Looking for a short but worthy book to read on your own or with a group? Here are some suggestions. A link follows the description if a review or reading guide has appeared on One-Minute Book Reviews.
Born Twice (Vintage, 192 pp., $13, paperback), by Guiseppe Pontiggia. Translated by Oonagh Stransky.
One of the great modern novels about fatherhood and a winner of the Strega Prize, the highest literary honor in Italy. Review and reading group guide (separate posts on the same day): www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/03/08/.
Hotel du Lac (Vintage, 192 pp., $13, paperback), by Anita Brookner.
A suspenseful and psychologically complex Booker Prize-winner www.themanbookerprize.com about a 39-year-old English bride-to-be who walks away from her wedding at the last minute and, as Anne Tyler wrote, finds “a nonromantic, wryly realistic appreciation of her single state.”
How This Night Is Different: Stories (Free Press, 198 pp., $18) by Elisa Albert.
A sharp, funny and often bawdy collection of 10 stories, each of which focuses on a different Jewish tradition, including a seder, bat mitzvah, and packaged tour of Auschwitz. Review: www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2006/11/22/.
The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception (Picador, 191 pp., $13), by Emmanuel Carrère. Translated by Linda Coverdale.
An elegant true crime story that lays bare the double life of an ordinary man and pillar of respectability who murdered his wife, children and parents. www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman (Knopf, 137 pp., $24.95), by Nora Ephron.
Witty essays about growing older by the author of Heartburn and Sleepless in Seattle. Review: www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2006/10/14/ and reading group guide www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/03/20/.
My Misspent Youth: Essays (Open City, 77 pp. $14, paperback), by Meghan Daum www.meghandaum.com.
A young author’s acerbic essays on Internet dating, her slide into credit-card debt, and other topics, collected in a paperback published before her comic novel, The Quality of Life Report.
Late Wife: Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 54 pp., $16.95, paperback), by Claudia Emerson.
An exceptionally fine collection of poems about divorce and remarriage that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Review: www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2006/12/03/
© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.