Monday, March 16, 2020

SOL16/31: Decision Time!

Returning for year nine of writing daily in March with my Slice of Life writer friends! Check out Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life occurring every day in March.

It's decision time! Our book club retreat was scheduled for this past weekend and like so many events in Washington state, it was cancelled. Take a look at the books I've been collecting in preparation for this event.
Each member of our book club gets to recommend three titles. And then we vote! I have decision paralysis every year. But I have to select three to put on our google doc with a recommendation of two to three sentences. I haven't read any of these books! But I want to read all of them.  (I have adhered to the recommendation that we should have read a book we recommend once or twice during our more than 20 years together. I'm not a fan or rereading, unless it's Gift from the Sea.) 

Here's a list of the book titles by stack:

Stack 1: Nonfiction and Memoir (one of my favorite genres)
The Woman's Hour by Elaine Weiss (shouldn't we read a book about suffrage during this 100th anniversary year of the 19th amendment?)
Hill Women by Cassie Chambers (recommended by Linda Baie)
In the Country of Women by Susan Straight
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends by Amy Silverstein

Stack 2: Fiction
Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson (recommended by a favorite bookseller at Island Books)
Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane 
Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen (recommended on What Should I Read Next? podcast)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Stack 3: More Fiction (books I own, but haven't read yet)
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (I think I took this one last year.)
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
Americanah by Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie

I am indecisive. Every time I consider the books, I come up with three different choices. And that's because I want to read all of them.

Here are the three books I picked this morning, (with two or three sentences I've plucked from book jackets or reviews):
Hill Women - "Chambers tells the stories of the women in the mountains of Kentucky who nurtured her, as well as her own journey to become a fierce defender of Appalachian women. This is a book that teaches us about service and gratitude, family and the tenuousness of belonging, and the power of education, loyalty, and home." - Steven Stoll, author of Ramp Hollow
Meet Me at the Museum - "A moving tribute to friendship and love, to the courage of the ordinary, and to starting again." - Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimmage of Harold Fry (which our book club read last year) And it's an epistolary novel! 
Rules for Visiting - "A beautifully observed and deeply funny novel about a woman who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year . . . Ultimately May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story - and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting."

And one more! The title that didn't arrive before the library closed. 
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson - "Emotionally resonant and unforgettable, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a lush love letter to the redemptive power of books . . . Cussy Mary is an indomitable and valiant heroine, and through her true-blue eyes, 1930s Kentucky comes to vivid and often harrowing life." - Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Almost Sisters

Help me! Do you see a title that you've read and would recommend?  


  1. I absolutely loved Americanah by Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie - I learned so much...I felt as if I had traveled to another world. Very insightful about what it is like to be an immigrant here in the United States. I am in the midst of reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens...and loving it. Thanks for fun new book ideas! We have lots of time for reading right now, yes?

  2. Thanks for some new recommendations for myself, I have plenty of time for reading in the next few weeks!

  3. "I have decision paralysis every year. " - made me chuckle. The titles are new to me. A friend recommended me "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens and this is on my list, after I finish the four books I bought recently.

  4. I have not read any of these but I love how you gave us all a peek at what you are thinking through. I particularly gravitate toward Hill Women based on the description you left. Sounds lovely.

  5. I have not read anny of these but own a couple! Good luck with the decision.

  6. I have read WHERE THE CRAWDAD SINGS, but none of the rest of these. I'm saving this post! The title that drew my attention was MY GLORY WAS I HAD SUCH FRIENDS. I want to read that one. RULES FOR VISITING sounds great too! My mom read BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK and loved it. Last year, we read THE GREAT ALONE in my book club. It was pretty dark, but I loved the writing. I want to read more by that author.

  7. My mom and I read Meet Me at the Museum together and really enjoyed it, so I can definitely recommend that. And of course I've been wanting to read Harry's Trees too since Anne recommended it. (How I love the What Should I Read Next podcast!!)