Simply Books! May Meeting

At this month’s Simply Books! meeting we had another nice mix of fiction and nonfiction shared by the group.   The atmosphere was very friendly and relaxed during this meeting–probably because it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in May!

And it’s only going to get prettier from here.  It’s almost summer on the coast of Maine, so that means we’re coming up on our community’s VERY busy season.  What does that mean for Simply Books!, you ask?  Just that this meeting was our penultimate one before summer break.  We’ll meet once more, on the first Saturday in June, and then we’ll take July and August off.

Look after the jump for a list of the books that we shared this month.

“The End of Your Life Book Club” by Will Schwalble
This memoir is Schwalbe’s story of caring for his mother during her cancer treatment.  Together they form a book club of two, and read through a very eclectic list of titles.  It’s a very nice mix of a personal story from a man who adores his crusading, fascinating mother, and a book about literature and reading.

“March” by Geraldine Brooks
Brooks’ bestseller about the absent father from the classic “Little Women” was really tough to get through.  Mr. March came across as sanctimonious and very hard to relate to–we all discussed the possibility that this was
intentional/biographical, as some say Louisa May Alcott’s father *was* just that way.  In
any event, a novel that just didn’t seem worth it.

“The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller
A novel about a virus wiping out most of humanity, and a survivor named Hig who is a pilot.  Life has become all about survival, but Hig wants more than that.  The style takes a bit to get used to, with lots of fragments and odd
punctuation, but it helps with the characterization and the overall tone of the novel.

“The Brimstone Wedding” by Barbara Vine
This psychological novel is all about secrets, and about marriage and relationships.  Jenny is a village woman who makes friends with an elderly woman named Stella, and it turns out that the two of them have lots in
common–including extramarital affairs.  As the novel unfolds there are hints that they might have even deeper connections.  The narrative style and tone are what really make this novel great–Jenny is a wonderful, flawed, and fully-realized character.

“The 8 Hour Diet” by David Zinczenko
The author of the “Eat This, Not That” series has written a how-to guide to his idea of the 8-hour diet.  It all has to do with timed eating and metabolism rates.

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?” by Jared Diamond
This book examines traditional societies around the world, their history and also what we might learn from them in our
post-industrial age.  It does not romanticize, and is complex in scope and depth.  It’s organized so that a reader can pick and choose which topics fascinate them most.  A great sense of history.

“Walking Across Egypt” by Clyde Edgerton
A delightful, fun book with lots of Southern flavor, about an elderly woman and her growing relationship with a troubled young man. Funny, warm, and cozy.

“Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea” by Morgan Callan Rogers
A book by a Maine author, set in Maine, is about a young girl in 1963 whose mother goes missing. The story is about
what happens after the disappearance.  Very character-centered and character-driven, with good mystery elements and great descriptions of Maine life.

We also talked about two documentaries over the course of our discussions–Babies and The Woodmans.  Both are fascinating pieces!

Our next (and last!) meeting will be Saturday, June 1st at 2pm in the Jean Picker Room.  Hope to see you there!  And if you haven’t any plans for that evening, why not enjoy some legitimate theatre?  (<—shameless plug)

Happy reading!



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