Sunday, August 02, 2015

Books, Books, Books

I didn't realize how long it's been since I wrote a post on books and since I've been doing a lot of reading to kill time, I have quite a few books I'd like to share.  I'll try to stick to my favorites to keep the list from getting too long.

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas:  This is a depression-era tale that takes place in a small Kansas town where a group of resilient women get together each month to quilt and gather strength from their friendships.  Think Fannie Flagg.  I didn't realize until I looked it up just now but it was also make into a movie.

Crazy Ladies by Michael Lee West:  This is another tale of Southern Women, placed in Tennessee and centers on squabbling sibling who are the crazy ladies.  Sprinkled with cultural references, this is much in the style of Fannie Flagg and Billie Letts.  I couldn't put it down.

The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson:  I received this coming-of-age debut novel in prerelease from NetGalley.  The setting is Barbados where two sisters are sent to live with their grandmother while their mother, who fled to Brooklyn looking for a better life tries to get back on her feet.  Grandmother is too aged to care for the girls alone and the community comes to her aid.  I enjoyed the setting and the references to their slavery past - a fresh story.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline:  This has been on everyone's list and for good reason and it may already be on yours.

Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont:  This is another debut novel I read in prereplease and I still am not quite sure why I requested it because the title and cover are not attractive at all.  It's set in New York City, about a family whose father is a famous artist.  He can't seem to decide how to be an artist and a family man and the ensuing children are dragged behind him like cans on a just-married car.  It's these resilient and resourceful children that redeem their family.

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf:  In this slender volume is a big story and I will certainly miss the recent Haruf and his ability write a lot in a few words.  I've read all this works so was entertained when he slipped his earlier books into the context of this one.  If you haven't read Haruf, start with Plainsong and then keep going.

Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp: a Nisei youth behind a World War II fence by Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey.  This is the only nonfiction in this group and is a must-read if you've read either The Buddha in the Attic or When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka or you have an interest in our government's internment of Japanese Americans.  Havey is an accomplished watercolorist and her pieces are sprinkled throughout the book so if you read it as an ebook, make sure you use a device that lets you see the images in color. It's beautifully done and begins with Lily learning that they're all going to camp - oh boy!  It's not a humorous time but she writes without rancor and brings a fresh voice to this chapter of our history.


LA said...

Crazy sisters in Tennessee??? How did they know??? Thanks for the reading list!

grace lovelace said...

Thank you for the list I was in need your weaving