Book Day! I've been working my way steadily through my Summer Reading List - Here's what I read in May.
1) The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. Forty years ago, Anthony Peardew lost a keepsake from his fiancee on the same day as her tragic death. He spends the rest of his life collecting and meticulously curating a museum of lost items in his house, which he leaves to his sad and lonely housekeeper/personal assistant Laura upon his death, with the charge that she attempt to restore as many items as possible to the original owner. It's cute enough but a little twee. Everything comes together a little too perfectly at the end and there's a supernatural element which always annoys me if I'm not prepared for it.
2) The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler. This book made me feel a little grim about the hearts of men in general and navigating my son's teenage years in particular. It takes place over three generations and revolves primarily around a Boy Scout camp in north Wisconsin. I didn't really like or connect to any of the characters.
3) On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman. This is a nice little rom-com. It's light and cute and fun if a little predictable, but I don't think anyone's looking for the surprise twist ending in this genre. It's about a rather topsy-turvy year in the main character's life after she buys an adorable little house on Turpentine Lane. Thanks for Carly for the recommendation!
4) The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova. This book takes place in Bulgaria, and while I did enjoy the setting - Bulgaria sounds so beautiful and I enjoyed the folktales and history woven in - and the main characters are well drawn and likeable despite their flaws, this book didn't have the same magic for me as The Historian. It goes back and forth in time between an American woman recently arrived in Bulgaria in the modern day who gets caught up unraveling the story of a brilliant musician whose life was destroyed by years spent in the gulag in the aftermath of WWII. (Spoiler alert: The years in the gulag are pretty grim).
5) The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country by Helen Russell. This is a memoir of the author's first year living in Denmark after her husband takes at job at Lego. It's always fascinating to read about other cultures and the author's writing style, reminiscent of her former career in women's lifestyle magazines, is light and funny. This book is less helpful if you're hoping to incorporate any Danish philosophy into your own life because she concludes that many reasons for Denmark's high happiness rating are unique to Denmark. For example, there is a very high level of trust in the government. It would be laughable how untrue that is in America if it wasn't so sad.
That's all! As usual I'm linking up with Stephanie and Jana for Show Us Your Books - I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been reading lately!