9 and 10 Down, 40 more to go

I’m still on track to read 50 books in 2012!  My library card is on fire and next week is the UW-Madison Friends of the Library Book Sale.  It’s a 4-day sale of used books where I always stock up on paperbacks for beach reading and travel.

I have two books to share today.  One is worthy of a write-up, one is not.

Book # 9 was All Saints by Liam Callanan.  Thumb’s down.  This was a strange story…a parochial school teacher in Southern California who is down and out after multiple marriages, a priest dying of prostate cancer, students trying to find themselves during senior year, snippets about various saints…this book was all over the place.  I did appreciate the stories about various saints–I have been fortunate enough to travel through Europe and have been to my share of cathedral reliquaries.

The first one I visited was in Italy and I still remember my parents telling me that the room was full of pieces and parts of saints.  Me:  “Like fingers and bones and such?”  Parents:  “Yes.”  Alrighty then.

Book #10 was Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky and translated by Sandra Smith.  Add this to your Summer reading list!

I loved this book and have added more of Nemirovsky’s books to my reading list.  The book is divided into two parts and takes place in France during the beginning of World War II.

Part one focuses on families who are preparing to leave Paris in advance of the German invasion.  This part of the book is rich with characters–the multi-generational family, the artist, the older couple whose son is on the front, etc.

The second part of the book takes place in a French village–the Germans are living in the village and co-habitating with French families.  There are virtually no French men in the village because they are all off fighting.  This part tells of daily life, relationships, survival.

This book is a story of survival and grit.  And something that makes it even more intense–author Nemirovsky was a highly successful writer living in Paris and in 1942 was arrested and deported to Aushwitz and died in the camp.  Sixty-four years later, this book was discovered and published.

I highly recommend this read–what are you reading now?

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