Rosie Roche’s Best Reads of 2014

rosieMy name is Rosie Roche.  I have lived in Evanston for 8 years and have worked for the city and NU as an educator and teaching artist. I have 2 young boys who love the library and ask to visit at least once a week. I have never seen such an impressive public library and consider it a gem in Evanston’s crown in terms of inviting space, helpfulness of staff and breadth of collection.

1) The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel (2014)

Her mastery is to write short stories that are intriguing and compelling to read and – in a way that is hard to pinpoint – leave the reader unsettled and disturbed. I see images from the stories at the most unexpected times, many months after reading them. She is so cutting in her condemnation that I wince and laugh to read them.

we had it2) We Had It So Good by Linda Grant (2011)

I like the flawed and sometimes unlikeable main character, it makes me smile to see some familiar human flaws in him. The best part for me is that he is a displaced American in London, seeing the city I grew up in through foreign eyes. It takes me back to the London of my childhood, and I see those memories of place through a new perspective.

3) The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (2013)

I enjoy historical fiction and magical realism, so I like that combination in this novel. The recreation of early 19th century New York city was evocative for me and the juxtaposition of scenes from the Old Countries with the drudgery of immigrants’ lives was powerful. The best aspect for me was the idea of what makes us human, how do these spirits and creations differ from humans.

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