Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My Current Read: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

One 
In June, the book club was at Zoe's house, which meant that Elizabeth had to carry her heavy ceramic bowl of spinach salad with walnuts and bits of crumbled goat cheese a grand total of half a block. She didn't even have to cross a street. None of the dozen women in the group had to travel far, that was the point. It was hard enough to coordinate schedules and read a novel (though, only half the group ever finished anything) without asking people to get on the subway. Make plans with your real friends on your own time, drive your car across the borough to have dinner if you want to, but this was the neighborhood. This was easy. It was the last meeting before the annual summer hiatus. Elizabeth had sold houses to six of the twelve. She had a vested interest in keeping them happy, though, in truth, it was also good when people gave up on Brooklyn and decided to move to the suburbs or back to wherever they came from, because she got a double commission. Elizabeth liked her job.

Modern Lovers
by Emma Straub

Back in the summer of 2014, I spent a wonderfully lazy, relaxing weekend with Emma Straub's novel, The Vacationers (my review) and am hoping for much the same experience this time around. Approaching the 50% mark, it seems like another winner...

Here is the goodreads summary:
Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. 
Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adults' lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. 
Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us. 
What do you think? Are you tempted to continue?



First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intro is now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach.


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39 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great summer choice, the intro drew me in and made me smile.

    Here is my link:
    https://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2018/06/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday_26.html

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    1. Diane - I really like it so far. Hope the second half is as good.

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  2. I loved The Vacationers! I can’t remember if I read this one. I need to check GR! It sounds good, though!

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  3. I read it in 2016...it’s my excuse for not remembering. For some odd reason I liked it but didn’t love it...hmmmm...

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    1. Patty - Your comments came through! Hooray!! I loved The Vacationers, too... such an absorbing read. Seems like I have a hard time remembering much about books read a couple of years ago... only whether I liked them or not.

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  4. How have I missed this one? It is definitely going on my list now. The opening lines and the blurb have reeled me in. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I like Straub's writing so bought this several months ago when it was a kindle daily deal.

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  5. This sounds like a good summer book. I've thought it would be fun to have a neighborhood book club.

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    1. Donna - A neighborhood book club sounds appealing to me, too!

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  6. I like the opening and the sound of this one. I would keep reading!

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    1. Monica - So far that seems like the right choice ;-)

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  7. Doesn't sound like it's for me. Hope you enjoy it though. Here's the link to my FCFP and TTT for today: https://wp.me/p4DMf0-1DO

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    1. Ms. M. - It's a good read for me so far... thanks.

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  8. You had me with the neighborhood book club! I would definitely keep reading.

    BTW, I'm currently reading Rules of Civility (loved A Gentleman in Moscow) and am absolutely loving it! I think it was one of your favorites a few years ago? Such great character development!

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    1. Les - Oh, yes, I loved Rules of Civility! Definitely one of my favorites the year I read it... probably liked it even more than A Gentleman in Moscow. I've kept it on my shelf in hopes of rereading one day.

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  9. I like the sound of this one. I'm adding it to my list.

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    1. Catherine - Hope it's a winner for you, too.

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  10. Oh yes, The Vacationers was quite good. I haven't picked this one up yet. I haven't seen all that much about it.

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    1. Ti - This book was a kindle daily deal a few months ago, so I couldn't resist. Don't think it's gotten as much attention as The Vacationers, but it's very good so far.

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  11. This intro has my interest. I never read anything by this author, but I'd definitely give this a try.

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    1. Yvonne - I liked that intro quite a bit, too... the voice, the NYC vibe, and the book club!

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  12. I don't think I've read anything by this author, but I remember others talking about her books. I like the beginning of this one though I laugh at the thought of such a sparse reading life. Don't know what I would do if I didn't read. Hopefully I'll never have to find out.

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    1. Kay - That made me laugh, too. Can't even imagine reading just one book a month for a book club (without necessarily even finishing!) and nothing else!

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  13. Yes - I think I will download this novel.

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    1. Pat - I like Straub's writing and her characters seems very real. Hope you like it, too.

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  14. What a lovely opening, I like the 'voice' in this novel very much. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Cleo - I'm not sure yet how this will compare with her previous novel, but I really do like the writing.

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  15. I am tempted to continue. I enjoyed The Vactioners on audio

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    1. Nise' - I'd say this is nearly as good as The Vacationers so far.

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  16. I like that first paragraph and am thinking this might make a good book club book. Hope you enjoy.

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    1. Margot - I'm sure my book club would find good discussion fodder here, lol!

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  17. It made me smile so much (I'm in my sixties)!!!!!

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    1. Mystica - I'm at the 70% mark now and still enjoying it!

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  18. I'm tempted to continue but mostly because I've been wanting to read the author than because of this book itself. The first paragraph does have me really curious though!

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    1. Katherine - Nearly 75% done now and think this is one I can recommend.

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  19. I started The Vacationers but for some reason that I can't remember I didn't get very far. I like the teaser so I'd keep reading.

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    1. Vicki - I remember the thinking The Vacationers was the right book at exactly the right time for me. A library hold came in on Friday and it was a weekend where I had absolutely no plans (rare in the summer)... the weather was beautiful and I read the whole book outdoors. Some of it on the boat. Modern Lovers is a good read,too.

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  20. Just picked up a copy of Modern Lovers at the book exchange. Glad u liked it. Love making chicken noodle soup in the crock pot but not in summer. Glad yours turned out well.

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    1. Diane - Sure hope this book is a winner for you, too! I never would have made chicken noodle soup in this heat if my daughter hadn't requested it... much prefer salads for lunch in the summer!

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