The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger - I'm a sucker for books in the form of letters, notes, emails and other forms of communication that aren't straight narrative. An early favorite in this vein was Up the Down Staircase. The Divorce Papers drew my interest immediately due to its interesting visual presentation. Besides the NetGalley copy on Kindle, I also had a paper Advance Reader's Edition (which I got from the book giveaway table where I freelance). The paper copy rendered the documents more clearly, as some were in handwriting, different fonts, highlighting, and varied formats. While I'm all for electronic reading, this book is better suited to paper.
I was surprised to see that the author is married to movie critic David Denby (who is briefly mentioned when the characters are discussing films), as I thought his wife was novelist Cathleen Schine. Subsequent research showed they split a while ago, and furthermore that the author's ex is Peter Pouncey who was Columbia College dean when I was at Barnard. Wow, impressive connections. I'm also a sucker for all things Columbia and everyone in this paragraph is an alum or admin or faculty of some division of the university (the fictional husband is also a College alum).
So this book was in my wheelhouse, even though I think law is intrinsically boring (all that nit-picking precision and argument is not for me). It's a story about people, told in an unusual, eye-catching way.
The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls - In her memoir The Glass Castle, Walls describes her harrowing childhood of poverty and parental neglect. In this novel, physical conditions for teens Liz and Bean are a little better, but their mother is somewhat flighty and their fathers deceased. When Mom takes a break from her responsibilities, the girls find their way to their uncle back east. Life in the mill town formerly run by the family has its ups and downs, and heroes and villains. The plot moves at a leisurely pace, but I was never bored and would love to meet these characters again. Come to think of it, Jeannette is another Barnard grad, class of '84. Lots of writers in the ranks.