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Monthly "READS" > October 2011 reads

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message 1: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (last edited Oct 29, 2011 09:54AM) (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Thanks to the few people who posted their September reads.

If you are reading this, please post your October books and don't just move on without contributing.

Comments about your books are appreciated, but a list is better than nothing.


message 2: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 42 comments I read two traditional books and listened to two audio books:
Lawrence, D.H.—Lady Chatterley’s Lover—finished 10/15/11. Fiction; rating 4. Read with Book Buddies, but very little discussion. The plot of the book (Lord Clifford Chatterley returns from WWI crippled and impotent and suggests that his wife Lady Connie have a child with someone else to be his heir; she falls in love with the gamekeeper) and the frank discussion of sensual material has interest, but the descriptions are so laborious that the book soon became dull and a relief when finished.

Bowen, Rhys—Murphy’s Law—A Molly Murphy Mystery—finished 10/25/11. Fiction; rating 10. After killing man who tried to rape her, Molly flees Ireland and goes to America where she winds up being accused in the murder of a man on the ship so does her own investigating to find murderer.

Walls, Jeannette—Half Broke Horses—read by author; finished 10/18/11. Audio; fiction; rating 10. Based on the life of author’s grandmother Lily Casey Smith who overcame struggles by her grit and determination living most of her life on a ranch in Arizona.

McCullough, David—The Greater Journey—Americans in Paris—read by Edward Herrmann and author; finished 10/21/11. Audio; non-fiction; rating 10. Impact on Americans who studied in Paris and later used their experiences in America including Elizabeth Blackwell, Samuel F.B. Morse, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Mark Twain.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Shirley wrote: "I read ....
Lawrence, D.H.—Lady Chatterley’s Lover—finished 10/15/11. Fiction; rating 4. Read with Book Buddies, but very little discussion..."


I remember when I was a kid that this book was whispered about as being soooo indecent!


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Shirley, I am loving the Molly Murphy series....I have read the first 3 so far (there are 10). When I was at the library the other day, I found the first book in another series that Bowen wrote and am looking forward to that too.

Her Royal Spyness this is called a "cozy series".


message 5: by RNOCEAN (new)

RNOCEAN | 93 comments Finished "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern and loved it.
Finished "The Language of Flowers" and even though it was raved about, I had to force myself to finish it hoping for it to get better.
Currently reading "The Dovekeepers" by Alice Hoffman.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Charlotte, I loaned my unread copy of Hoffman's book to my sister to take on vacation. Is that sisterly love or what?!?!?! Hope to get to it soon.

I think thewanderingjew really liked The Night Circus. How would you say it compares to Hoffman's books vis-a vis magical stuff?


message 7: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 54 comments My October reads

The Shadow of the WindbyCarlos Ruiz Zafón Rating 4/5
Mandarin Plaid byS.J. Rozan rating 4/5
Still AlicebyLisa Genova rating 4/5


message 8: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments RNOCEAN wrote: "Finished "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern and loved it."

I just downloaded the audio version of The Night Circus from my library site the other day. I am glad to see you really enjoyed it. Jim Dale does the narration so I am looking forward to listening to it.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Meredith wrote: "
Still Alice..."


I really liked this book - an amazing portrayal


message 10: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 42 comments Thanks for encouraging me to continue with the Molly Murphy series. I hadn't realized that there were ten in the series. I've visited Ellis Island a couple of times so that helped make the book so enjoyable. I also love Molly's spunk!


message 11: by Schmerguls (new)

Schmerguls | 257 comments What I Read in October 2011

4866. FDR's Funeral Train A Betrayed Widow, a Soviet Spy, and a Presidency in the Balance, by Robert Klara (read 1 Oct 2011) This book, published in 2010, recounts the events beginning Apr 12, 1945, till Apr 16, 1945, concentrating on the happenings on the train which carried FDR's body from Warm Springs, GA, to his grave at Hyde Park, NY. It tells an interesting story, with much pretty trivial information set out at length. The "betrayal" in the subtitle refers to the fact that Lucy Mercer was at the Warm Springs site when FDR was stricken; the spy was Launchlin Currie, who rode on the train for no apparent reason, and the book spends much time telling what Truman was doing, leading up to his speech to Congress on Apr 16. I found much of minor import but fascinating in the great detail the author compiled through careful research. I suppose the book has too much unimportant detail but I enjoyed all the reading of it--its attitude to both FDR and Truman is pleasantly affirmative.

