Kelly, Clara Olink. The Flamboya Tree: Memories of a Mother’s Wartime Courage. New York: Random House, 2002.
This is a short memoir. Some would say too short. Clara Olink Kelly is just four years old when her family is torn apart by the Japanese invasion of the Pacific Island of Java during World War II. Clara’s father is forced to work on the Burma railroad while Clara’s mother is left to care for two small children and a pregnant with a second son. It isn’t long before the Japanese commandeer their home and the entire family is transferred to a concentration camp, Kamp Tjideng. There Clara spends four long years enduring extreme crowding, starvation, illness and unspeakable filth. In addition she witnesses horrific abuse and violence that would haunt her for the rest of her life. The one piece of home that keeps them going is a small painting of a red flamboya tree. This painting, because it was never abused or destroyed by the Japanese, became a symbol of strength for the family. It goes wherever they go. The other symbol of strength is Clara’s mother. The beautiful thing about The Flamboya Tree is that throughout the entire story Clara’s respect and admiration for her mother never waivers. It is a lovely tribute to a mother who did everything she could to protect her children and survive the harsh conditions.
Powerful line, “She still had the audacity to hold her head high” (p 61).
Reason read: To recognize Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence. Last year it was celebrated at the end of March.
Author fact: Do a search for Clara Olink Kelly and she pops up on the website IMDb because she appeared on the Rosie O’Donnell show in 2002. Do an image search for Clara Olink Kelly and you will discover she looks just like her mother.
Book trivia: There is a study guide for The Flamboya Tree: Memories of a Mother’s Wartime Courage and the first question is, “would you have tried to escape?” What a loaded question!
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Indicative of Indonesia” (p 104).
August was a little of this and a little of that. Some people will notice I have made some changes to the book challenge – some changes more noticeable than others. For starters, how I review. I now add a section of why I’m reading the book. For some reason I think it’s important to include that in the review. Next, how I read. I am now adding audio books into the mix. I am allowing myself to add an audio book in “trapped” situations when holding a book and keeping my eyes on the page might be an inconvenience (like flying) or endanger someone (like driving). I’m also making a effort to avoid wasting time on books I don’t care for (like Honore de Balzac). One last change: I am not as stringent about reading something within the month. If I want to start something a little early because it’s right in front of my face then so be it.
What else was August about? August was also the month I lost my dear Cassidy for a week. I spent many a night either in an insomniac state or sitting on the back porch, reading out loud in hopes the sound of my voice would draw my calico to me. The only thing it yielded was more books finished in the month of August. She finally came home one week later.
Anyway, enough of all that. I’ll cry if I continue. Onto the books:
I started the month by reading and rereading Tattoo Adventures of Robbie Big Balls by Robert Westphal. This was the first time I read and reviewed a book after meeting the author. I wanted to get it right. I also wanted to make sure I was an honest as possible about the situation. Everything about this review was unusual. For the challenge:
- After You’ve Gone by Alice Adams ~ I read this in three days and learned a valuable lesson about Adams’s work: read it slowly and parse it out. Otherwise it becomes redundant.
- Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin ~ I read this in ten days, tucking myself in a study carrell and reading for an hour everyday.
- Fahrenheit 541 by Ray Bradbury ~ an audio book that only took me nine days to listen to.
- Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum ~ read with Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I took both of these to Maine and had oodles of car-time to finish both.
- We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich ~ this was probably my favorite nonfiction of the challenge. Rich’s Maine humor practically jumped off the page. I read this to Cassidy.
- The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder ~ I read this in three days, again hiding myself away in a study carrell.
- Ten Hours Until Dawn by Tougis ~ another audio book. I’m glad I listened to this one as opposed to reading it. Many reviewers called it “tedious” and I think by listening to it I avoided that perspective.
- The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson ~ I read this in two days (something I think I thought I was going to get to in June).
- All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque ~ I read this in honor of World War I ending. I also read it in one night while waiting for Cassidy to come home.
