I'm Cathy Fiebach owner of Main Point Books. I opened the store in 2013 because I couldn't live somewhere without a bookstore and starting a business made more sense than moving. My goal was, and continues to be, creating a space that provides the Main Line with a place to discover and discuss great books whether newly published, or just new to us. I read a broad range of books, but especially enjoy literary fiction and narrative non-fiction.
Erik Larson has long been one of my favorite authors and The Splendid and The Vile about Churchill’s first year as prime minister from May 1940 to May 1941 captured my interest from the opening author’s note. Larson’s unique narrative style makes you feel like you are reading a novel and gives insight into Churchill’s thoughts and style particularly through his daughter Mary’s diaries and that of his personal secretary, John Coville. The diaries also provide insight into what it was like to be young and well connected during a time of great duress. Although inspired by 9-11, The Splendid and the Vile is the perfect read for our current crisis with example of how great leadership can simultaneously scare and inspire. I hope that you enjoy it as much I did.
I felt like the only thing that might hold my interest at this time was a light, well written book and The Women in Black, a satirical novel set in 1950s Australia fit the bill. It follows the lives of three women working in the premier department store in Sydney during Christmas season. Each of them struggles with their love life not being exactly what they want it to be. The Women in Black is a lot of fun and will whisk you into another world with easily managed difficulties.
A well-written book with great observations and a sense of humor is hard to find but you might also want to try Less by Andrew Sean Greer or Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Less was the winner of the Pulitzer prize and a laugh-out-loud funny story about a writer who travels around the world to avoid his lovers wedding. Less also has the added advantage of making you glad that you are stuck at home.
Or try Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons a send up of DH Lawrence and Thomas Hardy’s novels which the Guardian listed as one of its top 100 books of all time.
This was our March fiction book group pick and sadly we weren’t able to discuss it (stay tuned for a Zoom discussion). Set during WWI in Eastern Europe, Daniel Mason’s writing is so wonderful that The Winter Soldier is easily compared to Dr. Zhivago or Cutting for Stone (at a much shorter page-count) . Mason makes you feel the cold dangerous world, the isolation, and the limitations of state of medicine in the early 20th Century while also providing love and redemption. This book truly has it all war, romance and mystery!