Jan/Feb 2020 ~ What non-fiction books are you exploring?

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Jan/Feb 2020 ~ What non-fiction books are you exploring?

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1Molly3028
Editado: Dez 31, 2019, 12:02pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR

A new year = new non-fiction adventures for us!

2paradoxosalpha
Dez 31, 2019, 11:47am

I've just started in on Blake: Prophet Against Empire, and I'm shocked at how much I'm learning about the social context of the American revolution.

3drneutron
Dez 31, 2019, 1:33pm

Susan Wise Bauer’s History of the Medieval World. Quite well done, more overview and global than detailed, local history.

4Molly3028
Dez 31, 2019, 3:04pm

Starting this OverDrive Kindle eBook ~

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair

(unusual stories of 75 fascinating shades, dyes and hues)

5LynnB
Jan 1, 2020, 10:24am

I'm reading Mackenzie King in the Age of the Dictators by Roy MacLaren

6rocketjk
Jan 3, 2020, 5:07pm

I finished The Secret History of the War, Volume 2 by Waverly Root.

This fascinating, if somewhat over-detailed, work about World War 2 by journalist Waverly Root was published in 1945 after the end of the war in Europe but before the Japanese surrender. However, some of the chapters were written even before V-E Day and so speak of the war in Europe as still ongoing. The "Secret" of the title refers to the fact that Root's primary themes are not the military conduct of the war (although that is certainly referred to), but the diplomatic, propaganda and economic machinations of the various powers, both public and, as the word suggests, clandestine. Although Root writes about events and power relationships all over the globe, his two main theses are that a) France was betrayed by traitors highly placed within their government and military who were themselves fascists and wanted to see the Republic eliminated and that b) the U.S. State Department made one wrong-headed move after another, particularly when it came to their decision to legitimize the collaborators within the Vichy government and freeze out De Gaulle and his Free French movement as much as possible, despite the fact that Vichy was willingly cooperating with the Axis and De Gaulle was actually fighting alongside the U.S. and England. The book's final 140-page chapter details at great length the ways in which this dynamic played itself out in France's vast colonial territories before, during and after the Allied invasion of North Africa. Root's thesis about why the State Department was so consistently pointed in the wrong direction was that the department was basically a clubhouse of Ivy Leaguers and others of the patrician class who had little comfort with or respect for the average American and, in actual practice, the ideals of Democracy. He believed that these men were more comfortable with their fellow rich kids within the Vichy government and not particularly uncomfortable with the fascist leanings.

7SChant
Jan 5, 2020, 5:38am

Started Robert MacFarlane's Underland, a meditation on human adventures in mythical and real underworlds, and exploration of how anthropic climate change is opening up long-hidden underworlds that we may be engulfed by. Beautiful and lyrical so far.

8LynnB
Jan 5, 2020, 3:18pm

I'm finally getting to Educated by Tara Westover

9Limelite
Jan 5, 2020, 3:47pm

Just acquired a history book, Give Me a Fast Ship. . ."for I go i harm's way." by Tim McGrath. I love reading maritime fiction and nonfiction, especially in the age of tall ships. This book is about the emergence of the Continental Navy during the American Revolution and how it helped turn the tide in America's favor.

10snash
Jan 10, 2020, 3:23pm

I finished Under a Wing: A Memoir. This is a memoir, not so much of the author's life but of the author's impressions, understandings, and experiences living with her two famous parents as well as some other family members. It did give a vivid portrait of those presented.

11ghr4
Editado: Jan 11, 2020, 9:28am

>7 SChant: I’m in the midst of Underland myself. I find Macfarlane’s books an irresistible combination of sublime language and landscape.

12dypaloh
Jan 12, 2020, 12:29pm

To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins.
This volume is, in part, an account of the author’s experiences during a bicycle trip from Oregon to Patagonia. The trip also serves as a framework for discussion of his central concern, which is to discover how he, as a gay man, can better reconcile his natural desires with his lifelong, devout Christianity.

13LynnB
Jan 13, 2020, 11:50am

I'm reading a Canadian non-fiction book, Your Move: What Board Games Teach us About Life by Joan Moriarity and Jonathan Kay

14rocketjk
Jan 13, 2020, 2:00pm

I finished Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande.

