Picture the scene: The Scottish Highlands have done their best to flatten sixteen weary hikers who are now recuperating in the warm and gracious dining room of the Killiecrankie House Hotel in Pitlochry. (All of these Scottish names benefit from a wee roll of the tongue, by the way.) The fireplace in the grand old dining room has warmed our aching bits, a lavish dinner has been served by men in kilts, no less, and the wine has been flowing.
It wasn’t long before we discovered that travel and hiking were not our only common passions. Oh no, soon conversation turned to books! And in between the fumbling for titles….”The Stone Cutters?” No, no, “Cutting for Stone!” and authors….”You know the guy…..the one who wrote that book about the spy….” we managed to come up with a list. Well, let’s be fair here. There would be no list if the Lovely Louise from San Antonio hadn’t had the presence of mind to grab a pen and record the titles being tossed around. And so here they are in absolutely no particular order or ranking although I may not be able to resist throwing in a comment on something I’ve already read. And I have culled a few Herman Wouk and Ken Follett titles assuming they are not new to anybody (Winds of War and Pillars of the Earth, etc.)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
One friend enjoyed this thoroughly, another loathed it. I am reminded that no two people read the same book.
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Another fascinating Geraldine Brooks novel.
Sarum by Edward Rutherford
The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Mr. Nice by Howard Marks
The Social Animal by David Brooks
White Dog Fell from the Sky by Eleanor Morse
A favorite of mine and one of my book club’s 2014 selections.
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
If you haven’t already encountered Ignatius J. Reilly, you should. One of fiction’s most memorable characters.
Old Filth by Jane Gardam
FILTH: “Failed in London, Try Hong Kong”. Immerse yourself in Gardam’s intelligent and tender writing.
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Read this (and very much enjoyed it) shortly after I got home because John from Maine declared it the favorite of his All Men’s Book Club. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for one of those meetings.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
How It All Began by Penelope Lively
One of my very favorite authors. Adding to my TBR pile right now.
The Expats: A Novel by Chris Pavone
And there you have it. Happy Reading!