• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Arubabookwoman Reads the Books of Her Life in 2018

Club Read 2018

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Jan 2, 3:18pm Top

I'm Deborah. I joined LT on 1-1-2009, and joined Club Read a few years later. I'm not always very good at keeping up with the threads in terms of commenting, but I do generally read everyone's thread, and add dozens of books to my wishlist each year.

I read about 2/3 fiction, 1/3 nonfiction. The fiction I read is usually "literary", and I try to read "around the world" with a fair amount of translated fiction. I also love mysteries, mostly stand-alone, but I follow a few series, and I read some science fiction too. I like a smattering of historical fiction (I've been reading the Poldark series) and some dystopian fiction too. I generally don't like horror, fantasy, or self-help, but a few exceptions have been known to happen for those genres as well.

I'm a retired tax attorney living in the Seattle area. However, since 4 of our 5 children now reside in NYC, a move to the East Coast when my husband of 47 years retires in a year or two is in the works. (The 5th lives in Houston, but there's no way I would choose to live in Texas). Three of the kids are married, and two have two children each, so I am a happy grandma. Other than reading, I am very involved with doing fiber art, and some of my pieces have been included in museum shows. For the past several years, I have been studying art history with a group of friends, and this past year we took a trip together to London and Paris where we visited only art museums. We are now studying the Italian Renaissance.

My user name arises from the fact that I was born and raised on the island of Aruba (back before it became a tourist venue), and it is the home of my heart.

Edited: Mar 7, 8:43pm Top



1. Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry (2017) 321 pp 3 stars
2. One Doctor by Brendan Reilly (2013) 465 pp 3 1/2 stars
3. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (2017) 354 pp 4 stars
4. The Case for Impeachment by Allan J. Lichtman (2017) 304 pp 4 stars
5. The Moon and Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (1950) 3 stars
6. Tales of Two Americas by John Freeman (2017) 352 pp 4 stars
7. Deer Hunting With Jesus by Joe Bageant (2007) 290 pp 3 stars
8. Shelter by Jung Yun (2016) 337 pp 3 stars
9. A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie (1950) 298 pp 2 1/2 stars
10. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond by Sonia Shah (2016) 288 pp 3 1/2 pp
11. A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto (1971) 224 pp 3 1/2 stars
12. Echoes From the Dead by Johan Theorin (2008) 402 pp 3 1/2 stars
13. The Family Moskat by I.B. Singer (1950) 4 1/2 stars
14. Collusion by Luke Harding (2017)368 pp 4 stars
15. Gone by Min Kym (2017) 240 pp 3 stars
16. The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris (2012) 483 pp 3 1/2 stars
17. The Boy Who Loved Too Much by Jennifer Latson
18. Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon
19. Going Into Town by Roz Chast
20. L'Abbe C by Georges Bataille (1950) 158 pp
DNF People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry


21. Into the Gray Zone by Adrian Owen
22. A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
23. Whispering Death by Garry Disher
24. The Widow by Fiona Barton
25. Millennium by John Varley
26. Trumpocracy by David Frum
27. The Planets by Nirmala Nataraj
28. Antiques Road Show by Paul Atterbury
29. The Wall by John Hersey


30. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
31. The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

Dec 21, 2017, 10:45pm Top

books read 2nd quarter

Dec 21, 2017, 10:45pm Top

books read 3nd quarter

Dec 21, 2017, 10:46pm Top

Books read 4th quarter

Edited: Jan 2, 3:33pm Top

I read 125 books in 2017. Some stats:

Male Author--78
Female Author--47


In addition to books by US, UK, and Canada authors, I read books by authors from the following countries:

India, France, Guyana, Russia, China, Israel, Libya, Norway, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Spain, South Korea, and Pakistan.

In 2017, for the first time since I joined LT, I reviewed every single book I read, and all the reviews are now on my thread. Of course, I had to do about 50 reviews in December to catch up, but I'm rather proud of myself for perservering.

