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ARCHIVE > LORNA'S 50 BOOKS READ IN 2017

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Lorna, this is your thread for 2017. I have included the link to the required format thread and an example. If you had a 2016 thread - it is archived - but you can still add books to it for the last few days of December.

Please follow the standard required format below - I hope you enjoy your reading in 2017. Here is also a link for assistance with the required guidelines:

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Our Required Format:

JANUARY

1. My Early Life, 1874-1904 by Winston S. Churchill by Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill
Finish date: January 2017
Genre: (whatever genre the book happens to be)
Rating: A
Review: You can add text from a review you have written but no links to any review elsewhere even goodreads. And that is about it. Just make sure to number consecutively and just add the months.

IMPORTANT - THE REVIEW SHOULD BE SHORT AND SWEET - THERE ARE NO LINKS OF ANY KIND IN THE BODY OF THE REVIEW ALLOWED. NONE. DO NOT REFER TO ANY OTHER BOOK IN YOUR BRIEF REVIEW. THE ONLY BOOK CITED IN YOUR REVIEW IS THE ONE YOU ARE REVIEWING - NO OTHERS. ALL LINKS TO OTHER THREADS OR REVIEWS ARE DELETED IMMEDIATELY - THERE WILL BE NO WARNING. WE CONSIDER THIS SELF PROMOTION AND IT IS NOT ALLOWED AND IS IN VIOLATION OF OUR RULES AND GUIDELINES.


message 2: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Thank you Bentley.


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Great you found it


message 4: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Dec 13, 2018 11:18AM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
JANUARY

1. A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr by J.L. Carr J.L. Carr
Finish date: January 1, 2017
Genre: Fiction
Rating: A
Review: A Month in the Country was a beautiful and heartbreaking novel with such poetic prose throughout as Tom Birkin, a veteran of World War I, comes to terms with his trauma and sense of loss in a small village in the Yorkshire countryside. He has come to restore an unknown work of art in a small church where he lives in the bell tower and begins to build new relationships in Oxgodby. As the summer progresses and the Medieval masterpiece painted over five hundred years ago is slowly revealed, one begins to see how Birkin has slowly changed and healed as well.


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
good


message 6: by Dimitri (new)

Dimitri | 600 comments A good start of your year. I'm adding this historical novel.


message 7: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Thank you Dimitri. I hope you enjoy it.


message 8: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
2. Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf by Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf
Finish date: January 8, 2017
Genre: Literary fiction
Rating: B+
Review: This beautifully written short story takes place on a summer day in Kew Gardens just outside of London. An example of the descriptive prose, "The petals were voluminous enough to be stirred by the summer breeze, and when they moved, the red, blue and yellow lights passed one over the other, staining an inch of the brown earth beneath with a spot of the most intricate colour." Perhaps I loved this book as it was reminiscent of a lovely day we spent in Kew Gardens.


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Very good


message 10: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jan 28, 2018 09:29AM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
3. Bleak House by Charles Dickens by Charles Dickens Charles Dickens
Finish date: January 11, 2017
Genre: Novel, Classic
Rating: A
Review: The Bleak House narrative has at its core, the probate of the estate of Jarndyce and Jarndyce that had been wending its way, albeit slowly, through the court system for generations in the Chancery. As the book unfolds, we learn how many of the characters are affected or motivated in some way by the lawsuit as all of the myriad threads of this Dickensian tale come together.

"The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln's Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of the Chancery."

"This is the Court of Chancery, which has at its decaying houses and its blighted lands in every shire, which gives the monied the might the means abundantly of wearying out the right, which so exhausts finances, patience, courage, hope, so overthrows the brain and breaks the heart, that there is not an honourable man among its practitioners who would not give--who does not often give--the warning, 'Suffer any wrong that can be done you rather than come here!'"

"The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it."

