Monday, April 16, 2012

May 8, 2012: "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay

This one hooked me early. I'm halfway through, and wish I was reading it right now.

I recently read a collection of 19th-century slave narratives. Not fun, not easy, not breezy. But important, for sure. "Sarah's Key," although fiction, presents me with the same issue. Why choose to read something dark, something that paints a horrid portrait of humankind at its worst, in living black and white? Why not just pick up a beach read, a James Patterson breeze-through, a Danielle Steel brain-free dessert topping, and let the world solve its own problems?

That's the easy way out, the one we often choose. For me, fighting my inclination to wade toe-deep in the literary waters is the benefit of belonging to a book group. It prods me to read things I know I should read.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Feb. 14, 2012: "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," by Jamie Ford

Publication date: Jan. 27, 2009.

“A tender and satisfying novel set in a time and a place lost forever, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war--not the sweeping damage of the battlefield, but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. Especially relevant in today's world, this is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more importantly, it will make you feel." 
-- Garth Stein, New York Times 

Discussion at Reading Groups Guides.