Posts from the “Books Read” Category

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and potato

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Nobody in the book club wanted the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to end. The characters in the novel were so vivid and alive you felt as if you had made new friends and the book’s ending was the end of that friendship.

The novel is a series of letters written to and from Juliet Ashton, a writer living in England after WWII, and her publisher and the inhabitants of Guernsey Island. A chance letter written to her from a man living on the Island of Guernsey who happened to find her name in a book by an author he is enamored with grows into a correspondence with him. Read more

The Hare with the Amber Eyes, A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund De Waal

The Hare with Amber eyes

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Toward the end of, The Hare with Amber Eyes, the author, Edmund De Waal writes “I’m writing a book about — I stumble to a halt. I no longer know if this book is about my family, or memory, or myself or is still a book about small Japanese things.”

A collection of Japanese Netsuke acquired by the author’s ancestor, Charles Joachim Ephrussi is the physical link between generations of a prominent Jewish family whose roots began in Russia. After acquiring their wealth in Russia the family branches out with members going to Vienna and Paris and establishing themselves in the banking business. Charles being the youngest does not go into the family banking business and instead is a patron of the writers and artists of the late 1800s. Read more

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone Cover
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Cutting for Stone is the multi-layered story of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva, born to Sister Mary Joseph Praise who dies during delivery while stationed in Ethiopia in the late 50’s. The twins conjoined and separated at birth were adopted by two doctors, Dr. Kalpana Hemlatha, a forceful woman known as Hema, and Dr. Abhi Ghosh, both working at Missing Hospital, the hospital where their parents lived and worked. Read more

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

In the garden of the beast_cover

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The book chronicles William E. Dodd’s appointment as Ambassador to Nazi German in 1933. Not Roosevelt’s first choice for ambassador, the mild-mannered Dodd brings his wife, son and flamboyant daughter, Martha with him to Berlin. At first they are enthralled with the parties, and pomp and ceremony of the “New Germany”. And, Martha is especially captivated by the handsome men of the Third Reich having affair after affair.  Read more

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

State of Wonder

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An engaging novel set in the exotic Amazon rainforest where the miraculous can happen. State of Wonder: A Novel follows Dr. Marina Singh, a big pharma researcher for Vogel, a pharmaceutical company, into the Amazon jungle to find the remains of a colleague who mysteriously died and learn about the progress being made by Dr. Anneck Swenson. First, Dr. Singh has the difficult task of finding Dr. Swenson, also employed by Vogel. Dr. Swenson, a secretive, renown gynecologist and former mentor of Dr. Singh, has spent years studying the reproductive habits of tribal women who can reproduce for life in order to develop a fertility drug that, for Vogel, has the potential for enormous profits.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Cover

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A Charming novel about recently retired Harold Fry, a man indifferent to life, who receives a letter from Queenie, a dying friend he hasn’t seen in 20 years. He sets out to mail a brief reply when after passing postbox after postbox he has an encounter with a young woman working at a convenience store that convinces him to walk across England in hopes of saving his friend in hospice. Wearing yachting shoe and having forgotten his cellphone he embarks on his unlikely pilgrimage which provides profound insights into his life, marriage and family.