I loved the time spent in Bleak House. and definitely looking forward to reading it again as is true with many of the classics written by Charles Dickens.


message 11: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
4. Prince Of Fire (Gabriel Allon, #5) by Daniel Silva by Daniel Silva Daniel Silva
Finish date: January 16, 2017
Genre: Novel, Spy
Rating: A
Review: Prince of Fire features Gabriel Allon, a complicated individual who is not only an Israeli spy and assassin but also is a person very passionate about art restoration. This was an interesting book as it focused on a lot of the history of the conflicts between Palestine and Israel over the years as well as current tensions and terrorism in the region. In this book we also learn more of Allon's early history as well as his personal conflicts and struggles. It was an exciting read.


message 12: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
5. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe by Will Schwalbe Will Schwalbe
Finish date: January 19, 2017
Genre: Memoir
Rating: B
Review: This beautiful memoir by son Will Schwalbe explored the special relationship with his mother Mary Anne as they lived through her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Both being avid readers, as Will accompanied his mother for chemotherapy treatment, they spent the hours with their book club of two in session. It was interesting to see how the books selected and loved by each shaped and facilitated their communication or imparted lessons to be learned. This was not only a book about books but, more importantly, a son's loving tribute to his mother.


message 13: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Apr 09, 2017 02:29PM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
6. The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2) by Elena Ferrante by Elena Ferrante (no photo)
Finish date: January 27, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Novel
Rating: A
Review: The Story of a New Name is the second novel of Ferrante's Neapolitan series featuring childhood friends Lila Cerullo and Elena Greco as they mature into young adulthood, each following different paths as one opts to marry staying in their Naples neighborhood while the other pursues her studies and leaving the neighborhood in which they grew up. Their strong and often competitive friendship during this time is often strained as each grapples with their choices. This is a powerful book that addresses many social and global issues but at its core, it is the emotional ties of friendship and family.


message 14: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Dec 13, 2018 11:53AM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
FEBRUARY

7. The Dream Lover A Novel of George Sand by Elizabeth Berg by Elizabeth Berg Elizabeth Berg
Finish date: February 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Novel
Rating: B
Review: The Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand was the fictional novel of French author and feminist, born as Aurore Dupin but best known as George Sand. Berg in her afterward notes that in doing research on the legendary Sand that there were many inconsistencies, "the bane of the nonfiction writer and bliss for the novelist." Keeping in mind that context of historical fiction novel, it was a very interesting and entertaining read about an historical figure that I knew very little about.

"I am in agreement with Goethe, who said that every day one ought to 'hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible to speak a few reasonable words.' I would add to this the need to love. Without it, the rest is dust."

"But I had come to see that a life not lived in truth was a life forfeited."

"My father . . . believed that the moral compass of an individual was the true gauge by which one should measure and live one's life. If that compass was in keeping with what others thought, so be it. But if not, one was meant to answer to oneself: that was the way to come to a true and lasting peace. Perhaps the only way I thought now."



message 15: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jan 10, 2018 09:33AM) (new)

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8. John le Carré The Biography by Adam Sisman by Adam Sisman (no photo)
Finish date: February 4, 2017
Genre: Biography
Rating: A
Review: John le Carre: The Biography was an extremely well researched authoritative biography of British spy and novelist David Cornwell, better known as John le Carre. The biographer Sisman presented the facts as found in his research and noted instances where it differed with Cornwell's remembrances. It was interesting to see the parallels in John le Carre's life to the themes explored in his books.

The epigraph at the beginning of book was perfect, a quotation by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Writers aren't people exactly. Or, if they're any good, they're a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person." It was a very interesting and enjoyable biography that read like a novel.


message 16: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

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9. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer by Heinrich Harrer Heinrich Harrer
Finish date: February 4, 2017
Genre: Memoir
Rating: B-
Review: This was a memoir by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer highlighting his escape from a British internment camp in India during World War II. He and his companions subsequently trekked hundreds of miles across Asia with the goal of reaching the Forbidden City of Lhasa. Eventually they came to the legendary Lhasa where he remained for seven years working with the Tibetan people.

Harrer notes, "And then there is the Potala Palace, which must date from Tibet's days of greatness. No one today would think of erecting such a building. I once asked a stonemason. . . why such buildings were no longer put up. He answered indignantly that the Potala was the handiwork of the gods. Men never could have achieved anything like it. Good spirits and supernatural beings had worked by night on this wonderful building."

During this time there he also developed a friendship with the youthful Dalai Lama. It was interesting that the Dalai Lama, in the forward to this particular edition dated January 1982, stated that the book, ". . . gives a true and vivid picture of Tibet before 1959 is being reprinted when there is a renewed interest on Tibet."