4867. Everything We Had An Oral history of the Vietnam War by Thirty-three American Soldiers Who Fought It, by Al Santoli (read 3 Oct 2011) I saw a list of the supposedly best books on Vietnam and this book was on the list. It is a 1981 compilation of oral comments by 33 people who were in the war. It is uneven, some of the accounts being gripping indeed and extremely interesting, but some were not so good, unsanitized and sort of inarticulate. But on balance the book is a winner. The most telling for me was the account by Admiral William Lawrence who was a pilot shot down over north Vietnam and for six years a prisoner. The things he did to maintain his mental acuity and help his fellow prisoners are simply amazing. Without pencil or paper he composed poetry, reviewed his life, and managed to communicate with fellow captives by tapping. The accounts of time in the field by others and of the fall of Saigon were full of interest. I am glad I read the book.

4868. Dances With Wolves, by Michael Blake (read 5 Oct 2011) This is a 1988 novel. It tells of John Dunbar, an Army lieutenant, who goes to Fort Sedgewick in the western United States in 1862 or so and finds no one there. He meets up with Comanche Indians, gets to know an old wolf ("Two Socks"), and meets a white woman long with the Comanches. Except for an uninspired part about three-fourths of the way through, it is quite readable, though there is an air of unreality about it. It has a powerful ending and on balance it is a good novel, slightly reminiscent of Ramona, by Helen Hunt Jackson, which I read 23 Feb 1946 and have never forgotten.

4869. The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria (read 8 Oct 2011) In clear and well-reasoned prose Zakaria urges that the United States take a less imperialistic role in world affairs, and points to the errors of the George W. Bush administration--while admitting that he was approving of the huge error of undertaking the Iraq war--which I am glad to say I never was. So much has happened since 2008, when this boo was published, that it is not real current any more but what he has to say makes good sense still.

4870 Richard III England's Black Legend, by Desmond Seward (read 11 Oct 2011) This is the fourth book I have read by Seward, the others being The Hundred Years War (read 11 Mar 1986), Napoleon's Family (read 11 Nov 1996) and The War of the Roses (read 6 Apr 1997). I have also read books on Richard III (To Prove a
Villain, read 2 July 1966, Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall, which defended Richard but this book by Seward says Kendall's book has been 'largely discredited; and Bosworth Filed (read 20 Jan 1975) and The Princes in the Tower(read 11 Jan 1997) and The Sunne in Splendour (read Jun 19, 1997), which book led me to feel that Richard was not guilty of murdering his nephew, and The Daughter of Time (read 24 May 2001, which is fiction but also is pro-Richard and The Murders of Richard II (read 4 May 2002) also fiction and pro-Richard but not as good as The Daughters of Time. This Seward book says Richard is certainly guilty--and I guess he was. This book did not excite my interest as much as it should have, maybe because I am surfeited reading about Richard III.

4871. Last Call The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, by Daniel Okrent (read 17 Oct 2011) Even though I read Deliver Us From Evil on 6 Apr 1995 and Prohibition 13 Years That Changed America (read 5 Feb 1999) I read this book and found it of huge interest. It is a 2010 book telling in good detail the story of the 18th amendment and its demise. It is filled with fascinating details such as that in 1917 the American Medical Association unanimously asserted alcohol in therapeutics "has no scientific value" but in 1922, after the 18th Amendment was enacted, a survey of doctors found alcohol was useful in treating 27 separate conditions, including diabetes, cancer, asthma, snakebite, and old age--thus justifying prescribing alcohol for medicinal use. The author paints a picture which thoroughly discredits the Prohibition advocates and it was great to read how thoroughly the nation discarded the 18th amendment. Senator Sheppard of Texas, an author of the 18th Amendment, said in 1930 there is no more chance of a hummingbird flying to Mars carrying the Washington Monument on its tail than of the 18th Amendment being repealed. I would have liked the appendix to give the roll call votes for adoption and repeal--data much harder to find than the Constitution, which is set out in the Appendix. This has been a very enjoyable book to read.

