July/Aug 2020 ~ Which non-fiction books are you touring?

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July/Aug 2020 ~ Which non-fiction books are you touring?

Redigerat: jun 30, 2020, 9:00 am

Which books are garnering your precious time at this point in the year?

jul 1, 2020, 7:49 am

I am very interested in psychology books particularly those related to human relations dynamics either with one's own self or with others. The more the book is using true stories and cases, the more it grabs my attention.

jul 2, 2020, 4:05 pm

I finished Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist's Fight to Make the Media Look More like America by Dorothy Butler Gilliam. I was about to say that the headline across the top of this important book's front cover says it all: "A memoir by the first black woman reporter at the Washington Post. But, really, that bit of copy, while accurate, only tells part of the story. For while Gilliams was, indeed, when hired in 1961, the first black woman reporter at the Post, the role she has played and the work she has done to advance the cause of black representation both in American's newsrooms and on the pages of those publications, goes far beyond the role that the words "first black woman reporter" convey.

Gilliam's career spans the Civil Rights era of the late 50s and 60s through the Black Power movement and all the way through to the present day. She began her career as a typist for the black weekly, the Louisville Defender in the mid-50s but was soon editing and writing stories. In 1957 she was working for the Tri-State Defender when, at the age of 21, she went to Little Rock to cover the tumultuous, violent, hate-filled proceedings of the attempts to integrate the public schools there. She went to work for the The Washington Post, as mentioned, in 1961, and as a Post reporter went to Oxford, Mississippi, to cover the equally violent and ugly events around James Meredith's attempts to become the first black to enroll at the University of Mississippi. She spent several years as a beat reporter in Washington, retired for several years to raise her three daughters and support her husband's growing art career, and then returned to the Post as the editor of the newly expanded and influential Style section that covered a wide range of artistic and cultural issues in the city. And that's the short list of her accomplishments.

There are points at which I thought Gilliam's writing needed more detail and a bit better organization, particularly in the book's first third. But overall, I'll just say that Gilliam is an extremely admirable person, a tough fighter, who is reporting a crucial story.

This is the short version of this review! Check out my threads on Club Read or the 50-Book Challenge groups to the full-length treatment. :)

Redigerat: jul 2, 2020, 4:46 pm

Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction, Second edition (major rewrite compared to the first) and slowly working through The History of the World (6th edition, J. M. Roberts, revised and partially rewritten by Odd Arne Westad) and Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, 3rd edition (2010 - so new enough for my purposes) and its two companion volumes. These (besides the Prehistory one) will be probably with me for most of July/August so I won't mention them again until I am done with one of them :)

jul 5, 2020, 2:10 pm

I finished Million Dollar Mermaid. Basically Hollywood is terrible to young stars. But she ends the book on a high note talking about getting to be a commentator at the first Olympics to feature synchronized swimming (which she basically invented) and words of wisdom about persevering through hardship. I wish there were still popular aquashows today (there's one in Vegas, I think?).

Next I think I'll try The Making of the African Queen. I love Hepburn's movies almost as much as EW's but I find celebrity written books to be a bit on the... well, not professionally written, to be nice. So after that I might need something a little more academic.

I might try Madame Curie but a lot of reviews say that it's not entirely factual. I think with any auto/biography/memoir the reader is going to run into that because people are multifaceted.

jul 5, 2020, 2:55 pm

>5 genesisdiem: fwiw, I found Madame Curie quite fascinating. It's hard to imagine any biography written by the subject's son or daughter being "entirely factual." And, at any rate, I take any biography with a grain or two of salt. I think you'll find this particular one well worth reading.

jul 6, 2020, 11:19 am

I finished Henry IV: The Righteous King, a measured, well researched biography of the often overlooked King Henry IV. Despite the large cast of characters and complicated politics, it was very readable and clear.

jul 6, 2020, 5:35 pm

I'm looking forward to getting the Kindle download of this pre-
ordered book NEXT week ~ Too Much and Never Enough by
Mary Trump. The new release date is July 14.