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good progress Lorna


message 18: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Nov 06, 2021 09:29AM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
10. Moonglow by Michael Chabon by Michael Chabon Michael Chabon
Finish date: February 11, 2017
Genre: Memoir, Novel
Rating: A-
Review: This was a beautiful fictional memoir and/or novel about family bonds and traditions. Chabon goes to his mother's home in Oakland to be with his terminally ill grandfather for the last few weeks of his life. During these visits, his grandfather regales him with many stories about his life experiences and family legends that he has never heard before beginning with his life as a small boy. Whether it is fact or fiction or a mix of each, it was a powerful and enjoyable book.


message 19: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

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11. The Unknown Matisse, 1869-1908 by Hilary Spurling by Hilary Spurling Hilary Spurling
Finish date: February 15, 2017
Genre: Biography
Rating: A
Review: This was a well researched biography of the early years of Henri Matisse, one of the masters of twentieth century art. Having always loved his paintings because of the vibrant use of color, it was interesting to see as a young boy growing up in a northern France textile town, he was drawn even then to the different uses of colors and textures in the textiles. Although Matisse struggled as a "starving artist" for a lot of years in his early days in Paris in the art community, his wife and three children were very supportive of his work. The beautiful images of his paintings and sculptures through 1908 were included in the book, as well as the details of his early life and career and how each influenced the other.


message 20: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Feb 22, 2017 06:56AM) (new)

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12. The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6) by Daniel Silva by Daniel Silva Daniel Silva
Finish date: February 16, 2016
Genre: Novel, spy
Rating: B+
Review: The Messenger is another exciting read with Israeli spy and assassin, Gabriel Allon, working with United States CIA, to infiltrate and eliminate an Al-Quaeda operative and terrorist cell in order to protect the Vatican and the pope.


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good job on your reading - you are making great progress.


message 22: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
13. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd by Sue Monk Kidd Sue Monk Kidd
Finish date: February 21, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Novel
Rating: B
Review: The Invention of Wings is an historical fiction novel about the abolitionists and early femenists, sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke of Charleston, South Carolina in the early nineteenth century.

For Sarah's eleventh birthday, she was given her own slave girl, Hettie Handful, despite her protests. It was at that point she began to look at the issue of slavery. She and Hettie developed a relationship while Sarah secretly taught Hettie to read and write. Sarah while growing up and seeing the injustice of slavery, was also facing her own inability to further her education to have a career in law as her father and brothers, even though they all admitted she had a keen intellect, because she was a woman.

The book alternates between the stories of Sarah and Hettie and their individual struggles. In the author's note, Sue Monk Kidd says she was inspired while writing the book by the words of Professor Julius Lester: "History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another's pain in the heart of our own."


message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good job


message 24: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jan 26, 2018 02:53PM) (new)

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14. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead by Colson Whitehead Colson Whitehead
Finish date: February 25, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: B+
Review: The Underground Railroad is a powerful and important book about slavery but it was a difficult read because of the brutal and horrific treatment of slaves in the antebellum south. Cora was a third-generation African-American slave growing up on a cotton plantation in Georgia, left alone by her mother Mabel at age 11, when she ran away. Cora over the years had a difficult existence, having been shunned by the slave community as well. Approached by another slave about running away, she ultimately decided that she would accompany Caesar and make her way with the help of the underground railroad. This quote to me summed up why she decided to risk running away, "There was an order of misery, misery tucked inside miseries, and you were meant to keep track."

This Pulitzer prize-winning book was one that I found hard to put down as we followed Cora on her oftentimes terrifying journey. It was interesting to get the perspective of the people who helped slaves along the way, sometimes to their own detriment. This was a fictional look at an integral part of American history that I needed to learn more about.


message 25: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
MARCH

15. Matisse the Master The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954 by Hilary Spurling by Hilary Spurling Hilary Spurling
Finish date: March 5, 2017
Genre: Biography
Rating: A
Review: Matisse The Master was a well researched biography of Henri Matisse from 1909 until his death in 1954 that reads like a suspense novel. It was interesting to see how his career and art progressed as well as the influences of two world wars on Matisse, his art and his family. This volume contains many sketches, color plates of his art and photographs as well to enhance your reading experience. It was incredible to see how Matisse was not appreciated by the art community at best and often reviled at worst. Spurling has been one of my favorite biographers and didn't disappoint.


message 26: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Mar 10, 2017 10:13AM) (new)

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16. The Last Days of Old Beijing Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Meyer by Michael Meyer Michael Meyer
Finish date: March 9, 2017
Genre: Memoir, History
Rating: C+
Review: The Last Days of Old Beijing by author Michael Meyer was a very interesting account of his personal experiences when he decided to remain in Beijing after a stint in the Peace Corps. Meyer applied as a volunteer, teaching English in the local elementary school and choosing to live in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Beijing, the hutong, Dazhalan.