4872. Train to Nowhere Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation, by Colleen Bradford Krantz (read 18 Oct 2011) This tells the story of 11 illegal immigrants put in a grain railroad car in Harlingen,Texas on June 15, 2002. The car was next opened at Denison,Iowa, on Oct 14, 2002--the 11 people still in the car. The book tells of the investigation and of the people who died and the people who arranged for them to be put in the railroad car. It is an extremely poignant telling, and while the victims were in the wrong one's heart cannot help going out to them, and especially a young man, Byron, whose brother lived in New York and was a naturalized American citizen. I found my sympathy could not fail to be with the victims, who sought a better life and paid much money to the "coyotes" who arranged their being put in the grain car. A most moving and well-written account.

4873. The Fiery Trial Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, by Eric Foner (read 23 Oct 2011) (Pulitzer History prize in 2011) (Bancroft Prize in 2011) This is the 51st Pulitzer History prize winner I have read. It is an excellent book, detailing Lincoln's evolving views on slavery. He in early life, and in the Lincoln-Douglas debates expressed what would now be horrendous racist views, but he early came to disapprove of slavery, and after he was President this book clearly shows the growth in his view pertaining to the evil of slavery. Much of the book is a careful examination of the events during the Civil War and at times the book is eloquent in showing Lincoln's views--especially when quoting his great speeches. The book heightened my admiration for Lincoln--obviously the greatest U.S. President, mainly because he so well handled the awful crisis we faced when he was president. The book well deserves the prizes it has been awarded.

4874. Europe in the Seventeenth Century, by David Ogg (read 30 Oct 2011) On May 13 1972 I read this author's Europe of the Ancien Regime with considerable appreciation. This book, a survey of countries on the continent of Europe in the 17th century (defined as running from 1598 [when Henry IV was established as King of France] till 1715 [when the War of the Spanish succession ended]) is full of interesting things, though some times it did not excite I liked the lucid discussion of Jansenism, and was absorbed by the account of Charles XII of Sweden--who Ogg says must have been insane to do the dumb things he did--invaded Russia, escaped into Turkey and stayed there for many months--though Sweden did not seem to mind The final chapter in the book discusses, inter alia, Thomas Campanells (1568-1639) of whom I don't remember hearing heretofore. There is an interesting article in Wikipedia on his tumultuous life.


message 12: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Shirley wrote: "Thanks for encouraging me to continue with the Molly Murphy series. I hadn't realized that there were ten in the series. I've visited Ellis Island a couple of times so that helped make the book s..."

Shirley, the author has a blog
http://rhysbowen.blogspot.com/

and a website: http://rhysbowen.com/


message 13: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Beckwith | 35 comments I have Dove Keepers and Night circus on hold- I can't wait to read them but I vowed last year to not buy books any more so I have to be patient. I'm using that money for volunteer activities so I feel good about my decision. I also have been rereading books and then passing them on- just finished Poisonwood Bible(Kingsolver)for the third time and Beneath the Marble Sky (Shors)for the second.


message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) I read 8 books this October Reads:


Ex Libris Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne FadimanEx Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader~~Anne Fadiman
nonfiction
This collection of essays is a quick read. The essays are about her love of books. Overall It's a nice collection. If you love reading. collecting and arranging your books, you will enjoy these essays. Though at times, I found the author a bit pretentious. A "common reader" she is not. And the people about whom she writes are far from your average Joe.
I rated the book 3 minus/5

Lincoln's Melancholy How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness~~Joshua Wolf Shenk
Non fiction
The book is an interesting study of Lincoln as seen through the lens of his lifelong battle with depression.

Though the writing at times was a bit dry, I did learn a lot. The most interesting aspect of the book was learning that depression was viewed in Lincoln's time as not something to be cured with meds and done away with as quickly as possible as it is viewed today. Instead it was seen as something that could provide insight and character.

Also unlike today, where any hint of mental issues disqualifies a presidential candidate, the people in Lincoln's time seem to take it in stride.

I rated the book 4/5. And it's another presidential book I can put on my challenge list for books about or by U.S. Presidents. :)


Wrestling with Moses How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City~~Anthony Flint
Non fiction
It's an interesting bio of Jane Jacobs and how she fought Robert Moses over some major construction projects in NYC. At the time, early 1950s & 1960s, Moses was The Man. The fact that she successfully took him on and won is amazing. She also wrote, The Death and Life of Great American Cities that changed the very thinking of what a city is and should be.

