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Books > The Book Salon ~~ December 2018

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments


This the thread for general book discussions for December.

Tell us what you just read, are currently reading or plan to read. Tell us about your favorite author. Have you read some book news? Share it with the group. Anything related to books and reading, we want to hear all about it !
:)


message 2: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Seven for a Secret Seven for a Secret (Timothy Wilde, #2) by Lyndsay Faye by Lyndsay Faye

In this second book in the 'Timothy Wilde' series, Tim is one of New York's first police officers, on the trail of corrupt slave catchers. The book can be read as a standalone. Good historical mystery, very atmospheric. 3.5 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 3: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments Interesting idea for a series, Barbara. I'm glad you drew our attention to it. Several years ago i read several in a series set in NY from the same era, written by Miriam Grace Monfredo. The main character is a feminist librarian, at the time of the first Women's Rights Convention--Seneca Falls Inheritance. Not only did i learn much about crime detecting without the science of today but it was fun reading about the era itself. It's a fun way to learn bits of history and life from another time. What bothers me about them is that they do tend to apply today's point of view to their events. This gets old, to me, at least.


message 4: by Dem (new)

Dem | 393 comments Finished and enjoyed Becoming Becoming by Michelle Obama

My review: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2598382767


message 5: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments Dem, i was hoping someone here would read & review her book. I've watched her appearances on a program or two and, as always, have been impressed. Like you, i don't want gossip & meanness, only a recounting of what she experienced.

I read an article about her & the book a couple of weeks ago. She shared a story which she had forgotten, so wasn't in her book. In it she said that she cried for 30 minutes after her husband was no longer President because she felt the relief of no longer needing to be "perfect". I could feel and believe that. However, a week later i looked it up & it was now thwarted into her crying those 30 minutes because Trump was now President. I don't know which is true, but i must say the first reason sounded more real to me.

ANYway, i'm happy to see your comments, Dem.


message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments madrano wrote: "Interesting idea for a series, Barbara. I'm glad you drew our attention to it. Several years ago i read several in a series set in NY from the same era, written by [author:Miriam Grace Monfredo|559..."

Madrano, I agree that it's a fun way to learn history (never my favorite subject). 😊


message 7: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments Dem wrote: "Finished and enjoyed BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

My review: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2598382767"


I had to freeze my library hold on this to catch up with other books. I can't wait to read it. The audio done by her is something I think I would enjoy too.


message 8: by Barbara (last edited Dec 01, 2018 06:48PM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Dem wrote: "Finished and enjoyed BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

My review: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2598382767"


I'm reading this now. It's very well-written and insightful.

It broke my heart when she said that her family being in the White House provoked some of the racist crazies that shot up black churches and enacted other atrocities.


message 9: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut by Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut's masterpiece (based on his personal experience) about a soldier deeply affected by the bombing of Dresden during WWII.

After the war the soldier gets 'unstuck in time' and abducted by aliens (these parts aren't based on Vonnegut's real life. 😊)

Good book. 4 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 10: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1004 comments I enjoyed Slaughterhouse Five a lot, Barbara. I keep meaning to read more of Vonnegut's books.


message 11: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 920 comments Maurice Swift, author, is the thoroughly reprehensible creation of wonderful real author John Boyne in his new book A Ladder to the Sky. I absolutely loved hating him - Maurice, of course, not John!
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne My review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 12: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Petra wrote: "I enjoyed Slaughterhouse Five a lot, Barbara. I keep meaning to read more of Vonnegut's books."

I want to read more of his books also Petra. 😊


message 13: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Maurice Swift, author, is the thoroughly reprehensible creation of wonderful real author John Boyne in his new book A Ladder to the Sky. I absolutely loved hating him ..."

Thanks for the recommendation, Patty. A Ladder sounds good. In your review you mention
Less I have that on my To Read list as it was a selection for the NY Times/PBS book club.

I just can't keep up ! I guess the answer is less wasting time on FB and more reading. I think that will be my New Years Resolution.


message 14: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments Barbara, Vonnegut was my favorite author through my 20s. Once i had children i lost interest after Jailbird. His short story collection, Welcome to the Monkey House is one of my favorite collections. I remember more of those stories than i do from others.

Patty, what an interesting character and review about the character. I wonder if i'd have the patience for such a person, even in a book. Sign of old age???


message 15: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 920 comments madrano wrote: "Barbara, Vonnegut was my favorite author through my 20s. Once i had children i lost interest after Jailbird. His short story collection, Welcome to the Monkey House is one o..."