Woven into his personal experiences of teaching and living in the hutong was how he explored one thousand years of Chinese history in the book as well as the present struggles of his neighbors, fellow teachers and students as the government was condemning much of the hutongs as the revitalization process was taking over old Beijing, particularly in advance of the World Olympics in 2008.

Having spent an afternoon in the hutong Dazhalan on a recent visit to China, it was particularly heartening to read of the struggle of the people to maintain their way of life in the face of "progress" as they were condemning century old homes and their way of life, many of them having to eventually relocate to one of the modern high-rise apartment buildings.

Of particular interest was Meyer's relationship with the Widow. "She wears a fleece vest and forearm mufflers that match the vermilion and crimson wood beams of our courtyard home. When I picture my neighbor the Widow, I see these colors--dull whites and grays, lustrous yellows, imperial reds--and smell ashes and age. She is the shade and scent of our hutong, one of the lanes that lattice the heart of Beijing."


message 27: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

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17. Tipperary A Novel of Ireland by Frank Delaney by Frank Delaney Frank Delaney
Finish date: March 17, 2017
Genre: Novel, Historical Fiction
Rating: A
Review: This was a book of the history of Ireland as it struggled to become a nation from the mid-eighteenth century through World War I that was told in this captivating novel beginning with a trunk being discovered by a history professor intrigued by its contents including the written history of a Charles O'Brien. But as O'Brien cautions the reader, "Be careful about me. Be careful about my country and my people and how we tell our history." And so begins the story that I found hard to put down. It was the perfect book to be reading on St. Patrick's Day.


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good progress Lorna


message 29: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Dec 13, 2018 12:07PM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
18. East To The Dawn The Life Of Amelia Earhart by Susan Butler by Susan Butler (no photo)
Finish date: March 18, 2017
Genre: Biography
Rating: B+
Review: East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart was a meticulously researched biography of the adventurer Amelia Earhart that was very enjoyable. Earhart's accomplishments were many, particularly when you realize how difficult it was for a woman in the 1920's and 1930's in aviation. Earhart was instrumental in paving the way for many although she always claimed that she had never left her field of social work.


message 30: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Dec 13, 2018 12:22PM) (new)

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19. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne by Nathaniel Hawthorne Nathaniel Hawthorne
Finish date: March 24, 2017
Genre: Classic, Novel
Rating: B+
Review: The Scarlet Letter. a beloved classic in literature by Nathaniel Hawthorne, somehow eluding me all these years, was worthwhile reading. Knowing the setting was in Puritan New England and the gist of the tale, I was not prepared for all that unfolded. I am not likely to forget Hester Prynne or little Pearl anytime soon.

"Had there been a Papist among the crowd of Puritans, he might have seen in this beautiful woman, so picturesque in her attire and mien, and with the infant at her bosom, an object to remind him of the image of Divine Maternity, which so many illustrious painters have vied with one another to represent; something which should remind him, indeed, but only by contrast, of that sacred image of sinless motherhood, whose infant was to redeem the world."


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Tackling the classics always has benefits - good for you


message 32: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
20. West with the Night by Beryl Markham by Beryl Markham Beryl Markham
Finish date: March 31, 2017
Genre: Memoir
Rating: A
Review: This was a engrossing memoir by Beryl Markham written in lyrical prose about her adventurous life from growing up in east Africa on a hardscrabble farm to raising and later training thoroughbred horses to her adventures as a bush pilot, followed by her momentous flight across the Atlantic Ocean. This memoir is also a moving and beautifully written tribute to her love of the soul of Africa.

