September 13, 2008 by Reader's Connection
Nineteen Minutes: A Novel by Jodi Picoult will be discussed at the Lawrence Branch on Tuesday, September 16th at 10:15 a.m.
Bestseller Picoult (My Sister’s Keeper) takes on another contemporary hot-button issue in her brilliantly told new thriller, about a high school shooting . . . The author’s insights into her characters’ deep-seated emotions brings this ripped-from-the-headlines read chillingly alive.–Publisher’s Weekly
The Pike Book Club will discuss Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry on Tuesday, September 23rd at 6:30 p.m.
This book is the only title on this list which this blogger has personally read, so I’ll crawl out of my cave of ignorance for a moment and say that it’s wonderful. I mean the book, not the cave. If you haven’t previously set foot in Berry’s fictional Port William, Kentucky, this novel is a fine introduction. And if you’ve visited before, Berry always makes you feel welcome upon returning. Jayber, the title character, is a one-time seminary student who becomes a town barber and gravedigger and unrequited lover of . . . well, read the book.
Naked . . . is a modern picaresque, a collection of vignettes from Sedaris’s childhood and young-adult life, ending with a recent vacation at a nudist trailer park. It’s funny and occasionally disturbing, but never self-indulgent. Sedaris carefully avoids sloppiness or excess in his writing — appropriate for someone who says he’s merely on a leave of absence from his full-time job as an apartment cleaner.–Boston Phoenix
After a tragic death in the family, the Kellaways are persuaded by a traveling circus owner to move to the bustling city, where they discover that they live next door to the famous William Blake: printer, poet, and political radical . . . Chevalier’s vivid descriptions and unusual mix of characters make this story an easy pleasure to read. –Library Journal
Porch Talk by Philip Gulley will be discussed at the Warren Library on Thursday, October 2nd.
Reviewing this book for our website’s Staff Recommends page, Kathleen Rivenburg of the Flanner House Library said (in part):
Not knowing what to expect from an Indiana author/Quaker pastor, I intended to glance thorough the book and return it in three days along with my DVD’s. To my surprise, I read it cover-to-cover . . . Mr. Gulley’s wit and self-deprecating humor elevate this book . . . to something actually worth reading (don’t miss his eerie prescience in “The Compact” and “The State of Housing” regarding property taxes).
With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recalls masters from Balzac to Dickens, this novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism of India. Set in 1975 at a time when the government has declared a state of internal emergency, the story focuses on the lives of four unlikely people who find themselves living in the same humble flat in the city.
This poignant and compelling read is by an Australian author who uses Death as the protagonist during the Holocaust, observing astute young Liesel Meminger and her foster family, neighbors, and the Jewish man they hide for months in their basement . . . Zusak . . . notes on his Web site that he was inspired by stories of his parents’ youth when he began to craft The Book Thief . . . an engrossing read for young adults through adult age range.
–Diane Palguta, College Avenue Branch
The Sugarbook Book Club will next meet on Tuesday, October 14th at 6 p.m, at the College Avenue Library. They have a tradition of reading “romances that are too hot to handle,” but in honor of Halloween, they’re going to discuss Dark Curse by Christine Feehan. It’s one of her “Carpathian novels,” a vampire story. This doesn’t mean, though, that the Sugarbooks have abandoned their principles.
. . . steamy and dreamy… Feehan’s combo platter of danger, fantasy and wild, uninhibited romance continues to sizzle was what Publisher’s Weekly said of an earlier book in this series.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
You have a choice, here. At 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 9, this novel will be discussed simultaneously at two different locations, the Fountain Square Library and the Irvington Library.
Hosseini gives a forceful but nuanced portrait of a patriarchal despotism where women are agonizingly dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. His tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters.–Publishers Weekly