Recap of our Block Book Club March 2015 meeting
Good books for your week-end!
Recap of the titles we shared [synopsis from Goodreads.com].
1. The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark (2012)
Presented by S.
In The Lost Years, Mary Higgins Clark, America’s Queen of Suspense, has written her most astonishing novel to date. At its center is a discovery that, if authenticated, may be the most revered document in human history—“the holiest of the holy”—and certainly the most coveted and valuable object in the world.
Biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons believes he has found the rarest of parchments—a letter that may have been written by Jesus Christ. Stolen from the Vatican Library in the 1500s, the letter was assumed to be lost forever.
Now, under the promise of secrecy, Jonathan is able to confirm his findings with several other experts. But he also confides in a family friend his suspicion that someone he once trusted wants to sell the parchment and cash in.
Within days Jonathan is found shot to death in his study. At the same time, his wife, Kathleen, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, is found hiding in the study closet, incoherent and clutching the murder weapon. Even in her dementia, Kathleen has known that her husband was carrying on a long-term affair. Did Kathleen kill her husband in a jealous rage, as the police contend? Or is his death tied to the larger question: Who has possession of the priceless parchment that has now gone missing?
It is up to their daughter, twenty-eight-year-old Mariah, to clear her mother of murder charges and unravel the real mystery behind her father’s death. Mary Higgins Clark’s The Lost Years is at once a breathless murder mystery and a hunt for what may be the most precious religious and archaeological treasure of all time.
2. How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #9) by Louise Penny (2013)
Presented by J.
The stunning, ingenious and sinister new novel in the internationally bestselling Inspector Gamache series.
As a fierce, unrelenting winter grips Quebec, shadows are closing in on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department and hostile forces are lining up against him.
When Gamache receives a message about a mysterious case in Three Pines, he is compelled to investigate — a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world has vanished.
A DEADLY CONCLUSION
As he begins to shed light on the investigation, he is drawn into a web of murder, lies and unimaginable corruption at the heart of the city. Facing his most challenging, and personal, case to date, can Gamache save the reputation of the Sûreté, those he holds dear and himself?
Evocative, gripping and atmospheric, this magnificent work of crime fiction from international bestselling author Louise Penny will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
3. The Bullet by Mary Louise Kelly (March 2015)
presented by me
4. The Coming of the French Revolution by Georges Lefebvre (2005)
presented by P.
This classic work details what happened in France during the year 1789, the first year of the French Revolution. First published in 1939 for the sesquicentennial of the Revolution, the book was suppressed by the Vichy government after the outbreak of the Second World War and the subsequent collapse of the Third Republic. Since most copies of the original French edition were destroyed, the work remained virtually unknown until Princeton University Press published R. R. Palmer’s English translation in 1947. This new edition includes an introduction by Timothy Tackett that provides a short intellectual biography of Georges Lefebvre and a critical appraisal of the book after the research and reassessment of three generations of historians.
5. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (1908)
presented by R.
One of E. M. Forster’s most celebrated novels, “A Room With a View” is the story of a young English middle-class girl, Lucy Honeychurch. While vacationing in Italy, Lucy meets and is wooed by two gentlemen, George Emerson and Cecil Vyse. After turning down Cecil Vyse’s marriage proposals twice Lucy finally accepts. Upon hearing of the engagement George protests and confesses his true love for Lucy. Lucy is torn between the choice of marrying Cecil, who is a more socially acceptable mate, and George who she knows will bring her true happiness. “A Room With a View” is a tale of classic human struggles such as the choice between social acceptance or true love.
6. Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General (The Killing of Historical Figures) by Bill O’Reilly (2014)
presented by B.
Readers around the world have thrilled to “Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy,” and “Killing Jesus”–riveting works of nonfiction that journey into the heart of the most famous murders in history. Now from Bill O’Reilly, anchor of “The O’Reilly Factor,” comes the most epic book of all in this multimillion-selling series: “Killing Patton.”
General George S. Patton, Jr. died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost seventy years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident–and may very well have been an act of assassination. “Killing Patton” takes readers inside the final year of the war and recounts the events surrounding Patton’s tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.
7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (1929)
presented by M.
The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
8. Beethoven: The Man Revealed by John Suchet (2012)
presented by J.
It is perhaps more true of Beethoven than any other composer that if you know what is going on in his life, you listen to his music through different ears. Ludwig van Beethoven’s life – its dramas, conflicts, loves and losses, his deafness coupled with continuous health problems, his epic struggle with his sister-in-law for sole custody of her son, his nephew – is played out in his music. Now John Suchet has portrayed the real man behind the music in this compelling biography of a musical genius. He reveals a difficult and complex character, struggling to continue his profession as musician despite increasing deafness, alienating friends with unprovoked outbursts of anger one moment, overwhelming them with excessive kindness and generosity the next, living in a city in almost constant disarray because of war with France. This is not the god-like immortal portrayed in statues and paintings in heroic pose garlanded with laurel leaves. Beethoven may have been one of the greatest artists who ever lived, but he was still a man who had to live among fellow mortals, eat and drink, fall in love, pay his rent. This is the real Beethoven, and Suchet brings him effortlessly to life.