jul 7, 2020, 5:14 am

Reading The Silk Roads - so far it's a bit too much Europe and the Middle East for my taste, especially as the title suggests it should be looking more at Persia, Northern India, and China. There's also a lot of stuff about various religions, mainly the Abrahamic ones, which is less interesting to me than the politics of the region. Still, I'm only a couple of hundred pages in, so it might perk up.

jul 8, 2020, 10:09 pm

I'm reading The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Gould. I'm a little over half-way through now and enjoying it. Though, it is troubling to see how many early psychologists were so eager to use IQ tests for the purposes of segregating or sterilizing the "feeble-minded" as well as demonizing immigrants. Interestingly, according to Gould, many of these psychologists would go on to recant their strongly "hereditarian" views of IQ, but it seems they did not fight as hard to publicize their updated viewpoints.

jul 11, 2020, 12:58 pm

>9 SChant: I hope this picks up for you. I felt the book's title was entirely misleading.

jul 11, 2020, 5:28 pm

I finished The Lost Memoir by Lou Gehrig, edited by Alan D. Gaff. Toward the last months of the New York Yankees' famed 1927 season, Lou Gehrig's agent arranged for him to keep a diary to be published in segments, as he wrote them, in several newspapers across the country, primarily, somewhat surprisingly, the Oakland Tribune. The pieces began appearing in August, 1927. Gehrig's columns first covered his early life and career, and then, once he'd caught up, began talking about the season as it was unfolding. There was no drama, as that team, which became known as Murderers Row and featured Babe Ruth's 60-home run season (Gehrig hit 47 while driving in an astounding 173 runs and won the MVP award) and the team one the AL pennant by 19 games. So Gehrig settled for talking about his teammates and, especially, their strengths on the field and in the clubhouse. So these columns ran in three or four papers, including one for each of the four games of the World Series (the Yanks swept the Pirates in four), and then were forgotten by posterity. That's until historian Alan Gaff, doing research about something else among old newspaper clippings, came upon them and decided they needed a dusting off. That's this book.

The first 100 pages consist of the columns themselves, somewhat edited by Gaff. The second 100 pages bring us Gaff's biographical essay about Gehrig.

The columns give us a nice, if surface, insight into life in a Major League clubhouse during that era. These pieces were for public consumption during the season being described. Even if Gehrig was the kind of guy to dish the dirt on his teammates (he evidently wasn't), this wouldn't have been the venue to do that. And Gehrig was clearly most comfortable writing about his colleagues in glowing terms. But still, this is a fun reading experience, especially when Gehrig describes his early days on the Yankees, which he joined as the rawest of raw rookies. He talks about how much encouragement and help he got from Ruth, already a veteran and a star when Gehrig arrived. Gaff's essay adds some nice perspective, as well, and takes us through Gehrig's sad and much too early death of the disease that's now named after him. Gehrig was, evidently, a genuinely nice guy as long as he lived who worked very hard to become a good fielding first baseman and one of the all-time greats at the plate. Endearingly, he retained his Achilles heal on the field--he was a terrible base runner.

This is a fun volume for baseball fans, especially those interested in the game's history. It is a very recent publication, purchased for me as a birthday present by my wonderful wife.

jul 12, 2020, 1:20 pm

I'm about to start Molly Guptill Manning's When Books Went to War: the Stories That Helped Us Win World War II, which I got from the library back at the beginning of the pandemic and have finally gotten to. I feel like I heard it recommended on a podcast, but I can't for the life of me remember which one. I love reading books about books and reading, so this is definitely up my alley, regardless of how I heard about it.

I'm excited, both because I remember that I'd heard it's really good, and because the topic is really interesting, but I'm also somewhat leery of it, because it's WWII. I am hardcore avoiding Nazis in my reading these days, because I get enough of that in real life now, and it's bad for my stress levels. Hopefully, given that this book is about the reading habits of GIs and the campaigns to get them free books, there will be a minimum of Nazi and Shoah-related content.

jul 12, 2020, 3:07 pm

>14 Julie_in_the_Library: Loved that book! And hardly any Nazis...