Yes, I think you'd have the patience for a few reasons. The writing and the story are so good. The other characters and the situations are all believable (well, I think so). Plus, I liked the ending.

You don't have to like a main character to enjoy reading about them, but you do have to like the story. I think it helps if you like the other characters, which I did.


message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments Biography and Memoir


---- Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
by David W. Blight

What it is: a comprehensive yet accessible biography of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), the runaway slave-turned-abolitionist orator.

About the author: Award-winning Yale historian David W. Blight is a longtime Douglass scholar and the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory.

What sets it apart: Granted access to private sources previously made unavailable to other historians, Blight offers new insights into Douglass' complicated family life.



----- For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics
by Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore with Veronica Chambers

What it's about: In this eye-opening behind-the-scenes memoir, four influential political strategists and longtime friends share their respective (but often overlapping) journeys working for Democratic campaigns and administrations.

Paying it forward: The group created a "Bank of Justice" to support women and minorities entering political careers.



----- Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and...
by Mary Gabriel

What it is: a sweeping, richly contextualized portrait of five women artists who revolutionized the abstract expressionism movement.

Why it matters: Despite their trailblazing accomplishments (including their participation in the groundbreaking 1951 Ninth Street Show), these women have remained largely overlooked by the modern art scene.

Reviewers say: "an incandescent, engrossing, and paradigm-altering art epic" (Booklist); "superbly written and absorbing" (Library Journal).



----- The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee
by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger

What it's about: the close yet contentious relationship between sisters Jacqueline and Lee Bouvier, their privileged East Hampton upbringing, and their roles as America's First Lady and a princess of Poland.

Featuring: candid interviews with Lee about the women's childhood.

Don't miss: surprising, gossipy insights -- Lee was left out of Jackie's 38-page will; Jackie may have helped vet JFK's potential paramours.



********** Native Lives and Voices*********


----- Good Friday on the Rez: A Pine Ridge Odyssey
by David Hugh Bunnell

What it is: David Hugh Bunnell's 280-mile road trip to visit his longtime friend and "blood brother," Vernell White Thunder, at South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Why you might like it: The author vividly blends reflections of his time as a Pine Ridge schoolteacher with historical context as he passes Lakota landmarks and towns.

Don't miss: Bunnell's account of smuggling food to protesters during the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee.



----- The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend
by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Who it's about: Oglala Lakota chief Red Cloud (1822-1909), the only Plains Indian to defeat the United States Army in a war.

How'd he do it? A brilliant tactician and politician, Red Cloud formed alliances with Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Sioux warriors to reclaim Powder River Country during Red Cloud's War (1866-1868).

Further reading: Autobiography of Red Cloud: War Leader of the Oglalas, which was lost for over 100 years prior to its publication.



----- Crazy Brave
by Joy Harjo

What it is: a reflective memoir from Muscogee poet, musician, and Native Writers' Circle Lifetime Achievement Award winner Joy Harjo.

Topics include: the author's fraught family dynamics and single teenage motherhood; her schooling at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

What sets it apart: Harjo's candid, lyrical writing conveys the "intricate and metaphorical language of my ancestors."



----- Heart Berries
by Terese Marie Mailhot

What it is: a raw and powerfully crafted coming-of-age memoir of life on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation, evocatively told in a series of concise and cogent essays.

Want a taste? "The thing about women from the river is that our currents are endless. We sometimes outrun ourselves."

About the author: First Nation writer Terese Marie Mailhot is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts and is currently the Tecumseh Postdoctoral Fellow at Purdue University.



----- How the World Moves: The Odyssey of an American Indian Family
by Peter Nabokov

What it's about: the tensions and contradictions of cultural assimilation as experienced by Pueblo shaman Edward Proctor Hunt (born Day Break in 1861 New Mexico), who later became a "cultural broker," shopkeeper, and Wild West show performer alongside his family.

Further reading: Hunt's The Origin Myth of Acoma Pueblo, recounted to Smithsonian scholars in 1928 and published in an updated edition as a companion volume to How the World Moves.



------ American Warrior: The True Story of a Legendary Ranger
by Gary O'Neal with David Fisher

Who it's about: retired Army Ranger and Special Forces soldier Gary O'Neal, who drew upon the warrior traditions of his Oglala Sioux ancestors to develop combat techniques during his tours in Vietnam, Iraq, and Nicaragua.

