We have a virtual book club (can you believe that I’ve never been in a book club? Ever?) and it’s been fun to chat about books on our very own Slack channel! There were some good picks for February. I had already read one book, picked one to read, and also read my contribution which was At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon (and by “read” I mean listened to on audio.)
At Home In Mitford by Jan Karon
I first read this book a while ago – like more than a decade! I actually heard Jan Karon speak at a women’s luncheon way back then. I don’t remember much about her talk except that I was quite a fan. I had read all the books in the series up to that point. I had heard that she was not going to write any more Mitford books (she may have mentioned it in her talk) so imagine my surprise when I heard about BOOK #11 in the series (probably from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog or podcast). WHAT?? I was behind! I picked up one of the ones I hadn’t read (can’t even remember which one now) but I realized that I had forgotten a lot of characters and their back story. I had to start over.
Boy am I glad I did! I just LOVE these books! The characters are well developed and they seem so real! They have drama, yet they are “nice” books. In fact, one book club member said she found the book “nice and happy and soothing” and another one said she liked reading about “kind people with drama that isn’t super-dramatic,” finding it “relaxing.” Despite being sweet, they are not teeth-hurting-saccharin-sweet. Although the characters experience some drama in their lives – and some are even hard issues – I love the way they handle them.
I find that the story and the characters inspire me to be a better person. I really like Father Tim. I attend an Anglican church so all the Episcopal jargon is right up my alley. And I love that he loves good food, good friends, and good books. I like that he likes to garden and meet friends at the diner and he (eventually) likes his dog! And I love that he meets love late in life.
If you need a break from the nail-biting suspenseful type of books and are in need to read a nice story that will not make your heart race or your blood boil at the characters, then give this book a try! (I’ve been churning through them on audio through the Overdrive App and am already on book #5! I listen to them while I drive, cook, do laundry and wash dishes. So that’s pretty much all day long!)
A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
The other book I picked to read was A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. I like memoir as a genre but this was a hard read. It’s the story of a poor, uneducated Indian boy who gets lost and ends up in Kolkata after a long train ride. Did I mention he is 5 years old?? He manages to survive for several weeks on the streets and eventually gets adopted by an Australian family. He eventually uses Google Earth to find his way back.
The only way I could keep reading (listening) to the story was knowing that he survives and eventually finds his hometown. The movie, Lion, is based on this book. I have yet to see it but I want to. Although I really ended up liking the book, it’s not something I would have picked on my own. It was heartbreaking!
Now head on over to Whitney’s blog to see what she has to say about her pick!