Francisca’s February Recommendation

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

beautiful ruinsFrancisca says:  “I just read Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and really enjoyed it.  The language is beautiful and vivid and I loved the juxtaposition of simple Italian life with the glamor of Hollywood.  The story intertwines the lives of several very different individuals over a 50 year period and is a page turner.  It also has a lovely message about life and making the most of what we are given.”

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3 Similar Reads

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan – “Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs confront their pasts in this powerful story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.” – Summary from catalog

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – “Journalist Hornby’s very funny first novel has already hit the best-seller lists in London and with good reason. In a candid, engaging narrative voice, 35-year-old pop-music fanatic Rob, the owner of a vintage record shop who has just broken up with his longtime girlfriend, attempts to ease his misery by giving an account of his top-five most memorable split-ups.” – Booklist (note:  a film adaptation starring John Cusack is also available via the SWAN network)

The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman – “In 1962 the Marx family of liberal Newton, Massachusetts, is politely discouraged from vacationing at a placid Vermont resort by a thinly veiled response to the innocent inquiry about accommodations, stating that the ‘guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles.’ Experiencing her first taste of overt anti-Semitism, 13-year-old Natalie Marx becomes instantly obsessed with the Inn at Lake Devine and the seemingly bigoted family that owns and operates it.” – Booklist


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