Ashland Books @ Noon December 2019 Picks

Created on April 27, 2021, 8:49 am

Last Updated April 27, 2021, 8:49 am

On the first Tuesday of every month, an intrepid group of Ashland readers meets at noon to talk about the best books they've read during the month. These are their stories. [Cue CSI Theme Music]
Notes
Someone said they just read Pachinko...and we remembered that we talked about it last month when Wendy brought Free Food for Millionaires...which is linked next.
Description
Author
Notes
Kristin threw out this as a title she enjoyed with courtroom drama and a family story. Pat has talked about it at a past meeting.
Description
Notes
Cathy thought this was a good novel but cautioned that the main character is definitely not sympathetic at all!
Description
Notes
Jane is now a Library Book convert...this is one of those titles that has come up time and again within the group to much acclaim...I think that a group of folks who meet monthly at the library to talk about the books they've read is probably the exact target market for this book!
Description
Notes
Kristin recently finished this titles...which is one of those "is it a mystery or is it horror" titles that can be a lot of fun to figure out.
Description
Notes
This is the record for the 2018 Best American Short Stories...but Claudia talked to us about the 2019 volume. We do not seem to have that one yet. Stay tuned.
Notes
Carolyn met a local poet at the book store and read her poetry as a result. This is the book she discussed and, yes, we do have it in our collection!
Notes
Bill has been re-reading early science fiction and he discovered this volume (and the one linked next). The first is short stories and the second volume is novellas. He particularly singled out Flowers for Algernon and Nine Billion Names for God as stories worth checking out.
Notes
Cathy said this was "about the Depression but was not depressing" and described it as "Water for Elephants meets Huckleberry Finn."
Description
Notes
The real book Jane brought to talk about was this one. While it was a good book, my notes remind me that Jane talked about the WASP-y characters and the amount of privilege the family at the center of the novel experienced...including their refusal to welcome those with marginalized identities into their family.
Description
Description
Notes
Our newest member, Kathy, brought Cold Mountain...which she declared to be better than the movie and reminiscent of The Odyssey. I've linked the movie in case you want to decide for yourself which was better! I have reminded myself that I do need to go back and read it...I'm embarrassed to admit that I've only seen the movie.
Description
Notes
Kristin mentioned that The Testaments shared the Booker Prize this year with this title. Awarding 2 Booker prizes in a year is highly unusual, and also has received some blow-back. There is an article below about this issue.
Description
Series
Notes
Here is the introduction of the world in which the Testaments is set. If you haven't read it yet, you should.
Description
Notes
Kristin mentioned that this is the book that made Sepetys a "must read" author for her.
Description
Notes
Kristin came with cross over teen fiction today. This book gave her an opportunity to learn about Francoist Spain. Previously if asked about this period in Spanish history, she probably would have said something vague about bull fighting and Hemingway, which is clearly not a very well-formed understanding of the period. Through storytelling, Sepetys does an excellent job of illustrating the complexities of this unique region and period. Sepetys is really good at setting!
Description
Notes
Carolyn read this book by a local author and really enjoyed the setting and the drama. This led to a conversation about the upcoming library Local Author Fair, which will be 12/8/19. I've linked details below...please join us. Yes, Ms. DeMarinis will be there!
Description