Books for Lunch bunch builds reading lists


Books for Lunch had its first post-Zoom era in person meeting at the library last week, a dozen strong including three new people. Here is what we have been reading.

Four Winds by popular and skilled historical fiction writer Kristin Hannah got mixed reviews. Sue P. enjoyed the Dust Bowl history aspect while Gail just couldn’t get past the extreme darkness of the story although likes Hannah’s work.

Another recommendation that people were interested in is The Rose Code by Kate Quinn about the code breakers in England’s Bletchley Park during WWII. For those of us who watched the TV series Bletchley Park, this sounds good. It is told through the eyes of three different women narrators.

Joe is enjoying some fiction diving into the great Guido Brunetti series set in Venice by Donna Leon. He is reading Blood from a Stone, the fourteenth book out of thirty in the series. (I love it when I discover a good series that already has a lot of books.) Side note: For reasons always mysterious to me, I was just now able to download this book for free on Audible. It’s possible you could, too, but always available in all its forms through the library.

Sheila has another series she’s enjoying, the C.J. Box series set in Montana. In addition to the Joe Pickett series, Box writes stand-alone books, too.

Mary had an impulse buy of a book that sounds fascinating, The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World, fiction by Laura Imai Messina based on a real disconnected phone booth in Japan that became a destination for pilgrims to talk to their lost loved ones. This is a 2021 book that our library now has on order.

Sheri recommends the artful series of illustrated study Books of the Bible that she finds both beautiful and inspiring.

Mary T recommends The Girls in the Attic, a novel by Marius Gabriel, set in WWII Germany about the conflict of conscience of a German soldier who discovers that his family is hiding Jewish girls to save them from the Nazis.

Kathy read what she describes as a good tight mystery, A Fatal Lie by Charles Todd. This recommendation gives us yet another series to dive into since it is the 23rd and newest book in the Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series. We can build up to twenty-three or start at the beginning.

Susan gives the popular Addie LaRue (about a deal with the devil – she can live forever but no one ever can remember her for even a minute) – a resounding “meh.” However, The House of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian fares better as a creepy horror story. (There is also a movie version.)

Jan recommends The Clover Girls by Viola Shipman. What happens when four teenage girls, best of friends, drift apart and find themselves called together again in middle age? Are these friendships designed to last forever? And what are the issues that each carries after all these years? Shipman is a popular author of more than one Books for Lunch member.

Gail finished every last Ellen Hildebrand book, a bittersweet thing for a fan. She is working on James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Series.

And I’ve mentioned here before my fascination with the book about hoarders, Stuff, riveting non-fiction. As often happens in this group, Susan said she had read a book about the Collyer Brothers, the original famous hoarders of NYC who died in their clutter together in the 1940’s, called Ghosty Men by Franz Lidz. I had to stop what I was reading and download Ghosty Men so I could learn more about the Collyers. It doesn’t disappoint.

Last but never least, Sharon read her annual book on “something that doesn’t interest me at all,” in this case the Periodic Table. Our group waits all year to see what Sharon read. Her surprising find? Elements are beautiful. She recommends The Elements Book by Tom Johnson as a coffee table book.

Join us next month on Tuesday, August 10, at 12:30. New people always welcome.

See you at the Library!


By Roz Weedman for publication in the Frankenmuth News July 21, 2021.