Currently Reading

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A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson - A God in Ruins is a sort of companion novel to Life After Life.  It follows the life of Ursula's brother, Teddy, both during and after his stint as an RAF bomber during World War II.  It's a compelling novel, taking Teddy's poet heart and dropping it in the middle of one of the most destructive wars we've ever seen.  His life after the war is somewhat quiet, but those experiences never leave him.  They bleed into his relationship with his wife, his daughter, and his grandchildren.  Teddy is a wonderful character and spending time with him is very worthwhile.

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon - Miles has spent almost his entire adult life searching for his missing twin brother.  Lucy has run away with her history teacher.  Ryan has found out that his uncle is really his father.  These three lives are all connected by the same thread, although they don't know it.  Part thriller, part identity origin story, this novel takes awhile to get a feel for, but it eventually comes together in a beautiful way.  What constitutes an identity?  How fluid can our identities be?  Await Your Reply explores these questions while giving you a hell of a story to read as well.

Perfidia by James Ellroy - This is my first James Ellroy.  It's Book #1 in his 2nd LA Quartet (the first quarter including The Black Dahlia and LA Confidential).  The Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor and Los Angeles is reeling.  The novel follows the stories of the Los Angeles police department, including drunk Captain William H. Parker, Japanese forensic scientist Hideo Ashida, and Irish assassin turned copper Dudley Smith.  Kay Lake, local ingenue, also becomes embroiled in the dark world of policing.  The novel is highly stylized and has taken me a long time to work through, but it is brilliant in its depiction of December 1941.


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