January 2016 Books

1. Read a book published before you were born –

Sad Cafe

A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers’s best stories, including her beloved novella “The Ballad of the Sad Café.” A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose café serves as the town’s gathering place. Among other fine works, the collection also includes “Wunderkind,” McCullers’s first published story written when she was only seventeen about a musical prodigy who suddenly realizes she will not go on to become a great pianist. Newly reset and available for the first time in a handsome trade paperback edition, The Ballad of the Sad Café is a brilliant study of love and longing from one of the South’s finest writers.

This was the first book I selected when I decided to start the 2016 Reading Challenge. I have read other books by McCullers but not this one. I liked the idea that there were other short stories included in this edition. I am a fledgling short story writer and need to read more stories from writers like McCullers, Carver, and O’Connor.

Then a friend suggested The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr and I became distracted reading it next. I will finish the Sad Care, but that is the beauty of reading for pleasure … you can read what you want when you want!.

If you are interested in previewing and buying The Ballad of the Sad Cafe follow this link:



2. No Challenge Category – this book is a memoir

The Liars' Club

The dazzling, prizewinning, wickedly funny tale of Mary Karr’s hardscrabble Texas childhood—the book that sparked a renaissance in memoir

When it was published in 1995, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, as well as bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr’s comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger’s—a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. Now with a new introduction that discusses her memoir’s impact on her family, this unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood is as “funny, lively, and un-put-downable” (USA Today) today as it ever was

This book was suggested by a friend of mine who lives in NOLA and is much better read than I will ever be. Being a Texan, this book intrigued me. Families have their own special dysfunctions and Mary Karr’s had more than its share. I can usually slurp up a book in hours but made myself take this read slow and easy and let the characters, words and drama seep into my soul.

Now to take time to finish Sad Cafe! Follow the link below to preview and purchase Liars’ Club.



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