Books! Books! Books!

Books I read this summer

Paula Walters - Friday, September 30, 2011

It is hard to believe that summer is over with this beautiful September weather and tomorrow already October 1st!!  I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and that you read some good books.  I had a great summer which included a cruise to Alaska the first week of July.  I took a few books with me but did not do a lot of reading!!  However the rest of the summer I read!!!  I love sitting on my deck reading until the sun goes down.  Some of the books that I read were:


The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer is about a group of educated women who decide to raise their children and not work outside of the home. It is the story of four friends who live in New York.  They have been stay at home mothers for ten years.  They left jobs as corporate lawyers, investment bankers and film scouts.  They really did not plan to be out of  the work force for a decade and now at age forty they feel a bit lost without professions and must confront the choices they made.  It is an entertaining book.


The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow tells Rachel’s story.  She is the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I.  Her parents have split up and her mother brings her and her siblings to America to live.  Rachel is the only survivor of a family tragedy.  Her African American grandmother who she has never met gets custody of her and she moves cross country.  Rachel lives her childhood hoping her father will come and take her to live with him.  She now lives in a mostly black community and struggles with the question whether she is black or white, plus she is struggling with all the unanswered questions surrounding the tragedy.  It is an interesting book.


Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes takes place on Thanksgiving day.   It is not a normal Thanksgiving for the Olson clan.  Ginny has decided that she would like to host the meal instead of the traditional meal at her parent’s home.  Ginny has just adopted a young girl from India, which surprised the family. This will be the first time the family meets their new member.  Ginny also has just purchased an older home, which needs a lot of work.  The holiday falls apart when the family finally discovers that the oven is not working and in the early evening they move all of the food over to Ginny’s brother’s home.  The reader learns a lot about each member of the family throughout the book.  There is a bit of a mystery about the adoption.  The brother Dennis and his wife are having marital problems due financial troubles.  The parents Eleanor and Gavin both reflect on their changing lives.  Meanwhile there is a second story about a young man named Kijo and his grandmother who has lost her home.  This of course ties in with the Olson family and moving the Thanksgiving dinner to the brother’s home turns the holiday into a tragic event.  This is a book that is hard to put down!


The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais  begins in India and ends in Paris.  Hassan Haji is born in Mumbai.  His family owns a restaurant.  They are forced to leave India. They settle in London but there are more problems and they eventually end up in the French village of LumiEre.  Here they meet Madame Mallory, a French chef, who is not happy that they open a restaurant across the street from hers.   Eventually she realizes the talent that the young Hassan has and takes him under her wing.  This is the story of  Hassan’s life in the culinary world.


The Red Thread by Ann Hood is the story of six couples adopting baby girls from China.  Maya runs the adoption agency after losing her baby daughter.  She wants to bring happiness into other peoples lives.  This tells the stories of the adoptive parents and also  the heartbreaking stories of the mothers who must give up their babies. The Chinese legend of the red thread is that our children are connected to us by an invisible red thread.   A good book and a fast read.


This is just a few of the books that I read and enjoyed this summer.  I hope that all of you had a great summer discovering new books.

New Books

Paula Walters - Friday, September 23, 2011

NCRL’s Book Club collection can be found on our website.  On the right side of our home page click on How Do I, then click on Join a Book Club, scroll down and you will find the book club collection.  Right now the list is a little overwhelming, in the near future we will be tweaking it a bit, dividing the list into fiction, non fiction and classroom collections.  Each month new books are added to the list.  These are books that are requested by our book clubs.  A few of the books added this month are:


“At Home- A Short History of Private Life” by Bill Bryson, this is indeed a history of his private life.  The author walks the reader through his home, explaining how important each room is to him and his family.  If you have read any of Bill Bryson’s books you know he is witty and entertaining.


“Left Neglected” by Lisa Genova  tells the story of Sarah, a wife, mother of three and a successful business women.  She is in a car accident and is recovering from Left Neglect, a neurological impairment.  Sarah must decide where her priorities lie as she struggles through this problem.  Lisa Genova also wrote “Still Alice” which is a book club favorite.


“The Tiger’s Wife” is by Tea Obreht.  She is considered one of the New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under twenty.  This novel takes place in a Balkan country.  Natalia is a young doctor working at an orphanage.  There are secrets that she has not been told about at the orphanage, involving a family digging in the surrounding vineyards. She also has a mystery of her own regarding her grandfather’s resent death.  I have not read this novel but it is certainly is on my list of books to read.


“The False Friend’ is by the author of “Bee Season”, Myla Goldberg.  This is a psychological drama.   Two 11 year old girls, who are best friends and rivals, go into the woods and only one comes out.  One girl disappears and for 20 years the other girl blocks out how it happened.  Twenty years later this young woman returns to her hometown to tell the truth which her family and friends refuse to believe.


“Life” is a memoir by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.  He writes about marriage, family, tours with the Stones, his estrangement from Mick Jagger and their reconciliation.  If you are a Stones fan this is a must!!!


All of these books are available in the book club collection.

Author Event at Coulee City

NCRL Webmaster - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Author, Dorothy Read, to visit Coulee City. 

