I got some good ones in this batch! Now I'm in a lull again, re-reading some Sue Grafton while waiting for the library to tell me that my holds are coming in.
Fates and Furies - A really beautiful and intimate exploration of a marriage. The first half of the book is focused on the husband and the second half on the wife, although that makes it sound much more pat and boring than it really is. This book is so well written and reading it was a delight.
H is for Hawk - I'd been hearing praise for this book everywhere, but I guess I hadn't absorbed enough of it to know what the book was about. It's a memoir that deals with the crippling grief the author experiences after losing her father, and how she attempts to cope with it (by adopting an enormous hawk and spending all her time training it to hunt, naturally). I have to admit that after the first few chapters I wasn't sure I would go on. The subject matter (losing a father, not falconry) hit pretty close to home and made this more difficult for me to read. I pushed through and the book is powerful, although I hadn't realized falconry was still a thing and to be honest, I have no interest in it. The descriptions of loss will lay you flat, though, and the author's deep interest in and devotion to falconry makes even the long passages regarding bird training beautiful.
Mislaid - This book grabbed me so hard. I'm not really sure how to sum it up in a short description. It's a novel about a highly unusual family and it plays with gender, sexuality, and race. There's a lot of dry humor and I was so attached to all the characters by the end that I wasn't quite ready to let it go.
Home - I loved this quiet, beautiful novel. There is so much sorrow in it and yet it feels calming somehow. Again, I managed to unwittingly pick out a book about loss, but the grief in this book is more tender and less searing than it is in H is for Hawk. The plot premise is that the youngest daughter in the family comes home to take care of the dying father and is joined by her black sheep brother, with whom she's always wanted a relationship. It's a deeply felt examination of family and self and I almost felt like I was absorbing it rather than reading it.
Before I Go To Sleep - Always on the hunt for a good thriller (thanks, Megan!) and this one was pretty good. It's very reminiscent of Memento (anyone else super into that movie when it came out?) in that it revolves around a woman with a very specific (and highly unlikely) form of memory loss who is trying to piece her life together. It holds together pretty well and the ending is good.
Between the World and Me - Part memoir, part manifesto, Ta-Nehisi Coates' letter to his teenage son on his experience of being a black man in America is a powerful piece of writing. I felt uncomfortable reading it and I feel even more uncomfortable trying to write about it. Seriously, I have written and deleted more sentences here than I can count. The bottom line is that I think it's an important book and so beautifully (and painfully) articulated.
Young Skins - A short story collection from Irish author Colin Barrett. This is a really strong debut and I tore right through it. All the stories are set in a small Irish town and feature young people in some pretty unpleasant situations, and yet somehow the writing energizes you instead of bumming you out. Nicely done. (Thanks for the rec, Lydia!)
The Passenger - I'm a huge fan of Lisa Lutz's Spellman series, which are comedic mysteries. This book is a bit of a departure for her, as it's more thriller than mystery, but her distinctive (and humorous) voice still comes through and lends a bit of levity to an otherwise fairly intense book. If you're looking for the next Gone Girl, I won't say this is it. It's a little less twisty and the reveal isn't quite as big, but it is a really enjoyable book that will keep you rooting for the protagonist, a woman caught in a situation that is constantly spinning just out of her control.