Books @ Noon November 2020 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 readers meets at noon to talk about the best books they've read during the month. These are their stories. [Cue CSI Theme Music]
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We had a discussion of keeping track of characters and series fiction that somehow incorporated all of the next 3 titles.
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Kristin mentioned that Ms. Woodson is going to do an author talk for us in the new year and that we are doing a community read of this title. So, if you haven't yet, give it a read. JCLS is excited to host this important author who just won a MacArthur Genius Grant!
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Kristin, while acknowledging that this isn't really a fantasy crowd, shared that this particular fantasy is really good. From it's pre-Columbian American world to it's amazingly diverse cast of characters. Lots of love for everything about this book, even its cliffhanger ending. But Kristin hopes Roanhorse doesn't keep her waiting too long ala George RR Martin.
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This novel set against the backdrop of the Laotian Civil War was more Sandra's speed!
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Sandra read this and "give[s] it a B." She read and enjoyed Overstory last year, linked next.
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Kathy read this and found the behavior of the Catholic Church in Ireland during this period in time to be the most troubling aspect of the novel. This added dimension to a previous discussion of this book that really was focused on the pandemic aspect of the plot.
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Claudia said this isn't her favorite book by Barnes. Reading about late-stage alcoholism can be hard. "This isn't a cheerful book, but Barnes is a really good writer" says Claudia.
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Kristin mentioned having read this recently...the subject matter made folks less interested in talking about it given election anxiety. It was mentioned that there was a recent TV series based on it and that is linked next.
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Wendy had been looking for Portnoy's Complaint and read a few other Roth novels instead that she found on the shelf (see below). The library owns several compilations of Roth's novels. I'm linking this one here because it does contain Portnoy's Complaint and I know Wendy doesn't like to read ebooks.
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Kristin loved this Crucible "retelling" set in 1989. It's funny and well written and just lots of fun. It was a perfect Halloween read!
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Kathy suggested that with its setting in the South of France and food descriptions, this novel series might appeal to Sandra.
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Sandra has been bringing really interesting narrative non-fiction recently, and this is no exception. This sounds like a fascinating look at the very niche international market for truffles.
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Kathy found this book to be full of hope and love in the end. It follows the lives of a family who flees Syria as refugees. It reminded her that being a refugee really is the very least preferred response to a completely untenable situation and she noted that even as harrowing as this novel is, the refugee family had access to financial resources in excess of what a typical refugee family might have.
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Claudia read this in preparation for an upcoming library book discussion. Registration link for the event is below. This was a reread for Claudia and most of us had read already, but not necessarily recently. She remarked on the characters and pacing as well as the revolutionary themes.
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A small but intrepid group gathered to discuss books on election day 2020. To their credit, this group did not discuss the election, not even once. The did talk about books. Claudia asked about the arrival of this newly published book that we don't have our copies of yet. Since the pub date of this is 10/27/20 I'm going to give it a few days and check again. There can be processing lags on titles that are that newly published.
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