I'm reading Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes

jul 13, 2020, 10:29 am

>14 Julie_in_the_Library: I too, enjoyed that book!

jul 18, 2020, 6:56 am

I started a few non-fiction titles this month because I just couldn't decide which one to read first, and I do like switching between books as the mood strikes me.
So, I started Une Vie by Simone Veil, SPQR by Mary Beard, Red Ellen by Laura Beers, and a buddy read of The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt.

This should keep me busy for a while.

jul 18, 2020, 8:26 am

>17 BrokenTune: My husband is reading SPQR now and enjoying it. I plan to read it, too.

jul 18, 2020, 8:37 am

>18 LynnB: Hi. I am enjoying what I have read of it so far, too. Not all is new-to-me information, but Beard has a great way of delivering information that ties things together for me and connects parts of history I recognise with parts that I had not read about before, and she does it without talking down to the reader. I really like it.

jul 18, 2020, 11:41 am

>15 LynnB: and >16 JulieLill: I've finished When Books Went to War, and I ended up liking it a lot. I've added it to my wish-list of books I'd like to own at some point.

I did think that Manning's matter-of-fact belief that the war was about freedom was a bit naive - that was certainly the propaganda take when the government was trying to sell the war to the public, and may even have been the goal of individual soldiers, but incidents like the turning away of the MS St Louis, among other things, make rose-tinted interpretations of the US's goals and attitudes during WWII impossible for me to swallow, even leaving aside the Nazi-esque America First policy that kept us out of the war until we were literally dragged into it.

But aside from that I found the book fascinating and informative. I never would have guessed that one of the unrealistic bits of WWII movies is that there aren't enough books in them! I really wish my grandfathers were still around, especially the one who served in the Navy (the other was still in Air Force training when the war ended), so I could ask them about their experience with the ASEs. They both died when I was too young to be interested. I bet they had interesting stories!

I've moved on to reading Monster, She Wrote, which has been interesting thus far. It could've used another run-through by a proofreader - there's a less/fewer mistake on page 24 that no one caught, which is one of my grammar pet peeves - and the diction level is somewhat...not juvenile, necessarily, but overly casual, maybe? I don' know how to describe it, exactly, but it's odd, and a bit disappointing.

However, the information is interesting, the narrative voice is funny and relatable, the little illustrations are charming, and the book itself is fun to read, so on the whole, I'm enjoying it. Plus, it's always refreshing to see women's role in establishing the speculative and horror genres focused on and taken seriously.

Also, the title is a Murder, She Wrote reference, which is what drew my attention in the first place. I grew up loving that show, though I haven't watched it in a long time, and the title grabbed me the minute I spotted it. I saw it on a shelf at B&N back before the pandemic, and I knew I wanted to read it, so I was super excited when the library re-opened and it turned out they had a copy.

jul 18, 2020, 1:23 pm

I've read another chapter of Monster, She Wrote, and the narrative style is growing on me a lot. I no longer find it overly casual or off-putting. It just takes some getting used to, I think. Especially since I just finished reading When Books Go to War, which is much more academic and traditional in style.

I'd definitely recommend Monster, She Wrote to anyone interested in the history of horror fiction or women writers, and to anyone looking for recommendations of ghost stories, Gothic fiction, etc.

jul 19, 2020, 2:11 pm

Dark Remedy: The Impact of Thalidomide and Its Revival as a Vital Medicine
Trent Stephens
4/5 stars
This was such an interesting and sad book about the history of Thalomide. The authors trace the drug from its beginning: from the doctor who developed it and who had a questionable history, stories of the families whose children had suffered from phocomelia (malformations of the arms and legs) and to its revival of use in cases of leprosy, multiple myeloma and HIV. I found it to be thoughtful and well written.