Is it for you? O'Neal's graphic recollections of his 40-year career may not be for everyone, though "military buffs will give this high marks" (Kirkus Reviews).


message 18: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments I Must Say My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short

This memoir from comedy legend Martin Short talks about how he became a comedian and actor, his TV and movie roles, and his personal life. Very touching and funny book. 3.5 stars

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 19: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments Dem, your review shared the ups and downs of the book. My first thought was that i haven't read a gothic in some time but i'm not sure i could/would stay with one which is dry. At least you exposed us to both sides of this book.

Barbara, i knew about Short's wife but not the losses in his younger days. What experiences for such a funny guy.

Alias, it's great to see comments on so many books about Native Americans and their history. I've passed these along to my husband. Thanks for the list.

I saw the women who wrote For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics on television and appreciated what they said. I hope to get into that one early next year.


message 20: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments madrano wrote: "Alias, it's great to see comments on so many books about Native Americans and their history. I've passed these along to my husband. Thanks for the list.."

You're welcome !


message 21: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 920 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Biography and Memoir


---- Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
by David W. Blight

What it is: a comprehensive yet accessible biography of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), the runaway slave-tu..."


Interesting list of Native American books, Alias!


message 22: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 920 comments In My Real Name Is Hanna, author Tara Lynn Masih gives us a "Ukrainian Anne Frank", based on real, terrifying events during WW2.

An excellent read for adults and easy enough for YA readers, who should all read it!
My Real Name Is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih 4.5★ Link to my review


message 23: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments This book sounds very good, Patty, thanks for introducing it to us.


message 24: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: Interesting list of Native American books, Alias!."

Glad you are enjoying the book lists !


message 25: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Becoming Becoming by Michelle Obama by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama always strived to be the best, and this ambition carried her from a happy childhood in Chicago to a distinguished career in public service. After Michelle married Barack Obama, their joint desire to help the community - and Barack's political aspirations - propelled them to the White House. Very good memoir. 5 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 26: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments Barbara wrote: "Becoming Becoming by Michelle Obama by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama always strived to be the best, and this ambition carried her from a happy childhood in Chic..."


Nice review and pics, Barbara !


message 27: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments Another great review for Michelle Obama's book. Clearly i need to read this next year. Thanks for sharing photos of women who influenced her, that was a neat addition.


message 28: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Barbara wrote: "Becoming Becoming by Michelle Obama by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama always strived to be the best, and this ambition carried her from a happy c..."


Thank you Alias. 😊


message 29: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments madrano wrote: "Another great review for Michelle Obama's book. Clearly i need to read this next year. Thanks for sharing photos of women who influenced her, that was a neat addition."

Thank you Madrano. I think it's important to give credit to women who set a good example for other women, and provide a helping hand. Especially these days. 😊


message 30: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments Agreed, Barbara. And it's nice to see that M. Obama credits so many.


message 31: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 298 comments I’m on the 3rd Harry Potter book (started today) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I wanted to have them all read by the end of the year but not sure that will happen :)

I also picked up, for my kindle, Curly Girl. Recommended to me by my best friend. I absolutely hate dealing with my hair so I’m hoping I will learn some tips and tricks to love my curly, wavy, and frizzy hair so I don’t have to constantly straighten it.

I think I’m giving up on The Other Side of Life. I’m having such a hard time keeping focused on this one. I may pick it back up to finish but not sure.


message 32: by Barbara (last edited Dec 07, 2018 07:22AM) (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Stephanie wrote: "I’m on the 3rd Harry Potter book (started today) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I wanted to have them all read by the end of the year but not sure that will happen :)
..."


There are some really thick books coming up in the Harry Potter series Stephanie. So be prepared. 😉🌹


message 33: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments The Returned The Returned by Jason Mott by Jason Mott

When the dead return, not as zombies but exactly as they were when they died, the situation soon becomes dangerous and chaotic. Interesting concept for a story. 3 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 34: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 07, 2018 07:55AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments Stephanie wrote: I also picked up, for my kindle, Curly Girl. Recommended to me by my best friend. I absolutely hate dealing with my hair so I’m hoping I will learn some tips and tricks to love my curly, wavy, and frizzy hair so I don’t have to constantly straighten it.
"

As a fellow curly, wavy & frizzy girl you need to watch YouTube for the curly girl method. Though I don't use Deva products as they are too expensive for me, I've found others products from YouTube that work well and also learned how to properly wash & condition. Also dry it with a Turbie Twist towel. All this you can find in most drug stores. If you have a Face Value store near you that is where I go.

