Welcome to the 2022 Online Reading Challenge!
Get ready for another year (our 7th!) of reading recommendations with our super-casual, low-stress reading club!
Our theme for 2022 is Book Flights! A Book Flight, similar to a wine or beer flight, is a series of books with similar themes. Sometimes the themes are obvious, sometimes they’re a little deeper. I’ve chosen a critically acclaimed titles plus 3-4 complementary books for each month. I’ll briefly describe each book and pick one to read myself. You can choose to read the main book or one of the accompanying titles or even something else completely! At the end of the month I’ll write about what I read and pose some questions about the themes from that month’s books and invite you to comment with your observations.
Of course, as always, you may do as you please – there are no Library Police! So if you wish to skip a month, or read more than one book in that month or read a book from a different month – go for it! No one will drag you off to Library Jail if you choose your own path!
Ok, let’s get started!
The theme for January is belonging, connection and found family and our main title is The Orphan Train by Christina Kline.
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to ‘aging out’ out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life–answers that will ultimately free them both. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
You can find more information about this book and the author as well as sample discussion questions in our Book Club Lib Guide.
Books that round out January’s Book Flight are:
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano.
One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor. Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a part of himself has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world – until the unthinkable happens.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.
I’ll be reading this month’s main title, The Orphan Train. I’ve read the other three titles in the book flight in the past; they are all excellent and I highly recommend all of them.
Be sure to check back at the end of the month when we’ll open up a discussion!