This exquisite memoir by a young neurosurgeon diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer is at once haunting, heartbreaking, and inspiring. On the most prosaic level it offers a fascinating glimpse of the life of a dedicated professional who describes his sometimes crushing devotion to the craft of medicine a “calling.” But it is also a meditation on life that is full of courage and grace. Kalanithi’s early death is not just a loss to the medical profession and to potential patients who might have benefited from his counsel, but to literature—he had planned to spend his post-retirement years writing books, and this not-quite-finished memoir, penned in his 30s while he was in the final days of his life, shows that he had the talent to sit on the shelves beside other celebrated doctors turned writers, including Abraham Verghese, who penned the introduction to this book.
The perfect summer read, this engaging comedy of manners about a dysfunctional New York family has a finely drawn cast of characters and enough twisty subplots to keep the pages turning. The Plumb siblings are all in various stages of personal and financial distress, hoping their fate will change on the day they are given their share of the ginormous trust—the eponymous NEST of the title—that was established by their late father and which has unexpectedly bloated to a life-changing seven figures. But in the delicious opening scene, the irresponsible behavior of one brother, an eternal irresponsible cad, drains the Nest, putting everyone’s finances, and interpersonal relationships, in jeopardy.
The book has just been optioned by Jill Soloway, the force behind the hit series, Transparent, so keep an eye out for what will surely be a sublimely funny television version.
A brilliant and captivating debut, Claire-Louise Bennett's Pond is a strange, beautifully layered work of fiction, from its quirky and contemplative narrator's interior life to the vivid, charming descriptions of rural Irish life. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this book is its warm invitation to celebrate solitude. Bennett writes as if in a lush, landscaped dream, each story-chapter going forward, circling back and ending in the middle of the protagonist's musings upon her everyday experiences. Pond is utterly original, at turns hilarious and poignant, refreshing and simply delightful.