jul 19, 2020, 4:01 pm

I finished Strange Defeat: A Statement of Evidence Written in 1940 by Marc Bloch. This is a fascinating testimony about the factors in the French army, government and society in general that, according the author, accounted for the French collapse and premature (in Bloch's opinion) surrender in the face of the German invasion in 1940. Marc Bloch was a veteran of the trenches of World War I and by trade a highly respected historian, so analysis of the type he undertook here was his stock and trade. When war was declared in 1939 with the invasion of Poland, Bloch returned to the military as a reservist, and was set to work as an officer working out the tracking and distribution of petrol supplies for the French First Army. As such, Bloch was in a position to see first-hand the hardening of the arteries that had taken place within the French military, both during the long period of inactivity known as the Phony War and then during the tragically short period of actual fighting once Germany invaded. Bloch describes, here, the scene on the beaches during the Dunkirk escape. Among those taken off the beaches, Bloch spent a short time in England, and then returned to what he thought would be the battle to defend his country.

This book was written in 1940, almost immediately after the French surrender. There are a few footnotes that Bloch entered to amend or add to the information presented in around 1942. Bloch discusses a great many reasons that came together to create a France wholly incapable of fighting off the German Army. A top-heavy military structure with too much jealousy and too little cooperation between branches, a complacency born of a wholesale refusal to take a clear look at the way warfare had changed since the first world war, the widespread loathing for and distrust of the working classes and the democratic process in general among the country's governing and industrial classes, to the extent, Bloch says, that some even thought that not only was it inevitable that Germany's autocratic system would defeat France, but that perhaps it was preferable that they would. In the field, according to Bloch (and he certainly wasn't alone), the French Army was done in by a lack of adequate training and equipment, poor leadership in crucial posts, and the dismay and sometimes even panic derived from the surprising speed and fury of the German attack (which Bloch takes pain to point out should not have been surprising).

Bloch takes the reader on a tour of French pre-war society, taking industrialists, labor leaders and academics (including himself) to task for the ways in which the nation fell short and laid themselves open to defeat. Bloch goes on to provide a more global context with a final section acute and highly readable political philosophy. The combination of Bloch's status as an expert historian and as a first-hand participant in so many of these events, plus Bloch's lucid and enjoyable writing style, makes this an entirely fascinating testimony and analysis of a fascinating if tragic historical saga.

This book was a birthday gift (along with the recently reviewed Lou Gehrig memoir) from my wonderful wife, who knows what I like to read!

jul 21, 2020, 3:26 pm

I finished A Treasury of Great Reporting: "Literature Under Pressure" from the Sixteenth Century to Our Own Time, edited by Louis L. Snyder and Richard B. Morris. It took me several years to gradually go through the stupendous anthology of great journalism. Included here are 130 examples of great journalism covering important moments and memorable events in (for the most part) Western history, beginning with a 16th century account of the "confessions" of a witch, from a newsletter published in Vienna and ending with the trial in Israel of Adolph Eichmann. The Battle of Lexington, the storming of the Bastille, the horrors of slavery, the corruption of Boss Tweed, the massacre at Port Arthur, and scenes from wars all over the world, writing by Hugo, Twain and Dickens, the Dreyfus trial, the Turkish massacres in Armenia, bloodshed in Little Rock and the first American manned space flight are all represented. Given that the volume was originally published in 1949 (my copy is from a "revised and enlarged" 2nd edition published in 1962), it's no surprise that World War Two is heavily represented. This is simply a fascinating compendium of first-hand accounts of historical events and conditions over several centuries of American and European history.

jul 22, 2020, 10:32 am

>25 LynnB: That sounds like a cautionary tale. :) I hope it is good.

jul 22, 2020, 10:53 am

I love it so far. Here's the epigraph:

This book belongs to none but me
For there's my name inside to see.
To steal this book, if you should try,
It's by the throat that you'll hang high.
And ravens then will gather 'bout
To find your eyes and pull them out.
And when you're screaming "Oh, Oh, Oh!"
Remember, you deserved this woe.
(warning written by a medieval German scribe)

jul 22, 2020, 11:03 am

>27 LynnB: That is fantastic. It's rather tempting to borrow this epigraph rather than to warn people borrowing books that bad things will happen to them if the book is lost or damaged. ;)

jul 22, 2020, 1:00 pm

>27 LynnB: Love it!

