Sue Domis' Top Five Reads

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki  


A story about Ruth, a writer living on a really remote PNW island with her husband and dog. Ruth discovers some old stuff that washes up on the beach, including a journal written by a young Japanese girl. The journal tells the story of the bullying that is being done to her, her father's attempts at suicide after losing his job, and the tender and interesting story of her great-grandmother's life. This is all tied together with Ruth's life on the island and her troubled relationship with her husband.   


A Constellation of Vita Phenomena by Anthony Marra


The story takes place after the Russian-Chechnyian war. The book is starkly beautiful. Marra's style of writing is gorgeous and haunting. This was one of the most beautiful novels I've ever read. It is about the aftermath of the war. The main section of the book deals with an incompatent doctor (but a great artist), and his dangerous goal of bringing a 5-year old orphan girl to safety.


The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson  


I knew little about North Korea, so this was enlightening and scary. It was a wild ride but most of it was based on possibly events. My book club read this and had a great discussion about North Korea's eccentric leader's, and then a month later, one of their leader's was executed! Orphan Master's Son was a love story and a thriller.  



The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


I am a big Donna Tartt fan. This is sad because she's only written 3 books and they are 10 years apart, so it's been a long wait. The Goldfinch is a thriller, and a love story that is very exciting. Miss Tartt is great at writing suspense. The book opens as the main character and his mother are going to an art exhibit. When they are in the gallery a bomb goes off and his mother is killed. He is given a painting called the Goldfinch. The novel covers the next 20 plus years of his often dangerous life. What a great read.  



Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins  


Billy Collins is a very easy poet to read, but he can also be very insightful and good. I enjoyed his new collection of old favorites and some new poems. We all know that he is "accessible", but I think that he is actually a better poet than that. He is a poet that I enjoy spending time reading and I was happy to get his new book.