It came as no surprise to me that I found this book well written, eye-opening and thought provoking, seeing as how much my wife enjoyed it and learned from it and how much it's been praised here on LT. I basically gulped the book down over a weekend. On the other hand, I don't know how much new I have to say about it. What Gawande has to say about the history of the nursing home and independent living movements is extremely interesting and makes a lot of sense. The most powerful sections are those in which Gawande relates the slow evolution of society's and modern medicine's attitudes about end of life care and the transfering of priorities from fighting every symptom and the physical safety of patients to listening to what patients actually want, and how our priorities evolve as we register that our time is becoming limited. It certainly led me to think back somewhat ruefully about my own father's six months on a respirator at the end of his life circa 1990, and our family's attitude about the steps being taken to lengthen his life, and compare that with my mothers last years, just a couple of years back, spent in a pretty decent, all things considered, assisted living facility as she descended into dementia. Happily, the family trust was such that my sister and I were able to get her the additional on-site care that kept us from having to move her to a full-on nursing home. At any rate, Being Mortal is indeed a very powerful piece of writing that gave me a lot to think about as I crash and burn my way toward 65 in a few months.

15rocketjk
Jan 13, 2020, 3:01pm

I also completed the 1963 Official Baseball Almanac by Bill Wise. For fans of baseball history, this is a fun and fascinating volume. Back in the day, Major League Baseball used to publish an annual pre-season round-up of the previous season and look-ahead to the coming year. With the internet and such, I'm not sure if these books still come out. This is a neat, pocketbook-sized book put out by Signet. The book includes a chapter for each of the 20 teams then in existence. Each chapter contains a chatty, light-hearted encapsulation of team's 1962 season and off-season (i.e. the trades they'd made and why) with a rundown of which players were likely to contribute in '63 and how each team was likely to do, plus full-page profiles of from one to three of the team's important players, and a full roster sheet for each team. It's fun to read these predictions with the knowledge of hindsight, some 57 years later!

The back of the book contains stats and standings tables from the 1962, and a full listing of all-time baseball records as they stood at that time.

16Sandydog1
Jan 13, 2020, 10:01pm

Some HBO inspiration. Recently finished The Legacy of Chernobyl followed by the much more recent, readable, Midnight in Chernobyl.

17dypaloh
Jan 15, 2020, 1:19am

>15 rocketjk: Just curious. In the “run-down of the players…likely to contribute in ’63” did they happen to say anything about Koufax? He’d been injured mid-July in ’62 (crushed artery in his palm) and didn’t pitch again until late September and then none too well (4 games, 8.2 innings, 8 earned runs allowed—google searches are tough competition for almanacs!). He was the ERA leader in ‘62 but I’d guess it’d be hard to forecast something similar for ’63, which became his first Cy Young Award season.

These almanacs sound cool.

18rocketjk
Jan 15, 2020, 1:20pm

>17 dypaloh: Yes, Koufax got one of the full-page write-up treatments. His page fully describes the '62 circulation problems. The page concludes with a description of Koufax's metamorphosis from a fast but wild mediocrity to a deadly accurate superstar:

Always one of the fastest and wildest pitchers in baseball, Koufax, who couldn't get his curve ball across the plate, won only 36 games and walked five men per nine-inning game in his first six major-league seasons. Then, in 1961, Koufax developed control--and started to win ballgames. He was 18-13 and still struck out 269 hitters. "He shortened his stride on his front foot," says pitching coach Joe Becker. "That helped his control. Batters used to read his pitches. He showed the ball when he brought it up. Now he hides it and takes his time. If his finger is better, he'll be one of the all-time greats."

19JulieLill
Editado: Jan 15, 2020, 4:24pm

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife
Mary Roach
3/5 stars
Roach delves into the facts of life after death and the people who research the various aspects of this subject. Not my favorite book of hers but a few of the chapters were compelling.

20dypaloh
Jan 15, 2020, 8:54pm

>18 rocketjk: Coach Joe (Nostradamus) Becker hit that spot on, didn’t he? And the details about what Sandy changed to realize his potential are great. Thanks.

21rocketjk
Jan 15, 2020, 10:50pm

>20 dypaloh: He sure did. And that sort of thing is why going back in time and reading what people were thinking about and profesying then is so much fun.

