With all of us having more time on our hands, the staff at Village Square Booksellers has some book suggestions to keep you occupied. As many of you might have heard, American Dirt, https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9781250209764 by Jeanine Cummins, was chosen as an Oprah Book Club Pick and became very controversial for not being an “Own Voices” narrative. In light of this, Pat would like to remind readers that John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780143039433 , East of Eden https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780140186390 and Cannery Row https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780140187373 were not written by someone who had actually experienced those types of events, but they are recognized as fantastic depictions of life in the Salinas-Monterey area of California in the 30’s and 40’s. Steinbeck grew up in a Victorian home in Salinas and attended Stanford University for a bit before setting down to write full time.
Myles’ suggestions include The Plague by Albert Camus https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780679720218 The novel is about a bubonic plague ravaging the people of a North African coastal town that has become a classic of 20th century literature. The people band together for the common good. Cold Storage by David Koepp https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780062916433 is a terrorizing tale of a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction supposedly safely stored in a military repository. Other suggestions include Blindness by Saramago https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780156007757 , The Journal of the Plague Year by Defoe https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780140437850 , Year of Wonders: A novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780142001431 and Severance by Ling Ma https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9781250214997
With Main Street Arts’s production of Cabaret being postponed, you might want to read Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780811218047 , which inspired the Broadway musical. And Myles’ favorite classics include The Tale of Genji by Murasaki https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780393353396 , Don Quixote by Cervantes https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780060934347 & Anna Karenina by Tolstoy https://www.villagesquarebooks.com/book/9780143035008 .
Pat Fowler, Myles Mickle