submitted by Kit Darling and the members of the Bay Area Book Club

At our January video chat, we discussed All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  Set in France and Germany during World War 2, this wide-ranging novel raises many questions which resonate today.  Why do people follow blindly leaders and ideologies which are counter to their best interests? What makes a hero? Why do good people do bad things? At the beginning of the book, Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris. She becomes blind as a child, and learns to navigate her apartment, her neighbourhood and her father’s workplace at the Museum of Natural History. Her father builds miniature models of the neighbourhood streets and teaches her to count, light posts and sewer covers become her landmarks. She spends her days with her father, the locksmith at the Museum of Natural History where he has made the case for the Sea of Flame, a rare blue diamond with a red “flame” at it’s centre. The diamond is said to carry a curse. Werner Pfennig and his sister Jutta live in an orphanage in the mining town of Essen in Germany. He is scientifically inclined, building a radio out of scraps as a child. His talents lead him to enrolment in an elite technical school run by the Nazis where he is indoctrinated and brutalised. His technical and scientific skill lead to the Wehrmacht and a role in locating and eradicating covert enemy radio transmitters. He is posted to St. Malo, in Northern France in the final days of the war. Here his life intersects with Marie Laure. Ultimately, he is responsible for rescuing her and ensuring her survival. The any flashbacks and intertwining require close attention to the story, but the writing engages the reader.

And here are some recommended reads available from the Hamilton Public To borrow them or place a reserve, go to  .

Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow. In 2020, movie producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse against many women for over three decades. In his book, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Farrow recounts how he began his investigation of Weinstein, how he made contact with the victims, how he himself became a target, how Weinstein and others tried to bury the story, and how he fought to have his story published. Weinstein’s behaviour is profoundly disturbing as is that of the many people who assisted him and enabled him to keep women silent while rationalizing their behaviour to others and themselves.  Weinstein said that he was “totally confused” by the case. Maybe he should read the book.
Paige Turner

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson Sitting in his Boston bookshop during a February snowstorm, Malcolm Kershaw iis contacted by an FBI agent who believes that some recent murders are connected to an old blog post that lists books that he highlights as presenting “eight perfect murders”. Many twists and turns ensue in this satisfying quick read.  A mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie or Patricia Highsmith. Kit Darling

Note: The bookmobile will be at Bennetto Community Centre on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:15. There will be no access to the bookmobile to browse, but staff will be on hand for contactless returns and holds pickup.

Have you read any of our recommendations? Liked any of the same books we talked about or disagreed totally? Let us know at .