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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

When Mr. Tumnus the cat named by the SPCA arrived in Evie’s house recently, I concluded it was time for me to read this book. I hadn’t read it as a child and my children read it after they could do so on their own. The fictional Mr. Tumnus is a good-hearted little faun who saves Lucy from the witch and is turned to stone for his trouble. Though the young cat has not yet been called...

The South by Colm Toibin

This is my sixth Colm Toibin novel, the first he wrote. It turns out he began his career with a strong and beautiful novel. It is the story of an Irish woman who in 1950 at age 32 left her husband and 10 year old son to be a painter. She landed in Barcelona after a harrowing train trip and was terrified to leave her pension for days. Her mother had left her when she was quite young so she could...

Joy Enough by Sarah McColl

If you were writing a book about your mother dying just at the time your marriage was ending, it seems you wouldn’t use the word “joy” in the title. But joy, beauty, and pleasure somehow seep out of the book and I was happy as I read it. The author lets out lovely–and difficult–bits about her life with her mother and about her husband. Episodes that are not told in...

Madame Fourcade’s Secret War by Lynne Olson

One of Lynne Olson’s previous books about World War II, Citizens of London, was terrific, so I didn’t hesitate when I learned about this one. It is the wonderfully informative story of the woman who ran the biggest and most effective resistance movement in France during the war. The focus of the network, Alliance, was to provide intelligence for British MI6 for their work against the...

Normal People by Sally Rooney

It was Tony’s enthusiasm for this book that moved me to read it and I must remember to thank him. It is set in a small town in western Ireland and Dublin from 2011 to 2015; the characters are in high school, then at Trinity College. Marianne is a brilliant student, not attractive or liked by others; she shows disdain for her classmates. Connell is also brilliant as well as being one of the...

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

This is my sixth of Kate Atkinson’s books, the third of her Jackson Brodie series. It was a pleasure to pick up this book and fall into her clutches again. What I’ve written before about this series holds true for the most part:  Brodie, formerly in the Army, police, and private detective business, goes against type. Though he’s no longer a detective, he seems to happen upon...

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Reading Matters described this story as being told from the points of view of an elderly Jewish man and a teenage girl; that convinced me to read it. Leopold Gursky’s voice was appealing and funny, the teenage girl less so; still, of interest. It’s a complex story, that unfolds in a less-than-direct way.  Leopold Gursky lost both the love of his life, Alma, and the great book he wrote...

Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

The author, a Bundjalung woman, has written a book that is at once devastating and funny. The continuing awful results for indigenous people of the European presence are well depicted here. The story centers on Kerry, who rides a stolen Harley back to her hometown as her grandfather is dying. She is sad about her girlfriend, just sentenced to five years in prison for robbery and feels guilty...

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I was fortunate to have this book to read during that endless travel day to Malta last week and it has been a good companion as I recover from jet lag. Though I knew the reviews for this book were positive, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I especially loved reading about her childhood and her modest, fun-loving, and hard-working family background. Throughout the book the...

Books to Read

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. 2005. two distinct voices. Kim rec. Too much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko. Lisa enthusiastic. 330 pages, stella shortlist. In the Shadow of Statues by Mitch Landrieu. Audiobook. Thomas and Beal in the Midi by Christopher Tilghman. Avail. April 16. Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken. The Siege of Krishnapour by J.G. Farrell. audiobook. Madame Foucade’s Secret...

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