I missed doing this last month, what with the SOL frenzy, so I'm going to be completely self indulgent and do two lists this time. Part one is today and part two will be out tomorrow.
The starting point this month is Emma Donoghue's Room, which I read about five years ago.
A movie version came out more recently, but I didn't think I would enjoy it.
Room is written by someone named Emma. Emma is, well, about someone named Emma too.
Emma is also the favorite Austen novel of my sister, who named her daughter Emma in her honor. My sister is also largely responsible for introducing me to mysteries when I was a kid, and one mystery author we both read faithfully is Elizabeth George. Her most recent addition to the Inspector Lynley series is A Banquet of Consequences.
Banquets, in turn, remind me of feasts. I've never read Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, but it has been recommended to me many times over the years, and I really truly intend to read it. Soon.
Decades ago I wrote off all the tough-guy early and mid-century authors as not to my taste, which is one reason why I haven't read much Hemingway. It's also why I hadn't read much Steinbeck, until I was living in Riga, Latvia and had access to a very small English language library. With such limited options, I gave Grapes of Wrath a try, and it blew me away. The experience of reading the first page, in which a turtle crosses the road, and being AMAZED at how fascinating he made it will always remain with me.
One of the rare English language books with a Latvian protagonist is Between Shades of Gray. All of Sepetys's historical novels are excellent, but this one, despite taking place mainly en route to and in Siberia, is the most distinctively Latvian to me. Nearly everyone I met had an aunt or neighbor who'd been a victim of the mass deportations in June of 1940.