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The 2022 Reading List — So Far…

Here are the books that I am enjoying in 2022

1. The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

by Micheal Lewis

Micheal Lewis is such a masterful story teller that just about any book by him is a delight to read. This one is no exception. It is an exploration of the CDC, the countless local and state health officials, and the amazing people who try to keep us all healthy. The book kind of ran out of steam for me at the end, hence the four stars. Still a recommended read.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ (out of 5) | Non-Fiction | Kindle


2. Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders

I am read this book as part of a book club. In fact, I had to read this book twice because I was the one who recommended it to the book club and was tasked with leading the discussion on the book. I proposed this book based on the recommendation of a few friends and the fact that it won the Man Booker prize. I mean, the Man Booker prize! It has to be good right?

Lincoln in the Bardo is the worst book I have read in recent memory. It is often referred to as an experimental novel. It is a failed experiment. It lacked structure. The point of view was never clear — randomly jumping between the POV of the 166 characters or the snippets of “historical” record. The nature of the Bardo was never clear. The author did nothing to ease the reader into this strange setting. The formatting was so bad that I thought the Kindle app was having trouble properly displaying the text … so I ordered a copy of the paperback version only to discover the same atrocious formatting.

I agree with Dorothy Parker 1The source of this quote is debatable. See Quote Inspector for details. on this one:

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

Rating: Zero stars (out of 5) | Fiction | Kindle / Paperback


3. The Prince of Tides

by Pat Conroy

I have been a fan of Pat Conroy since I had the chance to see him in the late 80’s while he was passing through Denver, CO on book tour. I am revisiting some of my favorite Pat Conroy books to see again how he used his writing to exorcise the demons of a traumatic childhood. In The Great Santini Conroy told the story of his violent and abusive father. In The Lords of Discipline, Conroy gives us insight into what it must have been like at The Citadel — with dramatic and poetic flourishes, to be sure.

In The Prince of Tides Conroy’s his mother takes center stage in this book. Conroy’s father is still present, but he is a secondary character. His mother’s longings drive her to extremes that are hard to comprehend and gut-wrenching to behold. The majesty of the South Carolina low-country are brought to life almost as another character. Each page is a feast of well-told story, deeply drawn characters, and a slow revelation of how to deal with the wounds of our childhood.

I have read almost all of Pat Conroy’s books and The Prince of Tides stands atop them all. His prose read like carefully wrought poetry. The opening sentence — “My wound is geography” — stands as one of my favorites.

My wound is a dysfunctional childhood with its own geography playing a central role. Thanks to Conroy’s deep and moving writing, my wound is healing.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ (out of 5) | Fiction | Kindle


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