Books I read on my vacation

My favourite part of vacation is the books.
  1. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
    Recommended by a friend after I brought up my Neal Stephenson love. It's speculative fiction, maybe heading toward hard sci fi in later books? I look forward to reading the sequel. It's got amazing stuff about race, gender, power, the end of civilization in America, the environment, religion. You name it, it's in there. And the main character is a badass teenager.
  2. The First Bad Man by Miranda July
    This has been on my bedside table for a while, I'm so glad I saved it until I was free to devour it in two days. She's so wonderful at finding equal parts sadness and beauty in everyday people, and also the craziness that comes with being lonely. I laughed, I cried, I cringed a lot. Really wonderful.
  3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
    Oof. This is a constant gut punch. I've been putting it down every hundred pages because it hurts my heart, but the writing is wonderful and the characters are great. I haven't finished it yet. I'll need more time and lots of breaks I'm sure. But it's beautiful.
  4. The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olson
    What's a vacay without Scandinavian crime fiction? Though I will say, this is no Jo Nesbo. It was fun. But I figured it out early. I never figure out mysteries! So, a bummer. But a good grumpy detective main character. Not sure if the rest of the series gets better?
  5. America's Bitter Pill by Stephen Brill
    If someone can find the drama and the story behind American legislation, I'm in. I loved Showdown At Gucci Gulch, which was all about tax reform. This one is excellent, all about getting healthcare laws passed. It's fascinating to learn about the intricacies of policy-making, and the luck and personalities and weird moments of momentum it takes. And the stats are shocking and horrifying. It's a good book. Only halfway through.
  6. 61 Hours by Lee Child
    Is there anything better than a good Jack Reacher book? No. No there isn't. These stories make me so happy. Much like Scandinavian crime fiction, what's a vacay without Reacher? I don't want to know about it.