Four for Fall

Here’s what I’m reading now.

9322165127_fc89a6ab18The reviewers keep comparing THE SILENT WIFE to GONE GIRL, and while I understand the thread of the connection, this book doesn’t remind me all that much of GONE GIRL …. except that I can’t put the damn thing down.  It’s a well-written, smart, slow-burning psychological thriller, the best I’ve read this year.  If you’re not reading it yet, you should be.



I’m rereading BLACK BEAUTY, my favorite book when I was 10 and 11 years old.  We’d rented a farm house and the owners kept their horses — two Tennessee Walkers and a Quarter Horse — out back and I pretty much lived in the pasture and barn with them.  I must have read this book 20 times that year.  How could I have forgotten it’s written in Black Beauty’s voice, a memoir?


bae2013Last year’s collection was a little dry for me.  Not this year.  You’ll know what I mean when you see Cheryl Strayed’s introduction, which says in part:  the invisible, unwritten last line of every essay should be “and nothing was ever the same again.”  By which I mean the reader should feel the ground shift, if even only a bit, when he or she comes to the end of the essay.  Also, there should be something at stake in the writing of it.  Or, better yet, everything.


17612712The role of women in Hitler’s Germany.  It’s been a long time since I’ve read a good, original nonfiction account World War II.  This one is a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, and it’s written as the author’s quest to find out “how in the hell did that happen?”  An excellent story with frightening facts.



What’s on your bedside table this Fall?


9 thoughts on “Four for Fall

  1. Averil Dean

    Ooo, isn’t The Silent Wife fabulous? I think people often do a disservice to books when they compare them, because readers get pissed off when one or the other falls short. This one was quieter than Gone Girl but much more insidious because the scenario is so ordinary. And I loved the twist at the end.

    I’ve got a huge pile of books from MPIBA. I’ll be set for months.

  2. Josey

    Unremarried Widow…Artis Henderson
    Someone…Alice McDermott
    An Absorbing Errand…Janna Malamud Smith
    If Only You People Could Follow Directions…Jessica hendry Nelson
    A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming
    The Guardians…Sarah Manguso
    Inside Out & Back Again…Thanha Lai (I’m leading my daughter’s 4th grade book club this month.)
    The War of Art…Steven Pressfield
    The Great Santini…Pat Conroy
    Daybook…Anne Truitt

    (now i want to read black beauty again; i don’t remember it being in the horse’s POV at all!!)

  3. chillcat

    I love this question! I’d like to get my hands on a copy of The Silent Wife but so far I have The Long Song (to review for a book site & it’s warming my cockles set in Jamaica), Cate Kennedy’s The World Beneath, Tom Vowler’s What Lies Within (just finished his excellent stories – weird how these two titles are so similar) and I’m craving some more James Salter on my platter.

  4. joplingirl

    Edwidge Danticat’s Clare of the Sea Light
    Michael Hasting’s I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story
    Daniel Woodrell’s The Maid’s Version
    Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing
    I want to read Hitler’s Furies

  5. JustAnotherEmpress

    A Simplified Map of the Real World — Stevan Allred
    The Spectacular Now — Tim Tharp
    The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri (just finished. both love it and sort of hate it. mostly love it)

  6. LauraMaylene

    I too loved Black Beauty but haven’t even thought of rereading it — thanks for the push. And I actually wasn’t a big fan of Gone Girl, but I didn’t like its addictive qualities…so I might have to check out The Silent Wife. You know, when I get a break from reading 8,000 things in graduate school.

    I hope you’re doing okay, Terry. And I hope my weird blog-reading stress hiatus is over for good now…

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