22rocketjk
Jan 16, 2020, 1:30pm

I finished To a Distant Island by James McConkey. This is a memoir by McConkey that has Anton Chekhov as its central figure. How does that work? Toward the end of his life, in 1890, Chekhov made a long arduous trip by boat, train and carriage from Moscow all the way to Sakhalin Island, off Russia's Pacific Coast. McConkey tells us in this book's first paragraph that Chekhov "had been undergoing a depression so severe that his most recent biographer believes he might have been nearing a breakdown" and that this was "a journey of over sixty-five hundred miles, or more than a quarter of our planet's circumference." The trip's avowed goal was to study and document the allegedly horrific penal colonies that the Russian government was running on the Island. But as McConkey, via Chekhov's own letters and the book Chekhov wrote about the trip, tells us that Chekhov's real goal was to shake himself loose of this depression by plunging into the unknown and experiencing life away from the restrictions of Moscow society and his own growing fame as a writer. He made it to Sakhalin and spent three months interviewing thousands of prisoners and their families, as well as the island's administrators and other inhabitants of the place. Conditions were even worse than Chekhov had expected. He ultimately wrote a book about his findings, The Island of Sakhalin.

OK, back to McConkey. In the mid-80s, McConkey decided to write a memoir about his family's year in Florence, Italy in the early 1970s. McConkey was on sabbatical from his tenure at an unnamed university, driven away from the school by the late-60s turmoil on campus that he had found himself drawn into but ultimately repelled and distressed by. While in Italy, he came upon a volume of Chekhov's Sakhalin letters and became fascinated, going on to read everything he could find of these letters and of Chekhov's life. From the letters, McConkey imagines and creates a novel-like narrative for Chekhov's journey, interspersing known facts with his own fancy. He makes an admittedly conjectural examination of Chekhov's motivations and psychological evolution during his travels. But this is, as I said up top, ultimately a memoir. McConkey endeavors to thread his own memories of his family's stay in Italy throughout his telling of his Chekhov tale. The problem here is that while the thematic connections between the two story lines were evidently clear to McConkey, he fails, in my view, to present them effectively (or at all) for the reader. I would recommend this book only to those with a particular interest in Chekhov's life.

24Molly3028
Editado: Jan 20, 2020, 1:34pm

Tomorrow I will be starting this iBook ~

A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America
by Philip Rucker

25Limelite
Jan 20, 2020, 8:35pm

>24 Molly3028:

Have you a good supply of anti-nausea medicine?

26Molly3028
Editado: Jan 21, 2020, 7:24am

>25 Limelite:

I'm a choc-a-holic ~ I have a bottle of Crème De Cacao Liqueur!

This error-filled era is one Americans are going to be paying for
in blood and treasure for many generations to come.

27JulieLill
Jan 21, 2020, 3:04pm

>24 Molly3028: Would love to hear your review of that book!

28jaygheiser
Jan 21, 2020, 5:13pm

Starting on it tonight, also. To expand on what I said on another LT discussion board, the Trump and Tell books seem to vary in journalistic rigor. I avoided Woodward's book, first because I'm not so keen on his dialogue-based approach, and second, because too much Trumpfenfreude is psychologically and socially counterproductive. I don't have much difficulty believing that Fire & Fury reported on actual incidents, but I don't future historians will rely on that one. It tries too hard to be salacious. Trying to be selective about what I read, I'm expecting "Genius" to be a higher-quality journalistic effort

We seem to be living in Postman's nightmare, in which the office of the president serves as ringmaster in chief for the national circus that makes it increasingly easier for Americans to amuse themselves to death. There are many cultural and social reasons why 40% of the country feels disrespected (and I've checked dozens of books on that topic into Librarything)--I understand their glee in getting a chance to share some anarchy. But a lack of adult attention to the mundane details of life results in compounding problems.

Lewis' "Fifth Risk" makes a unique and important point about the degree to which we rely upon the national government, for food, and weather reports, and other seemingly mundane services that are actually quite important for the functioning of our infrastructure and society. I don't want to bias my impressions of the "Genius" before I've read it, but I think its completely fair to observe that executive dysfunction has negative impacts, many of which are not immediately obvious, and will play out over time.

29mnleona
Jan 22, 2020, 7:30am

Finished Exploring an Alien Culture by J. B. Hove. About the Nordic people.

30dypaloh
Jan 23, 2020, 6:21pm

Dispatched Confessions of a Sociopath by the pseudonymous and sociopathic (or possibly pseudo-sociopathic) M.E. Thomas.

