From the “aren’t you glad this isn’t your kid” category:
The Dinner by Howard Koch
Two brothers and their wives meet in a fancy Amsterdam restaurant to discuss what to do about their sons. One brother, Serge, is an aspiring politician; the other, Paul, a teacher placed on leave. Their goal: to protect the identities of their sons, who they discovered have committed a heinous crime on a homeless person, captured on YouTube. The intrigue and secrets unfold over the dinner’s courses and through flashbacks. This is a fast-paced read; shovel the sidewalk, make a cup of tea, and you’ll finish it before the snowfall ends.
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Two brothers, both New York lawyers, are summoned by their sister Susan back to their hometown in Maine. Susan’s son Zach has been charged with a hate crime against the Somali immigrant community during Ramadan. Sibling rivalry, childhood baggage, and distorted memories will keep you reading long after you’ve brushed the snow off the car.
Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore
Read about life in the early 18th century as the country was finding its way and the hard, difficult work women did. Jane may not have received the fame of her brother Ben, but she strived — teaching herself to read and write, caring for countless children, worrying about food and laundry. Makes you appreciate central heating, washing machines, stoves and ovens.
Sister Mother Husband Dog by Delia Ephron
Sister of the late Nora, this collection of essays is a delightful tribute to her as well as musings about husbands, mothers, dogs, and other topics. Any fan of the Ephrons’ work: “When Harry Met Sally” and all, will love cuddling up with it by the fire
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
Not nearly as wonderful as SMHD. Novelist and bookstore owner Patchett has compiled some of her non-fiction articles that she says helped her pay the bills so she could write fiction. Writing, marriages, and dogs are included. Still in the midst of it. Why I feel compelled to finish it I don’t know but it’s a quick read too. In between shoveling!
And speaking of dogs, curl up with your favorite canine, and read him some of Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs. Before you know, the snow will have stopped.