January, I will be so glad to see you go. You were not a good start to 2016. Health problems, family problems, and no time for reading. Bah! The only redeeming part were Saturday’s 30 inches of snow. The world always seems so peaceful after a good snowstorm, when the sun is making the world glitter. Too bad that real life can never be ignored for too long. So here’s to next month. February, I expect you to turn things around. And as a reminder that not all old people are as mean spirited and spiteful as the one I am forced to deal with at the moment, today’s recommended reading is brought to you by grumpy, but lovable, old men.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson
Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is an indelible character, and from the very first page of this remarkable novel he will steal your heart.
Who Is Martha?, Marjana Gaponenko
In this rollicking novel, 96-year-old ornithologist Luka Levadski foregoes treatment for lung cancer and moves from Ukraine to Vienna to make a grand exit in a luxury suite at the Hotel Imperial.
History of Love, Nicole Krauss
Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the lost love who, sixty years ago in Poland, inspired him to write a book. He is about to find out how much this book has influenced and changed the people who have come in contact with it.
A Soldier of the Great War, Mark Helprin
In August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor meets an illiterate young factory worker on the road. As they walk toward Monte Prato, a village seventy kilometers away, the old man tells his companion how he tragically lost one family and gained another.
Pied Piper, Neville Shute
It is the summer of 1940. John Howard, a 70-year-old Englishman vacationing in France, cuts short his tour and heads for home. He agrees to take two children with him. But war closes in, and other children join in Howard’s little band. At last they reach the coast and find not deliverance but desperation. The old Englishman’s greatest test still lies ahead of him.