A Readable Feast
This locally written and published book is a compilation of 27 themed short stories by local authors.
The stories vary in point of view and distance, as well as length.
Some of the stories ("Sweet Tooth", "Broken Heart Cakes", "Nature of Origin", How Sweet It Is", and "Nectar of the Gods") involve the occult, specifically vampires and witches.
The following stories were favorites:
"Rightful Prey" which was a cute story about a dragon, but it was predictable.
"Nana's Vegetable Soup" written in first person about organ lessons at Nana's house on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
"The Widow Next Door" told in a third person omniscient and provides characters thoughts through the use of italics. It shows the misunderstandings that occur with new neighbors.
The following were the least favorite of the collection:
"How Sweet It Is" had a lot of French vocabulary, which bogged down some readers.
"Pickle Promenade" seemed unfinished. It was missing the "meat" of the story. The puns/names were cute, but it was overdone.
"Marmalade" is a strange story that deviates in the middle.
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Great novel about the way people stuff down the things that happen in life.
As an English student, the main character, Joe, interviews a dying convicted murder, Carl Iverson, for his English assignment. Their time together progresses past the first meeting. Needless to say, it brings to light a lot about Carl, as well as some long buried issues for Joe.
Book club readers enjoyed the novel.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This best-selling novel by Kristin Hannah is set in France during the Holocaust. This different setting gave readers a different point of view of the war, as opposed to Elie Wiesel's memoir Night. While Wiesel's point of view is from a survivor of the Holocaust in Auschwitz, Hannah's novel demonstrates the perspective of the French people, who incurred a lot of violence, discrimination, and persecution during the war.
This novel also gives a glimpse of the German soldiers' uncertainty about some of the orders given to them. The one soldier was shown as a human being who missed his wife and children.
Additionally, the female heroine of the novel Isabelle has readers disliking her at first, as she comes across as just a spoiled teenager. However, her rebellious nature pushes her to lead a revolution. Her amazing feat of climbing mountains over and over again in order to save strangers had readers weeping for her in the end.
It is unfortunate that this novel sparked the idea that "we don't learn from history" for the readers. Society as a whole continues to bread prejudice, racism, persecution, and hatred. Something as horrific and heinous as the Holocaust should serve as a reminder to all of the atrocities that man creates against man.
Karla Erdman, book club founder and organizer
Each month the club meets to discuss a chosen book. The blogs are notes from each meeting and club members' comments.
SPOILER ALERT: If you are going to read any of the discussions below, you may learn more about a novel than you wanted. Some endings have been revealed.
Books, Books, and More Books
A great place for discounted books is BookBub. Register with an email address and you'll receive emails about discounted books in the genre of novels in which you are interested in reading.
Other places to obtain discounted books:
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
Firefly Lane, Kristin Hannah
Friday Night Knitting Club, Kate Jacobs
Fern Michaels Sisterhood Series
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Beth Hoffman
A Dog's Purpose, W. Bruce Cameron
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
Night Road, Kristin Hannah
The Lost Years, Mary Higgins Clark
Copper Sun, Sharon Draper
The Total Money Make Over, Dave Ramsey
Little Bee, Chris Cleave
The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot
The Between, Tananarive Due
Scaramouche, Raphael Sabatini