Looking for a good book recommendation? Here's a rundown on what I read in May & June:
Tiny, Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed (3 1/2 stars). This is a compilation of some of the "Dear Sugar" columns written by the author of Wild. I liked seeing this side of Cheryl, and I loved that each of her answers was carefully considered. Each piece of advice was given as if she was speaking to a treasured friend.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra (3 1/2 stars). It took me a good long while to get through this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it until the end. This is the story of a village in Chechnya from 1994-2004 and the Russians and refugees who lived and struggled during that time. Through a series of well-orchestrated coincidences, the reader discovers how all of the main characters are entwined with each other. Sonja, (the driven surgeon), Natasha (her sister), Haava (the 8-year-old), Dokka (Haava's dad), Khassan and his son (the informer), & Ramzan all play roles in the fate of each other. This book is sad and haunting and beautiful.
The Light Between Oceans, ML Stedman. (4 stars). Gosh, I liked this novel about an emotionally damaged WWI vet who falls in love with a vibrant woman. They live on an island and tend to the lighthouse. After 3 miscarriages/stillbirths, a healthy baby washes up on shore. Decisions are made, and there are consequences to those decisions. This is a story of the love of a parents and the love of a spouse.
The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout (4 stars). This is a wonderful story filled with fantastic, complex characters who all grow and change. It's about siblings and families and being there for each other. It's about forgiveness and loving someone flaws and all.
PS I rate my books on a 1-4 star system. As a general rule, I do not share books that get less than 2 1/2 stars. I highly recommend any book that gets 3 1/2-4 stars.