jul 22, 2020, 5:07 pm

I've had quite a good non-fiction month.
Firstly Latinx by Ed Morales. It started out very interesting, but I'm afraid that I struggle with UK politics, so the chapters on US politics were always going to sail over my head.
Days in the Caucasus was a most unusual memoir, being written from the persepctive of a young Muslim girl from a family that became very rich in the oil fields near Baku, but could not buy respectibility. They then suffer the perils of civil war, independence and the soviet invasion in short order. Which turns their world upside down.
and finally Rain: Four walks in English weather which was delightful, as only a walk in weather can be. There is a tendency to admire a landscape in good weather but that is to only see one of its many facets. I quite like being out in rain, but I'm auditioning for eccentric Englishwoman in my spare time. >;-)

jul 26, 2020, 3:56 pm

jul 28, 2020, 3:54 pm

I finished Elton John's autobiography Me. His voice is amazing. I normally dislike autobiographies, but not only did I love it, but gave it a very rare for me, 10 star review. He definitely fired his laser wit at himself, and was very open about his foibles, his addiction, and himself. The stories he told were fabulous. If you at all like EJ, I encourage taking a look.

Redigerat: jul 28, 2020, 3:55 pm

That's on my TBR. how do you like it? (The King's Speech) -- I don't remember how to link and get the reply to a given post? Sorry, its been awhile since I've been here!!

jul 29, 2020, 8:49 am

>33 PokPok: I liked The King's Speech -- it gave an interesting perspective on the royal family and on the early days of speech therapy. I do think it could have been shorter. The book is mostly a biography of Lionel Logue (the speech therapist). Towards the end, I was getting tired of the focus always being on the King's speeches, especially in the broader context of WWII.

If you've seen the movie, it's a nice companion piece, but is not the same as the movie.

jul 29, 2020, 3:12 pm

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the Worlds' Most Dangerous Man
Mary L. Trump
4.5/5 stars
Mary Trump, niece of Donald Trump and daughter of Fred Trump Jr., writes about life in the Trump family beginning with the patriarch of the Trumps, Fred Trump. Fred Sr. was a cruel, miserly man obsessed with profits and his children were his last priority and seen only as valuable as employees and for what they could do for him. When their mother became ill, they were on their own and were ill prepared for life. Not a long book but filled with crucial details of the Trump family history and a look at the family that shaped Donald Trump.

jul 29, 2020, 3:12 pm

>32 PokPok: I loved that book on Elton John. I read that last year.

jul 31, 2020, 12:22 pm

I'm currently reading a novel, I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon and it has been curious about the real story of various pretenders claiming to be Anastasia Romanov. Any recommendations?

aug 2, 2020, 12:50 pm

Housebroken: Admissions of an Untidy Life
Laurie Notaro
Laurie Notaro is an unconventional wife, mother and writer. She writes about her everyday experiences from trying on Spanx, snooping in her husband’s journal and her love of Twinkies to name a few, with no shame and makes you laugh and smile a lot. I would read more of her books!

aug 2, 2020, 1:46 pm

I embarked on a buddy read of Square Haunting by Francesca Wade with a friend yesterday. I'm loving it so far. It's always a good sign of a book when I end up with questions and want to know more. Wade's writing (tho some of the links between the women featured may be tenuous) makes her enthusiasm for her subjects very catching.

aug 3, 2020, 12:33 pm

I just finished reading The Origin of Satan and posted my review.

aug 3, 2020, 3:53 pm

>34 LynnB:

Good to know! I did see the movie of the King's Speech, which is why i had some interest in the book. Glad to know there would be some new perspective. I have a retired speech therapist in the family, so she may like.

aug 9, 2020, 12:30 pm

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
Erik Larsen
5/5 stars
I love Erik Larson and he does not disappoint in his newest non-fiction book recounting the first year of WWII. The book mainly centers on Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England as he and the country wage war against the Nazi Regimen and as he tries to get help from President Franklin Roosevelt. Larson also recounts the lives of Winston’s family and friends during war time and the British citizens as they deal with food shortages, bombing raids, death and destruction and trying to work amidst the German air raids and bombings. Larson’s books are so interesting, that I can’t wait for his next book.

