Books, Documentaries, Reviews: January 19, 2014
BOOK CLUB BOOKS FOR 2014—EARLY 2015
Our book club met this week to pick our books for next year.
We are six in number: three sets of two neighbors.
We each pick five books for the other members to consider, and we are guaranteed two of our books. Six times two equals twelve. Only we sometimes throw in an extra, as we did this year.
Here’s our AWESOME list:
February: Dear Life, Alice Munro
2013 Nobel Prize, fiction: Canadian with Scottish roots, short stories and some autobiographical pieces.
March: Claire of the Sea Light, Edwidge Danicat
Haitian author—explores black social classes through eyes of seven-year old Claire.
April: The Boys In The Boat, Daniel James Brown
Nonfiction: 1936, Olympic eight-oar crew—sons of loggers, shipyard workers, farmers—win all and against Hitler’s German crew at Olympics.
May: The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love
Love, adventure, discovery—spans 18th and 19th century—follows one family. One member becomes a botanist, but meets a man who draws her into the spiritual.
June: Life Among Giants, Bill Roorbach
Growing up next door to a famous dancer who pulls the protagonist and his family into mystery and murder. He tries to figure out where truth lies and where love is. Winning national prizes.
July: The Flame Throwers, Rachel Kushner
Starts in Utah, with the “fastest girl in town”—motorcycle fast. Moves to New York City and on to politically turbulent Italy in the 1970s. Solid reviews.
August: When We Were The Kennedys, Monica Wood
Memoir. Growing up in Mexico, Maine. Getting great reviews and winning prizes.
September: River Town: Two Years on the Yangzte, Peter Hessler
Nonfiction: Hessler comes to Fuling in the Sichuan province, as a Peace Corps volunteer, to teach English and American literature, but learns more from his students while living in a radically different society.
October: The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
BIG novel tracing what happens to Theo Decker after he survives a bomb in a New York City museum that kills his mother. As he makes his way out of the museum, dazed, hurt, but alive, he takes a very famous painting that mother and son had viewed together. Layered, dense, compelling story.
November: In Falling Snow, Mary-Rose MacCall
Love, war, secrets set against backdrop of WWI France. Moving novel about the small unsung acts of heroism which love makes possible.
December: Mastering the Art of French Eating, Anne Mah
Nonfiction: Mah’s husband is posted to Paris. The couple is only getting settled when the husband is posted to Iraq, which leaves Mah alone in Paris. After feeling terribly lonely and a fish out of water, she rights herself and sets out on “food” journeys across France. Not unlike Julia Child’s experiences…
January: The Lowlands, Jhumpa Lahiri
Lahiri’s newest, set in India and America in the 1960s. Follows the stories of two very-different brothers: activist and scientist.
February: Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search, Martin Sixsmith
Ireland, mother pregnant teenager in 1952, sent to convent, baby sold in America for adoption.