I also learned quite a lot about the city I've lived in all my life. If you are interested in city planning and some history of NYC, this book may be for you.
I gave it a 3+/5


Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar Exit the Actress~Priya Parmar
Fiction
Read for our Group Read. Interesting story. However, historical fiction is not my favorite genre. So my rating is more a reflection on my own reading preference than the book.
Rate 1/5

Here Comes Trouble by Michael MooreHere Comes Trouble~~Michael Francis Moore
nonfiction
I really enjoyed this book. It's not your typical autobiography. The book is comprised of 24 vignettes about various events that have taken place in his life. Some will have you laughing out loud, others will bring tears to your eyes and a few will leave you shaking your head in disbelief. Well done!
I rated this 5/5

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha StoutThe Sociopath Next Door~~Martha Stout

nonfiction
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It is a fascinating look at what is a sociopath. The author explores how sociopaths came to be the way they are, and 13 ways to spot and avoid such people in your life. A useful lesson as, according to the author, 1 in 25 people are sociopaths. The author also includes some very useful and interesting profiles of various types of sociopaths.
I gave the book 4/5 rating.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks~~Rebecca Skloot
Nonfiction
This was a re-read for me. I read it again for my f2f book club. In fact, I nominated it.
I enjoyed it the second time as much as the first.
rate 4/5

A Drinking Life A Memoir by Pete Hamill A Drinking Life: A MemoirPete Hamill
Non fiction
I enjoyed reading this well written memoir of the author and newspaper columnist Pete Hamill. The book really gives one the sense of things in Brooklyn, NY in the late 1950s and 1960s.


message 15: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 01, 2011 10:01AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) Schmerguls wrote: The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria
----------------------

I like to watcgh Fareed's show on CNN. It's thoughtful and I always learn something new. I also like the quiet tone of the show. there is no screaming and yelling, just insightful discussion.

---------------
Schmerguls wrote:4873. The Fiery Trial Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, by Eric Foner (read 23 Oct 2011) (Pulitzer History prize in 2011) (Bancroft Prize in 2011) This is the 51st Pulitzer History prize winner I have read. It is an excellent book, detailing Lincoln's evolving views on slavery. He in early life, and in the Lincoln-Douglas debates expressed what would now be horrendous racist views, but he early came to disapprove of slavery, and after he was President this book clearly shows the growth in his view pertaining to the evil of slavery. Much of the book is a careful examination of the events during the Civil War and at times the book is eloquent in showing Lincoln's views--especially when quoting his great speeches. The book heightened my admiration for Lincoln--obviously the greatest U.S. President, mainly because he so well handled the awful crisis we faced when he was president. The book well deserves the prizes it has been awarded.
---------------

Thanks for the title. I will put it on my list. I am renewing my quest to read a bio of each president. And even though I've read about a half dozen books on Lincoln, in my opinion, one can never read enough on him and FDR.


message 16: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments Had some really good reads this month and others that were just so so.

Here are my October reads:

Top Reads

The Detective Inspector Huss Translated from the Swedish by Steve Murray by Helene Tursten The Detective Inspector Huss: Translated from the Swedish by Steve Murray
Helene Tursten
An excellent police procedural set in Sweden featuring a very realistic female inspector. I really enjoyed the interplay between the different members of the police force and the plot was entirely engrossing.

The Fools in Town Are on Our Side by Ross Thomas The Fools in Town Are on Our Side
Ross Thomas
The author effortlessly mixes espionage, small town corruption, and war time Shanghai into a highly readable crime novel.

The Hindenburg Murders (Disaster Series, #2) by Max Allan Collins The Hindenburg Murders
Max Allan Collins
I found this audio very entertaining. Using Leslie Charteris as the reluctant detective on the final voyage of the Hindenburg was inspired and the plot seemed entirely too possible. The narration was done by Jeff Woodman who performed all the different accents flawlessly.

Resolution A Novel of Crime (Garnethill, #3) by Denise Mina Resolution: A Novel of Crime
Denise Mina
An excellent conclusion to the Garnethill trilogy. Some of the best writing I have come across in crime fiction. The plots were believable, the characters almost too real, and the Glasgow setting endlessly fascinating.

Miernik Dossier by Charles McCarry Miernik Dossier
Charles McCarry
A very good espionage novel written in the early 1970's. The story is told through various agent reports, transcripts, journal entries, etc. and when I saw the structure of the book I was a bit hesitant but the plot unfolded smoothly and each character was fully realized.

Good Reads

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) by Mira Grant Feed
Mira Grant
For the most part, an entertaining mix of zombies, journalism, and politics. Some of the message parts of the novel did get a bit heavy-handed and the tech seemed dated but the plot clipped along at a fairly brisk pace and I was never bored while listening. The narration was done by Paula Christensen and Jesse Bernstein who, I thought, did pretty good jobs.

