What We Are Reading In October 2016
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I'm starting Randy Robert's Blood Brothers tonight and am pretty excited. I hear good things about this book.
by Ian McEwan
I loved this latest book by McEwan. Told through the viewpoint of a mother's unborn child, the author weaves a tale of betrayal of a husband by his wife and brother. This was so well written it made me think that maybe McEwan remembered his time in the womb.
"Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship," by Jon Meacham;
"American Leviathan: Empire, Nation, and Revolutionary Frontier," by Patrick Griffin;
"The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis," by Elizabeth Letts;
and I'm reading my review copy of "Powered By Girl: A Field Guide for Supporting Youth Activists," by Lyn Mikel Brown.
I'm reading White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess in Between by Judy Batalion.
Am reading Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives. A strongly implied warning to archaeologists that they oughtn't assess other cultures in other times by the attitudes of our own, in this case not to assume that the distinction between m/f has always been a significant one.
Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves, and Adventures of Emily Hahn
by Ken Cuthbertson
As I finished this book, what came to my mind was Dos Equis's Beer ad campaign, “The Most Interesting Man in the World". If they had to pick a female for that role it would have had to have been Emily Hahn as the world's most interesting woman.
Hahn was born in St. Louis, Missouri into a large Jewish family in 1905. The family eventually moved to Chicago, Illinois. She ended up as the only female mining engineering student at college and later she and a girlfriend traveled in a Model T-Ford across the US. She also traveled alone to Africa and lived there for a few years before moving home and writing a book about her experiences. She then traveled to Hong Kong and was stuck there during the Japanese invasion during WWII and where she met her future husband and had a child. She was a writer most of her life and wrote novels and short stories. She also wrote for The New Yorker till a few months before her death at the age of 92. Cuthbertson weaves a wonderful tale of her adventures and her accomplishments. I had a hard time putting this down.
I am a big fan of Betty MacDonald and was glad to be able to find a copy of Anybody Can Do Anything which was one of her adult books that I haven't read. Betty relates her experiences trying to get and keep a job during the depression after she left her husband. Her and her two daughters moved into her mother's house already filled with unemployed siblings and her sister Mary did everything she could to help Betty with her unemployment status. Betty's humor shines through these stories even though life was very hard for her and her family.