American Wife - Curtis Sittenfeld

While Michelle Obama is the stylish first lady du jour, and Hillary Clinton has become the most politically successful post-White House first lady, there’s no doubt in my mind that Laura Bush is the most subtly complex.  Long before Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife (Random House, $15), women of all political stripes were fascinated by Mrs. Bush’s subdued political presence and the imagined inner workings of her marriage to our former president. Sittenfeld’s fictional portrait of the first lady’s life from childhood to the East Wing is by turns hilarious and unsettling, executed with empathetic ambivalence and teeming with the kind of rich details that make the reader wonder, could things have really happened that way?

American Wife: A Novel By Curtis Sittenfeld Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812975406
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 10th, 2009

The Ten-Year Nap - Meg Wolitzer

The Ten-Year Nap (Riverhead, $16) is a book that should probably be read while reclining—though that alone isn’t what makes it a great summer read.  At first it appears simply to be a book about stay-at-home moms in New York City, a subject, in all honesty, I did not think I’d find interesting.  In truth, the book is much more than that.   It’s not just about mothers, it’s about all women and the choices we make.  Meg Wolitzer gently weaves together a story of marriage, friendship, and fidelity and keeps it all intimate and interesting.  This book is poignant and thoughtful without being heavy-handed or preachy.

The Ten-Year Nap By Meg Wolitzer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594483547
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2009

The World Before Her - Deborah Weisgall

If, without buying an airline ticket, you want to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of both 1880 and 1980 Venice, Italy, Deborah Weisgall’s The World Before Her (Mariner, $13.95) is the book to read. Against the gorgeous Venetian backdrop, the novel plays out the stories of two marriages, separated by 100 years: the first is a fictionalized version of the actual trip to Venice made by the newlywed Marian Evans—the author George Eliot—with her husband, a friend 20 years her junior; and the second is the completely fictional visit by Caroline Spingold, a sculptor, and wife of a man 20 years her senior. Both women take journeys to discover themselves.  I’ve come away from this book with a commitment to reread George Eliot this year.

The World Before Her By Deborah Weisgall Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547237961
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 13th, 2009