Posts Tagged ‘books’

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Add The Paris Library to your summer reading list. Any fan of historical fiction, or any book lover in general, will love this book! 

Coming out in June of 2020, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is an engaging tale that is narrated on dual timelines and is sure to become a best seller. A book lover’s delight, I could not help but think about Susan Orlean’s The Library Book as I was reading.  I was provided an ARC via NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for a fair and honest review, and I am strongly recommending this book.

Navigating dual timelines, the author weaves an engaging plot between two characters, Odile and Lily. Set in both WWII Paris and 1980s Froid, Montana, we are drawn into both their stories knowing they will soon combine, and they do in a beautiful way.

As the book opens, a young Odile begins a new job as a librarian at The American Library in Paris at the onset of WWII, and her narrative is peppered with Dewey Decimal references which could have been very odd and distracting but is in fact absolutely charming. As the employees of the library work to protect their books, and themselves, during the Nazi occupation of Paris, it is interesting to note that many of the characters in this novel are real people and many of the events also all too real.

The author has drawn from the papers of Dorothy Reeder who served as the director of The American Library in Paris during World War II. At the end of the novel, Ms. Charles brings us up to date with what happened to the characters in real life after the war.

Perhaps because of the fact that many of the characters were real people, their story line in the novel is the more engaging and developed one, but the contemporary story line of Odile is still deftly drawn and merges beautifully with Lily’s in 1980s Froid, Montana, where Odile is considered “the war bride,” and an eccentric, odd sort of person. I won’t give any spoilers here, but the ending of the book is absolutely perfect and a very satisfying ending.

This is the kind of book you can get lost in for a few hours, or wade leisurely through over a couple of days. Either way I highly recommend The Paris Library. Mark your calendar for June 2020.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

My reviews of Stephen Budiansky’s soon to be released volume Perilous Fight America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas 1812-1815 are now available both at Lunch.com here and at Amazon.com via the Amazon vine program here.

If you are looking for a book that is a play by play of the cannon balls of the fleet such as Preble’s boys you will likely be disappointed but Budiansky does cover a lot of aspects of the War that have been given short shift by other historians.

Oh and I suspect the William Bainbridge fan club will take Budiansky off their Christmas list.

My reviews of Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse by James L. Swanson are now available at Amazon.com here (via Amazon vine) and Lunch.com here

It’s a great taste of the last days of the Civil war and its aftermath.

There is an old saying that one is better off keeping ones mouth closed if thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Richard Wolffe decided on MSNBC to remove all doubt as he refers to one of the greatest Christian apologists of the 20th century as merely a Children’s author.

Wolffe seems to think it is clever to mock Palin reading a “children’s author,” while disrespecting one of the greatest authors in literature. Yes, C.S. Lewis is most famous among the pop culture crowd with the movies and sudden ressurgance of The Chronicles of Narnia, which happens to be an allegorical tale of Jesus Christ, who became a human being, and gave His life to save undeserving human beings from the penalty of sin. (Richard Wolffe seems to be in the same boat as Liam Neeson when it comes to not understanding C.S. Lewis’ Christian tales.)

I guess the MSNBC pop culture crowd are not as well read as they think they are.

“I’m not putting him down,” Wollfe responded. “But you know divine inspiration? There are things she could’ve said to divine inspiration. Choosing C.S. Lewis is an interesting one.”

Chris Matthews who is apparently remembers some of the stuff the Nuns taught him as a kid tries to warn Wolffe off but Wolffe doesn’t get it.

And to those of us (like Sarah Palin apparently) who are better informed and apparently better read than MSNBC analysis the fun continues:

Evidently, they didn’t cover Mere Christianity or The Four Loves when Wolffe himself was attending Oxford, where Lewis was both an alumnus and a distinguished faculty member for over thirty years.

And MSNBC wonders why no one takes them seriously. With or without Olbermann. Really.

and as Michelle Malkin reports Wolffe instead of admitting he goofed is spinning madly:

Brian Faughnan called Wolffe out on Twitter. Here was his response. Seriously:

She said “divine inspiration”. Not the traditional reaction to theological essays, even formidable ones by Lewis.

As Michelle says “He (Lewis) had them pegged”

But it is Stacy McCain who gives away J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Lewis’ game to the sectarian atheist crowd.

Lewis was, of course, a master of Christian apologetics and a good friend of J.R.R. Tolkien — they were colleagues at Oxford University – with whom he shared a desire to use literature to as a means of spreading the Christian worldview. Most fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy are probably unaware that they are absorbing a sort of sermon when they read the tales of Frodo and his comrades, but that’s the point: Tolkien (and Lewis) understood that many people who wouldn’t sit still for a theological lecture would be only too happy to read a well-written adventure tale about elves and dragons and magic.

Sarah Palin understands this. Richard Wolffe apparently does not. A nelson award for him:

I have a funny feeling the clip from Hardball will not make the Sunday Talk shows nor will it make Willie Geist’s “news you can’t use” segment on Monday for some reason. Can’t fathom why.