O's 2010 Summer Reading List

Lush historical novels, wise contemporary tales, thrillers that will scare the dickens out of you. (And speaking of Dickens, we've got him, too.)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

304 pages; Doubleday
At age 8, Rose Edelstein discovers she can taste feelings in food—lonely pie, adulterous roast beef, resentment soup—whatever angst or elation the cook might have experienced while preparing the meal. Weird for any kid, yes. But when a family like the Edelsteins is serving up its own wacky stew of alienation and contradiction—from the taciturn father, who "always seemed a little like a guest," to the misanthropic brother, a physics prodigy with KEEP OUT posted (in 17 languages) on his bedroom door—having the ability to sense the dissonance between emotion and behavior can be especially painful. It's no wonder Rose's insights and subsequent psychic ramblings land her in the ER. Thankfully, George Malcolm, an adorable science whiz, comes to the rescue, simply by believing her. Voracious for human connection, Rose comes of age while unraveling family secrets as strangely lucid as they are nightmarish. At its core, Aimee Bender's novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake encourages us all to make the most of our unique gifts while still finding a way to live in the so-called real world.
— Kristy Davis