THE FIRST BAD MAN by Miranda July

If one listens to an audio version of a novel, has one “read” it? I listened to this novel in two sittings and two jogging sessions. And with the author’s voice in my earbuds, it certainly feels to me like I experienced the fullness of this wacky, intense, gut-wrenching novel. What delighted and impressed me most about it was how successfully Miranda July revealed the protagonist’s interior world — much of which is entirely fabricated, unbeknownst to her. Another aspect of this novel that pleasantly surprised me was how often characters “turned/”shifted” from positive to negative, or negative to positive (and yes, I’ve been reading Robert McKee …)

THE GOOD WAR by Studs Terkel

From the front lines, landing on the beach at Normandy, war brides, the aftermath and everything in between, Turkel gives firsthand accounts via in-depth interviews of people who lived through WWII. It’s not just about the war, it’s an honest view of humanity from every angle.