when we will be “visiting” Ireland.  I put some books by Irish authors on the bottom shelf – right side – of the on-going sale bookcase at the Library and there are laminated squares with all the meeting dates and selected countries – pick one up so you can keep your eyes open for books that will fit into them.


Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – It is Enniscorthy in the southeast of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady’s intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation. In the quiet character of Eilis Lacey, Colm Tóibín has created one of fiction’s most memorable heroines and in Brooklyn, a luminous novel of devastating power. Tóibín demonstrates once again his astonishing range and that he is a true master of nuanced prose, emotional depth, and narrative virtuosity.

In the Woods by Tana French – As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne – When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

The Woman Who Walked into Doors  by Roddy Doyle – Roddy Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked Into Doors will astonish readers with its heartrending story of a woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem. Paula Spencer recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.

A Woman of no Importance – Oscar Wilde – Fantastic Reading !!! Very Enjoyable !!! Highly Recommend !!!
One of the most famous plays by Oscar WIlde, A Woman of No Importance was first staged in 1893. Generous in wit and cynicism, the play indulges in the decadent rituals of the upper-class in late XIX century London, exposing its secrets and concealed immoralities until a secret that changes the life of the protagonists is revealed.

The Award Season Moves on

Notice that A Little Life is one of the ones you have been recommending Lynette – I am currently reading – in the midst of many other books – Fates and Furies and liking it.

National Book Awards 2015

Finalists for Fiction

Karen E. Bender, Refund (Counterpoint Press)

Angela Flournoy, The Turner House(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies(Riverhead Books)

Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles(Random House)

Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life(Doubleday)

Finalists for Nonfiction

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau)

Sally Mann, Hold Still (Little, Brown)

Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus(Atria Books)

Carla Power, If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran (Henry Holt)

Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light, published by Alfred A. Knopf

First meeting this afternoon

Always fun to talk about books and find some you HAVE TO READ RIGHT NOW!

Schedule for this season (following our virtual world tour theme)

November 3 – Ireland

December 1 – Israel

January 5 – India

February 2 – Scandinavia (and to keep the I’s going we’re including Iceland in this month)

March 1 – Africa

We started in the American South and got some great recommendations – turns out several of us are Faulkner fans.

The Snopes Trilogy – The Hamlet,  TheTown, The Mansion

The Sound and the Fury

The Faulkner Reader

Go Down Moses (short story collection)

Three mysteries were mentioned

Have You Seen Dawn by Steven Saylor – set in Texas about missing teenagers

Knock Off Rhonda Pollero  (and because knowing what you don’t want to read is important too, this wasn’t recommended – the main character is mostly interested in buying cheap versions of designer clothes)

Rituals of the Season by Margaret Maron – one of her Deborah Knotts series – the first in the series is The Bootlegger’s Daughter

Anything by Pat Conroy or Donna Tartt

The Water is Wide is Pat Conroy’s story of his years teaching black children on an island off the coast of South Carolina – highly recommended

South Toward Home by Margaret Eby – a Southern literary travelogue as the author visits the homes of her favorite southern authors including Welty, Wright, Faulkner, Lee, Capote and others

I Hate to See that Evening Sun Go Down – Collected stories by William Gay – shows Faulkner influence

The Whisper of the River and Run with the Horseman by Ferrol Sams – fiction based on his life – Run with the Horseman was the story of his childhood – The Whisper of the River is set during WWII as a rural boy heads off to college.  Also shows a Faulkner influence.

The Help by  Kathryn Stockett – set in Mississippi in the 1960’s about African american maids working in white households.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (The People in the Trees – not as highly recommended) – long and intense but well worth reading. – not sure this is on the Southern theme but when book people get together all kinds of books get mentioned.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin -an American classic written in the late 1800’s

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle – set in a retirement community

GospelWilton Barnhart – search for a lost first-century gospel of the Bible – a document that could shake the foundations of Christianity.

Natchez Burning Greg Iles – mystery that looks at the racial conflicts of the south

Deep South Paul Theroux – non-fiction look at modern day south, especially the small towns, the poverty, and the racial divides.


We are meeting this Tuesday at 2:30 and we’ll be talking about books from the US South (subjects, authors, etc).  We have added a section to the on-going sale shelf opposite the elevator for books that fit the Bagels and Books subjects.  There are a number of books for October (look on the bottom shelf at the right).

Talking to people at the book sale, we decided to choose a November location and pull some books for that area – IRELAND IT IS and those books will be added to the selection area on Tuesday after our discussion.

HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US – if you haven’t read books to mention come anyway – you’re sure to go home with some good suggestions.