I belong to one book discussion group that meets once a month at the local Barnes and Noble. This has been great for me because it "forces" me to read books that I normally wouldn't even pick up.
One such book was Clara and Mr. Tiffany. Susan Vreeland based this book on a collection of letters written by a female worker of Mr. Tiffany who appears to have been the one who designed and formed the wonderful Tiffany lamps. It was very interesting although I had some trouble with consistencies in the writing. Soon after I finished it my husband and I were strolling along Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale looking at galleries and there in a window was a Tiffany Lamp. I was able to look up underneath and see how it was put together and picture the descriptions in the book about choosing each piece of glass.
I've already told you about Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children here.
I second book I learned about from one of my other favorite sources for great books: my writing groups. Triangle is about one of the most horrific fires in New York history when well over 100 women were killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. This was the beginning of labor unions and right
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is another book about civil rights, women's rights and indeed the rights of each and every one of us to medical privacy. Henrietta Lacks was a black woman with cancer who went to John Hopkins Hospital for care in the early days of cancer research and the use of cells. Her cells were kept and then spread throughout the world because they were they only cells they could keep alive indefinitely. These cells have led to numerous medical breakthroughs but at the risk of Henrietta's privacy or right-to-know.
The last book is one I found mentioned in a magazine and has proven very interesting to the collector in me.
Michael Popek's family owned a used bookstore and over the years he collected the bookmarks in whatever form they came in from books that passed through the his hands. Each piece of paper, letter, ticket, receipt and other bit of ephemera is shown along with the book it was found in. It is an amazing glimpse into past lives and fabulous books.
Today I purchased the book for the July book discussion group: Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden. The bookseller who rang it up (along with a moleskine sketchbook) said one of the male booksellers said it was a fantastic book.
I can't wait to get started.