Beryl Markham's love of flying was an added joy to be a part of. This was a favorite quote as she was learning to fly, "I learned to watch, to put my trust in other hands than mine. And I learned to wander. I learned what every dreaming child needs to know--that no horizon is so far that you cannot get above it or beyond it. These I learned at once. But most things come harder."


message 33: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Apr 03, 2017 03:14PM) (new)

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APRIL

21. Mozart A Life by Maynard Solomon by Maynard Solomon (no photo)
Finish date: April 2, 2017
Genre: Biography
Rating: A
Review: Mozart: A Life is the well researched biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and was a finalist in for the Pulitzer in 1996. This narrative reads like a novel with Mozart's musical scores and notes throughout as we follow him through his early childhood in Salzburg to his acclaimed performances in the capitals of Europe as a child prodigy. It follows him as he moves to Vienna, marries and continues to have success not only in Vienna but in Prague and Germany, as a promising young composer. It also shadows his deepening melancholia as he works on his final work Requiem before his premature death at the age of 36. This will deepen the appreciation I will have when listening to Mozart's music in the future.


message 34: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jul 18, 2017 06:42AM) (new)

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22. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels #3) by Elena Ferrante by Elena Ferrante (no photo)
Finish date: April 8, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Novel
Rating: A
Review: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay is the third novel in the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante that tests the bonds of the complex, yet compelling, friendship of Lila and Elena in the extremely political environment and social upheaval of Italy in the 1960's and 1970's. Their lives are impacted in very different ways, but still intricately connected, as Italy goes through a radical restructuring of the political parties, rioting and the fight for the rights of workers, particularly in northern Italy where Lila is in Naples and Elena in Florence. It is still the relationship between these two women that is the heart of these novels.


message 35: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jul 18, 2017 06:42AM) (new)

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23. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See by Lisa See Lisa See
Finish date: April 8, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Novel
Rating: A
Review: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane explores the rituals and traditions of the Ahka people in the remote mountain village in China where the tea leaves are harvested that make up the rare Pu'er tea. Although the story is rich with Chinese culture and tradition, at the heart of this beautiful novel is the strong and unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters.

One of my favorite descriptions of the remote mountain village: "Even I understand that this spot has ideal feng shui with its marriage of mountains, wind, and fog, mist and rain. Everything in this spot--trees, climate, insects, and animals--has existed in natural harmony for centuries, millennia."


message 36: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jul 18, 2017 06:42AM) (new)

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24. Books for Living by Will Schwalbe by Will Schwalbe Will Schwalbe
Finish date: April 12, 2017
Genre: Memoir, Essays
Rating: B
Review: Books for Living was a wonderful memoir by Will Schwalbe about the meaning and impact of different books on his life and various relationships throughout his life. It is the perfect read for anyone who loves books; you're bound to find a few more that you have to read!

A quote from Chang Ch'ao that has particular resonance: "Reading books in one's youth is like looking at the moon through a crevice; reading books in middle age is like looking at the moon in one's courtyard; and reading books in old age is like looking at the moon on an open terrace."


message 37: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jul 18, 2017 06:42AM) (new)

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25. Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser by Travis Mulhauser Travis Mulhauser
Finish date: April 16, 2017
Genre: Fiction, Novel
Rating: A
Review: Sweetgirl, a gripping debut novel that had me engrossed from the earliest pages with passages like this, "I could see the baby was shrieking, but its cries were buried by the wind. The snow blew in sideways, edged across the floor, and dusted the baby's cheeks with frost. The baby's eyes darted in a side-to-side panic as it reached up with trembling hands and searched for something to grasp."

Such begins the odyssey of plucky 16-year old Percy James in search of her drug-addicted mother deep in the woods of remote northeast Michigan with a blizzard and adverse conditions bearing down. Percy enlists the help of an old family friend Portis Dale, the only father-figure she has ever known. What unfolds is a powerful story of the bonds of friendship and family as well as the power of good in the face of evil.


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26. The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4) by Elena Ferrante by Elena Ferrante (no photo)
Finish date: April 25, 2017
Genre: Fiction, Novel
Rating: A
Review: The Story of the Lost Child is a stunning culmination to the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante featuring the friendship between two women from childhood through old age set in post-war Italy. It was a literary experience.


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MAY

27. The Boys in the Boat Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown by Daniel James Brown Daniel James Brown
Finish date: May 6, 2017
Genre: Memoir, History
Rating: A
Review: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics was a beautiful and triumphant book taking place just prior to World War II. This was about an American Olympic rowing team traveling to Berlin in 1936.

