Read Well: The Goldfinch

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It's been about a month since I finished it, so I figured it was high time I write about The Goldfinch.

As a disclaimer - with every passing year on this earth, I get more and more reticent to recommend books to people I know. I've found that a person's taste in books is one of the absolute hardest things to predict - I'm constantly surprised by my nerdy friends who have not-so-secret loves for chick lit, creative types who love books about business, and casual readers who unexpectedly appreciate fine literature. So please, take all of my book recommendations with a grain of salt - these books just might not be for you.

That being said, I'm also the kind of person who tends to think that the things I like are the best things. I'll leave it at that.

The short version here is that I loved The Goldfinch. It's easily the best book I've read so far this year. It also recently won The Pulitzer Prize, so I feel like my opinion has been validated in a very real way.

However, books about the dark, sad, and terrible parts of love are totally my thing. And The Goldfinch is definitely dark and definitely sad. Death is a central, ever-present topic in this book. There are sections about drug addiction that will make you feel like your world is spinning. And the resolution is anything but traditional. If those things sound like things you don't like, then the 750-page investment is probably not for you.

For those of you willing to give something new (and something good!) a shot, I would totally recommend it. The story itself is very unique - I struggle to think of any other books similar in character type and plot progression. Well, I can think of one - Harry Potter. That assertion will make more sense if you read The Goldfinch (or maybe it won't, if I'm making all of this up) but I'm convinced that Donna Tartt draws deliberate parallels to Harry Potter throughout. Literary folks - can you let me know if you got that too?

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Since it has been quite awhile since I last wrote about books, and since I'm sure many of you will be traveling and relaxing and reading this summer, I thought it would be a nice time to recap some of my all-time favorite books. Enjoy!

Literary

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

A Visit From the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan

Short Stories

How to Breath Underwater by Julie Orringer

Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy

Mysteries

In the Woods by Tana French (+ its sequels)

Funny girls trying to deal with being girls:

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

Poser by Claire Dederer

Nonfiction

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (seriously, EVERYONE likes this book)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson