O's 2011 Summer Reading List

What's your favorite flavor? No matter, because we've got 'em all: refreshing histories, nutty novels, and love stories that will make you melt.
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English

368 pages; Reagan Arthur Books
Oh, come all ye anglophiles. Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English—a comedy of manners reminiscent of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand—tells of two people in the same home in the same 20-year-old marriage, their lives grazing past each other like young lovers, unsure how to make the first move. Mr. Jack Rose-in-Bloom, as the locals call him, is a 5-foot-3-inch Jewish Don Quixote, brandishing a 9-iron against the English countryside. His desperate quest to become a true Englishman gives us a gentle (and very funny) glimpse of pre- and postwar British culture through the rose-colored glasses of a Jewish German refugee. Meanwhile, his wife, Sadie, is in a perpetual state of mourning for the family she left behind in Germany. Fueled by memories, ghosts or both, her sadness is the counterweight to Jack's foolhardy optimism. But it's the third, unnamed character that gives the book its charm: the setting. Natasha Solomons' descriptions of England elevate it from poetic to magic—literally. The story ends on a fairy-tale note—from evil boars to woodsy potions to an appropriately restrained British happily ever after.

— Natalie Tebbi