One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson - Kate Atkinson writes great books. Period. She's incredibly talented and while not quite as good as it's predecessor, Case Histories, One Good Turn is no exception. It is the second in the Jackson Brodie series. The now retired Brodie and his girlfriend are away on holiday in Edinburgh when Brodie witnesses a man being attacked during a traffic jam. This sets off a series of events that lead Brodie back into the police world, unofficially partnering up with a local female detective. It's fun, it's smart, and Brodie is an extremely likable character.
The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich - Nonfiction! Who knew I could do it? Well, I may not do it again soon because I was underwhelmed with this book. A group of young women currently working at Newsweek see their less qualified male counterparts getting all the stories and promotions. They end up digging into the magazine's history to discover that in the early 1970s, the female employees of Newsweek filed a discrimination lawsuit against their employer. The story follows the women of the 1970s and how they began the discussions of the discrimination, banded together, and ultimately fought the man. While this is incredibly brave and amazing, I was incredibly disheartened that in the 40 years since, nothing has really changed. Female Newsweek employees today are still facing the same challenges and discrimination.
The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud - I don't really know what to say about this book. I didn't particularly like it, but I also was drawn to it in a weird way. It follows three college friends in New York City in their late-20s. They are all falling apart in one way or another. Marina is failing to actually write the book she's already been paid an advance for. Danielle is fumbling romantically and being dismissed at work. Julius finds himself in an abusive relationship. The book is extremely well-written, but it just didn't grab me. Mostly, I found the character of Bootie, Marina's cousin, to be so irredeemably annoying. The last few chapters were a huge surprise to me though, and somewhat made up for Bootie's character.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain - This book is perfect. I'm not interested in the military, in football, in politics, but amazingly, I loved everything about Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. On leave from Iraq, Bravo Squad is brought back to the states on a hero tour, culminating in their attending the Thanksgiving Day Dallas Cowboys football game. The book takes place over the course of the game, with flashbacks filling in the blanks. Perfection.