It’s September…time to hit the books
by Beth Goehring
During the summer, friends are often scattered to the four winds. It’s great to come back together and catch up. I feel the same about my author “friends,” writers I’ve been reading for years. This month, three of my besties are out with new books and I couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce you.
One of my oldest author friends is William Boyd whose deliriously funny first novel A Good Man in Africa I discovered as a college student living in England. He can write in any voice about, well, just about anything (he even took a turn writing the James Bond franchise). Sweet Caress, like Boyd’s The New Confessions and Any Human Heart, tells the story of the twentieth century through a narrator who sees it all via a unique personal lens. In this case, the lens is not a metaphor: Amory Clay is a woman photographer who throws herself into the era’s most thrilling and dangerous moments, as exciting for us as it is for her.
A newer friend with whom I’m in that delightful “crush” phase when everything she writes elicits from me a “Yes! Exactly!” is Lauren Groff. I’m looking forward to someday reading her first novel, The Monsters of Templeton, but having loved her Arcadia, I fell on the new novel, Fates and Furies, for a humid summer weekend like a drowning woman grabs a life preserver. This is the story of Lotto (christened Lancelot) and his bride Mathilde. Of all the well-drawn, surprising characters in this novel, their marriage is as alive and complex and riveting as any person. Romance, ambition, secrets revealed… Groff gives us a totally fresh, erotically charged Greek tragedy.
And then there’s the friend who gives that gift you suddenly can’t live without…Elizabeth Gilbert. September never loses that back-to-school feeling and Gilbert’s joyful, encouraging Big Magic will convince you to start that novel you’ve been meaning to write, the painting you can see in your mind’s eye, or whatever creative endeavor you’ve been afraid to begin. She never studied writing, she just did it and she shares the messy, infuriating, exhilarating process, so we can all recapture the joy we knew as children of “Look what I made!”
Beth Goehring believes, with apologies to Lorelei Lee, that rather than diamonds books are a girl’s best friend…and a boy’s, a man’s and a woman’s. For more than twenty-five years, through Book-of-the-Month Club and its related clubs, she’s sold popular fiction, mysteries, romances, cookbooks, children’s books, play scripts, behind-the-scenes tales of the movies and theatre, and lifestyle books. She lives with her husband and corgi in Manhattan.