jump to navigation

What we’re reading in November… November 13, 2017

Posted by SaraC in Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review, Uncategorized.
trackback

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach: A Novel by Jennifer EganA childhood encounter with her father and a local gangster remains in Anna Kerrigan’s memory, even after he disappears and she grows up to work at as a diver at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during World War II. Why did her father leave? Did it have something to do with the gangster or was it because of her disabled sister Lydia? Egan’s look at the life of a smart, capable young woman and the mystery surrounding her father’s absence is an engaging novel chock full of historical details. Dori


Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka…There’s only one person who has ever truly understood 14 year old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle Finn Weiss.  Awkward, shy and feeling disconnected from her older sister, June feels she can be her true self only in the company of Finn.  When Finn dies of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down.  At Finn’s funeral June notices a strange man lingering beyond the crowd.  A few days later she receives a package in the mail, with a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet.  Hence begins a remarkable friendship which both desperately need for their loss, and courage to carry on.  The novel takes place in the 1980’s where the reader is exposed to the fear & ignorance of the AIDS virus.  We follow this very quirky yet strong young girl in her journey to find peace with herself and the world around her.  This is a beautiful coming of age novel, and your heartstrings will tug for June and all the people in her life.  Mary


The Vengeance of Mothers: The Journals of Margaret Kelly and Molly McGill by Jim Fergus

The Vengeance of Mothers: The Journals of…This is the story of Margaret and Susie who were part of the original “Brides for Indians” program. They moved west and married Cheyenne warriors. Their husbands were killed when the village was attacked by the U.S. Army. Their babies froze to death on the escape route to the Lakota’s, and these women want revenge. Molly McGill, a new participant in the “Brides for Indians” program which is obsolete, still marries a warrior named Hawk. Margaret and Susie and the new recruits train to become warriors. Told in alternating chapters from the journals of Margaret and Molly, the sequel to One Thousand White Women is a compelling tale. Emma


Books Of Blood: Volumes One To Three by  Clive Barker

Books of Blood 1-3 by Clive BarkerThe season for horror may have passed for most of the country, but I continue to delight in stories of the strange, the uncanny, and the unnerving. Clive Barker began his career with a series of short stories put together in Books of Blood. Here we have the first 3 volumes of tales that are sure to satisfy any fan of the macabre or the curious. If you love Barker’s movies this is a great introduction to his written work. Some fans will even notice a few plots that have become films since this collection’s publication.  This may not be the book for everyone but with Barker’s ability to create worlds within each story and his trademark take on horror, it is bound to find fans in readers looking to keep the Halloween season going a little longer.  Greg


Kenyatta’s Last Hit by Donald Goines 

Kenyatta's Last Hit by Donald GoinesThe final book in Goines’ Kenyatta series appears on the surface to be nothing more than another urban fiction/crime novel.  At times grisly, others lascivious, it is above all else honest and relevant. If not for the uniquely 70s patois and sartorial descriptions, this is a novel that could have been written today.  The struggle against institutionalized racism, an unaddressed heroin epidemic, privilege, and greed are all catalysts in a story that still strike a chord today.  Goines creates many strong characters, most who are doing unquestionably bad things, but like the best authors, he makes you question who is actually the villain. Trent


Ranger Games: a Story of Soldiers, Family, and an Inexplicable Crime by Ben Blum

Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family…This story explores the role that Ranger indoctrination and training played in the commission of an armed bank robbery. Alex Blum always dreamed of serving his country in the elite Army Ranger squad. After surviving the grueling training, 19 year old Alex attained his dream and was set to deploy to Iraq in August of 2006. To the shock and horror of his family, he never made it to Iraq. Instead, he was arrested for armed bank robbery along with four other Rangers. Blum was arrested and confessed to being the getaway driver. His defense? The robbery was simply an elaborate training exercise. Written by his cousin, this book digs deep into Alex’s story. The author, a former computer scientist, needed to get to the bottom of this bizarre event. Fans of true crime stories and the podcast story will want to add this to their reading list. Megan


Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Enlightenment by Robert Wright

Why Buddhism is True: The Science and…I really enjoyed Robert Wright’s Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Enlightenment. His argument was really fascinating – that mindfulness meditation can loosen the grip on our minds that natural selection holds – that, essentially, we are wired to see the world in a certain way because of natural selection, but that this way might not be good for our species, or the world at large. According to Wright (and evolutionary psychology), we are built – our brains are wired – to pass on our genes. Therefore it is in our evolutionary interests to identify with our feelings and thoughts, because our feelings and thoughts might have saved us when we were hunting in the wild. But nowadays, as Wright argues, this vehement identification with what we feel and think can foster tribalism. His answer to this problem of tribalism, essentially, is mindfulness meditation, which he argues can allow us to perceive the world more truthfully (and with more beauty), by letting us see things without our story about things. Andrew


 

The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka

The Big Smoke by Adrian MatejkaThis is a book of poems that tell the story of Jack Johnson, a Jim Crow-era boxer who became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion. The Big Smoke won the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. The poems do a wonderful job of showing how black people were (mis)treated at the turn of the nineteenth century and illustrating what impossible hurdles Johnson had to clear in order to be accepted into the white-dominated professional sports world. The poems also do a good job of humanizing Jack Johnson. While Jack Johnson has been painted as a larger-than-life, mythic American hero, poet Adrian Matejka shrink away from a thorough investigation of Johnson’s flaws. A must-read for those interested in the intersection of sports, history, and race relations in the United States. Lyndsey


Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

 Eleanor Flood wakes up with small ambitions to improve her life, but little does she know, her day will propel her into an unimaginable future.   The characters were charming, the plot twist was surprising, and the overall tone was upbeat and enjoyable. Beth

 

 


The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

Detective Gemma Woodstock’s life is complicated- her relationship with her boyfriend is shaky, and her place as the only female detective in the department is exhausting.  When the body of a young woman found floating in the lake turns out to be Rosalind Ryan, things take a turn for the worse.  Gemma was captivated by the mysterious Rosalind in high school and becomes obsessed with finding her killer after her death.  But by solving the case, it is possible that some of Gemma’s own secrets won’t be able to remain in the past.  Sara

 

 

Advertisements

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: