The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

The Stone Diaries is the fictional autobiography of Daisy Goodwill. Since we follow her through most of the 20th Century, the novel serves as a diary of that period of time as well. Daisy’s existence is not an epic one, in the sense that she doesn’t go on great adventures, but it is precisely her mundane anonymity that allows us to deeply connect with her and to discover the uniqueness of her life.

Carol Shields was a very pleasant surprise for me. In this novel, which garnered her the Pulitzer Prize and the Governor General’s Award, among others, her writing is so rich and witty that every page of the novel is an absolute delight. If you like authors like Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields’ The Stone Diaries is a must-read. (Submitted by Eva).

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All the Light We Cannot See — Anthony Doerr

At the outbreak of World War 2, the blind Marie-Laure and her father escape the city to the coastal town of Saint-Malo to seek safety with her Uncle.  Her story is contrasted by Werner the German orphan who is recruited into the German army because of his abilities with radios.  The stories of Marie-Laure and Werner bounce back and forth between the chapters until they finally converge.  What I liked most about this story was the detail into Marie-Laure’s life.  The way her father designed a scale model of their neighborhood so she could memorize routes and landmarks to help her get around on her own. (Submitted by Braden)

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