Favorites at Odyssey Books
1. “Willem’s Field” by Melinda Haynes.
Fans of Pat Conroy will love this story, and on a more literary scale, Haynes’ prose has been compared to the likes of Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor.
Lush with the details of the Southern, small-town life, quirky characters and inspiring landscapes, this beautiful story will leave you with the feeling that every lost soul eventually finds a home.
2. “The Master Butcher’s Singing Club” by Louise Erdrich.
An unforgettable book, set in a small North Dakota town and spanning the two world wars. The story centers around two enigmatic characters, their lives, hardships and happiness.
This novel is a celebration of compassion, kindness and spirit. It is worth reading twice.
3. “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” by Alexandra Fuller.
A touching memoir, which follows the childhood of a white African girl born into the racial and political hotbed of the Rhodesian Civil War. Despite the hardships of the war and farming in inhospitable territory, the story is told with humor, a clear perspective, and above all, love.
4. “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood. In this strange, fascinating novel, central character Snowman remembers a disturbing, futuristic world full of bizarre genetic experiments and hideous bio-terrorism that destroyed most of the human race. Only Snowman and a group of engineered humans have survived.
Although this story seems like it should be lurking on the sci-fi shelves, the well-crafted novel is engaging, unique and hauntingly prophetic.
5. “The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint” by Bradley Udall.
A brilliant coming-of-age story – tragic, funny, poignant and satisfying. Edgar Mint is an unforgettable character reminiscent of Huck Finn and Owen Meany. Pick up the book and read the first two paragraphs – you will be hooked.
6. “Think of England” by Alice Elliot Dark.
A quiet, contemplative, yet accessible, novel that deals with the lasting effects of a family tragedy.
Read it for the story; love it for the author’s eloquent prose style. It’s one of those stories that sneaks up on you and has you thinking about it for weeks.
7. “How to Cook a Tart” by Nina Kilham.
The perfect recipe for laughter! “How to Cook a Tart” is an absolutely hilarious and slightly absurd story portraying a voluptuous, food-obsessed cookbook author, her philandering husband, a carb-counting girlfriend and an eccentric cast of supporting characters.
If you love cooking, reading and eating; this book will make your mouth water.
8. “A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies” by John Murray.
A book of very substantial short stories – each is unique, yet united by themes of medicine, science and nature. Murray explores the power of pivotal moments in life – events that drastically alter one’s destiny. His characters all struggle to overcome adversity and create a life amidst chaos.
9. “Dry” by Augusten Burroughs.
In the second installment of the author’s life story, Burroughs chronicles his successful career, his alcoholism and recovery.
Like his earlier memoir, “Running with Scissors,” this story is all extremes – funny, sad, honest and entertaining despite the weighty topics.
Burroughs is a huge talent, and will hopefully soon publish the next episode in the drama of his life.
Compiled by Kim Carrow of Odyssey Books, 11989 Sutton Way, Grass Valley. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays. The phone number is 477-2856.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: While some clubs have informed The Union of meeting cancellations or reopenings due to COVID-19, we have not heard from them all. Please call ahead to confirm future meeting times and/or cancellations. We…