Once again, the Pinot & Prose book club has decided to announce its selections for multiple months so that our regular readers and others who may wish to join us will have more advanced notice of what we have selected to read. Each of these books has been read by one or more members of the book club who have highly recommended it for our group.
Enjoy these books and come join your fellow retirees for the discussion sessions and the lunch to follow. We hold them at 11:30 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at Walter Mitty’s Restaurant.
Here are the books for the next three months:
For February our selection is: Blue Highways, A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon.
Publisher’s Comments: “William Least Heat-Moon’s journey into America began with little more than the need to put home behind him. At a turning point in his life, he packed up a van he called Ghost Dancing and escaped out of himself and into the country. The people and the places he discovered on his roundabout 13,000-mile trip down the back roads (“blue highways”) and through small, forgotten towns are unexpected, sometimes mysterious, and full of the spark and wonder of ordinary life. Robert Penn Warren said, “He has a genius for finding people who have not even found themselves.” The power of Heat-Moon’s writing and his delight in the overlooked and the unexamined capture a sense of our national destiny, the true American experience. (A Mariner Reissue)”
“Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation’s backroads. William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about “those little towns that get on the map-if they get on at all-only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi.” His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.”
Our discussion of Blue Highways is scheduled for Wednesday, February 27th, at 11:30 a.m. at Walter Mitty’s Restaurant.
For March our selection is: The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston.
Publisher Comments: “A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world’s densest jungle.”
“Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.”
“Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quick mud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn’t until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.”
“Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.”
Our discussion of The Lost City of the Monkey God is scheduled for March 27th, at 11:30 a.m. at Walter Mitty’s Restaurant.
For April our selection is: Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.
Publisher Comments: “A gripping and exquisitely rendered story of forbidden love, betrayal, and murder, set against the brutality of the Jim Crow South.”
“When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Laura does not share Henry’s love of rural life, and she struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack with no indoor plumbing or electricity, all the while under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud.”
“As the McAllans are being tested in every way, two celebrated soldiers of World War II return home to help work the farm. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not: charming, handsome, and sensitive to Laura’s plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, comes home from fighting the Nazis with the shine of a war hero, only to face far more personal—and dangerous—battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. It is the unlikely friendship of these two brothers-in-arms, and the passions they arouse in others, that drive this powerful debut novel. Mudbound reveals how everyone becomes a player in a tragedy on the grandest scale, even as they strive for love and honor.”
“Jordan’s indelible portrayal of two families caught up in the blind hatred of a small Southern town earned the prestigious Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded biennially to a first literary novel that addresses issues of social injustice.”
Our discussion of Mudbound is scheduled for April 24th, at 11:30 a.m. at Walter Mitty’s Restaurant.