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LARSON: Enjoy some good books: No membership required

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

My column about local authors prompted a few requests from book clubs seeking a good summer read. I could always list books my book club has read, but instead, I asked for ideas from other women I knew who belonged to books clubs.

"We read 'The Help' and it was a great read. Another book that we read is 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society,'" Gerri Penn, of Doraville, said. "Our last book was 'The Invisible Wall' by Harry Bernstein who wrote the book when he was 93 and at 99 is working on the third book in the series."

Linda Calhoun, of Lilburn wrote, "We read 'The Wives of Henry Oades' last month and it was very good."

Anne B. Jones, the book reviewer for Senior News, recommended the CD version of "The Help." "Its voices have realistic dialect and accents, and bring the characters to life," Jones said.

You must have noticed that I said I asked for suggestions from other women who belong to book clubs. That's because I've never in my life known a man to belong to a book club. Well, except for one pastor ages ago who felt obligated to attend because the gathering was listed as an official church activity.

Well, not to leave the men out, I did the next best thing and asked my fellow Daily Post columnists of the opposite sex what books they recommend.

Rob Jenkins, with whom I'm on the same page, said, "I highly recommend Orson Scott Card's 'Empire' series, which so far has only two installments: 'Empire' and 'Hidden Empire.' I also recommend Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series -- the best police procedurals on the market -- and Lee Child's Jack Reacher books (the one just out is '61 Hours'). Those would keep me happily engaged for a couple of months."

Darrrell Huckaby, a Saturday editorial page columnist replied, "The best book I have read this year is Pat Conroy's 'South of Broad.' In fact, I liked it so much that as soon as I finished the last page I turned back to the first page and read it again. Of course, the characters graduated from a high school in the Deep South in 1970, as did I."

Huckaby also recommended "The Help," but added, "Even though I loved it, I am sure this is considered a 'women's' book. But another book I enjoyed, which is considered a 'man's' book because of its subject matter is 'Crazy for the Storm.' The author relates the ordeal of surviving the plane crash that killed his father when the boy was 11."

Saturday columnist Dick Yarbrough said, "I am a big Elmore Leonard fan and have read just about everything he has written."

Yarbrough also noted that his old professor in Valdosta, Dr. Raymond Cook, is a member of a men's book group. I started to call Dr. Cook, but then thought, no. He probably deserves a column of his own.

Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.