The big change in my reading this year was that I found out about Overdrive, and so most of my reading came from the library this year. This resulted in my reading mostly current books, which is not my usual practice. I usually like to let the books percolate a while and some of the hype die down before I read a book, and I mostly only buy used books anyway. But this year nearly 90% of my reading was from the 2000's, and probably 65%-70% was from just 2016 and 2017.

So here are my favorites, in no particular order:


The Dark Road by Ma Jian
American Tabloid by James Ellroy (a reread)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie


Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge
In a Different Key by John Donvan


Bear Island by Alistair MacLean

WORST DISAPPOINTMENTS (Books I expected to like, but did not)

Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet

Edited: Jan 2, 3:52pm Top

2018 PLANS

I generally don't plan my reading much, but this year I'm going to try something different. We'll see how long it lasts.

I decided that I'm going to read "the books of my life." By this I mean I'm going to read books published in each year of my life, starting with books published in 1950, the year I was born. I'll read as many or as few of the books for the year as I choose, and will stick with the year for as long or as short as I choose, before moving onto the next year. So this will all be fairly loosey-goosey, and I will be reading other things, as I continue to receive books from the library.

So, for the first year, 1950, here is a list of some of the books published that year. I have divided them into books I have read, and books I have not yet read. For the books I have read, I have marked with a * a book that I wouldn't mind rereading, and I might or might not do that. For the books I have not read, I have marked with a # those which I have waiting on my shelf or kindle which are books I intend to read (or start and abandon). I don't intend to purchase any new books for this challenge, but if some of the unmarked, unread books of a year really, really call to me, I may do so.


*The Wall by John Hersey
*The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing
*Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
*The Family Moskat by I.B. Singer
*Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Town by Conrad Richter
A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute
Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdal
Barabas by Par Lagerkvist
Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham


#The Moon and Bonfires by Cesar Pavese
#L'Abbe C by Georges Bataille
#A Clergyman's Daughter by George Orwell
#The Burning Plain by Juan Rulfo
The Drinker by Hans Fallada
Stalingrad by Vassily Grossman (can't find touchstone)

I don't have The Drinker or Stalingrad, but I have other unread books by those authors, so I may or may not try to read those instead.

I have started The Moon and Bonfires--not grabbing me so far.

Dec 31, 2017, 10:18am Top

Stopping by to wish you a wonderful new year.
I haven't been active these past few months, but I did notice your avalanche of great reviews in CR2017. Thanks for being such an inspiration. Needless to mention I'll star your thread.

Jan 2, 3:55pm Top

I have now filled in my placeholders in messages 1-7.

>8 MGovers: Thanks Monica. I look forward to following you this year. I was so proud of myself for finishing all of my 2017 reviews. I think I did close to 50 reviews in December.

Jan 2, 4:25pm Top

>7 arubabookwoman: A really interesting approach! I do like the idea of trying to read things in chronological order, although I fear that in practice I would get bored/antsy and never manage to stick to the right order. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how it goes.

Jan 2, 5:06pm Top

>7 arubabookwoman: A fascinating approach. I'll be interested to see what happens.

Edited: Jan 2, 8:45pm Top

>7 arubabookwoman: I love this idea, especially that you are planning on as many books as you feel like per year. If I did this I would plan one book per year and it would turn into a "challenge" that I raced through.

I was quite impressed by The Burning Plain. Well-crafted, bleak stories that took some focus to read. I hope you read (and review!) this one.

Jan 2, 9:54pm Top

Just adding my star.

Jan 2, 10:17pm Top

Hi Deborah -- just returning the visit; thank you for saying hello on my thread! I was also disappointed in The Heart Goes Last. Atwood is one of my favourite authors, and while this book was well-written, I found the premise and characters to be utterly ridiculous. I could not suspend my disbelief and buy into the plot. Hopefully her next book is better! In the meantime, I still have some older Atwood's to read.

I like your reading plans for the year, and I think it will be interesting to see how fiction has evolved since 1950.

