September 07, 2015

August 2015

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl 

As you can see, not much time has been spent in front of the TV:

Emma - Alexander McCall Smith
Political Order and Political Decay - Francis Fukuyama
The End of History and The Last Man - Francis Fukuyama
The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer
Islands - Anne Rivers Siddons
Books by Wallace Stegner
The Memory House - Bette Lee Crosby
Monkeys on the Interstate - Jack Hanna
The Ridleys - Matt Haig
The Tragic Story of the Empress of Ireland - Logan Marshall
The Forgotten Sister - Jennifer Paynter
Blueprints - Barbara Delinsky (not recommended)
When the Night Comes - Favel Parrett
The Boys in the Boat - Daniel James Brown
Solitude Creek - Jeffery Deaver
The Long Way Home - Louise Penny
Mr. Peanut - Adam Ross
Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread - Chuck Palahniuk
It Comes in Waves - Erika Marks
Ten Thousand Saints - Eleanor Henderson
Skink - Carl Hiaasen
Bad Monkey - Carl Hiassen

From our sister group in OK:

Lawton Book Bunch
Thursday, August 13, 2015
The next meeting will be: Sept. 10, 2015


Carr, Caleb. Alienist; Angel of Darkness
Ferber, Edna. Cimarron; Giant
George, Elizabeth. All of her books.
Godsave, Bayard. Torture Tree
Harrer, Karl Maria. Miracles Through Our Lady
Hawkins, Paula. The Girl on a Train
Jones, Hardy. People of the Good God
Martin, Wednesday. The Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir
Powell, Julie. Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously *
Roensch, Rob. The Wild Flowers of Baltimore
Rutherford, Edward. Paris
Siegal, Nina. The Anatomy Lesson
Smith, J.E. Edna Ferber’s Hollywood
Wachter, Robert. The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hipe, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age


Big Sleep
I’ll See You In My Dreams
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Mr. Holmes
Testament of Youth


Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn: Suzannah Lipscomb Dispels Myths about the Lovers Who Changed History.

* June now owns every sized slow cooker and has determined to cook dishes from around the world.

From Mary Lou in MD:

Booknotes August 2015

Mia King, Good Things (2006). Deidre McIntosh is the famous star of Seattle’s “Live Simple” TV show about cooking and life style. Then, with no warning, a bitch named Marla launches a competing show, heralded with a vicious ad campaign attacking Deidre as well as her show. Deidre’s show is cancelled and her best friend and roommate decides to move in with his boyfriend. She has a spectacular wardrobe and a flashy car, but no savings, no income, no place to live and no idea how she is going to survive. An attractive stranger offers her his country home as a retreat until she gets her life on track and she finds herself in a remote cabin a few miles from the tiny town of Jacob’s Point, near Lake Wish in Eastern Washington. The Wishbone Café and its owner Lindsey become central to Deidre’s life and recovery. Lake Wish has unexpected magical powers and the handsome stranger provides the novel’s love interest as well as its main mystery.

Tracy Chevalier, The Last Runaway (2013). In 1850-something Honor Bright leaves her Quaker community in Dorset to immigrate to America with her sister Grace, who is going there to marry a shopkeeper in a Quaker community near Oberlin, Ohio. When Honor arrives in Ohio after a dreadful voyage she learns that some of the local women are assisting fugitive slaves, while a rakish man on an impressive horse employs himself as a slavecatcher. The slavery controversy is very heated. Honor does not understand why her new family is hostile to her and forbids her to do anything to assist runaway slaves. She struggles to fit into her new life while remaining true to her Quaker conscience. This novel presents a vivid account of the personal, social and political struggles surrounding the slavery issue.

Jean Zimmerman, The Orphan Master (2012). This novel is set in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (Manhattan) in the 1660s. Edward Drummond, posing as a grain merchant, has traveled there as a spy in the service of King Charles II to seek out regicides who have taken refuge in the New England colonies and to evaluate the Dutch fortifications in the event of British attack. He soon meets Blandine van Couvering, a vibrant and independent young woman who is a savvy trader in furs and other goods. She also is an orphan, long befriended by the local orphan master, one Aet Visser. Several young orphans have been brutally murdered and others have disappeared. Witchcraft is suspected. At one time or another, Edward, Blandine, and Aet fall under suspicion even as they attempt to identify the murderer. There are many other colorful characters, the historical setting is fascinating, and the plot is engaging.

Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers (1857; B&N Classics 2005). This is volume 2 of Trollope’s 6-volume Barchester series. It is a comic novel of character set in and around the fictitious Victorian town of Barchester. The characters are variously flawed by naiveté, pride, jealousy, greed, ambition and hypocrisy. The author/narrator is intrusive and judgmental. Dr. Proudie, an outsider, is appointed Bishop of Barchester, his wife and his curate (Mr. Slope) are vying for control of the diocese, and the local Anglican worthies are outraged by the low-church dogma the newcomers attempt to impose. Almost all of the characters are selfish, ambitious, and scheming and the few without such motives are a mystery to the others. The plot, such as it is, turns on the resulting miscommunications.

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