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Books Worth Reading

Claire Messud\'s latest novel, "The Woman Upstairs," is an incongruous mashup of a very self-consciously literary novel (invoking the likes of Chekhov) and one of those psychological horror films like "Single White Female" or "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle," in which someone, ominously, is not who she appears to be.

The Dinner, Herman Koch\'s internationally popular novel, is an extended stunt. Mr. Koch confines his story to one fraught restaurant meal, where malice, cruelty, craziness and a deeply European malaise are very much on the menu. The four diners can leave the table occasionally, headed to the restrooms or the garden or the handy room of flashback memories. But mostly they sit and seethe at one another as a miserable night unfolds.

I would love this cover so much if the sketch was of "Rabbit" instead of Updike himself. So beautiful though.

Didion intellectualizes the experience of her husband’s death by thinking magical (irrational) thoughts, and in so doing, believes she can undo his death. The book is grief stricken and the unbearable lightness of the words she uses to describe the blackness at losing someone you love, to death, sucks the reader into a vortex of a meaninglessness that defies all logic. A TOUR DE FORCE PERFORMANCE AT FIVE STARS

ENCHANTED: Percolations