- The Lives of the Saints by Nancy Lemann ~ also read in one night. In honor of New Orleans and the month Hurricane Katrina rolled into town.
- Kristin Lavransdatter: the Cross by Sigrid Undset ~ finally put down the Norwegian trilogy!
For the Early Review Program with LibraryThing:
- The Most Memorable Games in New England Patriots History by Bernard Corbett and Jim Baker. This was supposed to be on my list a year ago. Better late than never.
- Sex So Great She Can’t Get Enough by Barbara Keesling. This took me an inordinate amount of time to read. Guess I didn’t want to be seen in public with it.
Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Translated by A.W. Wheen. New York: Ballantine Books, 1982.
Do people consider this a classic? I think I have been aware of this book for the past 35 years but have never read it before now. If someone said “all quiet” I would finish with “on the western front.”
Throughout All Quiet on the Western Front there is the theme of a lost innocence. Soldiers as young as 18 or 19 reflect on a childhood lost. The main character of Paul Baumer is constantly thinking about how, if he were to survive the war, he could never relate to the peacetime world around him. He scoffs at the word “peace.” I saw All Quiet as a commentary on survival in its purest form. Doing anything and everything you can to live another day. When one soldier is obviously on death’s door another wants his boots and starts planning a strategy to get them…even before the dying man has drawn his last breath. This is not callousness personified. This is survival. He knows the boots are of no use to the dying soldier. They would be to him, if only he could get them before someone else does. Ironically, the boots are later passed along to Paul eventually.
Another aspect of Remarque’s work that bears mentioning is the detail he pays to describing death. While the images are unforgiving, violent and grotesque, it is war in its truest state and at its worst. Some of the images that stuck with me: a butterfly flitting around a field of dead men and finally settling to rest on the teeth of a corpse; a screaming horse that can’t be put out of his misery because he will reveal the hiding place of the soldiers.
Lines that moved me one way or another, “The army is based on that; one man must always have power over the other. The mischief is merely that each one has too much power” (p 44) and “At the same time he ventilated his backside” (p 83).
Book Trivia: This was made into a movie twice – once in 1930 and again almost 50 years later in 1979. It won an Academy Award in 1930.
Author Fact: Remarque served as a soldier on the western front in World War I. I can’t help but think All Quiet on the Western Front is almost autobiographical.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in two chapters “100 Good Reads, Decade by Decade: 1920s” (p 176) and “World War I Fiction” (p 250).
Ambrose, Stephen. D-Day, June 6, 1944: the Climactic Battle of World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Where do I begin with a book like this? Imagine watching a scene from high above. Everything is muted and details are fuzzy. Now imagine swooping in to ground level and being able to engage all the senses. You hear, see, smell, taste and feel everything at close range. D-Day is such a book. You know all about June 6th, 1944 from your textbooks and your history classes. With D-Day, June 6th, 1944: the Climactic Battle of World War II Stephen Ambrose swoops in and takes you down the to fighting. Ground level. You get to hear (supposed) first hand accounts from the American, British and Canadian men who survived Operation Overlord: the five separate attacks from sea and air. The opening chapter is a harrowing parachute drop into enemy territory. Soldiers who fought side by side with buddies who later wouldn’t make it recall every emotion. What a strange circumstance, to be fighting for your life and watching men die around you and yet, yet have no fear. They knew they could meet death at any minute but were so moved by the leadership of commanding officers to keep surging forward. The tragic battle at Omaha Beach illustrates this most poignantly.
Probably the most interesting section of the book for me was the comparisons between Commanders Eisenhower and Rommel. They had so many different things in common they could have been friends had it not been for their opposing positions in the war.
Of note: several people have told me that I should be taking the details of D-Day with a grain of salt; that not all interviews are truthful or accurate. Well, if that’s the case, slap a “fiction” label on it and call it a riveting best seller! Regardless of its integrity I loved the book.
Favorite lines: impossible to tell you because I ended up listening to this rather than reading it.
Author Fact: Ambrose was awarded the Department of Defense’s medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2000. This is the highest honor the Department of Defense can give a civilian.