31framboise
Jan 23, 2020, 9:42pm

Started Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me, a memoir by Adrienne Brodeur. Interesting and well-written.

32Sandydog1
Editado: Jan 24, 2020, 11:27am

Recently finished Talking to Strangers. Disturbing examples, but still typical, really good, jumpy, entertaining Gladwell.

Started both Sapiens and Pete Dunne's relatively short travel memoir, Prairie Spring.

33Molly3028
Editado: Jan 27, 2020, 11:20am

A Very Stable Genius
5 stars

General observations ~

At some point after he left the administration, Reince Priebus observed that what was happening in the West Wing was much worse than what the public was witnessing. This book corroborates that observation. Rucker and Leonnig use their research findings to show that Trump is keeping his promise to be a human hand grenade in Washington. Because he has his own brand of reality, keeping questionable ideas from germinating in his mind is a lost cause. The authors use first-person accounts which allow the reader to decide if what occurred is admirable and lawful behavior for an American president and the leader of the free world. Do a majority of Americans want this type of leadership style to become the norm in our 21st Century republic?

For me, this book and American Carnage by Tim Alberta are the gold standard when it comes to exposing the underbelly of Trump's presidential era and the GOP's long-standing suicide mission.

****************************

UPDATE: added John Bolton's ~ The Room Where it Happened ~ to my list today!

34JulieLill
Editado: Jan 27, 2020, 12:26pm

Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate and Innocent Man
Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic
5/5
This book tells the tale of the WWII ship Indianapolis. During the war this ship had a secret mission to deliver one of the atomic bombs that was used on Japan to help end the war. After that mission, a Japanese submarine attacked the boat causing it to sink, losing the lives of many of the crew. Despite the heroic actions of Commander McVay and the lack of help from the Navy, he was court martialed for not following procedures. Many of his crew was upset with the charges and it took years to have someone look into and dispute the charges. This was so interesting and there was also a wonderful special on PBS that led me to read the book. I recommend both. Check out more information at https://www.pbs.org/show/uss-indianapolis/

35Sandydog1
Jan 29, 2020, 11:28pm

I just finished that old WW II classic Enemy at the Gates. I couldn't put it down. Well written and horrifying.

36Helenliz
Jan 30, 2020, 1:27am

I read Mudlarking a book by a person who searches the Thames foreshore for artefacts washed out of the mud by the river. Organised from the tidal head to the estuary, the locations were a jumping off point for history, topics and so on. Could have done with some pictures or diagrams. I still have no clue what some of the items found actually were.

Currently reading Orphan of Islam which is quite hard reading about a child of Pakistani father, white mother who suffers abuse from his extended family and in a religious school.

37LyzzyBee
Jan 30, 2020, 6:30am

>36 Helenliz: I've just finished Mudlarking half an hour ago! I had read criticisms of the lack of illustration and thought, oh, but there are nice illustrations on the endpapers - not hers, not her finds! I believe she has a FB page and an Instagram where she shares stuff but it was a shame, I agree!

38Helenliz
Jan 30, 2020, 7:29am

>37 LyzzyBee: Not just me, then. The end papers were lovely, I agree, but they didn't necessarily help with the descriptions of objects in the text.

392wonderY
Jan 30, 2020, 8:15am

>36 Helenliz: For lots of pictures, I can recommend London in Fragments: A Mudlark's Treasures.

40rocketjk
Jan 31, 2020, 9:02pm

I finished Where Dead Voices Gather by famed music writer Nick Tosches. The book is Tosches' personalized and opinionated account of the life of Emmett Miller a by-now very obscure black face performer who had a brief moment in the sun in the 1920s, when minelstry was already beginning its decline, leaving behind a handful of recordings that have since been rereleased. Miller had a singular vocal style, full of leaps and whoops. He is considered one of the earliest yodeling singers and it is known that he was a major influence on Jimmy Rogers and Hank Williams. There is, however, very little known about Miller's life. What was known, however, was enough to create an obsession for Tosches that he spent decades indulging, finally tracking down enough information to write this book, sort of.

