Last week the library held its monthly gathering of Books for Lunch. While the group has been enjoying some new faces, other members have been attending since the conception of Books for Lunch over 11 years ago. This ongoing commitment by group members to keep returning month after month, year after year, speaks volumes about how exceptional the book club is. What you don’t see in these write ups about Books for Lunch is the laughter that is shared amongst the group, the bonds and conversations that emerge between those who have read the same book and shared the same literary experiences, the playful jokes, and the welcoming group spirit that makes almost everyone, including borderline socially anxious introverts like myself, feel at ease. What you do see here, in this almost-monthly write up of Books for Lunch, is one of the favorites and/or most interesting books that each person read throughout the past month. Here we go:
If you’re a fan of a good mystery series check out A World of Curiosities: A Novel by Louise Penny. Newly released in November 2022, it is the 18th book in the Chief Inspector Gamache Series. Susan said it was a nice read. Jennifer Finney Boylan and Jodi Picoult published their latest book Mad Honey in October 2022. The story explores the secrets we keep and the risks we take. A mash up of suspense, a central love story, and packed with interesting information about bees (“Mad Honey” is toxic honey produced by bees feeding on nectar of rhododendrons), Sheila believes this is a book you won’t want to miss.
Susan B. enjoyed The 6:20 Man: A Thriller by David Baldacci, a story about an entry-level analyst who takes the 6:20am commuter train into Manhattan every day where he works at the city’s most prestigious investment firm.
Cathy was fascinated with newly released Chevy in the Hole by Kelsey Ronan. The book takes place in Flint, Michigan and follows two generations of family struggles and resilience throughout the ongoing Flint water crisis.
Carole gave high praise to Fredrik Backman’s And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. The novella depicts a beautiful yet heartbreaking story about a grandfather who has dementia and is trying to hold onto his memory.
Bill is the group’s unwavering nonfiction fan. Last month he read In the Water They Can’t See You Cry: A Memoir by Amanda Beard and Rebecca Paley. The book follows the story of seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard through a lifetime of practice, mounting pressure, and a breakdown that pushed her to the edge. The book recounts her journey through recovery.
Judy read the newly released The Sweet Remnants of Summer by Alexander McCall Smith, the 14th book in the series, about a moral philosopher who gets involved sorting out one family’s drama. Brenda enjoyed The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self by Martha Beck. The book discusses Beck’s journey of telling the truth for an entire year and how it ended up being magical, transformative, and the ultimate cure for unhappiness. Wally Lamb’s Wishin’ and Hopin’ came highly favored by Roz who thought the book was touching, hilarious, and the perfect quick holiday read. Beth listened to The Last Apothecary by Sarah Penner on Audiobook, which she mentioned was a great medium because the book oscillates between two time periods and perspectives which are very distinct on audio.
I thought All the Things We Don’t Talk About, a May 2022 release by Amy Feltman, was a captivating portrayal of one family’s experience navigating the addictions of an alcoholic mother, the struggles of an autistic father, and the identity of a nonbinary teen. Every month members of Books for Lunch read a collection of noteworthy titles (and naturally, some that aren’t worth finishing too). We come together and talk about these books, laugh, share a snack or a lunch, and we deepen our love of literacy together. The group continues to meet the second Tuesday of every month in the Community Room on the main floor of the library from 12:30-2pm. Our next meeting is on January 10, 2023. We’d love for you to join us in the new year!