbreaking level -- but you also get a sense of what it must be like to walk into their office and interact with them on a collective basis every day. highly, highly, highly recommend. i loved this book.
i followed the imperfectionists with adam davies' the frog king. i actually just met adam in real life (and once at an event at which he read excerpts from this book, which is why it was on my radar), and was immediately taken with his mastery of the english language -- seriously, the man can whip up a fantastic sentence. the frog king, which i understand is pretty autobiographical, is about a young man trying to make it in the razor-sharp world of new york city book publishing and maintain a relationship with the woman he loves more than anything, and, well, the back cover says it all: "this is not a fairy tale." i really enjoyed this book -- it's often funny, and you feel an energy behind davies' prose, which, again, is just beautiful -- and could relate to and empathize with more of it than i should probably admit. it's definitely worth picking up. and if adam gives a reading near you, go. i promise it will be entertaining.
what have you been reading lately? (next on my list is tea obreht's the tiger's wife, which i first spotted on mary's lovely blog.)