When Books Went To War: The Stories that helped us win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning is the fascinating story of how the introduction of paperback books helped the morale of our soldiers overseas. The War Department and the Publishing industry combined efforts to provide the military with books of all genres. This story is an interesting look into an aspect of war not usually covered…also fun to see what books the soldiers preferred such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
The Son by Jo Nesbo. Fans of Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series won’t be disappointed in this new stand-along mystery. Sonny Lofthus is in prison accepting blame for crimes he didn’t commit in exchange for supplies of heroin. When he learns from another prisoner that his police officer father did not commit suicide as he had been led to believe, he plans his escape and vengeance. A bit graphic like Nesbo’s other books but nonetheless suspenseful, fast-moving with twists and turns along the way.
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. Starting with a son’s simple question to his mother…”What are you reading?” Will Schwalbe and his mother, Mary Anne, embark on a journey of rediscovering their connection to literature and to each other as they deal with Mary Ann’s terminal cancer. With each chapter we are immersed in their lives, their books and their thoughts. A heartwarming book that is a love letter to each other and literature.
Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes. Both of these books, though entirely different, are wonderful. In Me Before You, a young English girl down on her luck, Louisa Clark, takes a job tending to a handsome, wealthy and adventurous businessman who was sadly struck down and is in a wheelchair. His disability has caused him to be depressed, demanding and gruff. Realizing that the end of her six-month work contract coincides with his planned assisted-suicide propels her to dream up adventures that Will can enjoy and hopefully make him want to continue to live. Through their relationship, both Will and Lou are transformed in this heartwarming, but not maudlin, story.
Two women separated by a century; one in France and the other in America and a painting that has united them through tragedy. Compelling read that explores the provenance of the painting and the question of “Who does it really belong to?”
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson is an engrossing read about a woman born in the early 20th century who dies over and over only to be reborn in a new life. It may sound far-fetched or confusing, but in the skillful hands of Atkinson the story is mesmerizing.
Ursula’s first death occurs at childbirth…the story changes and she lives. She has many deaths over the course of the book and the most interesting part is during the second World War when she befriends Hitler. Of course, she dies in Germany but then is reborn and again living in her childhood country English home.
It is a book that will engage you on many levels…just think if you could rewrite Anna Karenina’s life after her fateful death!