Saturday, December 20, 2014


Noted for its longevity (founded in 1951) and motto (All the News Fit to Print), the New York Times is also well known for its best seller lists and book reviews. Every December the editors of its Sunday Book Review section select 10 top books of the year. The Monrovia Public Library owns the majority of the list and here are some of the outstanding novels. 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr takes place before and during World War II and is the story of two people from very different backgrounds whose lives converge.  Marie Louise is a blind teenage French girl whose family flees Paris when the Nazis invade. Werner is a young man whose skill with radios requires him to join the German army and he is sent to the village where Marie Louise lives. His job is to track the resistance, to which the girl belongs. The book has been feted for its beautiful language and superior storytelling. 
Accenting greater attention to writers who are veterans of recent wars, Redeployment is a collection of stories by former Marine Phil Klay. Trained to go to war, but unprepared for the extreme cultural differences, bouts of violence and descent into unknown emotions, the author describes daily life for those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Deeply compelling, this is a book from which you cannot look away.

Narrated by the wife, Department of Speculation is about a marriage that begins in the most star-sprinkled way, full of high notes and romance. The title refers to the wonderful possibilities that lay ahead, but the marriage falters as husband and wife go different directions. Author Jenny Offill has written a slim and powerful novel that bares the truths of relationships.

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