I say, "sort of" because this book is not just about Miller, or about Tosches' search for Miller, which was really what I was expecting: sort of a travelogue that would take us through the American south with Tosches as he did his research, followed up leads and reported not just on what he'd found out but also on the experiences he'd had, the people he'd met and places he'd seen, along the way. What the book is instead is mostly Tosches' presentation of the research he, and others, have done on Miller and his life and career. What we get for much of the book are details about recording dates, songs and bandmates. Tosches will often then spin out the narrative to provide information about the careers of those bandmates, and then about the careers of people they've performed with, across the realms of minstrelsy, blues and early jazz, black and white. This all could be quite dry if one doesn't already come to the material with one's own love of music and fascination with American music history. The effect of all this is a tapestry of information, a weaving together of the almost infinite strands of influences and counter-influences in American music. Tosches, in fact, is not shy about bringing his strands all the way back to the ancient Greeks, to Homer and his unknown influencers. The dead voices of the book's title are all of those unknown ones, the musicians, particularly American, who's names and faces are lost to our recorded national history and to our memory, the ones who came before and created the foundations of all we now know. Tosches relatively frequently writes quite rhapsodically, and quite wonderfully, about all these threads, connections and reverberations.

I learned a lot, a whole lot, about music history, about minstrelsy, and about the confluence of musical influences that have worked together to create the great, expansive body of American music. I've even come to appreciate those dead voices that Tosches evokes. But in the end I'd only recommend this book to people with a very focused interest in the subject matter.

41Sandydog1
Fev 1, 2020, 8:21pm

Almost done with A Devil's Chaplain. Just because these essays are short, they aren't always accessible. I'll have to read again.

42rocketjk
Fev 3, 2020, 1:46pm

I finished Reminiscences of a Town With Two Names: Greenwood, Known Also as Elk by Walter Matson. This is a short history (47 pages all told) of what is now a small town on the Mendocino Coast, very close to the town I live in, which is 20 miles inland. Back in the day when logging was a major industry here, though, the town had several lumber mills and many more people. This book was originally published in 1980, and Walter Matson was already a longtime resident of the town at that time with access to the memories of the previous generation as well. The narratives are entertaining and at the same time give an idea of the very hard and dangerous nature of the work the men were doing, whether they were in the woods cutting trees, or on the extremely dangerous trains bringing the lumber to the mills, or in the mills themselves.

By the way, the reference to the town's two names comes from the fact that the town in its early days was always known as Greenwood. However, there was another town some distance to the north with the same name. When the U.S. Post Office modernized, they would not offer local post offices to two towns with the same name in the same state. So the Mendocino County town of Greenwood changed its name to Elk. However, the road that goes from the town of Philo (pronounced Fie-Low, not Fee-Low) in Anderson Valley that runs over the mountain and down to the coast is still called the Philo-Greenwood Road.

43Sandydog1
Fev 3, 2020, 9:57pm

Currently reading Sapiens It's downright sprawling!

44SChant
Fev 5, 2020, 6:53am

Started Grace Hopper and the invention of the information age by Kurt W Beyer. I read a lot of Women in Science and Tech books and this has been on my TBR pile for ages.

45JulieLill
Editado: Fev 5, 2020, 11:22am

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman
Anne Helen Petersen
5/5 stars
Petersen writes an engrossing book on the way the world views certain women that buck the traditional roles of mother, wife and female role model. Told through the stories of various women, including Serena Williams, Hillary Clinton, Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy and others in the public eye, this book will astound you (or not) about the treatment of women and the double standards that they have had to deal with.

46LynnB
Fev 8, 2020, 1:24pm

I'm reading The Creative City of Saint John, edited by Gwendolyn Davies, Peter Larocque, and Christl Verduyn.

47cindydavid4
Fev 8, 2020, 6:35pm

Lynn did you see my call out, about Maggie O'Farrell has a new one out? Hamnet is coming out late March of this year. (good to see you around again in these parts, hope all is well)

48rocketjk
Fev 9, 2020, 11:44am

I finally read The Bronx Zoo, Sparky Lyle's entertaining memoir of life on the Yankees during the fabled 1978 season, during which the Yanks came back from around 14 games out to catch the Boston Red Sox for their division title and go on to win the World Series. It was lots of fun to revisit this season, which, as a Yankees fan, I remember well. I wish Lyle hadn't had so many gripes to include in his narrative, but still, the book was a fun and fascinating ride back in time.

