Ashland Books@Noon January 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 (except this month, because of the holiday, it was the second Tuesday), 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]
Description
Notes
...and a bonus title from Ahna. She says: Small book, small idea, small story development. An inexplicable event takes place when one somewhat pudgy man dramatically starts losing weight, confides in a doctor-friend who is dumbfounded and eventually makes peace with this most peculiar event but only after making a difficult neighborly contact with two women and only after becoming a hero in the town's relay race. I found that the author 'slammed' this one out without the careful, thoughtfulness that I experienced in his non-fiction book: On Writing. That was plainly written, very informative and I (and many, many others) was hooked. I would love to hear some commentary from the group from whomever has read any Stephen King novel. I await with bated breath..... NOTE: Kristin has added some suggested titles below.
Description
3) Oreo
Author
Notes
On the way out Carolyn remembered a Greek Mythology retelling set in New York and written by an African American woman. While this isn't a recent title...the reissue received some media coverage and it's possible that this is the book!
Description
Notes
Bill said this was scarier than War of the Worlds. Nina agreed. One of the interesting takeaways is that governmental departments don't always do what we think they do.
Description
Notes
Kristin loved this book. It's a retelling of many different Greek myths but functions as a fascinating inverted Odyssey. Circe sits imprisoned on her island and the stories come to her. At it's core this title is about how stories shift when the teller has a different point of view.
Description
Notes
Nina appreciated this title that really spoke to her experiences with rigidity of thinking in academia. A lot of things could change if people would change their approach!
Description
Notes
Bill returned to this classic because he hadn't finished it when it was assigned to him as a child. He said it was still scary.
Notes
Carolyn was drawn to this title because it's written by a playwright. OSF's 2019 season includes a production of the world premiere of his play "Mother Road." Carolyn loved these short vignettes that related Mr. Solis's early years in Texas. Many added this to their "to read" list.
Description
Notes
Maus is a classic graphic novel often read by teens that tells the author's father's memories of the Holocaust. All characters are portrayed as animals, but it is not a children's book!
Description
Notes
This is a graphic novel that is intended for younger (middle grade) readers. It is much gentler in its discussion of the specific atrocities committed during the Holocaust...but it is clear about the danger and fear.
Description
Notes
A retelling of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, this is a fascinating look at the Holocaust from Jane Yolen, who has written several novels with a WWII/Holocaust setting. This is a teen novel.
Description
Notes
A very gritty new novel about end of the concentration camps from the point of view of the prisoners who were living in them. As you can imagine this is a harrowing tale and is best for older teens.
Description
Author
Notes
Wendy also read this title, which is the graphic novel memoir of a German woman's experience reconciling herself with her family's involvement in the WWII. There was some discussion about books about WWII Germany and their appropriateness for children in the wake of this discussion. I've included 4 titles that are examples either published for or read by children/teens below.
Description
Notes
Wendy read this after Rad's review last month. While she thought it was OK, she wanted more descriptions of the feelings the characters were experiencing.
Description
Author
Notes
Jane really enjoyed this title. The story of a Chinese immigrant really spoke to her. Nina agreed that this is a first rate title!
Description