A pleasant surprise: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka – Possibly semi-autobiographical, not as all as light as the premise would suggest, and in the end an engaging and bittersweet story of family, war, and immigration with a few laugh out loud passages.

Mind-bending and riveting, can’t put it down:  Tours of the Black Clock by Steve Erickson – Perhaps when I finish this book I will be able to explain it.  Perhaps not.

This month in book club: The Leopard by Giuseppi di Lampedusa – Continuing the animal theme from last month’s Giraffe, but utterly unlike it.  Word on the street is the Visconti film is better, but it’s not movie club, you know.

Deeply, deeply depressing but worth it: The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander – The son of Jewish gangsters in Buenos Aires makes a living erasing the past, takes a nose job in payment for a job and loses his son.  Wrenching.

Makes me want to move back to New York but then makes me afraid to: Oracle Night by Paul Auster – familiar Auster themes – locked rooms, shared dreams – in a well constructed short novel.  A bit like David Lynch goes to Brooklyn.  In a good way.  Especially if you’re over the Boerum hill of Jonathan Lethem.