Suggested One Read: The Maid’s Version

Book cover for The Maid's Version by Daniel WoodrellAll 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.

Suggested One Read: The Cat’s Table

Book cover for The Cat's Table by Michael OndaatjeWe 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.

Suggested One Read: A Good American

Book cover for A Good American by Alex GeorgeAlex 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!