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Chapter 42- Did You Miss Me?


Readers, myself included, spend so much time hunting down new books that we forget there are lots of terrific books out there published a few years back which we might not have read. Often when I read a new release, I will go back and try to read other books by that author. Other times a customer will bring in a book that somehow I missed and then I decide to read it.


So while I love fresh and new books, I also loved to be surprised by older books that I've never read before. The nice thing about older books is that they are usually readily available either in the library or at our store. This makes them very suitable for book clubs. Below are some of my favorites.


Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger - I enjoyed This Tender Land by Krueger so I had to read this one of course. The summer of 1961 was a tumultuous one for 13 year old Frank Drum. It was a summer full of events in which he is forced to grow up quickly. The story is told by his 40 year old self and resonates with wisdom and grace.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I mentioned this book during Banned Books Week and decided to reread it. It is a very powerful book. Lee tells the story of the Finch family in Scout's voice looking back from her adult self. This would be a good book club selection followed up by Go Tell a Watchman.


The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough - Published in 1977, the book tells the saga of three generations of a family in Australia's outback. While the 1983 mini series was good, the book, as they say, was better. The reader experiences all of the Cleary family's happiness and sorrow as McCullough's beautiful writing leaves one wanting the book to never end.


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - Doerr won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for this dual story of a blind French girl and a young German soldier. Marie-Laure and her father, leave Paris where her father works at the Museum of Natural History and retreat to the walled city of Saint-Malo, where her uncle lives in a large house by the sea. Werner finds a radio as a boy and becomes adept at listening to and repairing radios. He then becomes a soldier hunting down resistance partisans by listening to radio transmissions. Inevitably their paths cross.


And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - If you've not read A Thousand Splendid Suns (my first exposure to Hosseini) you should and then read this one. The story spans 60 years of Afghanistan as it moves through different characters in the same family, how they define themselves, and support or deny their loved ones.


Do you have an oldie but goodie you'd like to share?