This is a book I love. It is a gentle story about the joy of words and about what it means to be separate and connected. It invites you in from the first page and lets you enjoy every last word. Not a summer read, but a serious book that is perfect for a few days at the beach. What a thoughtful pleasure.
This was another interesting book by Ann Padgett. In this one the house plays a major (the major?) character role. We discussed it an online bookclub and came out with varied impressions--one of which centered on the nature of "saints." The mother in this story is considered a saint by some, a villain by others. I'll say no more. It's worth a read and a discussion with friends. As with all her books, the writing is beautiful and the picture she paints of this unusual house is clear and stunning.
I have just finished a delightful book by Jennifer Ryan set in WWII England. It's part spy novel, part family story, funny and touching at the same time. In these cold winter months, we all need some warmth. This was like curling up in front of a fire with a comforter wrapped around me, drinking hot chocolate. The New York Times Book Review called it, "A novel set in a time of war to a tune called pleasing." Enjoy!
This is a powerful memoir written by a holocaust survivor and meant for our times. Dr. Eger survived her experience through her personal courage and devotion to her family. Also, through good luck despite the torture she faced.She came out of the experience not with bitterness but with forgiveness. She made it clear that we have all made choices we'd never make again and that we all needed forgiveness, for ourselves and for others.
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
This is my favorite read of 2018. In many ways it's a delightful old cowboy yarn. In the subtlety of the writing it's entirely new. A man who makes a living by reading the news throughout rural Texas in the late 1800s takes on the assignment of returning a ten-year old girl, captured by the Kiowa and recently released, to her aunt and uncle who live in a small town near San Antonio. The trip is harrowing, but what is truly wonderful is the bond that develops between the girl and the man. What is also wonderful is that Jiles is able to set the scene and tell the tale in 240 pages, a clear example of how less is often more. The book was a National Book Award Finalist.
Marie and Pierre Curie
A Tale of Love and Fallout
by Lauren Redniss
This very graphic novel got mixed reviews. Some found it intriguing both in content and layout. Others found it simply difficult to read and not worth the effort. I was in the first camp, as I had no idea what kind of life Marie led outside of her scientic one. Very illuminating so to speak.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bakman
Some found this book charming. Others found it a little slow. All agreed it was the unusual story of a curmodgeon one grows to love as his life story unfolds.
Also by Bakman: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell you She's Sorry. The story of a precocious seven-year old and her outrageous grandmother intent on hiding a multitude of secrets. It was a book I found delightful.
The Boys in the Boat (2013) by Daniel James Brown
This is the surprising best-seller of how blue-collar oarsmen overcame exclusive Eastern college teams and then went to Berlin’s Olympic games during the Great Depression and the upsurge of Nazi Germany.
I especially loved this book because of how the individuals struggled, and yet learned, to be a cohesive team unit.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Vance presents an aspect of diversity often unconsidered. Growing up low-income doesn’t mean poor. Childhood experiences influence our path in life. I loved the book as it showed a positive outcome for the author as he grew from "white trash”.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Why didn’t I ever learn about this in high school biology? Henrietta’s cells grew and grew in test tubes for medical research while all other cells died.Shortly after the discovery of her cells in 1951, the polio vaccine was born. Her cells are still alive in laboratories all over the world.Imagine where we would be today without her?