Each week I read between 3-6 books. I don’t have time to write meaningful reviews of each, but I also don’t want to let that reading mojo go neglected. Who knows which recommendation of mine might save you a couple of dozen dollars, or encourage you to spend them? Hence this new feature, “Buy, Borrow, Bypass,” in which I talk about my previous week’s reading and which books fit into which categories. They won’t always do so neatly, either!
Office Girl by Joe Meno (Akashic Books):
Meno, troubadour of the hipster class, is back with a slight yet beguiling slice-of-life book in which boy meets girl and boy loses girl, but girl keeps her quirky artistic perspective despite wasting several years as an “office girl.” The premise and Meno’s charming little sketches make this a thought-provoking read, but not one to which you’ll return.
The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books):
When Quirk, purveyors of awesome schtick like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, announced that their first straight-on book would be a police procedural, I was intrigued. When I realized that Ben H. Winters (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) had set his tale in a near-future pre-apocalyptic New England, I thought: “College!” But seriously–this is a serious, solid piece of writing and deserves a second look.
VERDICT: BUY or BORROW
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (Scribner):
Ah yes, another big historical novel with another big historical metaphor! Veteran of the Great War Tom Sherbourne accepts a position as lighthouse keeper at Janus Rock, a remote Australian outpost where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet. He marries a girl from the mainland, and…well, spoilers abound with this one. Stedman’s novel may be “yet another,” but it’s also one of a kind and worth a long read.
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George (Viking Juvenile):
Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley novels have legions of fans and their own BBC adaptations. She could probably retire right now with her miniature dachshunds. But George, a careful and devoted writer, has other tricks up her sleeve–like this new paranormal YA series set on Whidbey Island, WA where she lives. If I were 11 or so, I would have devoured this book, but it doesn’t cross over, at least not in this volume.