Two YouTubers that I like are:

Curly Susie

IndiaBatson


message 35: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 298 comments Barbara wrote: "The Returned The Returned by Jason Mott by Jason Mott

When the dead return, not as zombies but exactly as they were when they died, the situation soon becom..."


I wonder if this is what the TV show was based off of...it only lasted 2 seasons a few years back but I loved it!


message 36: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 298 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Stephanie wrote: I also picked up, for my kindle, Curly Girl. Recommended to me by my best friend. I absolutely hate dealing with my hair so I’m hoping I will learn some tips and tricks to love my ..."

Thank you! It’s been such a struggle to find what works and isn’t crazy expensive. The Deva stuff here isn’t priced too horribly unlike the stuff my hair dresser I only see a few times per year has me using, lol!


message 37: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Stephanie wrote: "Barbara wrote: "The Returned The Returned by Jason Mott by Jason Mott

I wonder if this is what the TV show was based off of...it only lasted 2 seasons a few years back but I loved it!
..."



Stephanie, the TV show "Resurrection" was based on this book. 🙂


message 38: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 298 comments Whoops! That’s it! ☺️


message 39: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments I read the Mott book either this year or last and agree with your assessment, Barbara. I didn't necessarily find it compelling reading but i was hoping for a better ending. When i began the book i didn't realize "Resurrection" was based on it. I looked it up because too much of it sounded familiar. This is a case where i liked the filmed version better than the book, although were i not already accustomed to the theme/story, i might have felt differently.


message 40: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 920 comments Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan are intriguing little stories with his unique illustrations, some of which I shared in my review.
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan 4.5★ My review with pictures


message 41: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments What a fully delightful review and book, PattyMac. I liked reading your own discoveries in these comments. And the art is clever, as you note. Neat!


message 42: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments Metzger's Dog Metzger's Dog by Thomas Perry by Thomas Perry

This comic thriller is about a criminal gang who accidently steal secret CIA documents and try to trade them back to the government for millions of dollars. The book's best character is a cat called "Dr. Henry Metzger." 3 stars

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 43: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1004 comments I finished reading Remembering the Bones. An interesting, memory-driven story. Serene, in it's way.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani


message 44: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Moore (ashleym99) | 199 comments I finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This was entertaining. I like how you know the characters and it reads like one big adventure of some of the people in the mental hospital the book takes place in.


message 45: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10206 comments Barbara, i must say this Perry book is a contrast to his mystery series which features Jane Whitefield as a the main character. They are well written but i can't recall any humor in them. What a contrast, silly as it sounds from your recap. The cat sounds like a winner, though.

Petra, after reading the first paragraph of your review, i wondered if i would like that style or not. The remaining comments covered the issue which most concerned me. I like those sort of memories in my own brain but know they wouldn't mean much to anyone else, which, it sounds as though, is true with the Itani book as well.

Ashley, i remember having fun with that book and its characters, too. It's neat that you shared that pleasure.


message 46: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17635 comments Ashley wrote: "I finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This was entertaining. I like how you know the characters and it reads like one big adventure of some of the people in the mental hospital ..."

The movie staring Jack Nicholson is very good. You should check it out if you can.


message 47: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Moore (ashleym99) | 199 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Ashley wrote: "I finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This was entertaining. I like how you know the characters and it reads like one big adventure of some of the people in the m..."

I will look into it. I could picture Jack Nicholson in a role like this. Thanks.


message 48: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 920 comments I've run across a couple of groups reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, so I decided to have a look. Overall, I enjoyed it (if one can be said to enjoy WW2 in France), but with a few niggles.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 4★ My review


message 49: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2766 comments madrano wrote: "Barbara, i must say this Perry book is a contrast to his mystery series which features Jane Whitefield as a the main character. They are well written but i can't recall any humor in them. What a co..."

I know Madrano, the Jane Whitefield series is much different. Jane is much more sensible and clever than this eccentric crew. 🙂


message 50: by Shomeret (last edited Dec 08, 2018 09:36PM) (new)

Shomeret | 225 comments I finished Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver which is my first December read. I was divided enough about it that I couldn't rate the book in the Goodreads version of my review. Here's my blog review at https://shomeretmasked.blogspot.com/2...


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