What I've read since the last time I posted:
Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout. A group of related stories, some about Olive, some just touching on her. She's middle aged when we meet her and grows older. I liked her, the grounded way she relates to the world, even as I thought she was someone I wouldn't like in real life. She's critical and brusque, and as the stories went on, some of the things she did were hard to like, even as I felt sorry for her. The stories kept going in directions I didn't expect, which I liked - just like life - but I found it hard to keep track of characters and see parallels between some of them. (I only realized that because of reading the mostly annoying reader's club section in the back. Annoying because it was written as an interview with the author and Olive. Ugh.) I liked this book a lot but it took me a while to figure out what to say about it. I do want to re-read it.
The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker and The Rejection Collection Vol. 2: The Cream of the Crap, edited by Matthew Diffee. What I liked best about this book was the questionnaire that each cartoonist filled out. There were a few funny ones but really, most of the cartoons just weren't that good. I won't be keeping either of these.
The Rare and the Beautiful: The Art, Loves, and Lives of the Garman Sisters, Cressida Connolly. Biography of (mostly) Kathleen, Mary, and Lorna Garman, who were born around the turn of the century and ran around with artists and writers in England and France. Mary married poet Roy Campbell (but had affairs with other people including Vita Sackville-West); Kathleen was the lover of sculptor Jacob Epstein for 30 years and they had three children before his wife died and they married; and Lorna married a wealthy publisher when she was 16, and also had many lovers including poet Laurie Lee and painter Lucian Freud. She modelled for several of his paintings. Freud and Lee each married one of her nieces, to whom she'd introduced them. Other Garman siblings are mentioned too. None of them are terribly important people in their own right, but it's a very entertaining book.
The Reconstructionist, Josephine Hart. I read a review of this when it first came out that instantly made me want to read it, to find out what happened, but somehow I didn't find it till recently. It's a psychological thriller: what happened that day when Jack and Kate were kids and their father told them to sit in their chairs in the hall, and then they went to London to live with an uncle and their father left their lives? It's revealed gradually, along with how they're doing in the present. Jack seems okay, a psychiatrist, but Kate is more fragile. They're unusually close... maybe some incest in the mix? Both of them have constructed their lives to avoid passion and emotions. Several other characters in the book comment on the destructiveness of passion. Several of Jack's patients show up for appointments and provide windows into other emotional lives. Then a chain of events begins that takes Jack back to his childhood, and reveals what happened.
A few scenes strain credulity, but I found it hard to put down, and very satisfying.
Now I'm reading Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus, by Gregory Gibson, which is pretty much what the tin says. Also quite entertaining.