June 2015 Book Selection: H is for Hawk

h is for hawkLinda picked this gem by Helen MacDonald not for its plot but for its beautifully formed sentences. Insight into the world of falconry is a bonus! See below for a short synopsis as well as other suggestions Linda had for our bookclub.

H is for Hawk – Helen McDonald. It was the words that enchanted me from page one, so beautifully formed into sentences I would love to have written. But it is also the opportunity to explore grief in a new way while learning about the art of Falconry that kept me enthralled. A beautiful read in a world where plot has taken over, and words are so rarely treated as the treasures they are.


Almost Reads:

A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler . Instilled with all the insight, generosity and spirit of her novels, this novel again praises the complexity of  family in an unsentimental yet poignant way. She always delivers a new way of seeing family that makes me the wiser for having read her work.

The Book of Strange, New Things – Michael Faber. This book cuts between earth and some far-off planet with its discussions of philosophy, religion, economics, and pioneers in a strange world at a time of much devastation and deprivation on earth. A good book to read at a time when chaotic weather/earth patters follow global warming, and much food for thought on where mankind goes if earth implodes.

May Read: The Children Act

the children act

Our May read comes from the author of Atonement, Ian McEwan. The Children Act promises to be an intriguing mystery, with undercurrents of secularism and atheism that McEwan feels compelled to defend post September 11.  See below for Kim H’s notes on our next read, as well as three other books she proposed to the book selection committee.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan. (Sept. 2014 hardback, 240 pages) I am a fan of this author and he has won many acclaimed awards for his fiction.  Probably his most well-known book is Atonement which won the National Book Critics Award. My mother is a prolific reader and just finished reading and loved.

The Children Act is a mystery about Fiona, a female judge in England, age 59, who is called to try an urgent case involving Adam,  a 17 year old boy, who is refusing medical treatment that could save his life for religious reasons.  At the same time, Fiona’s marriage of 30+ years is facing a crisis and she is dealing with lingering regret over never having had a child. Will her emotions impede her ability to rule on this case?! Her ruling has ramifications for both Adam’s life and her own.

Click on the link below to read more and see reviews. http://www.amazon.com/The-Children-Act-Ian-McEwan/dp/0385539703

Almost Reads:

The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival

By Mona Golabek.  (Memoir/Biography  Holocaust published in 2007 – Highly recommended by Norma Mae and her book club.  It sounds like a riveting and emotional read!


The Children of Willesden Lane is based on a true story of the author’s mother, Lisa Jura Golabek, who was a Jewish musical prodigy living in Vienna at the time of Nazi control of Austria.  Her family decides to send Lisa to England to pursue her dream of a career as a concert pianist.  With much difficult, Lisa leaves behind her parents and siblings and makes her way to England on the Kindertransport. She finds her way to the Willesden Orphanage, where her story comes to life. Lisa’s music inspires the children at the orphanage and they in turn cheer her on to reach her dream.  Lisa receives a scholarship to the Royal Academy to study to become a pianist and makes a new life for herself; she dreams though of reconnecting with the family she was forced to leave behind.



3) Angels at The Gate by T.K. Thorne The female author is from Birmingham, AL and her book was just released March 5, 2015! (368 pages).  Her previous novel, Noah’s Wife, won the Historical Fiction Book of the Year! Angels at The Gate,  like Noah’s Wife, is based on events that take place in the bible.  Both books are considered historical fiction and NOT “Christian fiction.”  The author is a retired captain on the Bham Police force and sounds really interesting!  Would be great fun to try and get her to come to book club!  June recommended this book.


This compelling saga is based on historical research and is about the ancient world of Abraham, Sodom, and Gommorah, and the mysterious woman who was turned into a pillar of salt. Secretly raised as a boy in her father’s caravan and schooled in languages and the fine art of negotiation, Adira rejects the looming changes of womanhood that threaten her nomadic life and independence. With the arrival of two mysterious North men, rumored to be holy men, Adira’s world unravels. She loses everything she values most, including the “Angel” who has awakened her desires. Caught between her culture and freedom, and tormented by impossible love, she abandons all she has known in a dangerous quest to follow the “Angels.” With only her beloved dog, Nami, at her side, Adira must use all the skills she learned from her father to survive the perils of the desert.