Book Trivia: D-Day, June 6th 1944 is one of many books written by Ambrose that is surrounded in controversy involving inaccuracies and plagiarism.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “World War II Nonfiction” (p 253).
Ambrose, Stephen E. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne From Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest.New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
If it seems as if I have been reading a lot of war books lately it’s true. Last month it was a World War II narrative to commemorate the flag raising on Japan’s Iwo Jima. This month, to celebrate “Hug a G.I. Day” on March 4th, I read Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. It makes sense because it wasn’t like reading someone else’s version of the same account. The men in Band of Brothers were fighting across Europe instead of the Pacific. Same war, a much different story.
If Stephen Ambrose wrote about every event in history I would read it. I wish he had written all my textbooks in high school. No matter the subject Ambrose makes it real, he makes it come alive. It isn’t some dry account that drones on like Charlie Brown’s teacher. He not only makes it interesting, he makes it human. War, on the surface, is about defeating the enemy; doing whatever it takes to win each skirmish in an effort to be the final victor; to win the entire war. Human emotion, especially in the aftermath of it all, gets lost. Ambrose points out the lesser-realized aspects of war – fear, regret, sorrow, but most of all, survivor guilt. This often happens mid-war when soldiers have the opportunity to first realize with shock that they survived that grenade strike and then moments later remember those who didn’t. Comrades who were standing beside them just moments ago.
I think the section that best sums up Band of Brothers is from pages 202-203: “Combat is a topsy-turvy world. Perfect strangers are going to great lengths to kill you; if they succeed, far from being punished for taking life, they will be rewarded, honored, celebrated. In combat men stay underground in daylight and do their work in the dark. Good health is a curse, trench foot, pneumonia, severe uncontrollable diarrhea, a broken leg are priceless gifts.”
Strange example of hope: Lieutenant Welsh carried his reserve parachute throughout Normandy in the hope of sending back to his best girl, Kitty so that she could make a wedding dress out of it. Kudos for Welsh for having the optimism to think he was going to survive the bloody campaign but double kudos for Kitty if she actually made a thing of beauty out of something that symbolized such violence.
Probably my favorite “character” of the entire book was Captain/Major Richard Winters. Throughout the entire war he remained true to his men and true to himself. An example: “Winters stayed in Albourne to rest, reflect, and write letters to parents of men killed or wounded” (p 109). A seven day pass entitled him to go sight seeing or carousing to blow off steam. Instead he chose to reflect on the events of the war…my kind of man.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “World War II Nonfiction” (p 253).
Bradley, James. Flags of Our Fathers. New York: Bantam, 2000.
The reading of Flags of Our Fathers was very timely. February 19th marked the anniversary of the famous flag raising on Iwo Jima, Japan. The first word that comes to mind when I think about Flags of our Fathers is respect. This was a book written with the utmost respect, not only for the author’s own father, but for the other five men responsible for raising the flag on Japan’s Iwo Jima. Everyone knows the photograph born of that historical event but not many can name the six men involved. In fact, even fewer would guess there were six men there. Unless you scrutinize the photograph, at first glance, there are only four. James Bradley, with the help of Ron Powers, brings to life all six men. He brings them out of historical obscurity and into present-day focus.
Favorite lines (if there can be such things in a book about war): “The fatigued boys knew what lay in store when the winter sun rose again” (p 177). I liked this line for it’s sense of foreboding.
“And then the heroes of the day began literally stand up and be counted” (p 183). This sentence sounds so benign, so harmless on its own.
“On this night, the madman in the haunted house unleashed all his ghouls” (p 191). Again, such a simple sentence but the horror behind it is unimaginable.
Book Trivia: Clint Eastwood directed the movie version of Flags of Our Fathers in 2006.
Author Fact: James Bradley traveled to Iwo Jima with his mother and siblings to the very spot where his father helped raise the American flag.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter simply called “World War II Nonfiction” (p 254).
