Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September Update

Sorry that I seemed to have let August come and go without an update.... and someone even sent a wonderful comment in - Thanks, Paul.
The selection for September's morning book group is City of Thieves by David Benioff. It is about two men caught in the Nazi siege of Leningrad during WWII. Coincidentally, a new book has been published entitled Leningrad: The Epic Sage of World War II 1941-1944 by Anna Reid. It is getting great reviews, though the story of what the Russians endured is horrific. I was first introduced to this subject when a fellow New Hartford resident recommended The Siege by Helen Dunmore to me. She said that it had a lasting impact on her. The Siege was published in 2002
If you like historical fiction, try some of the works of David Liss. He is a terrific writer and his titles, A Conspiracy of Paper, The Whiskey Rebels, and The Coffee Traders are exciting, informative, and absorbing. He has a new book out, entitled The Twelfth Enchantment, a Jane Austen-like novel, which I have just finished. While I did not enjoy it as much as his other works, it was still entertaining.
After I prepare my materials for the September 23rd book group, I intend to read a new book by Denis Johnson entitled Train Dreams. It is a novella, only 128 pages in length, and Amazon describes it as "an epic miniature, one of his most evocative and poignant fictions." The main character is a day laborer in the American West at the start of the 20th century - an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Johnson won the 2007 National Book Award for his book Tree of Smoke about a CIA agent in Vietnam during the years 1963-1970. Johnson is another bright spot on our literary horizon.
Finally, a few new books in the library: Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Full Black by Brad Thor, The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood, Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva, and a new book group favorite, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.