“I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.”
― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
Three days before we left on our trip to Paris I met with my book group. Afterwards, with packing and checking schedules and doing all those last-minute things you do before a trip, I never had time to get the list of books on to the blog. Today we had the June meeting and I was reminded to dig out May’s list. We had a lot of people that day and we were in fine form so there are eleven books for your consideration. On top of that, Marty presented Peter Matthiessen as our author. He had just died the month before and his life and body of work was impressive. His last novel, In Paradise,published just before his death, dealt with the complexities of coping with the Holocaust.
Here are the rest of the books:
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2013) 771 pages. Most people I talk to about this book say they either love it or hate it. Our reviewer today sort of liked it but said it was a long slog to get through it. You are on your own with this one.
Sweet Revenge by Diana Mott Davidson (1994) 359 pages. #14 in the Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery series. Light fluffy mystery with recipes.
Lincoln Letter by William Martin (2012) 448 pages. President Lincoln kept a diary and, in the midst of the Civil War, it went missing. Now, in present day, book dealer Peter Fallon is trying to find it, but intrigue and danger follow.
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (2012) 436 pages. The flight of the title refers to the arrival of hordes of Monarch butterflies that arrive in the fictional Appalachian town of Feathertown, Tennessee, a magical event usually confining itself to Mexico. The arrival of the butterflies has a profound effect on the people who live here and the outsiders who come to view and study the scene.
Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons by Laura Landvik (2003) 512 pages. From the title I thought this book would be a fluff read but in reality the title refers to a book group of five women. The story follows their lives and friendship through four decades.
Secret Life of a Grown-up Brain by Barbara Stauch (2010) 256 pages. Surprisingly, this was the only nonfiction book this month. All about the middle-aged brain, which the author describes as starting at 40. Our reviewer dubbed it readable and interesting. Whatever floats your boat.
Sycamore Row by John Grisham (2013) 447 pages. Grisham returns us to that famous courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi from his first novel A Time to Kill. Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (2012) 337 pages. The perfect summer read…wonderful international locations, lost loves, found loves, fulfilled lives, Hollywood stars…just have fun with it.
The Wives of Los Alamos by Tarashea Nesbit (2014) 240 pages. A novel that sheds light on to the lives of the women married to the scientists of Los Alamos. They thought it would be a life of adventure instead it was a life shrouded in secrecy. They didn’t even know what was being worked on. Barbed wire surrounded the houses that were barely finished by the time they arrived. Mail was restricted as were many outside activities. A story of how they adapted to this strange life.
Ill Wind by Nevada Barr (1995) 320 pages. Third in the Park Ranger Anna Pigeon mysteries that take place in National Parks. This one is set in Mesa Verde in Colorado. These are especially fun if you have been to the park.
The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (2014) 320 pages. Once again con-artist Nicholas Fox and diehard FBI agent Kate O’Hare team up to out-con some cons while avoiding some assassins along the way.