Sunday, October 24, 2010

Five for the Adults

Book fair books are not just for kids. I like to add a few of my favorite adult books. As I moaned about in an earlier post, I have not read a lot that excited me over the past few months. So I decided to suggest some older books for your enjoyment. In years past I have sent out lists of suggested reading for adults and inadvertently included books that are no longer in print. Oops! Today I decided to make sure that everything I suggest is still available so I went to the bookstore and looked at the paperback shelves. Here, in no particular order, are some of the books I saw and remember fondly.

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger is a lovely, heart-wrenching story by the 11 year old boy who wants to keep his family intact after his older brother guns down bullies who break into the family home. What can or should a family do to help and protect a brother who has done something horrible, yet, perhaps, justifiable?

Still Alice by Lisa Genova tells the story of the onset of Alzheimer's through the voice of a woman who is diagnosed at a very young age. She makes a list of things that she must remember and slowly watches them fade away. The picture is grim yet beautiful. The author works with Alzheimer's patients which makes the reader feel that this is a fairly accurate portrayal.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving may be the best of this well-respected American author. Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy who accidentally kills his friend's mother and believes that perhaps he is a messenger of God. It is a tightly written story with much to offer.

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay is the story of an English boy growing up in apartheid South Africa. Race can not be ignored but the essence of this powerful work is the boy's growth to adulthood in a story filled with pain and joy and humor.

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell is another coming of age story, this one set in England at the time of the Falklands War. Jason Taylor narrates the story in a way that he never could orally due to a stutter that haunts his every interaction as he covers his life over a span of 13 months in 1982 and 1983.

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