A few years ago, some young women I know were interested in starting a book club. I think they were hoping it would stimulate them to insert reading into their busy lives.
As it turned out, they didn’t stay with it long. Very few lasted the first year. We had announced it in the church bulletin, but, as we all know, people don’t pay much attention to bulletin announcements.
So I started recruiting because I didn’t want our book club to die. Now we have a very active group, mainly but not all retirees, and meet every third Thursday at a local Panera. (Anyone is welcome!) We have enough participants now that we always have great discussion even though every person is not there every time.
The last book I chose was Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and we all loved it. It’s a relatively light read, but quite intriguing with a very satisfying conclusion. That was almost a year ago. Now I’m excited about the book I chose for this month, the Pulitzer Prize winner, All the Light We Cannot See. It’s another one I highly recommend.
Last summer I met a man who waxed eloquent about this book. I said, “Is it fiction?”
He answered, “No! I don’t read fiction! It’s about World War II.”
By the time I bought the book, I realized it was definitely fiction. It’s a tribute to the author, Timothy Doerr, that it is so well researched and written that it seems to be non-fiction–but extremely engaging non-fiction.
So much good writing these days centers on World War II. Why is that? Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, involving Japanese internment camps, was the first book our book club discussed. The Book Thief, Boys in the Boat, and In the Garden of Beasts are a few I’ve read in the last couple of years. I didn’t intend to learn more about Hitler and that awful war, but great books just keep popping up. For Christmas I received The Japanese Lover, Isabel Allende’s most recent book, and it turns out to have an amazing amount of information about WW II. It’s inescapable!
So in a few more years, will we start having more books written about the Vietnam War? Were we too close to the times to write about WW II before? These books do not glorify or trivialize the war whatsoever, but their details and plots draw me in to the time and make me want to know even more.
The French Resistance, for example. That is mentioned in some of the books, but not extensively. Maybe my next read will tell more about that. The small part about it that is in All the Light We Cannot See is fascinating.
So here you have a very short list of some of my recent favorites. I’m presently reading Confessions of Prayer Slacker by Diane Moody, which is very convicting. I do try to mix spiritual growth books with all the others I read! What is a really good book you’ve read lately?