20 Books of Summer Challenge
Accepting Cathy’s annual Summer Reading Challenge
and, once again, I’m aiming for success
reading at least 10 of the goal of 20!
Here are my first 10 choices for the June 1st start…
though, being a capricious reader, they aren’t in any reading order!
Storms of War ~ Celia, on the brink of adulthood, secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped-out future and exploring the world. But the onslaught of war changes everything and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts not only herself but those she loves in danger. With gripping detail and brilliant empathy, Kate Williams tells the story of Celia and her family as they are shunned by a society that previously embraced them, torn apart by sorrow, and buffeted and changed by the storms of war.
On Rue Tatin ~ Susan Loomis arrived in Paris twenty years ago with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what began then as an apprenticeship at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. “On Rue Tatin “chronicles her journey to an ancient little street in Louviers, one of Normandy s most picturesque towns. With lyrical prose and wry candor, Loomis recalls the miraculous restoration that she and her husband performed on the dilapidated convent they chose for their new residence. As its ochre and azure floor tiles emerged, challenges outside the dwelling mounted. From squatters to a surly priest next door, along with a close-knit community wary of outsiders…
The Tide Watchers ~ …fast-paced, deeply-researched, and richly imagined novel, The Tide Watchers explores a long-hidden, chapter of Bonaparte’s history.
Bury Your Dead ~ “Few writers in any genre can match Penny’s ability to combine heartbreak and hope.” -Publishers Weekly (starred review) It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City,Canada, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful…yet even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society– an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly four hundred years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it? Meanwhile, Gamache is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. “It doesn’t make sense,” Olivier’s partner writes every day. “He didn’t do it, you know.” As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive a terrible event from his own past before he can begin to bury his dead.
A Desperate Fortune ~ Canadian author Kearsley writes a riveting novel that deftly intertwines the tales of two women, divided by centuries and forever changed by a clash of love and fate. For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has kept its secrets. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas travels to Paris to crack the cipher. Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing-for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed. As Mary’s gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to her, Sara faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew-about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women are united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the unlikely coincidences of fate.
Suite Francaise ~ Set during the year that France fell to the Nazis, Suite Francaise falls into two parts. The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as they flee the Nazi invasion; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation. Suite Francaise is a novel that teems with wonderful characters struggling with the new regime. However, amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope. True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places… In 1941, Irene Nemirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. Nemirovsky’s death in Auschwitz in 1942 prevented her from seeing the day, sixty-five years later, that the existing two sections of her planned novel sequence, Suite Francaise, would be rediscovered and hailed as a masterpiece.
Saving Sophie ~ powerful story of the lengths a father will go through to protect his daughter and an action-packed thriller that will take you on an unforgettable journey of murder and deception, testing the bonds of family and love. Jack Sommers was just an ordinary accountant from Chicago-that is, until his wife passed away, his young daughter was kidnapped, and he became the main suspect in an $88 million dollar embezzlement case. Now Jack is on the run, hoping to avoid the feds long enough to rescue his daughter, Sophie, from her maternal grandfather, a suspected terrorist in Palestine. With the help of investigative team Liam and Catherine, and a new CIA operative, a secret mission is launched to not only rescue Sophie but also to thwart a major terrorist attack in Hebron. But will being caught in the crossfires of the Palestine-Israeli conflict keep their team from accomplishing the task at hand, or can they overcome the odds and save countless lives, including their own?
Part of Read the Nobels Challenge, I’ve chosen
Night ~ Nobel Peace Prize winner, ‘Wiesel has taken his own anguish and imaginatively metamorphosed it into art’ Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of a people from a survivor’s perspective, Night is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust. A compelling consideration of the darkest side of human nature and the enduring power of hope, it remains one of the most important works of the twentieth century. Elie Wiesel (b. 1928) was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. After the war, Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist. During an interview with the distinguished French writer, Francois Mauriac, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps.The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, La Nuit or Night, which has since been translated into more than thirty languages.
I enjoyed Helen Simonson’s The Summer Before the War, so this year I’m prepped for
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand ~ Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali. Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or love? Funny, comforting and heart-warming, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand proves that sometimes, against all odds, life does give you a second chance.
and the one I’m beginning with ?
This gorgeous New Release won during the 1 day Savvy Readathon in May
Good Night from London ~ by Canadian author, Jennifer Robson, this story is inspired in part by the wartime experiences of the author’s own grandmother, a captivating, heartfelt, and historically immersive story that readers are sure to embrace.
…a lush historical novel that tells the fascinating story of Ruby Sutton, an ambitious American journalist who moves to London in 1940 to report on the Second World War, and to start a new life an ocean away from her past. In the summer of 1940, ambitious young American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for a news magazine in London. She jumps at the chance, an opportunity not only to prove herself, also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. But life in besieged Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined. Although most of Ruby’s new colleagues welcome her, a few resent her presence, not only as an American but also as a woman. She is just beginning to find her feet, to feel at home in a country that is so familiar yet so foreign, when the bombs begin to fall. As the nightly horror of the Blitz stretches unbroken into weeks and months, Ruby must set aside her determination to remain an objective observer.When she loses everything but her life, and must depend upon the kindness of strangers, she learns for the first time the depth and measure of true friendship-and what it is to love a man who is burdened by secrets that aren’t his to share
Ready to read with us?