Kris Wiley new mug

Kris Wiley new mug

Kris Wiley

Many of the major authors and highly anticipated books publish in the fall, which makes this season my favorite for reading. This year has been no exception.

It’s a close call, but I’m choosing “All This Could Be Yours” by Jami Attenberg as the best book I’ve read lately, and perhaps all year. The patriarch of the Tuchman family, Victor, is on his deathbed, which prompts wife Barbra, daughter Alex, son Gary and daughter-in-law Twyla to alternately provide insight into the toxic environment Victor created.

Attenberg deftly captured the complications inherent in families, and she created relationships that rang true. At one point, I could tell what was coming and gasped a heartbreaking “No,” just as if the Tuchmans’ story was playing out in real life.

Character-driven novels are my jam, and “All This Could Be Yours” is another winner from Attenberg. As an aside, if you like this book, check out Attenberg’s “The Middlesteins,” another fantastic family driven drama.

Runner-up on my best reads of the fall is “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett. Basically I love everything Patchett writes because she creates atmospheres that draw me in and populates them with complex characters and relationships.

I especially enjoyed “Bel Canto” and “State of Wonder,” which are set in South America. Patchett remains in the U.S. with “The Dutch House,” the name of an opulent property outside of Philadelphia and the focal point of the Conroy family’s unraveling.

The story follows the lifelong bond of siblings Danny and Maeve, who grow up with an absent mother and an absent-minded father who decides to remarry. Then their father dies, and Danny and Maeve’s circumstances change dramatically. Still, they remain loyal to each other until another family upheaval tests their alliance.

Finally, I was transported to the 1970s while reading Tom Brokaw’s newest book “The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate.” I had Brokaw’s voice in my head the entire time, and his writing style was similar to how I imagine he shares anecdotes with his friends.

Brokaw was new to the White House press pool in 1973, and the book documents some of Nixon’s tumultuous final year in office. It wasn’t a comprehensive examination; rather, it was a collection of reminiscences. I especially enjoyed Brokaw’s comparisons of the press then and now. And my favorite fun fact: Diane Sawyer worked in the Nixon administration. I had no idea!

All of these books and many more new items are available at Roseburg Public Library and online through the cloudLibrary or OverDrive platforms. Patrons can view the most recent physical items purchased by going to roseburg.biblionix.com, clicking on What’s New under the green tab, choosing a date range and clicking Search.

Holds can be placed by logging in with a library card number and password (the default password is the patron’s phone number, including area code).

Happy reading!

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library. She can be reached at 541-492-7051 or kwiley@cityofroseburg.org.

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