Redigerat: aug 12, 2020, 12:20 pm

After completing my read of the voluminous Religion and the Decline of Magic, I'm reading Agamben's The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government (2007). Agamben bought himself some trouble this year with expressions of Covid-19 skepticism, but I've found his Homo Sacer works worth my efforts. I'm about 20% of the way into this one, and so far it's been focused on the philology of oikonomia in early Christianity, which has been fascinating for me.

aug 17, 2020, 1:41 pm

I finished Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War by Tom Wheeler. This is a very interesting trip through the American Civil War with a close focus point of how the use of the telegraph gave Abraham Lincoln the ability both to communicate with far flung generals and gather information about unfolding events in real time. More importantly, due to how new telegraph technology was, Lincoln was the first head of state to have that ability.

This book was first published in 2005, and Wheeler makes effective comparison, as book's title suggests, between the advent of the telegraph and email, making a credible case that the telegraph was actually the much more revolutionary development. Wheeler avers early on that the Congress members of the early 1960s were much more able to conceptualize (and therefore vote funding for) sending a man to the moon that those of the early 1850s were to wrap their brains around the concept of sending electronic pulses long distance across wires.

We see through Lincoln's telegraphs, all of which are on archive, the poor quality of the Federal commanders over the early years of the war, and Lincoln's frustrations with their dithering and reluctance to go on the offensive. Eventually, Lincoln, who was also receiving telegraphs from post commanders and so knew where enemy forces were and which way they were going, became less and less reluctant to provide strategic recommendations.

Wheeler makes the point that Lincoln's gradual ability to fully master this new communication tool and its functions is one more indication of the president's remarkable character and intelligence. He was learning these things on the fly with--because the technology was so new--no blueprint to follow and nobody to advise him as he learned.

aug 18, 2020, 10:28 am

>45 rocketjk: Nice review!

aug 18, 2020, 1:30 pm

>46 JulieLill: Thanks! It was quite an interesting book, and nicer still that it comes in at a crisp 186 pages.

aug 21, 2020, 3:57 pm

aug 21, 2020, 7:42 pm

Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation's Leaders
Brady Carlson
4/5 stars
Brady Carlson, reporter and NPR Radio Host traveled around the country with his son tracking down a number of dead presidents' graves, looking into the manner of their deaths and how they were remembered. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved all the trivia. I definitely recommend this book.

aug 26, 2020, 4:19 pm

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies
J.B. West
5/5 stars
J.B. West was the Chief Usher of the White House from 1940’s in which he worked for the Roosevelts until his retirement a year or so into the Nixon’s’ first term in the White House. His role (along with his staff) was to assist in the daily lives of the president and his family which included planning social events, renovations to the White House (and each President’s wife had their say so in those changes) and supervising the staff. Each President had a budget for the White House but that did not cover all their expenses which they then had to pay for themselves. This was well written and a wonderful look at the Presidents’ wives and their roles in the lives of their husbands and country.

aug 26, 2020, 6:07 pm

>50 JulieLill: heres another that might be up your wheelhouse Second Acts: presidential lives and legacies after the white house Very well written, covers Truman to Bush Jr.

aug 27, 2020, 10:15 am

>51 cindydavid4: Thanks for the recommendation!

aug 28, 2020, 12:48 am

Now reading Proud Tower whichI thought I had read but hadn't (read most of Tuchman) Interesting how she tears down many of the myths of the Belle Époque, shows the great disparity in wealth and poverty, and the violence that came out of that. Another case of the more things change the more they stay the same.....

aug 28, 2020, 9:14 am

>53 cindydavid4:: Barbara Tuchman is one of my favourite authors!

