My definition of a “good weekend” this summer has been about cramming in things from every facet of life: fun with friends, extra sleep, sunshine, laughter…and at least one novel. This weekend was an extravaganza. Yesterday we had friends over for a cookout. THIS DOG let us sleep until 9:00am this morning (and looked disgruntled when we had the audacity to wake her), the sky was bright blue with puffy clouds and lots of warm sun…and I read TWO novels. Both have been around awhile. Both deserve a place on your reading list:
First, The Art Fair by David Lipsky. Hands down the best novel I’ve read about social climbing and aspiration. Set in the New York art world, and narrated by the son of an artist whose star once shone bright and then dimmed, The Art Fair describes in vivid detail the machinations we go through to achieve social, professional, and relational success. Lipsky’s scenes are so well drawn – I could envision this social strata of artists, agents, and collectors. At the same time I could also imagine these scenes playing out in law, publishing, or even junior high cheerleading tryouts. This book is wryly funny and will make you think about how you navigate competitive situations.
Second, Keepsake by Kristina Riggle. I found this book via Twitter. She tweeted something awhile back about one of her books having a character named Trish. I’m a fan of her writing so found this book, only to learn that her Trish is a compulsive hoarder :) The story alternates between Trish and her sister Mary, who lives at the opposite extreme, in a life of sterile, lonely protection. Riggle does a great job with each of their voices, and in depicting the tension inherent in this sort of family dysfunction. This isn’t a story with simple answers, which is part of what makes it such good reading.
Hope you had a great, book-filled weekend, too :)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Art Fair from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.