What is March 2012 all about? Hard to say . Or as they say on Monhegan, hard tellin’ not knowin’. Fitting I suppose for a reading project still in limbo. I’m still reading books off my own shelves and borrowing books from my own library. To those not in the know that sounds strange, but there you have it.
Here are the books I *think* I’ll be reading in March:
- A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (baptized James Ngugi) ~ in honor of March being African Writers Month
- Little Town in the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder ~ in honor of the Dakotas (series was started in January)
- Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101 Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest by Stephen Ambrose ~ in honor of March 4th being “Hug a GI Day.” Since I don’t have a GI to hug, I’ll hug a book about World War II.
- Lord of the Rings: Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ in honor of New Years (series was started in January)
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte ~ in honor of March being National Literature month.
For the Early Review program for LibraryThing – I never got the February book so we’ll see if it comes in March…Incidentally, I just checked the LibraryThing website and I was awarded a March book as well. Now the race is on to see which book makes it here first.
Considering the tumultuous way 2012 started February was a bit gentler and definitely easier to get through. I think celebrating a birthday definitely helped. It’s always good to have something to celebrate!
Here are the books read (or listened to) in February:
- Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough ~ in honor of President’s Day (even though this had very little to do with Roosevelt being president of anything). This was an audio book and a real pleasure to listen to.
- Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban ~ in honor of Hoban’s birth month. This was an oversized kids book!
- Personal History by Katharine Graham ~ in honor of February being Scholastic Journalism month and this was all about Graham being involved with The Washington Post for nearly 60 years. This was a book left over from the Public Access to Library Services program.
- Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien ~ a continuation of the series that I started in January. I have two more books that I will read through March and April (Two Towers and Return of the King).
- A Far Cry From Kensington by Muriel Spark ~ Another audio book that was extremely funny.
- Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers ~ in honor of the day in February (the 23rd) that the American flag was raised on the island of Iwo Jima in Japan.
- Blues Dancing by Diane Kenney-Whetstone ~ in honor of Black History month AND Valentine’s Day. Yes, it was chick lit, but yes, it was also very good.
For the fun of it I read Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers by Nancy Pearl ~ a gift from my sister.
I also did a little housekeeping and realized I never reviewed The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m not sure how that happened, but it happened. So, while I didn’t read it this month I am including it in the list.
Tuchman, W. Barbara. The Zimmerman Telegram. New York: Viking Press, 1958.
I can only imagine how popular this book must have been in its day. The First Great War was not a distant memory at the time of its publication. In fact, the events of World War I were probably still fresh in everyone’s mind having just survived the Second World War. I know The Zimmerman Telegram was required reading for at least one political science course at my college.
Probably the most compelling thing about Tuchman’s writing is her ability to make even well-known history as compelling whodunnit mystery. Written as smoothly as a novel The Zimmerman Telegram recounts the events leading up to the United State’s involvement in World War I starting with a telegraph written by Arthur Zimmerman to Imperial German Minister in Mexico Von Eckhardt. This telegram was proposing a partnership between Germany, Mexico and Japan to form an allegiance against the U.S. Intercepted by the British, it is important to point out that the U.S. was reluctant to join the war until provoked by this telegram.
The line that summed it all up for me (and was ironically enough on the first page),”Mute and passive on the paper, they gave forth no hint that a key to the war’s deadlock lay concealed in their irregular jumble” (p 3).
Disclaimer: I wasn’t supposed to read this until 2013 but I felt so bad about abandoning A Distant Mirror that I wanted to read something else by Tuchman before the month was over.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Barbara Tuchman: Too Good To Miss” (p 225).
Just, Ward. To What End: Report From Vietnam. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1968.
Disclaimer: I threw this on my December list because somewhere I got the idea that Ward Just was born in December. Not so. He was born in September (so I have been told), so this was a mistake in the timeline.
