The Bee-Loud Glade by Steve Himmer
This allegory is the story of a man whose meaningless corporate job is cut, and who ends up becoming employed by a capricious billionaire who wants a "hermit" to adorn his garden. As the man follows his instructions, he becomes more and more devoted to his life, and finds meaning and purpose in it, despite the fact that he is essentially a hired actor. This book was an interesting idea and was, I think, trying to portray a deep thematic message. However, I felt that many of the details made this message murky and unclear, and the story was a little bizarre to resonate with me. It felt a bit chore-like to read this book.
Warnings: Language, mild sensuality
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Boy meets girl, girl moves away, boy writes a book about it. Later, a couple read the book, name their daughter after the girl, and the girl goes looking for the author. It sounds pretty simple, but The History of Love goes through some unique convolutions before it is all resolved in the end. I liked the literary tricks that Krauss employed, even though for much of the book I was confused. The ending is sweet and satisfying without being trite, and the writing is lovely.
Warnings: Brief instance of language
Tinkers by Paul Harding
I've enjoyed every Pulitzer-prize winning book I've read, so when this one was on sale for $0.99, I snatched it up. I thought it would be a quick read because it is a short book. However, Tinkers was pretty complex. I initially found it hard to get into -- it jumps around chronologically and veers off on tangents -- but the writing is beautiful, and by the end of the book I felt satisfied and moved. Be prepared to invest some mental energy, but know that there will also be a great return.
Warnings: I honestly can't remember... it's been a few months. Shame on me for being lazy about writing reviews.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
The Snow Child is different from any other book I have ever read. It toys with the reader's perceptions of reality, making one wonder if events are actually, logically possible, only to suspend belief a paragraph later with a happening that seems as if it must be magical. Set in Alaska, the descriptions are beautiful in a stark, fierce way. The book is often understated, slowly drawing out scenes that show what the characters are experiencing. I thought it was pretty near perfect.
Warnings: Mild sensuality, disturbing images