February 13, 2012

Some Suggestions For The Last Six Months of 2012

Here are a few suggestions that have come up as books we might consider reading in the final six months of the year. Let's discuss them on Tuesday and be sure to bring us any other suggestions you might have!

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit- and the strength of memory.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Death Comes to Pemberley: A Novel by P. D. James

A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.

February 6, 2012

January Meeting: Well That Was A Bust!

Four of us met in January to discuss Nicole Krauss' The History of Love and I think I'm the only one that even liked it - no, I know I'm the only one that even liked it! Poor Jill took it with her on a trip to Colorado. It was the only book she took and she just had to force herself to read it!

It was unanimously felt that the book was difficult to follow and those of us that finished the book thought the ending was odd. I wondered, at the end, if Bruno was even a real person or a figment of Leo's imagination. Anyone read this who wasn't at the meeting and have a thought on this? I really liked Leo, I felt so sorry for him. Here was a man who went out everyday just to make sure someone would notice that he was alive that day. No one else really connected with any of the characters.

Everyone seemed to be looking forward to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for February. There is so much to discuss in this one. The story of the family, the amazing science, the writing, the ethics. Hope you all get a chance to read this one and join us to discuss it. We're going to try to do some Skyping; Barb wants to join us. She has a friend from work who will, hopefully, be joining us!