Category: Fiction

September

by Rosamunde Pilcher, 1990 Delightful soap opera set in mid-1970s Scotland. It’s 613 pages long. I got the book from a little-free library. First, Mom read it and loved it. Then, Carol read it and loved it. She said it takes you away to Scotland, and it certainly does. A rural village in Scotland with […]

Garden of Eden

by Ernest Hemingway, posthumously 1986 What a strange book! It was the September 2022 selection for the Classic Book Club. I gave it to Mom to read first and asked her if she wanted to go to this book club and discuss it. She at first said yes, but then she said no. I finally […]

Malibu Rising

by Taylor Jenkins Reid, 2021 This was the last book selection for the “Take Me Away” summer book club at the Old Town Library. I don’t know what to think. It was a good story but too much gratuitous sex and drug-taking. It just didn’t need all that garbage. Set in 1950 to 1980 Malibu. […]

On the Road

by Jack Kerouac, 1957 I decided to read this book after Geoff Dyer wrote about it in The Last Days of Roger Federer. I’m glad I read it. It describes road trips across 1940s America twice, and then one down to Mexico. The main characters are Sal Paradise and his dear friend, Dean Moriarty. Dean […]

Hana Khan Carries On

by Uzma Jalaluddin, 2021 Enjoyable book. This is the first selection for the summer Old Town Library Take Me Away book club – selected by our leader, Librarian Meg Schiel. The characters are very endearing. I like that it was set in Toronto, in a Muslim area called the Golden Crescent. The main character is […]

American Spy

by Lauren Wilkinson, 2018 This was the last book selection for the Old Town Library Book Club 2021-2022 year. It was Jennifer’s selection. She is the one who so disliked Deacon King Kong, which was a most enjoyable, excellent book. She is the one who selected the book, Pachinko, a few years back, which I […]

Deacon King Kong

by James McBride, 2020 I LOVED this book! It was the Old Town Library Book Club selection for April 2022. Both Leslie and Mandy picked it. It took me someplace I didn’t want to be – a housing project, the Cause Houses, in NYC – complete with drug pushers, heroin addicts, alcoholics, and criminals. But […]

Don’t Stop the Carnival

by Herman Wouk, 1965 Herman Wouk lived on St. Thomas for 6 years while researching and writing books. A real-life New York press agent bought a hotel in the Virgin Islands and told the story of his many mishaps. Norman advised him to write a book, but the press agent “demurred.” However, he encouraged Norman […]

Santa Calls

by William Joyce, 1993 Children’s book recommended on the Book-A-Day calendar from Christie. Here’s what they said: “North Pole Adventure: In William Joyce’s picture book, Santa Calls, young Art Atchinson Aimesworth–inventor, crime fighter, and all- around whiz kid–is summoned by Santa Claus to the North Pole. There he invents, fights crime, whizzes all around, and […]

Sabrina & Corina

by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, 2019 A group of short stories, each centered around a female Latina or Indigenous or mixed-race and mostly set in Denver or the fictional town of Saguarita in Southwestern Colorado. Beautifully written; powerful sense of place and characters, but oh so sad. All poor, all making decisions that ultimately hurt them. The […]

Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence

by Peter Mayle, 1993 Delightful book! Recommended on my Christie book-a-day calendar. Takes you from dreary England and back-biting advertising world to sunny France. The main character, Simon Shaw, is a wealthy advertising executive who is hassled by an ex-wife who just wants more and more of his money. He takes a much-needed vacation to […]

Anthem

by Ayn Rand, 1937 Wayne read this in high school. He’s also read, Atlas Shrugged. This was a very short book; 105 pages–I read it in 2 days. It’s about a man, Equality 7-2521, who is unhappy in his life as a street sweeper. In this world, there is no “I,” only “We.” He knows […]

Swallows and Amazons

by Arthur Ransome, 1930 Precious, beautiful, sweet book about 4 children in 1930s England whose mother (and father, by telegram from a destroyer on the China Seas) allow them to sail away and camp on an island in the lake, and all the wonderful adventures they have. They meet pirates, 2 girls their age who […]

The Rainbabies

by Laura Krauss Melmed, Illustrated by Jim LaMarche, 1992 Children’s book about a sweet old couple who lack nothing except a child. They go out on a moonlit night after a rain and find 12 babies. They care for them and save them through flood, fire, and wild animal dangers. Then a messenger comes with […]

Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley, 1932 I didn’t read this, but Wayne did, twice; once in high school and then, again, just recently. He said not to bother with it, but there are warnings for us. They used genetic engineering focusing on cognitive abilities, to mass-produce humans in test-tubes, some created to be slaves, others higher caste. […]

The Enchanted April

by Elizabeth Von Arnim, 1922 This book was recommended on the “Page-a-Day” book calendar Christie gave me. I loved it. It was a wonderful escape to Italy in the 1920s. Four English ladies, strangers to one another, share an old castle on the coast of Italy near Genoa for the month of April. Each one […]

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng, 2017 Interesting and well-written novel, although I didn’t like the setting, the characters, or the plot. Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, an affluent community, where they planned everything down to the last detail (grassy areas, trees, schools, parks, where trash cans are kept, where rental homes are built, etc.) This is an […]

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

by Paul Torday, 2007 Entertaining and educational novel about a Sheikh from the Yemen who loves fly fishing for salmon and decides to try and introduce salmon fishing in the Yemen. Money is no object. He hires a British fisheries scientist, Dr. Alfred Jones, who is at first completely against the idea. (Of course!) Harriet, […]

The Vanishing Half

by Brit Bennett, 2020 Interesting novel, interesting premise: twin light-skinned black girls (Desiree and Stella) go their separate ways, one to live as a white woman (Stella), the other remains a black woman (Desiree). Desiree is definitely the more likable character. She ends up with a daughter (Jude) black as coal and returns with her […]