Two favorite Books

Hello Reading Buddies– It’s wonderful to have you– friends who also spend time reading.  Like Sally my reading twin– She called a few weeks ago– said, “I’m in the middle of the best book!”  and I answered, “Me too.”  Turns out it was the same book!  (The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane)  Or Janet who generously drops off books from shelves that she knows I will enjoy as much as she does.  Or my smart friend Jenni, who’s guided and nurtured our lit group for the last 33 years!  And there’s LeAnn who’s gifted me with the most beautiful books…

So in honor of all these ladies and reading all around! — here’s two favorite books, one new and one old that I read years ago…

Favorite book this summer was The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.  When the Vicar in the small village in southern England (Chilbury) disbands the church choir near the beginning of WWII, the ladies in town determine to carry on singing on their own!  This is the wartime setting for a group of ladies you’ll love– the responsible nurse in town who’s just sent her only son off to war, the older daughter of a prominent family intent on wooing a new artist in town, her younger sister who wants to become a well known singer, a Czech refugee separated from her family and an unscrupulous scheming midwife up to no good.  Sort of a British style Mitford story– easy reading and characters you can root for.  I was charmed.

A few years back I crossed paths with Bo Caldwell’s The Distant Land of my Father.  The story begins with Anna, the young daughter of a wealthy expat couple living in Shanghai in their elegant home, cared for by servants.  But as the Japanese invade the city, Anna and her mother flee to live in California.  Her father left behind falls into dire circumstances of WWII and the story is woven between their two accounts– the riveting story of a father and daughter.  Loved this book for the settings, the depth of the characters, the unfolding of the story.  It’s one of my top ten favorite books, so I thought you might like to read it too.


P.S.  Painting at the top thanks to Jos Van den Niewenhof