What We Are Reading In September 2016

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What We Are Reading In September 2016

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1JulieLill
Set 1, 2016, 3:06pm

Post It!

4AnnaClaire
Set 2, 2016, 12:32am

>2 JulieLill: Protip: it's double square brackets around authors' names. That said, Galileo's Daughter is a good book; and if you're interested in the letters themselves, Sobel's published the translations. I was a little disappointed when I read The Planets, though.

5JulieLill
Set 3, 2016, 5:07pm

>4 AnnaClaire: Anna, thanks for the author bracket tip. I always wondered why it was taking me to a different book by the author when I used it. I am enjoying the book.

6LynnB
Set 4, 2016, 2:22pm

I'm starting The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen which is described as a "Biography/History".

7varielle
Set 4, 2016, 7:43pm

The title of your book makes me realize that I have never seen that man smile.

8LynnB
Set 5, 2016, 7:47am

I admit I was hope there'd be pictures in the book. We hear so much about his various exploits, like riding a horse shirtless with a gun. But no photos at all.

9framboise
Set 5, 2016, 7:50am

Almost done with True Crimes: A Family Album by Kathryn Harrison.

10Muscogulus
Set 6, 2016, 2:43pm

George Washington's Journey, which delves into Washington's arduous journeys through all 13 states during his first term as president. The tours were a sensation, and the source of all those "Washington slept here" plaques (at least the authentic ones), but little serious scholarly attention has been paid to Washington's motives for going to all this trouble, his reception, and the longer-term consequences. It's a frequently surprising book.

11snash
Set 11, 2016, 7:41am

I finished the LTER The Social Life of DNA which explores the various ways that DNA testing has been used to help repair social wrongs, most particularly that of slavery. The book felt sometimes repetitious and longer than the information warranted although I did learn some things.

12varielle
Set 11, 2016, 1:52pm

I've started Noa Noa which means Fragrant Fragrant. It's Paul Gauguin's narrative of his life in Tahiti.

13LynnB
Set 13, 2016, 10:05am

I'm about to start Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk for a book club.

14LyzzyBee
Set 14, 2016, 2:53am

I'm sort of enjoying The People's Songs but the referencing is really patchy which is annoying me.

15Canadian_Down_Under
Set 15, 2016, 2:39am

Well into Life of Mahatma Gandhi by Louis Fischer. Very readable biography of an extraordinary man.

16wester
Set 15, 2016, 3:21am

I'm reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. A courageous look at the choices we all face in the endphase of our lives. Highly recommended.

17JulieLill
Set 15, 2016, 4:43pm

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
by Dava Sobel
3/5 stars

This was an interesting book on Galileo and his relationship with his daughter Virginia, later changed to Suor Maria Celeste when she entered the convent at the age of 13 with her sister. Galileo and his daughter were very close and her letters to him had been saved and make up part of this book. They remained loyal to each other through his trials with the church. The book did discuss his work and the problems that caused with the church. The only problem I had with the book was that at times reading about his work took a lot of concentration but I did enjoy his daughter's letters. His letters to her were never found or had been destroyed.

It is a fascinating look back at that time period and Suor Maria Celeste shed a light on what it was like living in a convent in that time period. Had she been born in modern ages, I could see her working with her father in his area since she comes across as very intuitive and smart.

18FlyoverNative
Editado: Set 15, 2016, 5:10pm

I've got two going right now:

Dead Presidents by Brady Carlson and Fordlandia by Greg Grandin

19JulieLill
Set 16, 2016, 12:32pm

>18 FlyoverNative: Fordlandia sounds interesting. Bryson's book One Summer: America, 1927 touches on that topic. Will be interested in you review on Grandin's book.

20Daniel.Estes
Editado: Set 17, 2016, 12:16pm

My preference is to keep three books going at once, one for each format: Physical book, audio book, and ebook. Coincidentally, all three at the moment are non-fiction, and all three are quite good.

Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz (It's about the rise and fall of infamous abolitionist John Brown.)
The War for Late Night by Bill Carter (Remember when Conan O'Brien was the Tonight Show's host for six months? This is that story.)
The End of Absence by Michael Harris (An exploration of what is gained and lost in our transition to a forever connected world.)

21snash
Set 19, 2016, 8:56am

I managed to finish Fruitlands. It was a detailed description of Alcott's Utopian experiment. There was often more detail into the philosophical underpinnings than I wanted to read but then that was the nature of the experiment. The book did give a good job of presenting its significance and echoes in today's attitudes from ecology to veganism.

22JulieLill
Set 20, 2016, 3:28pm

Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey"
by Margaret Powell, Leigh Crutchley (Ghost writer)
4/5 stars
This is an enjoyable true story about the life of a kitchen maid in England. She lends a nice perspective regarding that time period.

Rhymes & Reasons by James C. Christensen
3/5 stars
This is actually a children's book but I was interested in it because it gave a short synopsis about the background of each of the rhymes. My favorite two had to be Little Miss Muffet who allegedly was Patience Muffet whose father was a British entomologist who studied spiders and Tweedledee and Tweedledum who were based on the composers, George Frideric Handel and Giovanni Bononcini who quarreled over their musical reputations. Too short for me, would love to read more about the historical background of the rhymes.

23LynnB
Set 24, 2016, 2:51pm

I've added Rhymes and Reasons to my ever-growing wish list. I'm reading The Romani Gypsies by Yaron Matras.

24bluepiano
Editado: Set 24, 2016, 5:54pm

Have just finished Cow by Florian Werner. Well worth reading as it's both informative & interesting (though Werner's reasoning and the connections/interpretations he draws are sometimes rather loose).

>22 JulieLill:, >23 LynnB:, Do you know of Iona & Peter Opie's book of nursery rhymes? Eminently wishlistworthy.

25snash
Set 25, 2016, 8:02pm

I finished the great fun and thought provoking book, River of Shadows. it is a biography of an early photographer and then a whole lot more; the west, industrialization, Stanford, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Captain Jack. Wild and rambling, making sweeping surprising connections.

26JulieLill
Set 25, 2016, 8:27pm

>24 bluepiano: Will have to look up Iona & Peter Opie's book of nursery rhymes. Thanks for the info.