The Bear Radio Book Club for February

Every month our team members pick a book that’s tickled their fancy and we recommend it to you, our network so that we can all read, learn and grow together – just think of it as our own little book club!

Because reading is what? Fundamental! 

Jill’s Book Recommendation: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

A few months ago I recommended Anthony Doerr’s fantastic novel, All The Light we Cannot See. It’s one of my favorite books, and Cloud Cuckoo land is excellent as well. The novel jumps through different time periods and locations, such as Idaho in 2020, Constantinople in 1453, and an unspecified point and place in the future. All of the characters and stories are linked together by a singular ancient text. I love how Doerr weaves together people whose lives couldn’t be more different, but who all experience similar feelings of loss, loneliness, and hope. He’s excellent at bringing the reader into new worlds in unexpected ways, and is able to keep the complexity of the stories intertwined through creative combinations of poetry and prose. I recommend this book to those wanting to gain a sense of the bigger picture beyond the immediacy of our own everyday lives.

Julia’s Book Notable Mention (and less Recommendation)

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

When I say I saw everyone reading this book, I mean everyone. On the train, in the queue at the supermarket, at the doctor’s office, even my partner read it. But I have this weird thing about hype books – I try and avoid them, because either they are really good, or they’re made for the masses, and I’ve found that those options lead to two very different reading experiences. But I knew I needed something for bookclub and I’d been assured it was a lovely, easy read. It was! Ishiguro writes simply yet beautifully – I fell in love with his writing in Never Let Me Go (which was adapted into that film with Kiera Knightly, Andrew Garfield and Carrey Mulligan), so I knew there’d be no shortage of beauty. But I’m going to be honest with you…I don’t really get this book. As with Never Let Me Go, Klara and the Sun is set in a dystopian near future. Here, children have AI friends, only the smartest and wealthiest get education, pollution shrouds the sun, and we as the reader are confronted with what it means to be human. The tropes are all too familiar, the solar powered Artificial Friend and her obsession with the sun maybe not so much, but I still wasn’t wowed. I was able to guess every major event and big reveal before it happened, but I held out hope that the ending would catch me off guard. It did, but not in a satisfying way. So, dear reader, I ask you to give this book a shot, maybe borrow it from someone, don’t spend your money, and then let me know if I’ve missed something. Maybe I just don’t get it…

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