Works of fiction with real historical settings allow us to explore a past time and place in an intimate way. The nominator of “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty feels that the community would enjoy experiencing 1920s New York.
Our nominator writes, “[This is] a fictional story inspired by a real-life movie star Louise Brooks. This novel follows the life of the woman who chaperoned Brooks from Wichita, KS to New York City at the start of her film career. This book will appeal to the community because it is a fascinating story and written in a manner that pulls you in from the first page. The characters are truly drawn and easy to connect with; I did not want to put this book down when I was reading it. I think it will inspire lots of discussion – about the ’20s in the US, women’s role in the country during that time, old-time movies and much more.”
Read about other books nominated for One Read 2015.
Works of historical fiction make great book club picks. Along with any themes the plot might offer up for discussion, the time period and historical context provide ample topics for examination. Our next One Read nomination is such a novel: “Telex From Cuba” by Rachel Kushner.
Our nominator writes, “Kushner’s first book is incredibly well-researched and brings to life mid-century Cuba in rich illuminating detail. Her depiction of the revolution and all of the people caught in its cross-hairs would inspire meaty discussions about so many -isms: imperialism, capitalism, racism, idealism. Yet this fact-packed novel is so compellingly told through the points of view of her indelible characters that you forget you’re getting a vivid history lesson until after you close the book. Moving without being sentimental and full of gorgeous prose and hard questions, this book would be an excellent One Read choice.”
View all of the nominated titles we have highlighted here at oneread.org so far, and find your next good read!
All month we have been receiving your suggestions for our 2014 One Read title, and we’ll be highlighting some of these books here at oneread.org so you can see what other community members are reading and enjoying. All of these titles will be considered by our reading panel as they begin narrowing the list of suggestions in January.
First up is “The Maid’s Version” by Missouri author Daniel Woodrell. Set in the fictional West Table, Missouri, this novel tells the story of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations. Our nominator writes, “Aside from being well written by a Missouri-based author, the novel really puts the reader in the ‘rural Midwest,’ with each short chapter provoking thoughts of class divisions, economy, historic railroad towns, immigration, the effects of poverty and much more, while still keeping me engaged in solving the mystery of a devastating small town accident. It is also a short read, which means more individuals can read it, tell their neighbors to read it and be ready for the fun-filled month of events!”
There are just a few days remaining to send us your suggestions! Let us know what you think our community should read in 2014 by filling out a suggestion form at any of our branches, the bookmobile, or online at oneread.org by November 30.
We received two nominations for “The Cat’s Table” by Michael Ondaatje. One nominator shared her writing group’s fondness for this “beautiful and poetic” novel: “Universally, they loved the book, language and fascinating storyline.”
Ondaatje, author of the critically acclaimed “The English Patient,” tells the story of 11-year-old Colombo who boards a ship bound for England in the early 1950s. Looking back from adulthood, the narrator relates a tale about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a sea voyage. Another nominator wrote, “There is much to discuss in this book: coming-of-age, loss of innocence, childhood experiences and their effects on an adult’s identity. Plus, an ocean journey!”
See other readers’ nominations for One Read 2013.
Alex George may originally be from Great Britain, but Columbia now claims him as its own! We received multiple nominations for his novel, “A Good American,” in which Frederick and Jette Meisenheimer leave Germany and set sail for America at the turn of the twentieth century. They eventually settle in the fictional town of Beatrice, Missouri, and the story follows the couple’s descendants as they are shaped by the cultural and historical events of the passing decades.
One local reader commented, “The town itself changes as the family does and there are many wonderful, unforgettable characters throughout the book. Many of the issues dealt with in the book are issues we deal with in society today. The author himself is a recent immigrant and has a wonderful perspective on what it is like to become part of a different culture.” This nostalgic family saga explores connections to home, issues of identity, small town life and the power of music.
Want to know what other books people in your community are discussing? View all of the nominated titles we have highlighted here at oneread.org so far and find your next good read!