Cover Book Group will host a book signing on October 6, 2011 at 6:30pm in the ACH-HS Commons. Seven times published author, Dorothy Read, and Ilse Evelijin Veere Smit will discuss their newly released book, End the Silence. Mrs. Read will speak about the writing process for fiction and nonfiction, publising issues, and how End the Silence came to life through the memories of Ilse Evelijin Veere Smit. Everyone is invited to meet the author of this worthwhile book and the woman whose amazing story it tells.

The Help

Paula Walters - Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett has been a popular book club selection since it was first published.  Many book groups are still patiently waiting their turn to receive the book.  Book club copies are still scheduled out to groups until November 2012!!  

The Help takes place in Mississippi in1962.  It is the story of three women who form a friendship.  Skeeter is from a well to do Mississippi family.  She is in her early 20’s and has just returned home after college graduation.  All of her friends are married, they have children, and all are from well to do families.  These young women grew up with black maids, and each now has a black maid taking care of her home and family.  Skeeter gets together with her friends, meeting at their homes, watching how they treat their maids, and she does not like what she sees.  She becomes friends with one of the maids named Aibileen, and talks her into telling her story, so that Skeeter can write a book about “the help”.  Eventually another black maid named Minnie comes forward to tell her story.  Eventually many more come forward.  Remember this is 1962 a scary time for these black women to come forward and tell their stories. Of course there is a lot more to the book, but I do not want to ruin it for anyone who has not read the book.

It is a wonderful book to read but also it was a wonderful book to make into a movie.  The movie was released this summer.  I was very excited to see it.  I was so excited that I called a friend wondering if she had read the book.  She had not.  I happen to own a copy, and lent it to her so she could read it before we saw the movie.  As all readers know the movie is never as good as the book, but I have to say I am not alone in thinking this movie is excellent and it followed the book. Comments I am hearing are : we loved it, the screen play was very accurate, casting was great, and one of the book clubs that went together to see it thought the movie was better then the book!!  If you have not read The Help, I recommend that you do and also go see the movie with your best friends. 

I love books!!!

Paula Walters - Thursday, August 11, 2011

My name is Paula Walters and I am the Book Club Coordinator for NCRL.  I love my job.  I furnish books for over 300 book clubs in our region.  With an average of ten people in each club, wow that is a lot of readers.

NCRL had an exciting Spring.  We had four authors speak at the Wenatchee Library in the month of May.  Every year we invite some of the authors that are involved in Write on the River to speak at the Wenatchee Library.  This year the authors that spoke were Chelsea Cain, Sarahlee Lawrence, Naseem Rakha and Terri Dulong.

Chelsea Cain writes thriller novels about the detective Archie Sheridan. Chelsea is a local author living in Portland Oregon, where the novels take place.  "The Night Season" is her fourth novel in the series.  I do not read thrillers, but Chelsea was such an entertaining speaker, that I now have her on my list of authors to read.  She was extremely funny.  We had a great audience with lots of questions and she had us laughing the entire time.  If you have never attended our author events, please do!!  Chelsea's program was on a Friday afternoon. What a nice way to spend a sunny Spring afternoon.

Naseem Rakha is also a local author living in Oregon. Her novel "The Crying Tree" is amazing. It tells the story of a mother who must overcome the hate, grief and secrets that surround the murder of her 15 year old son. I am pretty good at guessing what is going to happen in a book, but this time I was blown away by some of the secrets that developed.  I highly recommend this novel.  Naseem does an excellent job wriitng about the legal system, the prison system and dysfunctional families.

Sarahlee Lawrence claims that she is not an author but I disagee.   My book club read her memoir, "The River House" and we had a great discussion about the book.  It was her thesis project and she was lucky enough to get it published as a best selling memoir.  It is the story of her return home to her parents ranch in central Oregon.  She and her father work together to build her log home.  It is a story of their frustration and joy as they work together.  She was a delightful speaker.  She was on the same Sunday afternoon program with Naseem Rakha, and she was blown away by Naseem's talk.  She was a little overwhelmed when she began but pulled it together and was  great.  But she did keep demanding that she is not really an author!! I do hope she continues to write!!

Terri Dulong was the last author speaking on Tuesday evening.  Terri was involved with Write on the River, but she came to us because of a relationship she has with one of our Quincy Book Clubs.  One of the members of the Coffee Cup Reader's met Terri on a trip to Florida.  The group read her novel, and then skyped Terri, and a relationship began.  Terri is the author of the Cedar Key Series which takes place in Florida where she lives.  At the Wenatchee program she read from and discussed her second novel in the series, "Casting About".  The first novel is "Spinning Forward".  This series is about the relationships between mother and daughers, sisters and friends and of course knitting!  Terri was an interesting speaker.  She told the story of how she began writing and the story is amazing.  If I remember correctly she was instantly published without even one rewrite.  Correct me Coffee Cup Readers if I am wrong. She has been asked to write at least two more novels in the series.  A big thank you to this book club for suggesting that she speak in Wenatchee.  They had a whirlwind week with her the previous week in Quincy.

I would love to hear from anyone who has read any of these books.  Also  I would love ideas on which authors you would like us to bring to your library.

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