No Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt, (Ace Tempo 1970). There's no food and no life at home for fifteen-year-old Josh in 1932, the heart of the Great Depression, and he takes his musical talent and his stubbornness out in search of both, into a nation of frightened, baffled, but usually generous strangers. A wonderful book by the author of Across Five Aprils (young boy growing up in the Civil War).
Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel, (Pantheon, 1970). First person accounts of life in the Great Depression (do you see a pattern here? Yes, we're beginning our homeschool history this semester with the 1930s....)I actually felt I learned more through Hunt's fictional account.
Still Life by Louise Penny, (St. Martin's Press, 2005). The Canadian author's first book in the Inspector Gamache Three Pines series. She's still finding her voice in this one, but, oh, this woman can write. You love her characters, you love her setting, the tiny Brigadoon-like village near the Vermont border in Quebec, you love her characters' savoring of bowls of cafe au lait and fragrant crusty brioche, you love the prose that sparkles like the sun off the snow of her countryside, you love the fact that there are now a whole lot more of these books. Read them. I'm starting in for the second time.
War and Peace. I'm working on it. Currently seeking a better map of the Napoleonic war in 1805.