Another Good Year

by michael on April 25, 2011

Per my review notes, 2008 was another good year—of course it should be because reading good books is a prime life experience. So saith your scribe.

From the list of twelve, I checked eight books. Like the characters in the Phoenix, the books are eclectic:

Near the top Salinger’s solo masterpiece, Catcher in the Rye; Snow Falling on Cedars, a gem with great descriptions and a moving storyline; Willa Cather’s The Death of the Archbishop; Another Saint Exupery—Wind Sand and Stars; Two of Hemingway’s great short stories, the Snows of Kilimanjaro and the Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber—what superb writing; John le Carre’s Smiley’s People which the Bookies liked, but then threw me to into the brick wall when I suggested we read the balance of the trilogy.

One of the best on this list (and you cannot go wrong with this one ) is Willi Heinrich’s Cross of Iron a powerful account of the German retreat from Stalingrad. The hero Rolf Steiner reflects his countrymen’s profound disillusion with the crumbling Third Reich. Hard book to find—went through Amazon’s customer base and got ratty but readable copies.

While we were not talking about book clubs, be very careful with recruiting new members. The group chemistry is going to change and you may lose the club if the members don’t change in the process.

Also, beware that recruiting library staff may be frustrating since, strange as it seems, many are not regular book readers.

To blog or not to blog—no question,

Michael J. Keyser

 

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