“I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, ‘If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.’ All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.” — Ray Bradbury
It’s Fall. The cold, grey part, November. Last Friday it was so windy the last few leaves clinging on to their branches for dear life finally lost their grip. So it is time to move toward that phase of the year that includes beef stew, fresh-baked bread, apple pie, hot cups of cocoa, warm blankets, fat socks and a pile of good books. My winter pile of books is just starting to get built and my coffee house book group is certainly helping me find some good additions. When you look at the covers from our last meeting you may notice a lot of women, their faces and names on the covers. Six out of the nine. We never have a theme or a topic, it just happens that way sometimes. So for your enjoyment, I give you the October round table.
1. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (2013) 307 pages. This was our first book and this was also the author presented. Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. The latest is Windigo Island. This book however, is a stand alone. Frank Drumm, forty years later, tells about the summer of 1961 that changed his life.
2. Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease by Jennifer Esposito (2014) 288 pages. Jennifer’s struggle to finally receive an accurate diagnosis, after decades of mysterious illnesses and misdiagnoses, is one that anyone who has a chronic disease will share.
3. A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren (2014) 365 pages. Yes , there are some honest, hard-working politicians out there who are fighting for the middle class. Elizabeth Warren is one of them. After reading this, you’ll admire her strength and fortitude even more.
4. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline ( 2013) 294 pages. Even though I have discovered mixed reviews of this book, everyone in our round table who had read it, really enjoyed the book. Told from from the perspective of two women, a 91-year-old who experienced the Orphan Trains of the late 19th and early 20th century, and a modern day foster child in a bad situation. As they become friends they realize their lives are very similar.
5. The Sixth Man by David Baldacci (2011) 417 pages. King and Maxwell series #5. Another worthy thriller in this series, focusing on national security, murder and some high levels of government. Now if only these two could get their personal lives sorted out….
6. Paula by Isabel Allende (1994) 432 pages. Allende alternates between the true story of her comatose daughter Paula, and flashbacks of her own very eventful life. The author wrote this personal history as a way of telling Paula her story and staying sane during the health ordeal.
7. The Romanov Sisters: the Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport (2014) 512 pages. Everyone knows the story of the tragic end these sisters met but what else do you know of their lives? They were the Princess Dianas of their day, the most talked about and photographed young royals of the early 20th century. The author draws on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, to draw us a picture of four intelligent, sensitive young women.
8. Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland (2014) 432 pages. In 1937, young Lisette and her husband, André, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for André’s grandfather Pascal, who was a pigment salesman and frame maker in Paris. Lisette soon learns Pascal’s past included such friends as Cezanne and Pissarro.
9. A Cold Dish by Craig Johnson (2004) 400 pages. This is the first in the Walt Longmire mystery series which is the basis for the television show Longmire on A&E. Some friends got me hooked on this show of a contemporary Wyoming sheriff and when I found out it was based on books I just jumped in. Currently I am on #5. Great characters, check it out.