Ward Just’s To What End is his first book and is a first hand account of the Vietnam War. As a journalist he begs the question everyone wanted to ask (and is still asking), “what business does the United States have fighting this war?” The entire time you are reading To What End you never lose sight of the fact that Just is a writer and not a solider. He views the war always from the point of view of plot, “there was a book as good as Farewell to Arms in the stories, if you had the wit to see it and the imagination to generalize from it” (p 165). And generalize Ward does. He doesn’t bother to cover all aspects of the Vietnam War, just the parts he is directly involved it. He doesn’t include an index because he doesn’t want to complicate the telling with too much detail. He has been advised to keep it short for the same reason. The end result is a quick straightforward commentary.
Striking lines: “It is the first war where an academic could walk about undisturbed (and relatively safe) and probe and take soundings” (p 79), and “The Vietnamese laugh both from amusement and embarrassment and you can never tell which” (p 102).
Author Fact: Ward Just born in September. I need to commit that to memory.
Book Trivia: To What End is Ward Just’s first book.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called ” Ward Just: Too Good To Miss” (p 135).
Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain: a Story of Boston in Revolt. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971.
This is another one of those “reread a few times” books. I can remember having a crush on Johnny when I was 13 or 14. I’m not exactly sure why. I don’t think the idea of 18th century garb was what got me. But, there was definitely something about goody boy Johnny with his artisan ego that appealed to me.
Johnny Tremain may not be the most creative of titles for Esther Forbes’s John Newbery Medal award-winning book, but it’s most appropriate as it tells the story of two years in the life of fourteen-year-old Johnny Tremain. Johnny is one of several silversmith apprentices living with the Lapham family in Boston, Massachusetts. The year is 1773 and silversmiths are in high demand. Johnny is the most gifted artisan for someone so young and he knows it. The other apprentices are jealous until one day there is an accident and Johnny’s right hand is badly maimed by molten silver. Ultimately, he loses his place with the Laphams and must find other means of employment. It isn’t long before Johnny finds a second calling. He is good with horses and becomes a dispatch rider for the Committee of Public Safety. This job brings him into the company of important men like Samuel Adams and John Hancock. It is at this point where famous events in history like the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington are woven into Johnny’s story. Fact and fiction are seamless.
Favorite lines: “Human relations never seem to stand completely still” (p 173) and “Green with spring, dreaming of the future yet wet with blood” (p 255).
Author Fact: Forbes was a Massachusetts woman.
Book Trivia: Johnny Tremain won the Newbery Medal in 1944.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Historical Fiction for Kids of All Ages” (p 114).
Keith, Agnes Newton. Three Came Home. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1947.
This may sound a little strange but I was able to finish this in the time it took to a baseball game to start and finish (no extra innings), a movie to be watched (127 minutes) and a man to get a vasectomy. In other words, no time at all was taken to start and finish Three Came Home. Besides being extrememly uncomplicated I liked it and I think that made it all the easier to buzz through.
Agnes Newton Keith is what you would call “plucky.” She is a straight shooter even in the presense of pain and suffering. As prisoners of war from January 19th, 1942 to September 11th, 1945 Keith, her husband Harry, and their infant son George are held captive by the Japanese on the island North Borneo. Because of Keith’s reputation as a writer (previously publishing a book called Land Below the Wind) Keith is commissioned by Japanese Commander Major Suga to write “The Life and Times of an Internee” as proof his prisoners did not suffer in captivity. He wanted to convey actual happiness. Keith writes an account for Major Suga but at the same time she needs to tell her truth. Three Came Home is her written-in-secret journal of nearly three years as a prisoner. It documents not only her survival but her determination to be a good mother to George and a good wife to Henry.
Despite being a “war memoir” Three Came Home is not without humor. Case in point, Keith is trying to diaper her child and “misses” describing the outcome as “an aborginal phallic decoration” (p 16). Ouch!
Above all else Keith remained true to the idea that all people are good and only circumstance makes us bad. “I believe that while we have more than we need on this continent, and others die for want of it, there can be no lasting peace” (p 317).
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Living Through War” (p 156).
Mason, Bobbie Ann. In Country. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1985.
