Our MVSB Books of the Month for July are “The Vacationers” by Emma Straub, in which an anticipated trip becomes a trauma, and “Tibetan Peach Pie” by Tom Robbins, in which the noted raconteur takes himself for his subject. Our Books of the Month are sponsored by the Meredith Village Savings Bank. We used the grant to buy worthy books that we not otherwise might not be able to acquire.
“The Vacationers” by is an “irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of a family’s two-week trip.” For the Posts, a two-week visit to the island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated. the premise is so familiar it seems like such a novel could write itself, but the pacing is quick and the characters are satisfyingly complex. “The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author (People).”
Tom Robbins (“Even Cowgirls Get the Blues”, “Still Life with Woodpecker”) made a name for penning irreverent, oddball novels with philosophical undercurrents. “Tibetan Peach Pie” offers a (more or less) true account of the author’s imaginative life. Robbins takes you from his deep south upbringing to his spin through the psychedelic ‘60s as he travels his unconventional path to literary stardom. He shares insights into his writing and talks about his “lifelong quest to interface with the Great Mystery.” Readers will “guffaw and marvel at this most extraordinary life (Shelf Awareness).”