Sarai Walker's Dietland begins like many chick lit books do—with an overweight heroine bent on losing weight. But instead of some hackneyed journey to either weightloss or self-love, Dietland turns into a delightful, page-turning thriller that's also a feminist revenge fantasy. I tore through it in about two days—it is amazingly accessible while still being whip-smart, and it deals with timely issues without feeling like a lame Law & Order "ripped from the headlines" stunt.
Last year, New York Times journalist David Carr's death shook a particular cadre of young writers, those who had been directly mentored by him or spiritually guided by his example. At his core, the inimitable writer was a reporter. And the demands of that occupation he loved so much—interviewing, research, meticulous record-keeping—were never as pronounced as they were in his best-selling memoir, The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life--His Own. Carr's book elevated the addiction memoir out of the haze of introverted reflection; in this engrossing book, you'll read interviews he conducted with his old drug dealers, old girlfriends, old enablers. You'll sit stunned as he recounts smoking crack while his girlfriend goes into labor. You'll celebrate when he kicks his addiction, be devastated when he's diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, the disease that took his life.The Night of the Gun is the sort of aggressive, elegant and weighty memoir a writer like Carr had to leave us, to equal the massive triumph that was his life.