In Country is deceivingly simple. The language is so straightforward and uncomplicated you think it was originally written for children. Here’s the scoop: 17-year-old Samantha Hughes acts obsessed with the Vietnam War. She lives with her vet uncle and pesters him daily about the possibility of Agent Orange reeking havoc with his health. He has bad acne on his face and strange headaches. Despite having a boyfriend her own age Sam also starts to fall in love with a local mechanic, another vet. To the average witness Sam’s fixation with all things Vietnam is borderline mania, but Sam has good reason. The father she never knew was lost in the war. He died when she was only two months old. He never came home. No one knows very much about him and if they do they aren’t saying much. As a result Sam feels her entire existence is shrouded in mystery. After being rejected by the vet and reading her father’s journal Sam decides she needs a change of pace. She loads her uncle and paternal grandmother in her clunker car and travels from Kentucky to Washington D.C., to The Wall. There the entire family finds some sort of closure.
I had to come back and modify this review because I forgot to point out the best thing about this book. Sam has another obsession – music. I love the way the hits of the 80s, especially Bruce Springsteen’s album ‘Born in the USA’ ground the reader and orient him/her to the timeframe of the story.
Author Fact: Bobbie Ann Mason wrote criticisms and short stories before writing In Country, her first novel.
Book Trivia: As a best-selling novel In Country was made into a movie in 1989 and starred Bruce Willis. In Country is even studied in high school English classes.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Maiden Voyages” (p 159). Pearl liked it enough to mention it again in another chapter called “Teenage Times” (p 216).
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Perigee Books, 1954.
What high school English lit teacher hasn’t put Lord of the Flies on his or her syllabi? What student hasn’t read at least one excerpt from this book? I shudder to think classrooms have moved to the movie version, but if that means Golding’s story lives on, so be it.
This could be called the most chilling sociological experiment of all times (besides Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game.) What happens when you take the most prim and organized society (proper English boys from a prep school), hand it the suggestion of chaos and violence (they are escaping a nuclear war), then leave it to its own devices without guidance (a deserted island without adults)? All normalcy goes out the window when the boys try to build their own hierarchical, structured society. In a Darwinian approach some boys, the strongest & smartest, rise to the top while weaker boys become scapegoats and victims of paranoia. In the beginning the group is held together by necessity. They recognize the need for fairness and organization, especially if they want to be rescued. But all that vanishes when the younger boys become increasingly convinced there is a monster on the island. No amount of rationalizing can calm them. Fear and violence escalates until there is no turning back. All calm is lost to tragedy.
Probably the most frustrating part about the book was something very deliberate on Golding’s part. When the boys are finally rescued the Naval officer is embarrassed by the children, especially Ralph’s emotional breakdown when remembering how it all fell apart. You want the officer, the adult, to be more understanding, to take the boys more seriously.
Book Trivia: Lord of the Flies influenced musicians like U2 and Iron Maiden and sparked television parodies but a full length movie has yet to be made.
Author Fact: Golding won a Nobel Prize for literature.
Favorite line: “The group of boys looked at the conch with affectionate respect” (p 128).
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “100 Good Reads: Decade by Decade (1950s),” (p 177).
What a weird month June ended up being! I wanted to stop borrowing books from other libraries while mine went through a transition period with it’s catalog. I chose one book to read, And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hoover Santmyer which I thought would take me the entire month of June. How wrong I was…about everything. First, the migration is delayed so I could have borrowed books from other libraries. In that one instance the library stayed the same while everything else changed: the entire building has had every light bulb changed, I’m in the process of hiring two new people (and an architect for a complete overhaul of the library’s layout), in September I will have three staff members working nights, only two people are in their same offices, and I even got new furniture. What a difference a month makes. I was also wrong about finishing And Ladies of the Club. I was bored to tears. So I moved on to:
- Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan in honor of D-Day on June 6th, 1944.
- Atonement by Ian McEwan in honor of June being Family month.
- Gold Bug by Edgar Allan Poe in honor of June being National Short Story month.
- Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler in honor of Food Week
Not a huge month for reading. I spent a lot of time focusing on life in the here and now…