49dypaloh
Fev 10, 2020, 1:25pm

Nonfiction
The California Deserts: An Ecological Rediscovery by Bruce M. Pavlik is for folks interested in what scholars can tell us about desert biota, geologic features, and ecology, with some humanist perspectives added in too. Lots of wonderful pictures of life forms and landscapes, and some colorful maps the scientists must have had fun creating.

512wonderY
Fev 11, 2020, 7:47am

I'm relishing Where We Find Ourselves, the early 20th century photo portraits of Hugh Mangum. He was an itinerant photographer in the South. The book presents his glass plate records. The text adds quite a bit of depth to the presentation. Margaret Sartor scrapes as much information as she can from all sources to offer contextualization.

52JulieLill
Fev 12, 2020, 11:29am

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know
Malcolm Gladwell
5/5 stars
I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell and this book did not disappoint me. Gladwell discusses the differences in how people communicate and what can go wrong when our communication styles don’t match. I thought the chapter on the arrest of Sandra Bland quite disheartening and definitely a case of miscommunication.

53LynnB
Fev 12, 2020, 4:55pm

JulieLill, that book is on the TBR shevles....and I will get to it as one of my New Year's resolutions was to read what I already own!

I'm reading Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family by Amanda Jette Knox

54Molly3028
Editado: Fev 20, 2020, 1:21pm

Enjoying this OverDrive Kindle eBook Alexa can read to me ~

Mindfulness for Chocolate Lovers: A Lighthearted Way to Stress Less and Savor More Each Day by Diane R. Gehart (4+ stars)

55JulieLill
Fev 13, 2020, 6:06pm

>53 LynnB: I hope you like it - I found it very interesting!

56JulieLill
Fev 15, 2020, 7:23pm

Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops
James Robert Parish
3.5/5 stars
Written in 2006, this book can certainly be updated but as a movie buff, I had seen many of the movies in the book as the author breaks down the reasons each movie failed. There are a couple of movies in the book that I did enjoyed. I liked Paint Your Wagon and Last Action Hero but I definitely agree that Showgirls, Robin William’s Popeye and Ishtar were completely terrible. This book is definitely for movie fans. It would be interesting to see a updated version of this book!

57JulieLill
Fev 16, 2020, 4:49pm

The Family Nobody Wanted
Helen Grigsby Doss
4/5 stars
Set in the 40’s this is the true story of the Doss’s who were unable to have any children. Reaching out to an adoption agency they eventually were able to adopt one child. When they went back to try for another adoption, they were told they could only adopt one white child so Helen reached out to other agencies that had different race or mixed race children. They, eventually, through sheer determination adopted a total of 12 children. Wonderfully written and so inspirational, I sped through this book. 1954

Interesting article on the family- https://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/topics/familynobodywanted.htm

58cindydavid4
Fev 16, 2020, 7:25pm

I remember reading that book in HS. Id be curious where they all are now

59cindydavid4
Editado: Fev 16, 2020, 7:38pm

https://adventuresofgrandmahoney.blogspot.com/2015/02/what-ever-happened-to-don-...

be sure to catch their appearance on groucho marxs show. Loved how warm and kind he was to them.

60JulieLill
Fev 17, 2020, 11:51am

>58 cindydavid4:
I found this on a website but for some reason can't find the link- I think this was posted in 2008

"If memory serves - Donny is now a computer wizard, as are Teddy and Diane, Timmy is in real estate, Alex joined the Air Force and now lives in South Korea with his wife, Susie and Dorothy are artists, Laura (now spelled Lora) is a beautician, Rita cares for old people, Elaine is a housewife, and Richard was a farmer before he died of cancer. Gregory, I'm sorry to say, died tragically after a mugging.(Those last two apparently died before the mid-1990s, as you'll see
below.) Helen's update in the book is not much longer than what I just wrote.
Also, Teddy and Timmy were in Vietnam - and returned.
From what I understand, despite conflicting reports of dates, Carl and Helen divorced in 1964 (sadly, it's not too surprising, when you read the book) and he died of cancer in 1994. Helen said that he lived to see most of his grandchildren (there are now 37). She has remarried. Most of the adoptees are now grandparents themselves!"

61mnleona
Fev 17, 2020, 12:01pm

A New Discovery in a Vast Country in America by Father Louis Hennepin. This book is published in 1903 with an Introduction and a Bibliography. This is from the second London edition published in 1698. In Minnesota we have Hennepin State Park and also in Minneapolis, there is East Hennepin Avenue.

