Doug’s 2022 Book Club II

April 1 – June 30


I never read as much in the Spring as in other seasons because of NHL hockey, which I love. And, of course, the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup this year. We got the Cup!

I watched every playoff game but still found time for some great reads:

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale comes an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about extraordinary hope, redemption, and one man’s search for light during the darkest times of World War II.”

One of my favorites, ever. “The world that I long to inhabit is the one that Charlie Mackesy has created – a world of infinite kindness, wisdom, mutual care and tenderness, and true love between real friends. My prayer/hope is that our world will become more like this one.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

RED NOTICE: A TRUE STORY OF HIGH FINANCE, MURDER, AND ONE MAN’S FIGHT FOR JUSTICE by Bill Browder. If you want to understand Putin’s Russia, start here. I had seen an interview of Bill Browder on 60 Minutes which led me to this book. “Reads like a classic thriller, with an everyman hero alone and in danger in a hostile foreign city . . . but it’s all true.” 

And after Red Notice, I immediately read it’s sequel: FREEZING ORDER: A TRUE STORY OF MONEY LAUNDERING, MURDER, AND SURVIVING VLADIMIR PUTIN’S WRATH by Bill Browder. “An essential work by someone who understood long before the rest of the world did just how far corrupt Russian officials and businesspeople will go to defend their ill-gotten wealth, and how foreign lawyers, lobbyists and public relations firms enable them… Browder’s Freezing Order is not just a cracking good read — it is a reminder of the urgency of addressing the global plague of money laundering.” ~ The Washington Post

So then I was still interested enough to check THIS out.

Back to fiction then with WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens. My wife had read this a few years ago in her book club but I just got around to it. It’s fantastic! “A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature….Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders—and dangers—of her private world.” ~ The New York Times Book Review

As you probably already know, it’s been made into a movie but my advice is to read the book before you see the film.

I originally bought this next book for a friend who has been despairing because of the state of our world: THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO by Sophie Blackall. It looks like a children’s book but I loved it! “Infused with whimsy and hope, each page serves as a heartening reminder that even the smallest moments can be rewarding. This is the perfect pick-me-up.” ~ Publishers Weekly

Back to non-fiction with THE LOST CITY OF Z: A TALE OF DEADLY OBSESSION IN THE AMAZON by David Grann. Timely because of the recent news coverage of the murder of a British journalist and his Brazilian guide in the Amazon, you may not believe what these explorers endured, but it’s all true. “Breathtaking. . . . Grann brings Fawcett’s remarkable story to a beautifully written, perfectly paced fruition. . . . Any writer who can breathe life into letters written by scientists in the early 1900s deserves more than a hat tip.” ~ The Los Angeles Times

The GREAT CIRCLE: A NOVEL by Maggie Shipstead. Another one from Shannon’s book club and a Booker Prize Finalist, it’s “A soaring work of historical fiction . . . So convincingly does Shipstead stitch her fictional heroine into the daring flight paths of early aviators that you’ll be convinced that you remember the tragic day her plane disappeared. Great Circle is a relentlessly exciting story about a woman maneuvering her way between tradition and prejudice to get what she wants. It’s also a culturally rich story that takes full advantage of its extended length to explore the changing landscape of the 20th century. My top recommendation for this summer.” ~ Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Finally, I just finished the Pulitzer Prize winning PARTING THE WATERS: AMERICA IN THE KING YEARS: 1954-63 by Taylor Branch. It’s fantastic, especially if you were alive in those years. It humanizes Martin Luther King, and I will definitely be reading the final two books in the 3-part series. “Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American Civil Rights Movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations.”

As always, please share your favorite read in 2022.

So many great books, so little time!