Between the Lines Noon on First Fridays at Westport Library
Every First Friday of the month I venture a few blocks north over lunch to the Westport Branch of the Kansas City Public Library to discuss books and other tangential topics with the women (and an occasional man) of the Between the Lines book discussion group. When last we left off in December, we did not have a designated book to read for January, so we were supposed to come ready to give recommendations.
That got sidetracked by the good intentions of our library liaison, Seth, who provided our facilitator, Rose, a last-minute selection for us to read. I received the email a few days ago and happened to run into Seth at the Plaza Branch (which just happens to be on the first floor of the building I spend every week day at) and asked him for a copy of Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. We both went searching for a copy, Seth to the New & Notable display section and me to the Fiction section. Neither one of us found it at first but I returned to the New & Notable display and found it on the top shelf (neither Seth or I are what you’d call tall). I checked it out and planned to read it over the weekend since it appeared to be a short book (short to me is anything less than 500 pages). I did finish it quickly, over a couple of days.
Due to the late notice, only one other member of Between the Lines actually read Kitchens of the Great Midwest and she and I agreed that it was an interesting read for the relationships portrayed but not that interesting as a ‘foodie’ type book. I found the book oddly compelling to read up until the last couple of chapters and then it just fell flat for me.
My Top 5 Books from 2016
In conjunction with my previous blog post about my reading statistics from 2016, I referenced my ‘loved-it’ shelf at GoodReads but didn’t give specifics. Faced with a blank page provided by Rose to be passed around the table asking for Recommended Books, I quickly reviewed said shelf via my tablet and compiled this very short list of my favorite reads from last year:
- All the Light We Cannot See by Doerr
- Children of Earth and Sky by Kay
- The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Chambers
- The Paper Menagerie by Liu
- Red Rising by Brown
Other Recommended Reads
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
- The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
- My Life in France by Julia Child
- Even the Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou
- Empire Falls by Richard Russo
- And others that I can’t remember off the top of my head and will update this list once I receive the official list from Rose