Reckless Endangerment How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by Gretchen Morgenson Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon
Gretchen Morgenson
While not as good as The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine this was a pretty decent look at how Wall Street and Washington wrecked the economy with a special focus on Fannie Mae's role in the whole mess. Too many anonymous sources though.

Crimes in Southern Indiana Stories by Frank Bill Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories
Frank Bill
Collection of brutally violent short stories set, like the title states, in Southern Indiana. I preferred the stories that were a bit less violent and while the author's writing style was a bit overdone for my tastes I will look for his first novel.

Instruments of Darkness A Novel by Imogen Robertson Instruments of Darkness: A Novel
Imogen Robertson
A very enjoyable forensic type historical mystery set in England during the Georgian era. The plot runs along two parallel paths, one in London during the Gordon riots and the other in the countryside of West Sussex, with flashbacks to the Revolutionary War so there was a lot going on but it was all handled nicely by the narrator of the audio Wanda McCaddon though the scene shifts were rather abrupt at times.

Bad Boy (Inspector Banks, #19) by Peter Robinson Bad Boy
Peter Robinson
This series gets back on track with this entry. While not up there with the best in series it was much better than the previous book. I really enjoyed seeing Inspector Banks go on a vacation and clear his head a bit before jumping right back into the fire.

OK Reads

The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam (Good Thief's Guide, #1) by Chris Ewan The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam
Chris Ewan
One of those books that I would have not finished if I had actually been reading it instead of listening to the audio. The premise of a mystery writer who moonlights as a burglar sounded great but the characters were kind of flat and the plot was not all that engaging. The narration by Simon Vance was the highlight of the whole enterprise.

Dixieland Delight A Football Season on the Road in the Southeastern Conference by Clay Travis Dixieland Delight: A Football Season on the Road in the Southeastern Conference
Clay Travis
The author, an internet sports columnist, chronicles his adventures attending a football game at each of the SEC conference schools during the 2006 season. Learning about each stadium and the various traditions of each school was interesting but the writing was definitely targeted to a twenty-something male audience which became a bit tedious at times.

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life by Laurie Notaro The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life
Laurie Notaro
Collection of the author's newspaper columns which was touted as an amusing, funny listen. I almost quit after the first disc but it did get better and the narration by Hilary Huber was very good.


message 17: by Carolyn (in SC) C234D (last edited Nov 01, 2011 12:46PM) (new)

Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 123 comments Only finished four books in October, a busy month in which we visited family in California.

Someone Knows My Name Very interesting and well-written. A young African girl is taken by slave traders in the 1700s. She tells her story through the years, including a side of the Revolutionary War that you don't often hear of. 4*

Endangered Species A good series about National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon. New location in each book. 3*

Bitsy's Bait & BBQ Pleasant novel, light, good for reading during multiple plane rides on way to California. 3*

The Hanging Garden A Detective John Rebus novel, set in Edinburgh, Scotland. He reminds me of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch. About gang war in Edinburgh, his daughter's hit and run, and a World War II war criminal investigation. 4*


message 18: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Wow, Sandi, that was quite a month!


message 19: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Carolyn (in SC) C234D wrote: "Bitsy's Bait & BBQ Pleasant novel, light, good for reading during multiple plane rides on way to California. 3*."

This sounds good to me. I love anything about any kind of restaurant!


message 20: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Schmerguls, I do not know if you are interested in any novels about the VietNam war, but this book is excellent:

http://www.amazon.com/13th-Valley-Joh...

We read it shortly after it was published in the early 80s when Del Vecchio visited an indie bookstore in the little Connecticut town in which we lived.


message 21: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 42 comments The blog looks well written with a wide variety of topics. Thanks for telling me about it.


message 22: by Schmerguls (new)

Schmerguls | 257 comments Thanks, JoAnn. I have read the book and my comment thereon was:

3853. The 13th Valley A Novel, by John M. Del Vecchio (read 2 Feb 2004) This 1982 book relates with overpowering verisimilitude a battle actually fought in Vietnam in August 1970, though all the characters and the outfit are fictional. The combat description is very intense, and the account of the really rough time the troops went thru does not make for what one can call enjoyable reading. An Internet page called Vietnam Memoirs Book Shelf calls this book "perhaps the best novel to come out of the Vietnam War." I cannot say that is wrong; my candidate for the best book on the Vietnam war is not a novel: We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young Ia Drang: The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam, by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore, USA (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway--which won my "Best Book Read This Year Award" in 1999. I know of no better Vietnam novel than this one, and if you do I hope you will let me know.


message 23: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (debatl) | 105 comments Carolyn (in SC) C234D wrote: "Only finished four books in October, a busy month in which we visited family in California.

