For the Library, I was running a "Mission: Possible" book club - essentially a support group for people who want to attempt to read books thought of as intimidating, long, or perpetually on their to-read list. We would read the first half of a book for one month and then the second half for the next month. We read The Goldfinch, Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (which I have about 45 minutes left in the audiobook... I should really just finish it), and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Though the group received a lot of verbal interest and enthusiasm, it seems that my community was not actually all that excited to come to a tough reads book club, so the program ended after Gone with the Wind. I don't read particularly quickly and those books took some time to read, so they definitely hampered the volume of my reading for a bit.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Literary Fiction (American)
Following the death of his mother during a devastating terrorist attack at a New York City museum, Theo Decker steals a painting from the museum and spends his formative years living with a furniture-restoring antique dealer dealing with the ramifications of his actions.
Though I really enjoyed this, I felt like it was about 1/3 too long. The book would have been just as strong with an entire section left out (a middle chunk post-Boris and pre-conclusion) or with everything after the first... 200? pages heavily edited. That being said, Donna Tartt writes lovely sentences even when they are about mundane or repulsive things.
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
Socially isolated teen Jeremy Johnson Johnson has a psychic connection with the ghost of fairy tale author Jacob Grimm in this Hansel and Gretel update.
Suggested by my mother, this quirky fairy tale is charming and creepy all at the same time. I encourage you to listen to the audiobook; the narrator was fantastic. It also made me desperately want cake, but also maybe not...
Fragile by Lisa Unger
Maggie returns to her childhood home and must use her skills as a psychologist and her knowledge of an eerily similar disappearance years before to exonerate her son and find a missing girl.
This was fine and I wouldn't be upset if I found myself reading another by Unger (community reviews on GoodReads suggest that Unger's books vary quite a bit), but I don't know that I would seek them out either.