Now that the AtoZ Challenge has ended, I’ve had to remember what I normally write about in my blog! While you’ll still see garden posts from time to time, you’ll also find posts about travel, writing, health, genealogy, and who knows what else. Some would call this unfocused, but I prefer the word eclectic.
Anyway, I love sharing books I enjoy. This week, I am covering two from nearby Pacific Northwest writers. Though they are different from each other, both are memoirs, and both are fascinating in their own ways. I also had the privilege of meeting both authors!
First, Sleeping on Potatoes: A Lumpy Adventure from Manzanar to the Corporate Tower, tells of author Carl Nomura’s time in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Though born in the U.S., his harrowing experiences of being treated as an alien enemy in the land of his birth is a must-read. We cannot ignore this uncomfortable period in our history, for the seeds exist in our current politics for this to happen again.
Though some aspects of the book are weak (his description of his children seems more for family benefit and don’t add to the story), Nomura’s journey is extraordinary. Nomura is 93 now and has difficulty seeing and hearing, but he can still tell a great story.
A Long Way from Paris by E.C. Murray will delight those who enjoy such books as Eat, Pray, Love and Wild. Ms. Murray focuses her story on 1980, when she ran away from a bad relationship to herd goats in the south of France. I won’t tell you how that happens, but this is one of those books I couldn’t put down. The more she delves into her French experience, including relationships with her employers and a fellow goatherd, the more I loved it. The goats will win your heart, too. It is funny, touching, sad, and honest, achingly so at times.
How about you? What are you reading these days? Help me add to my “to read” list!
I love the sound of the second one especially. One that I’ve read in a similar vein include From Here You Can’t See Paris by Michael S Sanders. it’s about a man who spends a year in a tiny French village, working in the only business in that village – it’s a fabulous restaurant, which w heave actually been to. It’s down a tiny a tiny track in the middle of what feels ,ink nowhere, but the food was wonderful, it was summer and we sat outside to eat with the locals on the terrace surrounded by bougainvillaea. We refused… Read more »
I’ve read that one! It’s a wonderful book, and how exciting that you ate there! I can’t imagine turning down goat cheese, though.
Sorry about all the spelling mistakes above. It’s been a long day at work followed by a committee meeting, and I really should have gone to bed before posting!
Thanks for commenting anyway! You made a great contribution.
I’m reading Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky about the German occupation of France. I think it’s just been made into a film. So far I’m finding it hard going – too many characters to remember and I can’t warm to any of them. It’s for my book group though, so I have to keep going. I find this curtails my reading because when I’m struggling with the monthly title I feel guilty if I read anything else. But I like the people in the group so I don’t want to give it up – it’s a dilemma!
That does sound like a tough one. Book clubs can be great for keeping us from getting into a reading rut. I bet the discussion will be interesting.
I have finished The Boys in the Boat and Unbroken. The Boys in the Boat is about one young man’s horrific experience growing up here in the NW during the Depression Era. The light in his life was learning to crew on the rowing team at the University of Washington and then participating in the 1936 Olympics in Germany. I thought it was an outstanding read. It talked about learning the art of working together as a team as well. There were parts that were sad, enlightening, and educational. Then Unbroken was another dynamic tale of a young man’s life,… Read more »
These all sound great. I missed the movie version of Unbroken, though it sounds like the book is a lot better, as is often the case.
Both sound really good!! We have some of the former internment camps near us, my dad was always careful to inform us of each time we passed by them. We are familiar with the concept. Might be a good book to read out loud. Personally, I have a few books I am reading. The favorite, though is Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott.
I’m glad your father took the time to share this information with you. So many people don’t realize the atrocities that Japanese Americans endured.
Bird by Bird is always a good one!
A Long Way from Paris sounds like a must read. Thanks for mentioning it.
A Long Way from Paris sounds like a book I’d enjoy.
I hope you enjoy it, Sherry! Thanks for visiting.
A Long Way From Paris… now that sounds like a book I’d read. 🙂
If you want to try something different and fun, read C Lee Mackenzie’s middle grade story Alligator’s Overhead.
Interesting. I’ll take a look!