“There is a sharp distinction between what is remembered, what is told and what is true.”

 

yellow birds JMRL’s newest book club, Books on Tap, meets on the first Thursday of the month at Champion Brewery at 7pm. In January, we discussed Kevin Power’s The Yellow Birds, a novel about two young soldiers, a bloody battle in Iraq, and the fallout of choices made in war.

Our readers noted that the story was universal. While specific horrible things happen to the characters, the novel allows you to reflect on “things you wished didn’t happen” and that “all pain is the same.”  While we debated Power’s intended audience, we did note that the tone wasn’t sentimental. The story felt authentic and didn’t romanticize war or warriors.  While the group didn’t agree with all of the praise heaped on this book by reviewers, we did think it was an important contribution to literature on the horrors of war.

More Information:

Check out other books by Kevin Powers in the JMRL catalog.

Read more about Power’s National Book Award Finalist award at the official website.

Looking for a readalike? The titles below were recommended by book club members. Need more?  Ask for a recommendation through JMRL’s What Do I Read Next? service.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre

Redeployment by Phil Klay

The Things They Carried  by Tim O’Brien

The Best Years of Our Lives (feature film)

Join us on Thursday, February 4th to discuss The Turner House by Angela Flournoy.

Novels That Reminisce

When looking for some similar titles for a book request from our What Do I Read Next? service the other day, I stumbled upon a collection of interesting fiction. The thing these books have in common? They are all told from the point of view of a person in their later years reminiscing about their life.

Here are a few of the many titles.

belle cora

Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies – A historical novel about the orphaned daughter of a merchant in New York and how she suffers before transforming her life.

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman – Russian immigrant Malka goes on a cross country trek in an ice cream truck in 1913 New York.

In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose Maccoll – A young Australian nurse heads to France during WWI to find her 15-year-old brother who ran away to enlist.

The Tin Horse by Janice Steinberg – A story about one twin’s life after her sister disappears in 1939.

Ancient Light by John Banville – An actor reflects on his career and his first love affair at age fifteen.

The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen – Elderly sisters Twiss and Milly spend their days tending to injured birds and reminiscing about what could have been in their lives.

The Bungalow by Sarah Jio – Anne tries to discover the truth about what happened 70 years prior when she was serving in the Pacific as part of the Army Nurse Corps in 1942 and fell in love with a mysterious soldier.

If you’d like to explore this topic more, check out the other books we have that fall into this category.

New Books You May Have Missed

Nonfiction

jewish

The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Tradition by Amelia Saltsman. This lovely book full of recipes and vibrant pictures focuses on fresh foods with ancient roots.

Disciples: World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought For Wild Bill Donavan by Douglas Wall. This book details the OSS escapades of four individuals (Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, and William Casey) who later became heads of the CIA.

50 Years, 50 Moments: the Most Unforgettable Plays in Super Bowl History by Jerry Rice and Randy O. Williams. Let legendary NFL wide receiver Rice take you through the plays that made Super Bowl history just in time for the game’s 50th anniversary.

Pretty Little Killers: the Truth Behind the Savage Murder of Skylar Neese by Daleen Berry and Geoffrey C. Fuller. If you’re in the mood for some true crime, dip into this book about the horrific murder of a teen girl in West Virginia.

Fiction

Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurnianwan; translated from Indonesian by Annie Tucker. This book is a family epic that draws on local legends, and begins with the main character waking from the dead after 21 years.

The Hot Countries by Timothy Hallinan. Set in Bangkok, this book focuses on main character Poke Rafferty and his friends at the Expat Bar and what ensues after a man arrives threatening Poke and demanding money he doesn’t have and a person he won’t turn over.