aug 28, 2020, 1:36 pm

Finished Elderhood which I heard of first here on LT. It is an excellent treatise on the state of the American medical system particularly as it relates to the elderly. Medicine and society's treatment of the elderly may be disturbing, but many of the stories of elderly people exhibiting adaptability and courage were uplifting. The book is a battle cry to treat aging as an important stage of life demanding respect.

aug 30, 2020, 9:18 am

I'm reading The Color of Law which meticulously describes the historical local, state and federal government actions that underpin racial segregation and discrimination in housing in the United States.

aug 31, 2020, 9:43 am

The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned From a Remarkable Bird
Tom Michell
4/5 stars
Tom Michell recalls his time in South America as a traveler, a teacher and an owner of a penguin. Tom is traveling in Uruguay when an oil spill occurs. He witnesses thousands of birds entrenched in oil, mostly dead except for one penguin who is still alive but coated with oil. He makes a decision to rescue him and clean him up. He christens him Juan Salvador and Michell takes him to his new assignment in Argentina, teaching at a boy’s school where all the students adore Juan. What a delightful story of survival and friendship!

sep 6, 2020, 12:10 am

I just finished reading River of Doubt by Candice Millard and was surprised by how much I like a work of nonfiction about a mid-life crisis that was masquerading as a scientific expedition. This work of nonfiction read like a novel. It must be true that there is nothing new under the sun, including middle aged men trying to prove that they are really 24. Nevertheless, this was a nicely done work of narrative nonfiction that made the main players come off the page and involve the reader in this ill-conceived journey.

sep 6, 2020, 1:10 am

>58 benitastrnad: oh we read that for a book group, yep, more things change the more thngs stay the same. I was shocked that Teddy was involved in this; Surprised only three men died. and I agree, it reads very much like a novel.

sep 6, 2020, 3:19 pm

>58 benitastrnad: I love Candice Millard and would read anything by her. I loved Destiny of the Republic by her.

sep 11, 2020, 11:06 am

>58 benitastrnad: I loved River of Doubt, one of those surprise books that didn't sound interesting at first but was just gripping. Interested in reading Destiny of the Republic; fascinating that Garfield died of sepsis, after the science had come out about the importance of clean hands etc. More things change, the more they stay the same it seems....

sep 12, 2020, 7:51 pm

I just finished a nice little science book. Little because it is only about 6 inches tall. Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar by Matt Simon. Simon writes a column for "Wired" that is title "Absurd Animals." He incorporated these columns into this book. The book is made up of vignettes that are 4 to 6 pages in length about a weirdly adapted animal, insect, fish, and sometimes a plant. The book is all about evolution. This book won the ALA Alex Award in 2017 and it deserves it. It is fun and easy to read.

sep 13, 2020, 1:32 pm

>63 benitastrnad: Sounds very interesting!

Redigerat: sep 15, 2020, 3:30 pm

>2 Sallyabououf: I just finished The Dance of Connection which is by a noted Psychologist. Very good. I saw much of myself, my ex, and other people around me. Highly recommended. I give 0-1 "ten stars" each year, and this book got it.

Redigerat: sep 15, 2020, 6:29 pm

I finished reading a book for teachers. Visual Thinking Strategies: Using Art to Deepen Learning Across School Disciplines by Philip Yenawine. I was acquainted with this author because he wrote a series of books for children about how to look at modern art. However, in recent research on a different subject I ran across an reference to this book several times. I requested the book and found myself reading it enthusiastically. This book has great ideas for teachers about how to create an environment where they can incorporate portfolio evaluation into their classrooms. Also, has great questioning techniques.

sep 16, 2020, 11:33 am

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002
David Sedaris
4/5 stars
David Sedaris opens his life to his readers with his diary entries from 1977-2002. The entries relay the often bizarre world of David’s and his thoughts about life, his family, his work and the strange people and events he encounters. This is definitely for Sedaris fans. If you haven’t read any of his other books - you might want to read some of those before you open this book.

Redigerat: sep 17, 2020, 9:16 am

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