New Year Notes…

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Happy 2016!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season which included lots of time to read. As always, my reading plans and the reality did not align, but that’s okay.  I enjoyed time with friends and family, spent lots of time catching up on New Yorker articles that were in my “to read” pile, and received some wonderful new books that are on the nightstand ready for 2016!  Here are a few disconnected notes from the past few weeks….


I read a powerful and moving new young adult novel called All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Told from the points of view of two teenage boys – one white and one black – it’s a story that echoes today’s headlines. Rashad, the black teenager, is brutally beaten by a white police officer, an act witnessed by Quinn, a white classmate who grapples with what he has seen and how to respond. The day after I finished reading it, the novel was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Here’s a link to the story:

My favorite Christmas gift was a Playmobil version of Vermeer’s The Milkmaid. My husband, knowing how much I love the painting, ordered this plastic version from the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam. I snapped all of the pieces together and put it next to my postcard of the painting. Here it is:



We were in New York City for a couple of days and, during a walking tour of Greenwich Village, we learned about the Minetta Tavern which opened in 1937 and was a regular destination for writers including Ernest Hemingway and E.E. Cummings.


If you are already planning your 2016 reading, here are a few books to consider:

First place in my “anticipation” list is My Name is Lucy Barton, the new novel by Elizabeth Strout the author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys.


In February, two books have caught my eye: The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel (author of Life of Pi) and The Lives of Elves by Muriel Barbery (the author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog).



March releases include a novel that’s generating lots of buzz already – and a cover blurb by Amy Poehler: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. The story of siblings and an inheritance that, not surprisingly, raises long-simmering issues.


Louise Erdrich’s new novel, LaRose, will be out in May. The crime at the center of this story is a hunter who mistakenly shoots his five-year-old neighbor.


And my summer book may be Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. Straub’s book, The Vacationers, was the perfect summer read two years ago so I’m banking on this one.


Summer is a long way off!  Until then, it’s reading with warm blankets and a cup of chai…




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