Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - I can't say enough about this book. It's impeccably researched, written, and executed. Louis Zamperini is a hellfire of a kid, an Olympic runner, a thief. a World War II airman, a missing person, a POW. This book captures the way that people can endure almost anything when they want to survive. Louis is tortured, starved, beaten, and made to do the most humiliating of tasks, yet he remains above it all, willing himself to live. The story is incredible and gives a voice to the tens of thousands of men who didn't make it out of Japan.
The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan - This is the book I've been reading before I go to bed at night, so it may be my own fault that it hasn't made a huge impression on me. What can I say, I'm tired. The story follows a cop and a dangerous killer who form an unlikely bond each night in the jail. The killer has had quite a life, and slowly shares his stories with the police officer. The officer is going through his own ordeal, with complications between he and his wife. On top of that, he is in charge of the search and rescue and hasn't found anyone alive in too long a time. Set in Montana, the land itself is just as big a character as anyone else. The language is grandiose and beautiful. The book reminds me of a darker, less humorous Coen Brothers film.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell - This book isn't doing much for me. The story is fine: a comedy writer discovers that her big break is happening, when she is supposed to be in Nebraska with her husband and her two daughters. She stays behind in LA to work, causing a rift between herself and her husband. She finds herself at her mother's house, plugging in the yellow phone from her teenage years, and dialing her husband's mother's house in Nebraska, only to reach her husband in 1998. Looking back at the beginning of their relationship to its current state, Georgie, the writer, tries to determine if there is something from 1998 that she should fix. I'll stick with it until the end because that's what I do, but I don't feel invested in the story.