Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (The writing was good, but I didn’t care for or about Mamah and Frank.)
Why I Picked It: The November 2015 Book Club pick. Coincidentally, the Bachman-Wilson home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright opened this month at Crystal Bridges. I see a day trip in my future!
Details/Topics: Historical novel based on Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney’s extramarital love affair.
I was pretty disgusted by both characters’ choices throughout the book, so I couldn’t connect with them or feel empathy. It was kind of a chore to get through the book…but worth it in the end
“It’s the heart of his dilemma,” Mattie muttered. “The man’s values have flown right out his abstract windows.”
“She would take her grace where she found it.”
#Nature‘s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down today.
Nothing gold can stay.
Thank you S.E. Hinton and Ponyboy Curtis for the one and only Robert Frost poem committed to memory, and for The Outsiders – the quintessential novel of my youth. #Gratitude30
Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
My Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: It’s written by Nadia Bolz-Weber, my Lutheran “sheroe.” Listen to her interview on NPR.
Details/Topics: What if that person you’ve been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace today? And what if that’s the point? (I took this directly from the synopsis on GoodReads)
Favorite Quotes: I could go on and on and quote the whole book (I basically highlighted every other sentence), but this really sums it up for me:
“And the thing about grace, real grace, is that it stings. It stings because if it’s real it means we don’t “deserve” it. … And receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world.”
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: We were heading to the beach for a week and I knew I’d need several books to take with me. Thank goodness for the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble. I don’t typically read a lot of historical novels, but this one really tugged at me. I’m so glad.
Details/Topics: A lightkeeper and his wife live in isolation to tend to a lighthouse. One day they discover a baby who has washed ashore in a boat along with a dead man.
“When he wakes sometimes from dark dreams of broken cradles, and compasses without bearings, he pushes the unease down, lets the daylight contradict it. And isolation lulls him with the music of the lie.”
“The town draws a veil over certain events. This is a small community where everyone knows that sometimes the contract to forget is as important as any promise to remember. Children can grow up having no knowledge of the indiscretion of their father in his youth or the illegitimate sibling who lives fifty miles away and bears another man’s name. History is that which is agreed upon by mutual consent. That’s how life goes on; protected by the silence that anaesthetises shame.”
“Such a mysterious business, motherhood. How brave a woman must be to embark on it.”
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: This was a book club pick, not something I would have likely chosen for myself. But, as always, I appreciate being stretched beyond my personal preferences. That’s how we grow!
Details/Topics: The subtitle says it all: Nine American’s and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
“…when Hitler watched Joe and the boys fight their way back from the rear of the field to sweep ahead of Italy and Germany seventy-five years ago, he saw, but did not recognize, heralds of his doom. He could not have known that one day hundreds of thousands of boys just like them , boys who shared their essential natures – decent and unassuming, not privileged or favored by anything in particular, just loyal, committed and perseverant – would return to Germany dressed in olive drab and hunt him down.”