“A great novel, rather than discouraging me, simply makes me want to write.” — Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet
Todays posting is back to one of my favorites.
I want to share six great books and six great authors.
I’ve shared some others on the Scribbler and if you’re interested, please go
I hope you find something you like and check out their stories.
(Do you have a favorite? Tell us about it in the comment box below.)
Layers by Zuzanne Belec
Eight short stories on the power of the human spirit.
Layers is a debut collection of imaginative short stories celebrating life and the human spirit despite the ever-present spectre of melancholy in our lives today. With their distinctive blend of wit and humour, they light up any underlying darkness.
From the Americas to India, from Africa to Europe, and through a range of genres, voices and styles, layers are unraveled, revealing the textures and contrasts of old and new in the environments and cultures of today's fast-paced world.
With vivid descriptions, we are drawn into enchanting worlds with characters that leap off the page, leaving the reader lingering long after the pages have been read.
*This is a great introduction to Belec’s writing. Creative, entertaining, each story is different. If you like short stories, give this one a read.
Zuzanne has been a guest on the Scribbler and if you want to read more, please go HERE.
Memories on the Bounty by Janet Coulter Sanford
For fans of Tuesdays with Morrie, a memoir of friendship in the face of memory loss, and of preserving one man's story of an incredible year about the replica HMS Bounty.
In 1960, Roy Boutilier and twenty-five fellow Nova Scotians set sail for Tahiti aboard the newly built replica sailing ship Bounty. The ship stayed in Tahiti for almost a year while MGM Studios filmed the epic historical drama Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Marlon Brando.
Roy's year on Bounty and his experiences in Tahiti are themselves the stuff of movies, but it took a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease for Roy and his old friend, Janet Sanford, to realize that his fascinating stories would be lost if someone didn't capture those memories.
So began a series of Monday-morning meetings as Roy and the author embarked on a race against time. Memories on the Bounty goes far beyond re-telling Roy's story; it explores the boundaries of memory, the challenges of storytelling, the pain of saying goodbye, and the enduring bonds between good friends.
With dozens of never-before-seen photos from Bounty's maiden voyage and her time in Tahiti, Memories on the Bounty weaves a heartwarming tale of love, loss, adventure, and deep friendship.
*Sanford’s memoir not only recollects the memories and once in a lifetime experience of a younger Roy, but it entertains in the telling of the story and the warm relationship of author and a true friend, before he forgets.
An exceptional debut.
Janet has been a guest on the Scribbler and if you’d like to read more, please go HERE.
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.
Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.
Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.
A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.
*I read the blurb for this book at a friend’s house and I knew right away I wanted to read it. Couldn’t put it down. Excellent story.
Daughters of the Resistance by Lana Kortchik.
A heart-wrenching novel of love, resilience and courage in World War II, from the author of Sisters of War – perfect for readers who loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The German Midwife.
USA Today bestseller!
On a train from Ukraine to Germany, Lisa Smirnova is terrified for her life. The train is under Nazi command, heading for one of Hitler’s rumoured labour camps. As she is taken away from everything she holds dear, Lisa wonders if she will ever see her family again.
In Nazi-occupied Kiev, Irina Antonova knows she could be arrested at any moment. Trapped in a job registering the endless deaths of the people of Kiev, she risks her life every day by secretly helping her neighbours, while her husband has joined the Soviet partisans, who are carrying out life-threatening work to frustrate the German efforts.
When Lisa’s train is intercepted by the partisans, Irina’s husband among them, these women’s lives will take an unimaginable turn. As Irina fights to protect her family and Lisa is forced to confront the horrors of war, together they must make an impossible decision: what would they be willing to lose to save the people they love?
*I’ve read all of Kortchik’s novels and I’ve never been disappointed. This is a terrific read for WW2 buffs.
Lana has been a guest on the Scribbler and if you missed her post, please go HERE.
Last Winter’s Taken by MJ LaBeff
The murder of Willow Danby, a married woman and expectant mother, thrusts Homicide Detective Rachel Hood into a murder investigation and missing person’s case as she searches for the baby ripped from Willow’s body. The mysterious undertone surrounding the current investigation forces Rachel to reopen a cold case from the previous year. Yvonne Johnson and Willow Danby couldn’t have been more different. Wrong side of the tracks meets white picket fence. The only thing the two women have in common: they’re both dead and their infants are missing.
Even with a long list of suspects to interview, alibis abound, and Rachel is no closer to solving Danby’s or Johnson’s deaths. She worries: where are the children? Rachel’s psychic empathy draws her closer to the taken infants, and she suffers from a haunting premonition. But, how can she be their voice when they are too tiny to speak?
A single clue left at each of the crime scenes links the cases together and leads Rachel to a mystery dating back to the year 1638. Her frightening premonition spirals out of control, but she can’t track the infants’ sobs.
The sinister murders and search for the missing infants reunites her with occult crimes specialist and psychic FBI Agent Nick Draven. Even with his psychic gift of hypersensitive hearing, Nick can’t hear the infants’ cries in the night. Then a mysterious enigma is unearthed for the first time in over 372 years and draws them closer to a modern day sociopath, murdering expectant mothers and taking their unborn children.
*Thriller lovers won’t want to miss this one. LaBeff’s blend of the paranormal and modern day criminal investigation make for a top notch story. It was easy to get lost in this book.
MJ has been a popular guest on the Scribbler and is you’ve missed her previous visits, please go HERE.
At age fifty-five, the author became a first-time parent. Her new charges were reckless, accident-prone, pig-headed, over 80 years old and bigger than her.
In a memoir told with grace, poignancy, and humour, the author chronicles her years of managing the care of her elderly parents as together they slipped into dementia - from a chaotic Christmas, to an addled father who insists on driving, to calls to the police, to trips to the hospital, to a high-priced care facility that lost track of her stepmother.
*An award winning memoir. It was with great pleasure I picked up this book. Vowles story of caring for aging parents is both entertaining and amusing, heart breaking at times. An enjoyable read.