“Come with me,’ Mom says.
To the library.
Books and summertime go together.”
― Lisa Schroeder,
Well in my rush to pack and get ready for a mini-vacation ( all that birding I wrote about) I missed April’s booklist. Then I was on that vacation in May, no books from that month, so let’s Jump to June! Of course there were others on vacation this month but we still had a lively group of ten. Bea presented the author, W. Bruce Cameron, who writes humor. For most of the presentation she read straight from his autobio on his site because it was just funny good and she felt paraphrasing it would just not work. It is from 2013, just before his book, The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man, came out. Great title. Another funny thing this month is two of us brought the same book as two others of us. So the first on in the clockwise round table got to speak about their book while the other two, me included, had to scramble for an alternative. Fortunately we all read like fiends so it wasn’t such a hardship. So let’s jump to the June books.
1. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (2010) 985 pages. #1 of The Century Trilogy. This is a huge novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women. However the 985 pages move along quickly.
2. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999) 198 pages. Lahiri’s collection of short stories deals mainly with the experience of Indian immigrants in America. They often deal with a more specific experience: a young married couple moves to America shortly after being married so the husband can work at a university, so the two have to navigate the new worlds of their marriage and the United States.
3. LaRose by Louise Erdrich (2016) 372 pages. Note: This is not a spoiler. Right in the beginning we know that there is an accident that causes the death of a child. In Native American culture this requires an act of atonement, so Landreaux Iron, the perpetrator convinces his wife Emmaline to give their young son Larose to Peter and Nola, the parents of the dead child. This act sets off a chain of events that will take years to overcome.
4. Guilty by David Baldacci (2015) 672 pages. This is the 4th book in David Baldacci’s Will Robie Series. It continues with the life of the government assassin as he finds himself at a crossroad in his life.
5. Last Painting of Sara Vos by Dominic Smith (2016) 304 pages. Three stories intertwine in an amazing way. In 1631 Sara de Vos is the first woman painter to be admitted to the Guild of St Luke’s in Holland. She paints a landscape usually forbidden to women. In 1958, an Australian grad student in New York, Ellie Shipley, trying to make ends meet, agrees to paint a forgery of De Vos’ landscape. In 2000, the forgery and the original are about to meet at a prestigious art exhibit with interesting consequences.
6. Stone Necklace by Carla Damron (2016) 288 pages. Clawing chest pains and a fiery car crash take one life and change the destiny of four others. The Stone Necklace braids together the stories of a grieving widow, a struggling nurse, a young mother, and a troubled homeless man.
7. Curve of the World by Marcus Stevens (2002) 320 pages. This fast-paced novel blends the past and present story of a victim of a plane hijacking who becomes lost in the Congo. The story moves back and forth from the man’s struggle to survive and his wife’s search for him.
8. Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer (2016) 280 pages. An inspiring and fascinating account of one man’s quest to find thousands of ancient Islamic manuscripts, hidden away among the desert communities of Mali, and then to remove them to safety as Islamic militants take over large parts of the country.
9. Trickster’s Point by William Kent Krueger ( 2012) 329 pages. In this, #12 in the series, Cork O’Connor sits at the base of a tree next to a huge pillar of stone called Trickster’s Point. Next to him is Jubal, an acquaintance and friend from his youth, the man is slowly dying from an arrow lodged in his chest. The arrow belongs to Cork, and from this point on he is the prime suspect in Jubal’s murder.