Book Discussion Favorites, 2007 – 2011
Here are a list of some of the titles the library’s morning and evening book discussion groups have really enjoyed reading and discussing. I hope you enjoy some of them, too. Brenda
Book Discussion Favorites, 2007-2011
Coomer, Joe. Pocketful of Names.
Doig, Ivan. The Whistling Season.
Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light.
Follett, Ken. Pillars of the Earth.
Ford, Jamie. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
King, Laurie. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.
Kingsolver, Barbara. Prodigal Summer.
Larsson, Stieg. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Moon, Elizabeth. The Speed of Dark.
O’Nan, Stewart. Last Night at the Lobster.
Parkin, Gaile. Baking Cakes in Kigali.
See, Lisa. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
Shaffer, Mary Ann and Annie Barrows. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Simonson, Helen. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.
Stockett, Kathryn. The Help.
Tsukiyama, Gail. Women of the Silk.
Vreeland, Susan. Clara and Mr. Tiffany; Luncheon of the Boating Party.
Walls, Jeannette. Half Broke Horses.
Algeo, Matthew. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure.
Beavan, Colin. No Impact Man.
Child, Julia. My Life in France.
Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun.
Kurson, Robert. Shadow Divers.
Peacock, Nancy. A Broom of One’s Own.
Salisbury, Laney & Aly Sujo. Provenance.
If you haven’t yet discovered the Charles Lenox Victorian mystery series, you’re in for a treat. You’ll want to start with the first book, A Beautiful Blue Death, but I’m going to tell you about the latest book. Charles Lenox is a new member of Parliament in 1873 when his brother, Sir Edmund, asks Charles to travel to Egypt to quietly investigate the deaths of several British agents.
Charles settles into his cabin on the Lucy, where his young nephew Teddy is making his first voyage as a midshipman. The given reason for the voyage is for Charles to meet with Egyptian officials and tour the Suez Canal. Soon after leaving England, a lieutenant is killed, and Captain Martin asks Charles to investigate. A private detective before he was elected to parliament, Charles worries that he won’t find the murderer in time, and interviews everyone he can, from ship’s officers to stewards, to ordinary seamen. There are hints of mutiny, and ultimately an exciting confrontation with some suspects. When they reach Egypt, the suspense doesn’t let up, making for an interesting mixture of historical mystery, adventure at sea, and spy story, with a little romance thrown in as Charles is missing his new wife very much. I enjoy reading this series because the setting is interesting, the characters are memorable and change over the course of the books, and the mysteries are clever. The earlier books in the series also feature Charles’ neighbor and best friend, Lady Jane Grey, along with his butler Graham and his detective protege John Dallington.
The reading order of the series is: A Beautiful Blue Death, The September Society, The Fleet Street Murders, A Stranger in Mayfair, and A Burial at Sea. The entire series is also available on compact disc. You may also enjoy The Pirate King, by Laurie King, a historical mystery about Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell that includes pirates and a movie about a Gilbert and Sullivan show.
Jenna is a young web designer who recently relocated to the Vermont/New York area. She’d really rather be outside, doing farm chores. That longing she calls Barnheart, and if you read her book, or her blog, Cold Antler Farm, you might catch it too. If you grow herbs or tomatoes, enjoy talking with farmers selling zucchini or honey at the farmer’s market, think of baking some bread, picking berries or apples, or maybe keeping some chickens, you’re in good company. But what Jenna really wants are sheep, a trained border collie, a big vegetable garden, possibly a goat and definitely chickens and geese. When you’re young, single, renting, move frequently with two Siberian huskies and not much money, that dream seems unrealistic. This is Jenna’s story of how she’s starting to achieve her dreams. Her earlier books are Made from Scratch and Chick Days.
Other recent back to the land memoirs I’ve enjoyed are: Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, by Ree Drummond; And I Shall Have Some Peace There, by Margaret Roach; and The Feast Nearby, by Robin Mather.