The Nix by Nathan Hill - Sometimes painful to absorb, other times incredibly funny, yet always deeply insightful and provocative, the various threads and storylines (including settings as varied as the 1968 Democratic Convention and a present-day video game chat room)  show time and again how the events and experiences of the past play a rich and significant role in our present.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles - I started this one as an audiobook on a road trip with a friend and tried to be patient in listening again, waiting until my travel buddy and I were together, but I finally had to ask if I could proceed on my own because I couldn't wait to find out how Katherine Kontent makes her way through 1930s Manhattan with style, wit, intellect, fun, and integrity. (And...the writing is phenomenal - I relished nearly every line.)

Ask Again, Yes: A Novel
by Mary Beth Keane
- Another one through which I plowed quickly as I worked away in the studio, this is a story of young love that tests loyalty in one another and the families that surround the couple, bringing up challenging themes of forgiveness, understanding, compassion, and trust.

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams - Maybe because I graduated not long after this quartet of friends did and have experienced some of the same highs and lows along the way as post-college life unfolded in my 20s, and then the unexpected twists and turns in my 30s and now 40s, I wanted to know how it all played out for these four. Though it provided plenty of predictable love triangles and losses, I enjoyed the lack of saccharine happy endings and the emphasis on the idea that life rarely turns out the way we think or hope it will, but that there is beauty, still, in what shows up. 

Along the Infinite Sea
by Beatriz Williams
- I snagged this from the library not knowing it was part of a larger series, though it stands alone and is a page-turning story-within-a-story that needs no background or introduction. Truly, I was in it from the start and happily along for the ride between 1930s Europe and 1960s South Florida and coastal Georgia, learning delightful and captivating details about the lives of two dazzling women brought together by a remarkable vintage Mercedes roadster.


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