Readers’ Corner, March 2022. Read up a stom!

By Bonnie McCune & Kathleen Duhamel ~

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2017, English author Kazuo Ishiguro introduces Kathy, a young girl at a boarding school, in Never Let Me Go. She and her classmates have no family or contacts outside school. Over the years she and two friends prepare themselves for their adult roles while remaining deeply puzzled over what those lives might contain. Their unquestioning acceptance of their eventual fates makes the reader struggle to answer questions in our own reality. Equal parts apocalypse, mystery, ethics treatise, and exploration of love, the book provides no answers but asks lots of questions in its straightforward yet emotional text.

Friendship throughout decades provides the insights, humor, and affections women find together in Lorna Landvik’e Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, the name of their book group. They lean on one another during troubled times and celebrate the good. Told from different viewpoints, from the 60s to the 90s, the friends surf the rapid social changes of the times to grow into people you’d like to know. When one of the group develops cancer, the reader is treated to the close support a circle of women can provide. Landvik’s fiction might be “women’s fiction,” but that doesn’t mean it can’t provide insight, comfort and inspiration. 

So We Read On (Maureen Corrigan). Countless literature critics and scholars consider The Great Gatsby one of the finest novels of the twentieth century. However, when F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece was first published in 1925 to tepid reviews, Gatsby was considered a commercial failure, sending its author into an alcohol-fueled tailspin.

Fast forward a few decades: The Great Gatsby remains essential high school reading and has been the subject of several movie adaptations. Corrigan, book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air and Gatsby devotee, explores the book’s origins and the reasons for its enduring success. 

Author Kathleen Duhamel writes humorous contemporary romance featuring “seasoned” characters. Her newest is Fed Up. Author Bonnie McCune’s latest is Never Retreat, a suspenseful romance in Colorado’s wilderness.

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