monday moanday

This week at Mundane Monday it's
This can be your most recent top 5, top 5 of all time, or whatever.
We’ve all come across books that have influenced our lives in some way. Or, maybe we’ve just read something interesting lately. Could be something just plain fun or informative.

Not in any particular order:

Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning
This was the book that made me a history teacher. It took the most horrific events in history and humanized them. I could understand and "see" how the men in my life would be part of the Nazi's Final Solution. I could see how civilians didn't intervene in the senseless killings. The book showed me my boyfriend (of the time), my brothers in law, my father, my uncle, my professors... a real eye opener.

The Poet of Tolstoy Park by Sonny Brewer
A fictionalized account of a true story. I could feel this book in my bones. I read this for a reading group and fell in love with it. It is spiritual without being preachy. The story unfolds and ... I don't even know how to explain why I love this book. I can say I've read it three times and haven't bored of it.

"All stories are love stories." The opening line of this fantastic book. The novel is set in modern-day Belfast and presents the day-to-day lives of Jake Jackson, a Catholic, and his longtime friend Chuckie Lurgan, a Protestant. The story focuses on expected Northern Ireland issues and on Chuckie's ludicrous yet successful get-rich-quick schemes. He seems continually amazed that his outrageous ideas actually work. I could hear the voices as if I was listening to them. And the social commentary, especially of "the troubles" was brilliant.

This book helped me move beyond the devestation and wreckage of my life as a motherless daughter. For the first time, I learned that I wasn't wrong in my grief. That my experiences with grief are not so unusual and I am not alone and isolated in it anymore. This book set me free. I gave copies to my sisters but I know all three have not read it.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
I raved and raved about this book: I had picked it up a couple of times, read a little bit and put it down. When I finally dug in, I was enthralled. This is the story of opera and rebellion--where terrorists take over the Vice President's (of an unnamed, South American country) lavish home and the complex unraveling of the situation. I have discussed this with two different reading groups and still want to read it again.

1 comment:

Thomas Hogglestock said...

If you liked Bel Canto, you must check out Patchett's other books. I love them all. I keep checking her website hoping for an upcoming novel...