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  • Writer's pictureBecky Bechhold

Reading Season

The Wager by David Grann

Another fantastic non-fiction read by Grann-the author of The Lost City of Z and Killers of the Flower Moon.

I became enamored of books about long-ago sailing expeditions after reading about Shackleton and the Endurance. This ill-fated voyage has complicated mutiny and personality clashes. The Audible version is well performed , but I would recommend the written form unless you are a skilled listener. Many names and alliances to keep straight. 9/10

A Fever in the Heartland by Timothy Egan

A difficult read because it describes horrific violence by the Klan, but I highly recommend it. Who knew Indiana was the origin of such deep seated violence and political corruption in the 20's and 30's? So embedded was the KKK control of politicians, that save for this one woman, it could have tipped the country into serious extremist governance. Sound familiar??


Community Board by Tara Conklin

On a much lighter note- this is a comedic, fun story set in the Berkshires. Excellent Audible, fun to listen to on a walk or in the car. Heartbroken from a cheating husband, Darcy takes refuge at her parent's home. Good writing, great characters vis a vis Ted Lasso.


Another in the light reading category. Funny, contemporary with themes of loyalty, family and honesty. Another good choice for Audible fans.


Commitment by Mona Simpson

Not an easy, breezy read, but the story of a family and how they cope with a Mother's mental illness. Would make an excellent discussion for a group.


Lone Women by Victor Lavalle

A Black woman strikes out on her own in 1915 Montana. A propulsive read that mixes a dash of horror with a brutal depiction of life in the early West. Excellent writing and an engaging story.


The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again,Yes by Keane is an absolute must-read, this book is not on that level, but still worthy. Laudably performed in the Audible version makes that an enjoyable choice. A couple in New Jersey struggles with their life, and the bar he owns.


The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear

Recruited as a young spy in WW I, then called back to serve in WW II, Elinor seeks a quiet life. This is shattered by the family of her neighbors and she becomes involved in political corruption that leads her back to the truth about her earlier service.

An engaging, page-turner which I thoroughly enjoyed.


The Lost Wife by Susanna Moore

Based on a true story of a woman captured in 1862 in the Sioux uprising in the Minnesota territory. Very short, but dramatic and horrifying. A remarkable tale which will spark lively discussion about our early frontier.


The All-American by Joe Milan Jr.

Bucky is a Korean born high-school footballer hoping to get recruited for college ball. What he gets is deported from his small, rural town in Washington State to South Korea because no one registered him the in the US. He is totally adrift in Korea where he cannot even pronounce his birth name. I was put off by much of the language in this book, but the story lines of immigration, ill-formed masculinity, family, and hope still come through.


I read these books, but cannot score them highly. Please look into them and make your own decision.

Take What You Need by Idra Novey

Take My Hand by Dolan Perkins-Valdez


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