The Book Savor series is new to this blog and grew out of my passion for good books, good friends, and great discussions about what we are reading.
And what is the best way to get those great book discussions going? With some thought-provoking questions of course!
This week historical fiction author Flora Solomon shares the books she savors.
1. Carmen Amato: What was the first book you read that marked the transition from reading kids’ books to grown-up fare?
Flora Solomon: When 12 years old and in the 7th grade, my science teacher recommended the class read Hiroshima by John Hersey. I took him up on it and borrowed his copy. The shocking book introduced me to the unknown and violent world I was on the cusp of entering.
2. CA: You are shipwrecked with a crate labeled “Books.” What 3 books do you hope are in it?
FS: Tops on my list would be the thick and detailed book, How to Survive a Shipwreck by I.M.A. Survivor. Then for comfort, oldies but goodies such as Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, and Watership Down by Richard Adams.
3. CA: What book would you give as a housewarming gift and why?
FS: My own book, of course, A Pledge of Silence, a World War II novel based on the nurses who served in the Philippines, were captured by the Japanese and held prisoners of war. Alternatively, if the residents were new to the area, I might take a book on regional gardening, local cuisine, or native wildlife.
4. CA: You can invite any author, living or dead, to dinner at your home. What are you serving and what will the conversation be about?
FS: I have neither talent nor interest in cooking, so I would take Louise Steinman, author of The Souvenir, A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War, to the best restaurant in town. After her father died, Louise found hundreds of his World War II love letters to her mother, and an inscribed Japanese flag hidden in an old trunk. She writes of two journeys—one of realization and healing, and the other a trip to Japan to return the flag to the fallen soldier’s family. Both journeys are beautiful and moving. Conversation between us would not be a problem.
5. CA: Can you leave us with a quote, a place, or a concept from a book that inspired you?
FS: I have two college degrees, yet the nuances of grammar and the capriciousness of punctuation baffle me. Though it’s not an inspiration, I like this quote from Mark Twain:“Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.”
Tell us about yourself in 3 sentences or less.
FS: My husband and I relocated from Michigan’s water, winter, wonderland to the beautiful North Carolina coast. Besides reading and writing, I enjoy visits from my children and grandchildren, a hard-won tennis match, and an occasional round of golf. My website: www.apledgeofsilence.com.
More about this week’s guest: Flora is the author of WWII drama A PLEDGE OF SILENCE, the moving and authentic story of an Army nurse caught up in the Pacific war.