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Lois's Staff Picks
If you LOVED All the Light We Cannot See, you will love this book. Even if you DIDN'T love All the Light, you will love, this book. I can't wait until you meet the Seagrave siblings if you LOVE character-driven narratives. I finished the book yesterday as I sat in an airport trying to cry silently at the final, satisfying last pages. I really, really LOVED the book.
Has anyone else read poet Maggie Smith's memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful? When I started this after getting home from the bookstore I immediately put down the book I had been reading and all the books I was thinking about reading and read this one until midnight. The book is poetic and sad and beautiful and the best / most unusual memoir I have ever read. It will be a great book club selection. Borrow, buy, beg a copy of this book.
If you want to read a character-centric novel, this is the one. You will truly fall in love with everyone in this book - from Ulysses (pay attention to his name) to his ex-wife Peg, her child ALys, Evelyn Skinner art historian, to Cress, and, of course, Claude, the Shakespeare-quoting parrot - all are memorable. Starting at the end of WWII, the book spans four decades of life - both intimate and historical - and is set in London and Florence. The 1966 devastating flood which ruined books, art, and businesses plays an important part in the narrative. One suggestion, take the time to look up all the paintings and sculptures discussed if you can tear yourself away from the book. Consider this your personal art history tutorial.
You don't have to know ANYTHING at all about gaming to LOVE this book about two brilliant friends who create games, start a company, and find fame, fortune, and love. Sam Masur and Sadie Green first met as children in a hospital. Sam, traumatized in a car accident that killed his mother, has not spoken to anyone until Sadie finds him playing a video game. Years later they reconnect and Sam KNOWS that he wants to create games with Sadie. Sam's roommate Marx becomes a partner in the mega-successful company as their lives and loves expand and shrink. I'm afraid if I say too much I'll give things away. If you don't believe my recommendation, Jimmy Fallon chose this for his summer book club selection.
Set right after Pearl Harbor (but with many flashbacks for backstories of the character), this book follows the Rhodes family as they fight Los Angeles for the water rights from their once-lush valley. But when Pearl Harbor is bombed, a young lawyer from the Department of Interior arrives to lead the construction of Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp. Schiff is a good man who quickly becomes disillusioned about his task as he becomes infatuated with Sonny Rhodes and her family. I stayed up way too late, several nights in a row reading this book.
Truly the BEST writer of historical fiction and Francis Crawford of Lymond is the BEST character EVER! Too many caps????