This month was so busy! I wasn't able to read much, but here are the great books that I've been able to dig into.
Every Kind of Wanting, Gina Frangello
This novel is kind of a doozy. It aims to tackle the difficult subjects of parenthood, addiction, surrogacy, marriage, cancer, and more by telling the story of a surrogate pregnancy through the eyes of the different people involved (the gay couple that wants the baby, the egg donor, the surrogate, etc). While there is a lot going on, Frangello handles her characters with precision and dignity.
Babe in Paradise, Marisa Silver
Marisa Silver's debut book of short stories features a collection of characters who live in or around the Los Angeles area. Silver's characters have a lot of depth/are perfectly imperfect and her descriptions of LA are so spot on. I also liked how some of the more striking stories connect people with random, serendipitous situations that don't seem to have any correlation (but they do). However, one thing I wasn't super fond of was the recurrence of the character Babe, who appears in three of the nine stories. Though Babe does seem she would be fun to write, I wasn't super keen on reading about her. Despite this, almost all of the stories made me feel something profound and were well-crafted. Two particular favorites of mine from the collection are "What I Saw From Where I Stood" and "Thief."
Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
This is such a guilty pleasure. The novel is an introduction to the extravagant lifestyle of several elite, old, (crazy rich), families in Singapore. At first, it's a little overwhelming because Kwan is setting up so much - a whole universe of rich people who love their brand names and exotic-sounding architecture and flower-blooming parties. It definitely read as pretentious. However, the drama of the plot really hooked me in.
What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below.