*If you are new here, WELCOME! For This Tender Land, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!
If you’ve been stuck in a reading rut lately, especially due to the pandemic (or just life in general), then This Tender Land could be the next read for you. It’s a character-driven adventure story with all the feels, but it won’t leave you emotionally fatigued. I truly loved this book.
The novel centers around two young brothers and their two friends, a mute American Indian and a sweet-hearted girl with a mysterious gift. All four characters begin their journey at a brutal reformatory-like institution called the Lincoln Indian Training School. All four characters are orphans longing for family.
The story follows the group as they make a narrow escape from the school after an accidental crime is committed and set out for a new home, making their journey down the Mississippi river. Along the way they encounter drifters, struggling farmers, and faith healers.
The book, set against the backdrop of the American midwest during the Great Depression, is a beautiful coming-of-age that explores questions of faith, love, and belonging.Continue reading
*If you are new here, WELCOME! In this post, I’ll share 10 Black Lives Matter Novels Your Book Club Should Read!
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost to you or the featured book’s author). All opinions are 100% mine and every book, unless otherwise noted, is handpicked by me to be featured on the site.
In the recent Black Lives Matter movement and with Black History Month at hand, many book clubs are choosing books by black authors about the experience of being black in America (yes, even today) and about the call to eradicate racism.
Can racism truly ever be eradicated? I don’t know.
But, this year has been a year of examining our hearts in view of the often hidden racism that still exists in America. I say hidden because I think many people still struggle with acknowledging biases despite proclaiming otherwise.
Change starts by examining our own hearts and choosing to remove whatever hinders kindness to any member of the human race. That is the power each one of us holds.
Today I’m going to share with you not non-fiction books about the topic, but novels. There are lots of lists out on the internet right now about Black Lives Matter non-fiction. This is a list of fiction.
Sometimes fiction can help us lower our guard, peak over walls we didn’t know we had erected, and begin to empathize with someone far different than ourselves in a way that non-fiction can’t.
So, if your book club is considering choosing a novel for Black Lives Matter or Black History Month, check out these 10 novels.Continue reading
*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Tattooist of Auschwitz, I provide your book club with a brief summary, a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is one of the most popular books of recent years. It tells the true story of Lale Sokolov, who became the tattooist of Auschwitz during his many years at the concentration camp, tattooing numbers on incoming prisoners. One day, Lale tattoos the arm of a beautiful girl and, despite the circumstances, it is love at first sight. The book chronicles the love affair of Lale and Gita, their time at Auschwitz, and their struggle for survival.
The novel is the debut of Heather Morris, who recently released a sequel titled Cilka’s Journey. If you’ve read the novel, you recognize the name from one of the characters.
Morris originally wrote the novel as a screenplay after meeting Lale Sokolov and learning his story. For years she tried to get film interest. When that faltered, she rewrote the story in novel form.
Unfortunately, to me, the novel read like a screenplay that had been lightly filled in with narrative. The story itself is fascinating and, while it could have been one of the best novels I’ve ever read based on the story alone, it fell flat to me due to the sparse writing. I often felt like I was being told, “Lale did this or that,” rather than experiencing what happened through Lale’s narrative.
The good news is that you may not read it in the same way I did. Many readers have absolutely fallen in love with the novel. There are over 25,000 Amazon reviews alone, which is unheard of. And, while I felt like the writing wasn’t what I normally expect from a novel, I did enjoy learning Lale’s story.Continue reading