My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki
Documentary filmmaker Jane Tagaki-Little gets her big break when she is assigned to travel the U.S. in search of wholesome beef-eating families for a Japanese TV show, My American Wife, sponsored by a large beef-exporting conglomerate. The show is supposed to encourage more beef consumption in Japanese viewers, but Jane quickly turns the show into her own showcase for quirky but lovable characters (e.g, lesbian vegetarians) and an exposé of the cruelties and unhealthful practices of the meat industry. Laugh-out-loud funny at times, but be warned: you’ll never look at a burger the same way again. ~ Susan C.
How I Became Stupid by Martin Page
As someone who can sometimes feel a higher level of intelligence in comparison to the huddled masses, the idea that someone can somehow become “stupid” in order to make everyday life easier made me chuckle because I’ve felt that way before. I think my favorite part of the book is when the main character decides to try alcoholism, but first he must interview an alcoholic. After all his vain attempts to numb his intelligence, he comes to realize that being smart isn’t so bad after all. It’s a delightful read that even the most intelligent person will enjoy. ~ Kara
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
Who is author Michelle Richmond and how have I missed her? That was my first question after reading The Year of Fog, a page turner with a punch. The novel, the author’s third work, about a child gone missing (six-year-old Emma while in the care of Abby, her stepmother-to-be) is a unique combination of suspenseful plot, deeply developed characters and literate prose. Richmond devotes considerable attention to the subject of memory. Again and again, Abby goes back in time to dwell on the moment of Emma’s disappearance, adding considerable depth to the novel. ~ Susan F.