READING LIST FOR 2022-23 October 27 OUT OF DARKNESS, SHINING LIGHT by Patina Gappah Out of Darkness, Shining Light
READING LIST FOR 2022-23
October 27 OUT OF DARKNESS, SHINING LIGHT by Patina Gappah
Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah.
This novel is about how a small village in Africa responds to Stanley Livingstone’s death. Incredible story, wonderful prose. Partially based on Livingstones’s journals. Won the 2020 Chautauqua prize.
November 17 THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Given current events, I suggest it’s a good time to read or re-read The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. In 1998 when it came out, it was an warning, somewhat satirical, of a future where society is taken over by a totalitarian regime and women are fully controlled by an entrenched religious ruling class. Outrageous then, it now seems prescient.
December 15 THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON by Madeline Martin
The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin
A young English woman leaves her home town and goes to London with a friend looking for work, just before the Blitz begins. She finds a job in a bookshop, despite never having been a reader, and grows the shop and herself as the bombs are falling.
January 19 THE SEIGE OF KRISHNAPUR by J.G.Farrell
The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell 344 pages
Winner of the 1973 Booker Prize, The Siege of Krishnapur is the best (and shortest) of Farrell’s Empire Trilogy. It is a book about the folly of colonialism and the illusions of civilization as well as about survival in impossible circumstances. Based on reports from the actual siege of Lucknow during the Sepoy Rebellion of the mid 19th century in India, a group of English colonials hold off a lengthy attack by natives in intolerable heat, appalling insects, abominable rations, the stench of putrefaction, and the blood and shit of cholera while keeping up their English traditions, including dressing for dinner. All of this is described with a hilarity bordering on the burlesque. It is wonderfully funny, with devastating wit and rambunctious humanity. The Guardian reviewer calls it the best book he has ever read.
February 16 THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN by Benedict & Murray
The Personal Librarian by Heather Terrell and Victoria Christopher Murray
You Unitarians are gonna love THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN. Right up your alley. Enthralling historical fiction about a real person who became an extremely widely-known personality in the first half of the 20th century. Written in the first person. The librarian amassing and running the personal library of the famous financier J P Morgan. A black woman who passed as white her entire life, and her rationale for doing so. As if you couldn’t guess, given what is going on today in Racist Nation. 340 attention-grabbing pages. You won’t want to put it down.
March 16 KLARA UNDER THE SUN by Kazuo Ishiguro
Klara Under the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 320 pages
Klara, the narrator in this eighth Ishiguro novel, is a solar-powered AF (artificial friend) who is chosen by Josie, a lonely and sickly 14-year-old child, to be her companion. Josie’s illness may result from artificial gene editing, known as “lifting,” to enhance her intelligence. She is lonely because she isnot inschool, but taght at home by screen professors called “oblongs.” Klara describes this near future society with a voice that is a mixture of intelligence and naivety and allows Ishiguro to explore a “nascent mechanical consciousness” with questions of what faith, love, loyalty, and empathy would look like in an android mind. It has been suggested that Klara and the Sun makes more apparent the links between two other Ishiguro novels, The Buried Giant and Never Let Me Go, and that the three together could be read as a trilogy. Klara is a wonderfully sympathetic character who seems more human in many ways than the humans she describes and serves.
April 20 CARRY ME DOWN by M.J. Hyland
Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland. 2006 from Goodreads:
John Egan is a misfit — “a twelve year old in the body of a grown man with the voice of a giant” — who diligently keeps a “log of lies.” John’s been able to detect lies for as long as he can remember, it’s a source of power but also great consternation for a boy so young. With an bsession for the Guinness Book of Records, a keenly inquisitive mind, and a kind of faith, John remains hopeful despite the unfavorable cards life deals him.
May 11 Annual Book Share
(Thursday) 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
6340 Napa Wood Way, Naples, FL 34116