April Read – “All the Light We Can Not See”

Kim Oh lead the selection for our April read, “All the Light We Can Not See”.




All The Lights We Cannot See. Anthony Doerr. GOODREADS’ choice for 2014 best historical fiction. Published May 2014

From Goodreads review:
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work. (less)
The other two selections Kim proposed are the following:

The Storied Life of  AJ Fikry. Gabriel Zevin Published in April 2014.
From Amazon reviews:
“Funny, tender, and moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love.”* 
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew. 

“This novel has humor, romance, a touch of suspense, but most of all love–love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity in its imperfect glory.” — Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child 

“Marvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both.” — The Washington Post 

Without You, There is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim Published Oct 2014. 
From Amazon reviews:
Suki Kim has been traveling to North Korea as a journalist since 2002, and her essays and articles have appeared in the New York TimesHarper’s, and the New York Review of Books. Born and raised in Seoul, she lives in New YorkThis book is A haunting memoir of teaching English to the sons of North Korea’s ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il’s reign.
“What a unique book this is! It delivers a beautifully and bravely observed inside account—startling, insightful, moving—of the planet’s most notoriously closed and bewildering society.  But what I liked best about it was being in the company of Suki Kim’s voice—so intimate, vulnerable, obsessive, resilient, confiding and charming.”
Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name and The Interior Circuit


March Book Read- Shadow of the Wind

We will be traveling to Barcelona for our March read with Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. See below for the review from Amazon.
“Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show.” —The New York Times Book Review

New York Times Bestseller

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

“ Anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic and thrilling should rush right out to the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

Wonderous… masterful… The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.” —Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice)

“One gorgeous read.” –Stephen King

The other two books June put up for selection were  The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga and Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.

January 14th Bookplates Meeting

Please not our regularly scheduled meeting (2nd Thursday of the month) has moved to Wednesday, Jan 14. We will be discussing Misty Copeland’s memoir “Life in Motion,” and we are excited to have our resident dance expert Julie join us for the discussion.

Louise and I will be hosting at our Southside condo at 6:30. A vegetarian stew with crusty bread is on the menu, salads, apps and wine are great accompaniments, please comment below to let us know if you can come and what you will bring.