"They were representatives of something larger than themselves--a way of life, a shared set of values. Liberty was perhaps the most fundamental of those values. But the things that held them together--trust in each other, mutual respect, humility, fair play, watching out for one another--those were also what America meant to all of them. And right along with a passion for liberty, those were the things they were about to take to Berlin and lay before the world when they took to the water at Grunau."


message 40: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) I love that book. One of my all-time favorites.


message 41: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Thanks Alisa, one of mine too. I was reading it when we were in Slovenia with a day trip to Lake Bled and the Olympic Rowing Training Center. It really brought it all home.


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you Lorna.


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28. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders by George Saunders George Saunders
Finish date: May 10, 2017
Genre: Fiction, Novel
Rating: A
Review: Lincoln in the Bardo is a book unlike any other that I have read. It transpires the night after President Lincoln's young son Willie has been laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery after his sudden and unexpected death from a bout with typhoid fever. The narrative includes many different voices of the spirits trapped in the bardo when the President comes to the crypt to be with Willie during the night. "We were perhaps not so unlovable as we had come to believe."

According to Tibetan tradition, bardo is referred to as the state of existence intermittent between two lives on earth. From an historical perspective, this book takes place during the most difficult time during Lincoln's presidency as the Civil War is escalating and the nation is deeply divided. "The impression I carried away was that I had seen not so much the President of the United States, as the saddest man in the world." It is a sad and haunting, but beautiful book.


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Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
29. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen by Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen
Finish date: May 22, 2017
Genre: Autobiography, Memoir
Rating: B
Review: Born to Run is Bruce Springsteen's very honest look at his life and career in music. Having long been a fan of his extraordinary music and lyrics, I enjoyed this autobiographical book that he wrote over a period of seven years, often when he was on the road performing. Springsteen speaking about the joy of his live performances, one of his quotes, ". . . there is something in the gathering of souls that blows the blues away. Something that lets the sun in. . . "


message 45: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jul 18, 2017 06:43AM) (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
JUNE

30. Our House in the Last World by Oscar Hijuelos by Oscar Hijuelos Oscar Hijuelos
Finish date: June 4, 2017
Genre: Fiction, Novel
Rating: B+
Review: Our House in the Last World is the fictional novel taking place in Cuba before the revolution through the time of the overthrow of Batista and the subsequent takeover by Fidel Castro and the effects on the people. It addresses the immigrant experience as the novel spans the lives of one family that emigrated from Cuba to Miami and New York with all of the attendant struggles. One of my favorite authors, this was the first book by Hijuelos, filled with the haunting and beautiful lyrics he is known for.

"The white blossoms that left Mercedes's hand and fell into the open grave might have drifted endlessly downward -- into the clouds and sky of Cuba, long ago, falling down, carried in a breeze that swayed the treetops and scattered them the road in Holguin."


message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Lorna you are making progress and I love your author's literary style.


message 47: by Alisa (last edited Jun 11, 2017 06:14PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Lorna wrote: "29. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen by Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen
Finish Date: May 22, 2017
Genre: Autobiography, Memoir
Rating: B
Review: Born to Run..."


He came to Seattle on his book tour. Unlike he usual author talk in some stuffy orchestra hall, a ticket got you a book and a photo op with Bruce!!! It sold out in under an hour and the day of was a logistical feat for the bookstore (they sold 1,600 copies) but I not only have the book but a picture of my 30 seconds up close and personal with the Boss. If he writes like he speaks, I'm good. Glad to see your review.


message 48: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Alisa, 30 seconds with the Boss, how exciting. I was too late to score a ticket in Denver. He writes from the heart, much like his music. I have dragged my husband to so many concerts and am still astonished at his capacity to perform non-stop with music that speaks to the rhythm and history of this country.


message 49: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) +1 to that. He is the best.


message 50: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 1925 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Lorna you are making progress and I love your author's literary style."

Thank you Bentley, I volunteered for a book forum in Denver in the early 90's and Oscar Hijuelos was one of four authors that I was assisting. I was so impressed that I couldn't wait to read one of his books and became an instant fan. Sadly, he died prematurely of a heart attack several years ago so we are left only with his body of work but it can be read and read again.


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