Reading Roundup: Looking Back at Favorites From 2014

Posted by Aaron on

Book ClubsOur yearly book club reading list is chosen by all members of the group, and it includes an eclectic range of titles. The books selected for the 2014 list did not disappoint. The following titles were among the most popular.

Gaining Ground: a Story of Farmers, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard

The author is a local Clarke County farmer who gives us an entertaining and enlightening account of the difficulties and joys of trying to make a living at family farming. Fresh out of college, armed with an English degree, Forrest Pritchard determines to save the farm that has been in his family for generations. The book follows the poignant and heartwarming trials on the farm, in the local community and at the areas’ farmer’s markets. After reading this book you may find yourself wondering where your food comes from and who grows it.  An added treat to the reading of this book was Forrest’s visit to our library one Sunday afternoon in June.  He spoke about his book and farming experiences to an appreciative audience.  Mary K., Marshall Evening Book Club

Joyland by Stephen King

What better selection for October than something slightly spooky by Stephen King? I was pleasantly surprised by the book. It was suspenseful but not scary nor gruesome. The book is a coming-of-age tale set in an amusement park. Reading about these young college-age individuals brought back memories of summer jobs I had many years ago: the job of earning money, the fun of getting to know other young people and the trepidation of learning how to deal with older individuals in authority. I enjoyed reading “Joyland” and recommend the book as a good introduction to the work of Stephen King.  Karin, Marshall Evening Book Club

The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore

Life in Plainview, Indiana revolves around its diner, Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat. Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean have been known as “The Supremes” since they became unlikely friends forty years earlier, in the racially charged 1960’s. Life hasn’t always been easy, but they have each other and they have inner strength and humor. At times this book made me sad for these unique women and their challenges; at other times it made me laugh out loud with their larger than life personalities and almost sit-com like situations. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting “The Supremes” and being welcomed into their world. This book was the perfect companion to our annual picnic meeting in August. Sandy, Marshall Evening Book Club

Destiny of the Republic: a Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

President James Garfield was in office for only a few months when he was shot in an assassination attempt. The story of this extraordinary man is factual, but the powerful story and the narrative style are as engaging as a novel. Although we may know little about the man that was elected as the 20th president, he was highly intelligent and scholarly, a Civil War hero, a professor, and started his life in poverty. “Destiny of the Republic” is fascinating on many levels. The reader gets a look into politics of the day, power control in the White House, the story of a crime, and the role that Alexander Graham Bell and science played in attempting to save Garfield. We must wonder how things would have been different had Garfield lived. This is a highly recommended book even for those who don’t usually like to read history. Karen, Marshall Evening Book Club

The Art Forger: a Novel by B. A. Shapiro

What is a copy that honors, in a way, the original work, and what is a forgery? Does it matter? To struggling artist, Claire Roth, the heroine in “The Art Forger,” this question is critical. It’s the difference between drudgery and artistry, between continuing to work unrecognized and a chance at fame, but ethically how could she justify it? This art-world “thriller” is an engaging, fast-paced read. Shapiro’s writing is confident, and she writes with passion and some knowledge about painting. If she strikes a false note occasionally, one can overlook moments of inauthenticity when she skillfully weaves Claire’s fictional story into a real-life unsolved crime that shocked the art world. What I found interesting about this novel is the psychological insight into what makes a character do something that she knows to be wrong both personally and professionally – and rationalizes it completely. This would be a fascinating read for art lovers as well as for those who love suspense. Gwen, Marshall Evening Book Club

The Marshall Evening Book Club meets on the last Monday of the month at 7:00. We have a wonderful selection of titles for 2015 and new members are always welcome. Come join us!

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library. For online book lists published prior to January 2015, visit Book Notes, our blog all about books.

Comments are closed.