In the spirit of new beginnings, I’m recommending readers try something out of the ordinary with the start of the New Year, maybe a graphic novel, an audiobook, or non-fiction title.
I chose the graphic novel, The Prague Coup (writer Jean-Luc Fromental and artist Miles Hyman) because I was reminded recently how images and artwork inform the tone and symbolism of the work. In addition, it is a story behind Orson Welles’ The Third Man and asks if the author and MI6 spy, Graham Greene, was a hero or villain.
The Prague Coup by writer Jean-Luc Fromental and artist Miles Hyman – Winter 1948, the Czech capital is under occupation by the allied powers. Debriefed by London Films, Graham Greene works on the writing of his next feature film, assisted by the enigmatic Elizabeth Montagu. A seemingly peaceful mission enters into a revolution that history will remember as the Prague Coup.
I fell in love with novels by Liane Moriarty in part because of the dynamic Australian narrator, Caroline Lee, whose inflections and accent deepen the adventure and accentuate the humor. I’m currently listening to – and loving – Nine Perfect Strangers, her latest. But next on my list is Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg.
Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg – Lucille Howard is getting on in years, but she stays busy. She has begun to teach baking classes, sharing the secrets to her delicious classic Southern yellow cake. Her classes have become so popular that she’s hired Iris, a new resident of Mason, Missouri, as an assistant. Iris doesn’t know how to bake but she needs to keep her mind off a big decision she sorely regrets. When a new family moves in next door and tragedy strikes, Lucille begins to look out for Lincoln, their son. Lincoln’s parents aren’t the only ones in town facing hard choices and uncertain futures, the residents of Mason come together and find the true power of community.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, none of them imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be. Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House.
OFPL has a number of non-fiction titles covering a wide range of current interests and trends. I enjoy learning something new, and this biography by Stephen L. Carter about his amazing grandmother caught my eye and sparked my curiosity right away.
Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen L. Carter – She was black and a woman and a prosecutor, a graduate of Smith College and the granddaughter of slaves, as dazzlingly unlikely a combination as one could imagine in New York of the 1930s—and without the strategy she devised, Lucky Luciano, the most powerful Mafia boss in history, would never have been convicted. Moving, haunting, and as fast-paced as a novel, Invisible tells the true story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time. Thanks to her grandson’s remarkable book, her story is once again visible.
Until next time, happy reading and listening, Susan C.