Monday, October 24, 2011

Moss Bluff Book Chat: October 4, 2011

Below is a summary of our discussion on the September “Book of the Month:” People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.

In People of the Book rare book conservator Hanna Heath as she takes on the huge opportunity to evaluate the condition of the recently rediscovered Sarajevo Haggadah. During her analysis, Hanna finds mysterious signs and objects, whose histories are explored in interspersed sections throughout the novel.

The novel found favor with the majority of our group, but a few members did admit it proved difficult to delve into. Brooks' strengths are rooted in historical fiction, and she vividly captures diverse eras in time: from the Holocaust back to the Middle Ages. Brooks' narratives, however, are rooted in a vast amount of details, which caused a few of the readers to lose interest.

Ultimately, readers who finished the book greatly enjoyed it and appreciated its recurring theme of amity across cultures. People of the Book can be a dense read at times, but is rewarding to both history buffs and bibliophiles alike.

Find a copy of the novel at your local branch!

If you’ve already read People of the Book, feel free to share your thoughts on the novel in the comments. Agree or disagree with the Book Club? Let us know!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Staff Pick: Garden Spells

Garden Spells
by Sarah Addison Allen

In Allen’s charming debut novel, Sydney Waverly arrives on her sister Claire’s doorstep with a five-year-old daughter in tow after ten years of estrangement. Claire has built a successful catering business using flowers and herbs from the weird and wonderful garden behind the family home, while Sydney has made a life out of ignoring the fact she was born with Waverly gifts. Claire can whip up a meal that helps people keep secrets and bake cupcakes that make children thoughtful, but she has a harder time relating to people around her. Sydney is adjusting to life back at home, trying to forget her troubled past and mend fences. Rounding out the cast of characters is Evanelle, an elderly woman who give gifts to people before they know they need them, and an apple tree that throws fruit at people. Garden Spells is a light, entertaining read about family and romance with a slight dusting of magic.

You can look to see if Garden Spells is checked in at our library catalog here.