Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.
Book clubs are very popular in Haliburton County and give people the chance to meet in groups and discuss a book together. To help support the local book clubs, the Haliburton County Public Library has a collection of book club sets, which consist of a bag containing eight copies of the book so that you can hopefully get enough books for your entire book club. The titles are suggested to us by local book clubs through the friends of the library who then purchase the books. We have just added ten new book club sets to the library bringing our collection to 72 sets. The entire list of titles can be found on our website at http://www.haliburtonlibrary.ca.
Today on Library Moments Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about a book that has recently been added to our book club set collection.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah was named Best Historical Fiction 2015 by Goodreads and named a top five book of 2015 by Amazon.com. The story starts in France 1939. Vianne says goodbye to her husband as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another. Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands march into the unknown terrors of war, she falls in love as only the young can… completely. When her love betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real — and deadly — consequences. With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic landscape of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war.
Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: In The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphries, RAF pilot James Hunter is shot down during his first mission and is doomed to spend the rest of the war in a POW camp. Formerly a grammar school science teacher, James copes with his captivity at the hands of the Nazis by observing a family of birds at the edge of the camp, where he ultimately begins an uneasy relationship with the kommandant, an Oxford educated classics professor. Meanwhile in England, James’ newlywed wife Rose struggles with their separation, which may be more than their fledgling marriage can weather. As she deals with her loneliness and confusion as well an affair with another soldier stationed nearby, James’ sister Enid arrives from the ruins of the London Blitz seeking shelter and harbouring secrets of her own. Humphries writes a spare account of four lives touched in different ways by WWII and like birds blown off course by a storm each winds up in a far differently place after the war then where they started.
Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen is about Maddie and Ellis who embarrass themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, and are cut off financially by Ellis’s father. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favour is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces and pocketbook. Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. Maddie, who is now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. By the same author as Water for Elephants, this book is one of contrasts. As a reader it isn’t essential that you like the book’s characters, but initially the obliviousness in the midst of war demonstrated by the three characters in this book almost made me stop reading, however, persevere as there is great character development and lots of personal growth that make this book worth reading.
You don’t have to be part of a book club to read these books; they are also available to borrow individually outside of a book club set. However, many of our branches have book clubs, if you are interested in joining one please talk to the staff at your local branch.
That’s it for this week’s Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.
*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM April 3rd – April 9th, 2016.