Writers Read | Scott Cheshire

Article by debut-author

Summer House with Swimming Pool Cover Image
By Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (Translator)
ISBN: 9780804138819
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Hogarth - June 3rd, 2014

I'm not sure there could be a better title for a summertime page-turner than Herman Koch's SUMMER HOUSE WITH SWIMMING POOL. But be warned: this is not "light" reading. Which is certainly not say Koch's latest isn't funny, and fast paced, and sort of unputdownable. It's all those things, but just like with his prior novel THE DINNER Koch turns everyday domestic banalities into fodder for his scathing black humor and grotesque observation. The story? Dr. Marc Schlosser is a family physician, a general practitioner, the kind who knows the names of everybody's children and hands out lollipops. He also happens to find the human body a "horrible" thing, and sort of hates his patients. Especially Ralph Meier, a famous stage actor--almost enough to kill him. Less of a whodunnit, and more about the how and why, SUMMER HOUSE WITH SWIMMING POOL is somehow both devious and delightful.

Bulletproof Vest: The Ballad of an Outlaw and His Daughter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374117313
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - June 17th, 2014

Okay, so I'm a sucker for stories about dads. And so I bring you two, both memoirs and both debuts. The first is Maria Venegas' BULLETPROOF VEST: THE BALLAD OF AN OUTLAW AND A FATHER, in which Venegas recounts the summers she spent with her father after reuniting after a fourteen-year estrangement, all the way up until his murder. It's a gritty and lyrical look at a family legacy shot through with violence, but ultimately redeemed by Venegas' lovely and gripping song, that reads like mystery and tribute.

A Farm Dies Once a Year Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805098167
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Henry Holt & Company - April 1st, 2014

The second is Arlo Crawford's A FARM DIES ONCE A YEAR. One summer, after finding big city life in New York and Boston unfulfilling Crawford decides to return to his parents’ organic farm in rural Pennsylvania, where he grew up. He’s thirty-one—the same age his father was when he first started the farm, some forty years before. He’s feeling lost, so he goes home. He tills the earth and tends to chickens. He takes late morning breaks with the seasonal hands. It’s a reverent, quiet, and beautiful book—a look at how life how used to be, a long time ago, and still is for some. It’s an accounting of the seasons, the perennial death and resurrection of the land, but also of a violent crime that long ago shook the local community. And it's sort of perfect.

Article Type Terms: