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In the first sentence of Anna Karenina Tolstoy proclaims, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Perhaps this explains why most literary novels are about unhappy families. There has to be a conflict in order to keep the reader’s interest.
Life Drawing by Robin Black is a quiet but powerful novel of a marriage between two artists; Gus, a painter and her husband Owen, a writer. Their relationship has been fractured by an affair Gus had with a student’s father and in a futile attempt to insulate themselves from their pain they move from Philadelphia to a remote house in the country.
If you're looking for a satisfying beach read, try The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos. Thirty-something Taisy Cleary and her twin brother Marcus have been estranged from their heartless, pompous, brilliant father Wilson for most of their adult lives.
I don’t know about you, but when Oklahoma’s hot sticky weather arrives I find it difficult to read dark, dreary books. It takes too much energy. I suggest you enjoy a margarita by the pool or curl up under the air conditioning with a glass of lemonade and sink into one of these feel-good books.
Conversing fluidly about books is an essential skill for librarians. We need to be able to describe a book in a way that identifies the specific appeals of the book; the characters, storyline, setting, language, etc., which draw a reader to it.