“Sections in the Bookstore
– Books You Haven’t Read
– Books You Needn’t Read
– Books Made for Purposes Other Than Reading
– Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong to the Category of Books Read Before Being Written
– Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered
– Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First
– Books Too Expensive Now and You’ll Wait ‘Til They’re Remaindered
– Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback
– Books You Can Borrow from Somebody
– Books That Everybody’s Read So It’s As If You Had Read Them, Too
– Books You’ve Been Planning to Read for Ages
– Books You’ve Been Hunting for Years Without Success
– Books Dealing with Something You’re Working on at the Moment
– Books You Want to Own So They’ll Be Handy Just in Case
– Books You Could Put Aside Maybe to Read This Summer
– Books You Need to Go with Other Books on Your Shelves
– Books That Fill You with Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified
– Books Read Long Ago Which It’s Now Time to Re-read
– Books You’ve Always Pretended to Have Read and Now It’s Time to Sit Down and Really Read Them”
― Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
In June our book group had fewer people than usual but that is pretty normal for this time of the year. Everyone is out and about enjoying the warm weather, traveling or working in their yard. After all, this is Wisconsin and we have to make the most of our six weeks of nice weather before the snow starts falling again. Because I only had eight books to report on I couldn’t resist using a long quote at the head of the post. I think I have looked at books in every one of those sections. I don’t quite understand section #4 and I am definitely reading a lot from section #6.
Now here’s what the group read in June.
Longbourn by Jo Baker (2013) 352 pages. If you are a fan of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this novel about what went on downstairs with the servants of Longbourn will certainly be interesting. Just like in Downton Abbey, there is as much romance, intrigue and mystery below stairs as above.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (2010) 487 pages. This was our June featured author. This is the story of thirty-nine year old Alice Love. She is a single mother of three and is going through a messy divorce. After a bad fall she wakes up thinking it’s the year 1998 and she’s 29 years old, she’s madly in love with her husband Nick and they’re about to have their first child! Summer read for sure.
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang (2008) 274 pages. An eloquent first hand account of the Hmong people’s journey from war torn Laos to a refugee camp in Thailand to finally arriving in America.
Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism by Ron Suskind (2014) 368 pages. The true story of the author’s autistic son who learned how to cope and communicate with the real world through the pictures and words of Disney’s animated characters.
The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry (2011) 272 pages. After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny (who probably has undiagnosed Asberger’s) seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. However, every time she cooks a handwritten recipe by someone, she temporarily brings back their ghost.
Delicious by Ruth Reichl (2014) 400 pages. A light, fun, fictional book that should appeal to foodies. And why not? It is written by the former food editor of Gourmet magazine. If you are a true foodie you will probably enjoy Reichl’s nonfiction more. Put it on your beach read list.
Divergent by Veronica Roth (2012) 487 pages. Another dystopian young adult novel, and first of a trilogy. Our reviewer didn’t like it much but she wasn’t a fan of The Hunger Games either. I personally like it but overall this book falls into the love/hate category for most readers. Those who like this genre have to decide for themselves. PS: I liked the movie.
Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris (2006) 422 pages. As the new term gets underway at St. Oswald’s Grammar School for Boys, a number of incidents befall faculty and students alike. They start out small but escalate in number and degree of harm. You know the perpetrator at the beginning of the novel but you definitely don’t know enough. An unusual mystery.