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.


180 pages; New York Tyrant Books
The best-little-novel-you-haven't heard about, Us, is as simple and as heartfelt as its title suggests. The first half of this page-turner centers on an elderly man whose wife gets sick in the middle of the night and is taken to the hospital. When his wife doesn't wake up, the doctor suggests he say good-bye. Instead, the narrator admits, "I told her that the skin on her hands was soft and that I liked the age spots on the back of her hands. I told her that she had a soft dress with polka dots on it that she liked to wear. I told her about where we met and about the hospital room where we were...I told her that we should go home soon." Kimball's clear-eyed prose unlocks the most vulnerable voice in this aging man, creating an emotional link that leaves no reader untouched. What is ostensibly is a book about loss very quickly becomes a story about loveā€”the long-term kind, experienced by a couple who shares all the stages of their life together, even the last one.
— Leigh Newman