N’s resident bookworm Tim Ehrenberg shares six of his favorite reads.
ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS by Jami Attenberg
Nicknamed the “poet laureate of difficult families,” author Jami Attenberg delivers another gorgeously-written family saga. My favorite aspect of this novel, and what sets it apart from other books of its kind, is the random peek into the lives of perfect strangers: the person you stroll by in the park, that woman who sells you a book or the man who takes your ferry ticket. Everyone has a story. Our main characters here find themselves in the web of a toxic husband and father who is on his deathbed. New Orleans is a great setting for this novel of secrets, drama and human interaction. Jami Attenberg will be joining us for the 2020 Nantucket Book Festival June 18–21.
THE BODY: A GUIDE FOR OCCUPANTS by Bill Bryson
Who knew that the greatest mystery I would read this year would be a true head-to-toe tour of the human body. As Bill Bryson writes, “We pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted.” Almost every sentence had me tapping people on the shoulder to tell them a bit of information I had just learned. For example, you blink fourteen thousand times a day, which adds up to almost twenty-three minutes of every waking day. My mind was blown with this statement on the paradox of the brain: “Everything you know in the world is provided to you by an organ that itself has never seen that world.” Or there’s the fact that about a second after you started reading this sentence, your body had produced a million red blood cells. I feel like every human would enjoy this book!
THE EDUCATION OF AN IDEALIST: A MEMOIR by Samantha Power
From 2013 to 2017, Samantha Power served in the Cabinet of President Barack Obama and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She had previously worked on Obama’s National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. In her memoir, The Education of an Idealist, Pulitzer Prize-winner Power intimately answers the question “What can one person do?” Her story is one of an immigrant, a wife, a mother, a government insider and a profound writer. Time magazine named her one of the world’s most influential people. In honest and humorous prose, Power gives us a political memoir that is as well-written as it is insightful and moving. Samantha Power will also be joining us for the 2020 Nantucket Book Festival.
CHRISTMAS SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella
Don’t be a Scrooge and judge me, but one of my favorite guilty pleasures are Sophie Kinsella novels. They make me laugh and help me not take the world so seriously all the time. Beloved shopaholic character Becky Bloomwood is hosting Christmas this year and we can all relate to her trying to juggle it all: decking the halls, making those lists and checking them twice, trying to cook and accommodate all of your family’s dietary restrictions, finding the best sales, making it to all the parties, all while trying to keep the true spirit of Christmas alive. This light-hearted, humorous holiday romp might just help you get through the season ahead.
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET by Leslie Linsley
I’m checking off every Nantucket lover on my shopping list this season with Leslie Linsley’s gorgeous coffee table book — Christmas on Nantucket. She begins with declaring that in December, “the island looks like an old-fashioned Christmas card.” The pages that follow prove this sentiment by offering stunning photography, island traditions like Christmas Stroll Weekend and the Festival of Trees, beautiful island home decorations, Main Street holiday windows and Linsley’s own ideas for recreating a unique Nantucket-style Christmas.
DEAR EDWARD by Ann Napolitano
Get excited for another great year of reading ahead with this upcoming novel by Ann Napolitano to be published January 6, 2020. Dear Edward is the coming-of-age story of Edward Adler, sole survivor of a plane crash claiming the life of his family and 183 other passengers. That’s not a spoiler alert. You know it from the publisher’s blurb. What keeps you reading are the connections Edward has with his fellow passengers, those who step in to raise him and all of the people whose lives are affected by the crash. The result is a moving novel of discovering hope, learning to find joy again and realizing what it means to truly live. It’s a great read and the perfect one to start your #ReadMoreBooks New Year’s Resolution.