Who said, “so many books, so little time”? Just a couple of hours is plenty of time to read one of these books, each with about 200 pages or less. They are available to borrow from the Lititz Public Library.
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
The unnamed narrator begins her story with odd facts and recollections from her travels, and moves to a portrait of a marriage and relationship.
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
A young housekeeper with a ten-year-old son is hired to care for a brilliant math professor who, after a traumatic head injury, lives with only eighty minutes of short-term memory.
Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
The events of a cataclysmic summer alter a boy’s understanding of his family, his small-town-sheriff father, his strong mother, his Sioux housekeeper and his uncle, a war hero and respected doctor.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
As a woman prepares to host a party she reflects on her past, including the decision thirty years earlier, to marry her husband instead of an exciting suitor.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Set in a Stalinist forced-labor camp in Siberia in 1951, a man’s rituals and ploys help preserve his life and sanity.
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
A middle-aged man contends with a past he has never much thought about until his oldest friends return, one of them from the grave and another frustratingly present.
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
A day laborer in the American West at the start of the 20th century struggles to make sense of the world as he witnesses the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime.
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital by Lorrie Moore
A woman recalls the summer of 1972 when she and her best friend were teenagers, driven by restlessness and making their own rules.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
A simple New Englander, bound to the demands of his farm and his tyrannical, sickly wife, is driven by his star-crossed love for his wife’s young cousin.
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
A young Marco Polo diverts his aged host, Kublai Khan, with stories of the cities he has seen on his travels around the empire.
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
A four-woman expedition hopes to collect specimens and record their observations of Area X, a contaminated terrain that has claimed the lives of eleven previous expeditions.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
In the wake of September 11, an immigrant’s promising position among New York’s business elite is suddenly overturned, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power and love.
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
The lives of six Japanese mail-order brides in early 20th century San Francisco are marked by backbreaking migrant work, cultural struggles, children who reject their heritage and the prospect of wartime internment.
A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
A veteran of the Great War and a broken marriage arrives in a remote Yorkshire village where he is to restore a recently discovered medieval mural and finds himself restored to a new and hopeful attachment to life.
An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell
A police inspector discovers the skeletal hand of a corpse in the overgrown garden of his new countryside home and undertakes an investigation into a long-buried secret.
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
At the height of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, two boys are exiled to the countryside for “re-education” where their meager distractions include a violin and the beautiful daughter of the local tailor.
By the way, the opening quotation comes from American musician Frank Zappa (1940-1993).
September 30, 2016