62JulieLill
Fev 18, 2020, 2:07pm

Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir
Robin Ha
4/5 stars
Author Robin Ha’s graphic novel is the true story of her coming to America with her mother after being raised in South Korea. Since she only speaks Korean, she has a hard time adapting to the United States, let alone learning an unfamiliar complicated new language and trying to make new friends especially in high school where the students aren’t the friendliest. Well done!

63LindaPetrin
Fev 18, 2020, 6:39pm

Essa mensagem foi considerada abusiva por vários usuários e não mais será mostrada. (mostrar)
I just joined this group and am finding my way around. I was thinking about reading this book. It was advertised in the Sherwin Williams paint magazine. What do you think so far?

64cindydavid4
Fev 18, 2020, 8:31pm

which book? (and welcome!)

>61 mnleona: I love travel narratives written early in our history by the people who journeyed on them. A great example is Nobody said not to go by Emily Hahnabout a young woman and her friend who drive cross country, in the 20s! The author ended up with a career writing for New Yorker

65SChant
Fev 20, 2020, 4:26am

Reading Origins: How the Earth Shaped Human History by Lewis Dartnell. Nothing new so far, a bit of a synthesis of Alice Roberts, Jared Diamond and Clive Oppenheimer

66Sandydog1
Fev 21, 2020, 9:50pm

>52 JulieLill: Talking to Strangers had some disturbing subjects, but was fascinating! What a book for these times...

67LynnB
Fev 22, 2020, 10:22am

it's on my TBR shelves...have to finish the Canada Reads contenders first, though.

68JulieLill
Fev 22, 2020, 4:44pm

The Library Book
Susan Orlean
5/5 stars
One of my favorite books was Orlean's book on Rin Tin Tin and so I was excited to read The Library Book and I was not disappointed. This book concentrates on the fire of the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986 and the chief suspect in the case. However, she does not tie herself down to that topic but also talks about the history of libraries and some of the people responsible for building and influencing libraries. Highly recommended!

69cindydavid4
Fev 22, 2020, 5:09pm

I have liked all of her books and that one is no exception. ditto on the recommendation!

70LynnB
Fev 25, 2020, 10:52am

I'm reading Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson

71JulieLill
Fev 25, 2020, 11:19am

>70 LynnB: It has been awhile but I read that book and enjoyed it. I do like reading Bryson!

72LynnB
Fev 25, 2020, 11:31am

JulieLill, it's a bit dated but still a great read so far

73cindydavid4
Fev 25, 2020, 12:04pm

Oh I loved that book!!!

Finished Mobituaries and really recommend it. A collection of people famous for a variety of things, put together by Rocca as a memoium to them. I was uncertain about this one - I love him on NPR, but know he can get a little over the top. Needn't worry, his obits are charming, interesting and yes a bit out there, but always always sympathetic to the people he is writing about. That kindness is what really stands out for me. Its also a very good book to read if you want to dive in quick and then put it down. Easy to come back to. Enjoy!

74snash
Fev 25, 2020, 12:33pm

I finished the LTER book An Unconventional Wife. It was a biography that champions the overlooked wife. Julia, living in the late 1800's, was headstrong and intelligent, raising successful and socially responsible children. Her story of her life and her conflict with her husband was engagingly told.

75JulieLill
Fev 26, 2020, 11:49am

Me
Elton John
5/5 stars
Elton John relates his amazing career as a song writer, composer, singer, film maker and the incredible ups and downs of his life through childhood to the present. Well written and hard to put down.

76rocketjk
Fev 27, 2020, 11:19am

I finished Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson. Aronson discusses and illustrates the problems inherent in aging in America, and particularly the many critical drawbacks within the American medical establishment in treating and caring for elders. A very good writer, Aronson covers these sometimes depressing topics ably and in enlightening fashion. She weaves throughout the narrative details of her own experiences as a gerontologist, scientific and historic research, and many specific examples of the trials and triumphs of many of her own patients. This is a well worthwhile book, if perhaps it could have used a touch of editing. It's not always an easy read, but it is a valuable one.

77dypaloh
Fev 27, 2020, 12:57pm

The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander.
Read while sipping Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.

78LynnB
Fev 28, 2020, 4:07pm

79Sandydog1
Mar 22, 2020, 10:33pm

>70 LynnB: A great book, one of Bryson's best!