Someone Knows My Name Very interesting and well-written. A young African girl is taken by ..."


I read Bitsey's Bait and BBQ and really enjoyed it. Her other books have not, in my opinion, lived up to that one. She just published one called The Bentleys Buy a Buick and it was good, but very predictable. Have read several tho.


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 123 comments Richiesheff wrote: I read Bitsey's Bait and BBQ and really enjoyed it. Her other books have not, in my opinion, lived up to that one. She just published one called The Bentleys Buy a Buick and it was good, but very predictable. Have read several tho.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had never heard of her before. Someone gave me the book, and it seemed a good one to take on the trip.


message 25: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Schmerguls wrote: "I know of no better Vietnam novel than this one, and if you do I hope you will let me know..."

Have you read Matterhorn? A lot of people liked that one.Matterhorn

I did not read it because my husband said it was very slow. So I passed on it.


message 26: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 02, 2011 09:16PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) The author of Matterhorn has a new book out.

What It is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes What It is Like to Go to War~~Karl Marlantes

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Matterhorn, this is a powerful nonfiction book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for war.

War is as old as humankind, but in the past, warriors were prepared for battle by ritual, religion and literature--which also helped bring them home. In a compelling narrative, Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination and his readings--from Homer to the Mahabharata to Jung. He talks frankly about how he is haunted by the face of the young North Vietnamese soldier he killed at close quarters and how he finally finds a way to make peace with his past. Marlantes discusses the daily contradictions that warriors face in the grind of war, where each battle requires them to take life or spare life, and where they enter a state he likens to the fervor of religious ecstasy.

Just as Matterhorn is already being acclaimed as a classic of war literature, What It Is Like To Go To War is set to become required reading for anyone—soldier or civilian—interested in this visceral and all too essential part of the human experience.


Hardcover, 256 pages


message 27: by RNOCEAN (new)

RNOCEAN | 93 comments JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Charlotte, I loaned my unread copy of Hoffman's book to my sister to take on vacation. Is that sisterly love or what?!?!?! Hope to get to it soon.

I think thewanderingjew really liked The Night Ci..."


Erin Morgenstern has a different type of fantasy/magic theme to her writing. I love that this was her first novel and can't believe how incredibly talented she is. I will say though that you have to like magic and fantasy or you won't like the book.


message 28: by Schmerguls (last edited Nov 03, 2011 01:22PM) (new)

Schmerguls | 257 comments Yes, I have read Mattrhorn. My comment:

4748. Matterhorn A Novel of the Vietnam War, by Karl Marlantes (read 10 Sep 2010)
This is a dark and somber novel, sometimes held to be comparable to The Naked and the Dead or A Farewell to Arms. Some of the action is highly dramatic and well-written. But one does weary of the fact that no expletive is undeleted--surely so boring as to wean anybody off the tiresome crude language, one would think. While there certainly is high drama and excitement I cannot compare it to a book like All Quiet on the Western Front. and whether anybody will read it in the years to come seems doubtful. I prefer a little more idealism in fiction than this book exhibits.


message 29: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
RNOCEAN wrote: "Erin Morgenstern has a different type of fantasy/magic theme to her writing. I love that this was her first novel and can't believe how incredibly talented she is. I will say though that you have to like magic and fantasy or you won't like the book. .."

Charlotte, I think Hoffman's magic is about as magical as I like. Is Morgenstern's more than Alice's?


message 30: by RNOCEAN (new)

RNOCEAN | 93 comments Yes, I believe it is JoAnn. Every part of the book is fantasy and magic where a circus travels all over the world. The characters are all magical and live or work with the circus that only is open at night. It's really hard to describe but the book just had me from the first paragraph. It is incredibly well-written and her style is so unique. I don't know how she will top this first novel..


message 31: by RNOCEAN (new)

RNOCEAN | 93 comments Also, JoAnn if you read the reviews on the book here on Goodreads you will see both ends of the spectrum, you either loved it or you hated it. It's that kind of book.


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