June 28, 2014

June 2014

Many thanks to Elaine for bringing Jeanne to the group.  She's a teacher and bookseller at Ex Libris in Marblehead, and we hope she becomes a regular.  Also good to see Monica who travels very far to see us.

While we discussed books and poetry, the Huron river was roiling with trees and debris due to the recent heavy rains.

Bed in Summer
The Plantagenets
Where did you go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
Takedown Twenty - Janey Evanovich
Jewels of Paradise - Donna Leon
The Axe Factor - Colin Cotterill
The Collector - Nora Roberts
The Anatomy Lesson - Nina Siegal
A Circle of Wives - Alice LaPlante
Live to See Tomorrow - Iris Johansen
Field of Prey - John Sandford
The Target - David Baldacci
Sense and Sensibility - Joanna Trollope
After I'm Gone - Laura Lippman
Spider Woman's Daughter - Anne Hillerman
The Skin Collector - Jeffery Deaver
Appetite for Wonder - Richard Dawkins
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Eulogy for Christopher Hitchens
The Cuyahoga - William Donohue Ellis
Yes, Chef - Marcus Samuelsson
Chestnut Street - Maeve Binchy
A Land More Kind Than Home - Wiley Cash
The Dark Road to Mercy - Wiley Cash
The People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks
TransAtlantic - Colum McCann
Evensong - Gail Godwin
Swimming in the Moon - Pamela Schoenewaldt
Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library - Chris Grabenstein
Outside In - Doug Cooper
Crux - Ramez Naam
Top Secret America - Dana Priest
The Break - Sean Gabb
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
Half Broke Horses - Jeannette Walls
South of Broad - Pat Conroy
The Outlander Series - Diana Gabaldon
Written in my Own Heart's Blood - Diana Gabaldon
The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Your Inner Fish - Neil Shubin
The Good Body - Eve Ensler
Virtual History - Niall Ferguson
Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life - Karen Armstrong
Our Earth - Paragon Books
Neil Stephenson's three books on Charles I
Quicksilver - Neal Stephenson
Behind the Beautiful Forevers - Katherine Boo
John Dies at the End - David Wong
This Book is Full of Spiders - David Wong
David Wong

From our sister group in OK:

Lawton Book Bunch                                                                   
Thursday, June 12, 2014 
The Next meeting will be Thursday, July 10, 2014


Blottner, Joseph  Faulkner: A Biography
Brady, Kathleen. Ida Tarbell: Portrait of a Muckraker
Crichton, Michael. State of Fear
Doctorow, E.L. The March
King, Laurie R. The God of the Hive
Rawn, James. Root and Branch: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall….
Schiller, Lawrence. Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: The Uncensored Story of the JonBenet Murder…..
Shyamalan, M. Night. I Got Schooled

Warren, Elizabeth. A Fighting Chance

From Mary Lou in MD:

Kate Atkinson, Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1995).  Like Tristram Shandy, Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life story from the moment of her conception, in 1951, as marked by the midnight chimes of her great-grandmother’s clock.  From her mother’s womb she is fully aware of events in her parents’ pet shop and their home “Above the Shop.”  In Chapter One she begins telling us the story of her parents George and Bunty and their courtship and marriage in England in 1944.  Next, in Footnote (i) she introduces us to her grandparents’ story beginning at the time of World War I.  The novel jumps back and forth in this alternating chronology, gradually revealing the sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic mysteries of this dysfunctional family of bizarre characters against the background of 20th century history in York.  This novel is essentially a jigsaw puzzle of characters, events, settings, and even the clock.  It should not be read in short snippets with long interruptions.  If this is likely, keep a 3x5 card list of the characters and their relationships. It’s worth it.      
Ken Follett, Whiteout (2004).  A Christmas Blizzard smothers northern Scotland.  Toni Gallo, security director of a medical research firm, realizes that a canister of a deadly virus is missing.  While she is scrambling to prevent widespread disaster, the adult children of the research director who is developing the antiviral are scheming for ways to profit financially from their father’s research.   “The love of money is the root of all evil.”  Many of the characters are despicable and the suspense is intense.  
Margaret Coel, The Spirit Woman (2000).  The legend on the Wind River Reservation is that Sacajawea, the Native American woman who guided Lewis and Clark, is buried there.  A professor and longtime friend of Arapaho attorney Vickie Holden disappears while researching the legend.   Meanwhile, Father John O’Malley is once again scheduled to be transferred away from the Jesuit St. Francis Mission on the Reservation.  Vickie and Father John collaborate in attempting to find the missing professor and nearly get themselves killed in the process.   The wealth of cultural and anthropological detail and the strong characterizations make this series very enjoyable.  
Sandra Brown, Lethal (2011).  Widow Honor Gillette is icing cupcakes with her 4-year-old daughter Emily when they are taken hostage by Lee Coburn, a man on the run accused of shooting seven men the night before.  Coburn tears the house apart looking for an unknown item that will explain the reason for the ostensibly accidental death of Honor’s husband.  Without finding it, the three of them flee for their lives into the Louisiana swamps and bayous.  There they are hunted by local, state and federal law enforcement, none of them trustworthy because many of them have been corrupted by a vicious and mysterious crime boss known as the The Bookkeeper.  
John Sandford, Mad River (2012).  Three hopeless young adults go on a killing spree across Minnesota.  State and local police and even the National Guard are looking for them.  The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Virgil Flowers tries a very unorthodox strategy to predict where they are likely to be hiding.  Storm Front (2013).  A dying archeologist and a carved stone from Israel supposedly referring to the Old Testament’s King Solomon’s time pull Virgil Flowers into a web of criminal conspiracy and political intrigue involving even the Mosad.  In one of his best escapades to date, Virgil finesses the competitors to their just desserts and finds truth in an unexpected location.  These are very satisfying suspense novels and Virgil is as charming as ever.  
Doug Cooper, Outside In (2013).  The best thing about this novel is the setting, Put-in-Bay Ohio.  The descriptions of a young man’s immersion in alcohol and drugs to avoid confronting his true nature and his future are unfortunately tedious.  

Margaret Coel, The Story Teller (1998).  An Arapaho elder and storyteller asks Vickie Holden to investigate the disappearance of a tribal artifact from a Denver museum.  An Arapaho graduate student is found dead in Denver and Vickie and Father John do not accept the police conclusion that the murder was drug related. They become convinced that the student’s research at the museum led to his death. Their efforts to prove their theory lead them to retrace the student’s steps to remote areas of Southeastern Colorado where they research remote Arapaho history.  As usual, the cultural and historical details are fascinating and Vickie and Father John are delightful.     

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