“We all fall down,” begins Centuries of June by Keith Donohue, “Perhaps it is a case of bad karma or simply a matter of being more prone to life’s little accidents, but I hit my head and fell hard this time around. Facedown on the bathroom ?oor, I watched my blood escape from me, spreading across the cool ceramic tiles like an oil slick, too bright and theatrical to be real. A scarlet river seeped into the grout, which will be murder to clean. The ?ow hit the edge of the bathtub and pooled like water behind a dam.”
“There were many issues related to Hitler’s rise that we were unaware of,” says Laurie of the Ancora Imparo book group after reading In the Garden of Beasts. “The opinions of those advising Dodd (did the government really not care?); the U.S. government being more concerned with getting its money from WWI than with what was happening at the time; the isolationist movement; immigration quotas; suicides during this time; and Dodd’s foresight in regards to Hitler. These issues sparked many long discussions in our group.”
“But there it was again, that Hollows silence – just the singing birds and the cool wind through the leaves. She looked through the trees, and there was no one coming. She was alone – her shirt ripped, her cell phone lost, her chest painful from uncommon effort. Fear drained, leaving her feeling weak and foolish. She started toward home. She wouldn’t tell anyone what she saw. She couldn’t. No one would believe her, anyway. Because Willow Graves was a liar, and everyone knew it – even, and maybe especially, her mother.”
“I get a weekly round-up of stories from The Seattle Times,” says Tattered Cover Book Store bookseller Jackie Blem, “two articles that popped up recently caught my attention and spurred me to defend my beloveds: books, real-live physical books. Both articles dealt, in different ways, with interior design and new ways to use bookshelves in this digital age. Both made me want to stand up and scream: ‘Books are NOT decorations, they are FAMILY!’”
Each week, Read It Forward gathers the latest and greatest from the world of books to share with our community of readers. This week: The New York Times reveals 15 Cool Book Covers that Didn’t Make the Cut, Huffingtonpost compiles a list of The 11 Most Surprising Banned Books of All Time, Salon’s Trazzler features The World’s Most Inspiring Bookstores, this week’s New York Times bestsellers & more.
“At first I wanted the book to be about Michael,” admits John Prendergast, “and I’d just be a supporting actor. But as we got into it, I realized I had to explain WHY I cared enough about Michael and his brothers to become their Big Brother. And once I started asking those internal questions, the answers took me deeper and deeper into painful and often embarrassing spaces. But the more I ‘discovered’ about myself and my own history, the more determined I was to tell the whole story, no matter what it revealed.”
Debby’s book group – the Temple Har Shalom Evening Book Group from Warren, NJ – met recently and had a lively discussion of In the Garden of Beasts. “As a group of Jewish women,” Debby shared with RIF, “we were interested in the Jewish issues that came up throughout the book, including the anti-Semitism of some U.S. government officials – and perhaps the Dodds themselves – as well as the often-asked question of what could have been done to stop Hitler, if anything.”
“Doc Holliday has always fascinated me,” says Lisa Casper of Tattered Cover Book Store. “Maybe it’s because of all the movies, or because he had TB and died young like my grandmother, or because I was exposed to TB and had to take pills for a year which was scary. But I think it’s mainly because I love all things Western and the larger-than-life characters that seem to take root in the western landscape.”