Our January reading

Great discussion today that began with the subject of classics and wandered far afield to include books on CD, books on E-readers, and lots of books that don’t exactly fall into the classic category.

 Here are some of the titles:

Quincunx by Charles Pallister – a modern book that feels like it was written in Victorian days.

War & Peace – Leo Tolstoy

Little Woman – Louisa May Alcott – (which led to a mention of MARCH by Geraldine Brooks which is a modern title that follows the father in Little Women as he goes to war)

Age of Innocence and Ethan Fromm by Edith Wharton – with a mention of how different these two books are

Call of the Wild – Jack London

 and books by:

Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Arthur Conan Doyle (which led to a mention of the Mary Russell series by Laurie King which features Sherlock Holmes and his young assistant – first title in the series is The BeeKeeper’s Apprentice) 

John Steinbeck, the two Brontes, Robert Benchley, Herman Hess, P. G. Wodehouse, Cervantes, Thomas Hardy, William Makepeace Thackeray, James Herriott, Jack Kerouac, Jules Verne, Edgar Allen Poe, D. H. Lawrence.

Other Titles:

 The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien and The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers – both more recent titles but sure to be classics of the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – again sure to be a classic of the end of the settlement of the west as the two friends search for a place where civilization can’t quite find them.

Max Brand, Western Giant by William F. Nolan – the biography of the man known as the pulp king.  He wrote nearly 400 westerns, created Dr. Kildare and wrote under 21 pseudonyms in another dozen genres.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker and books by Toni Morrison

Cold Sassy Tree – by Olive Ann Burns – a delightful coming of age story

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene (and a mention that this was a favorite of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor)

Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather (and My Antonia)

Books by Barbara Kingsolver (The Bean Trees, Animal Vegetable, Miracle, Poisonwood Bible, Prodigal Summer, Flight Behavior) – maybe not classics yet but we liked them

 and the conversation moved on to more current titles:

short stories by Jill McCorkle – Crash Diet, Final Vinyl Days, Going Away Shoes

anything by Richard Russo

Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle – really nice to listen to on CD

The Art Forger – Barbara Shapiro (who will be at the Book Festival on April 13)

William Martin ( who will be at the book festival on April 13) – Harvard Yard, Cape Cod, Back Bay

Extraordinary – an end of life story without end – Michele Tamaren and Michael Wittner – Lynette said this one is hard to find but worth searching for – non-fiction

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan – Far more than simply a riveting read and a crackling medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity and to rediscover herself among the fragments left behind. 

Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara – (who will be at the book festival on April 13)

The End of Your Life Book Club  by Will Schwalb -This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close.

YA titles by John Green including The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska 

and for mystery lovers

Books to Die For edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke – essays by current day mystery/thriller authors about their favorite titles – organized sequentially so you can start with some of the classic mysteries and read your way to the present day.

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