15 Books You Can’t Put Down: A Cape Eye’s March Selections

What keeps you reading a book and what makes you set one aside? What keeps you up – often far into the night – promising just one more page, one more chapter?
This month A Cape Eye On Books talked with author Sara Pennypacker and The Brewster Book Store people about their favorite You-Can’t-Put-It-Down reads. Here are their suggestions:





“All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. One cover blurb said, “This jewel of a story is put together like a vintage timepiece . . . writing and imagery are stunning . . .” which is exactly why I read it through stopping only to eat and barely to sleep.




“The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood. Although I read this novel of a future regime 30 years ago, it haunts me still. With its central theme of the cost of repressive intolerance, it feels more timely than ever.





“My Stroke Of Insight,” by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD. This fascinating memoir written by a neuroanatomist about her massive stroke and recovery changed my understanding of the brain and the way it works and can mend.




Any of the Commisserio Brunetti mysteries, by Donna Leone: Whenever I finish one of Leone’s smart novels set in Venice, I am astounded not to find myself sitting by a canal in Italy. I can almost smell the dankness of the city.




 “The Prince of Tides,” by Pat Conroy. An editor sent me the manuscript pages of this book with the promise I not tell anyone she had done so. From the moment the novel of the Wingo family was delivered to my door until I finished the last word, I didn’t get dressed and my two children were pretty much left to fend for themselves.








“Hammer Head,” by Nina McLaughlin: Looking for more fulfilling and lucrative work than writing for a Boston newspaper, Nina McLaughlin tells a rich and entertaining story of how she quit her job to become a carpenter.




“The Cold Dish” by Craig Johnson: The first book in the Longmire mystery series, set in Absaroka, Wyoming, is full of memorable characters both tragic and comic – a fun read.




“Girl Waits With Gun,” by Amy Stewart: This is a lovely novel based on the true story of one of the first female deputy sheriffs in Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1913.



“My Brilliant Friend,” by Elena Ferrante: A wonderful novel (the first of four) about friendship and class, told through the authentic voices of Lila and Elena, as they grow up in Naples, Italy of the ’50s.





“Love and Summer,” by William Trevor: This favorite from the many books by William Trevor is a beautiful, slight novel about a young woman in a rural Irish village during a summer of discovery and love.







Heidi” by Johanna Spyri: The children’s classic of an orphaned girl and her friend Peter the goatherd set in the Swiss Alps.Like another classic, “The Secret Garden,” it is a story of loss of family and a girl’s power to heal the hearts of others.




The Girls With The Pearl Earring” by Tracy Chevalier: A novel created around the artist’s model set in Vermeer’s 17th century Delft.




Shogun” by James Clavell. A sweeping narrative set in 16th Century Japan and the conflict between a Japanese warlord and English adventurer, it is a sweeping narrative of conflict, love, power and lust.




Beach Music” by Pat Conroy: Conroy’s follow up to “Prince Of Tides”about an American living in Rome with his young daughter following his wife’s suicide.



Euphoria” by Lily King: An imagining of Margaret Mead’s time in 1930s New Guinea and a complex and seductively told story of a love triangle between three anthropologists.


— By Anne LeClaire

Anne LeClaire


A Cape Eye on Books’ Anne LeClaire is the best-selling author of eight novels, the latest of which is “The Lavender Hour.”


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