One thing I love about working downtown is the variety of ways you can get to an errand or a date with a friend. If the sun's shining, it's perfect for a walk. Short on time? There's a bus pulling up now. Rush-hour traffic's a mess? Don't worry, the train's coming down the tunnel. These short hops are a great time to peek at the books capturing the attention of fellow travelers, which brings me to this edition of Caught Reading.
While riding the #147 bus through the Loop, I caught you reading The Marriage of Opposites by the bestselling (and prolific) Alice Hoffman. Set in the Caribbean in the 19th century, this novel imagines the life and family history of painter Camille Pissarro, the father of Impressionism, in a saga that includes forbidden love as well as struggles with familial, religious and societal expectations.
And heading toward Union Station on the #151, I caught you trying to hang onto the last of the warm weather with Invincible Summer, a debut novel that follows four college friends for 20 years through the ups and downs of adulthood.
But some, it seems, are willing winter to arrive early. Down on the Red Line, I caught you reading The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. This literary thriller moves between past and present as a young woman searches for her mother while uncovering a century-old mystery in their Vermont town.
It was something of a chilling ride that day—on the same trip I caught you reading Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. The crime thriller features a retired detective working to track down the hit-and-run driver who plowed a Mercedes into a crowd, killing eight people.
But not all was spine-tingling on the Red Line. (Or should we just call it the Read Line?) I caught you engrossed in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of a nerd longing to find love—and become the next J.R.R. Tolkien—while his family struggles against a curse that has followed them for generations, from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey.
Walking to an after-work errand, I caught you reading A Little Life, the story of four men who meet in college and form a deep friendship that sustains them through adulthood, especially as they support the most wounded among them.
Finally, on a walking tour highlighting our One Book, One Chicago selection Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, I caught you reading Knitlandia. As a fellow knitter, I was thrilled to chat with you about this book of essays in which Clara Parkes chronicles her travels to well-known knitting destinations, from Taos, N.M., to Iceland.