Jan 2, 10:30pm Top

Hi Deborah, glad, for your sake, you're not moving the Texas (however, if you desire the flu, the state is flu-central right now). Love your plan and the kind of relaxed way your going about it. Wish you great year in reading and all else.

Jan 8, 12:20pm Top

Happy New Year, Deborah! I am mightily impressed that you reviewed all the books you read last year, especially given how much you read! I have not been present on LT much the last two years, but I always know that if I want to read some good reviews and get recommendations, this is the place to come.

Jan 8, 8:52pm Top

Just stopping by to keep track of your thread. Looking forward to reading your reviews again this year! I like your idea of reading through the years.

Jan 9, 4:01pm Top

Hello All. Thanks for stopping by.

>10 wandering_star: I think I'm making this challenge loose enough that I have a chance to succeed. I'll continue reading other books--especially library books--and will spend as long as I want on a particular year before moving to the next one--as long as there's something I want to read from that year. Also I'll read books that seem to me to be related to or logically follow the books I read.

>11 markon: Thanks Ardene.

>12 ELiz_M: Liz--This challenge may last the rest of my life, since there are so many books for each year I want to read or reread. I'm not stressing out about completing it. Instead, I'm looking at it as a way to start clearing some of my TBR shelves to get rid of books for our move to the East Coast.
I read Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo a couple of years ago, and loved it so much that I reread it immediately after finishing it the first time. So I'm sure that The Burning Plain is one I will read and review.

>13 NanaCC: Hi Colleen, and welcome.

>14 Cait86: Caitlin--I totally agree with you about the premise of The Heart Goes Last being ridiculous. I also thought the job they gave the wife--"Medicine Administrator'' was so uncharacteristic for her and was not something she would do so complacently.

>15 dchaikin: Hi Dan--I'm afraid Texas would be too red for me (as well as too hot), though my daughter and her family seem to have settled into a bluish area around Rice University and the Medical Center. My mother moved to an 0ver 55 community north of Austin, and I was very impressed by it. Two of my sisters (one 10 years younger and one 14 years younger) also lives there, so my husband jokes that they could take care of me after he's gone and I'm old.

>16 labfs39: Hi Lisa--I'm so glad to see you back. It would be nice if we could reconnect and catch up. Are you still working at the private library?

>17 valkyrdeath: Thanks for visiting. I'll be following your thread as well.

Jan 9, 4:14pm Top


It turns out that my source for publication dates is not entirely accurate. (Wiki). So--The Clergyman's Daughter was not published in 1950 but in the 1930's, which is ok with me since it wasn't one of the ones I was looking forward to. And there is no book named "Stalingrad'" by Vassily Grossman. It is an apparent reference to two books about WW II written by Grossman, beginning with Life and Fate. I've read Life and Fate, but only a few years ago, so I don't want to reread it yet, and in any event it was not published in 1950, but years later. So that's off the list too.

The first 1950 book I started is The Moon and Bonfires by Cesare Pavese. It is short, less than 200 pp, but after more than a week I am less than half way through. It is really not capturing me. I will give it another week, and then classify if as DNF. It's my challenge so I guess I can do that. Last night I started a 1950 reread, The Family Moskat by I.B. Singer, and I am loving it. It's long but I'm sure I'll complete it soon. While perusing my shelves for more 1950 books, I came across The Family Mashber by Der Nister, and I decided to read that too. It was written many years before The Family Moskat, but was also written in Yiddish and appears to have a similar nature--Jewish family saga late 19th/early 20th century Russia/Poland. Other than that, 1950 planned reads are the ones starred in >7 arubabookwoman:.

I have finished a few books, from the library, mostly nonfiction, so I will start some reviews in an attempt not to get too far behind.

Jan 9, 4:41pm Top

1. Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry (2017) 321 pp

Subtitle: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone

Shortly after Japan's 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown accident, I read a couple of books about the incident. Both of these books focused quite a bit on the nuclear accident aspect of the disaster. I haven't heard much about the status of the accident in quite a while, and was interested in finding out more. This book, however, barely mentions the nuclear accident, and then only in passing. Instead, its focus is very narrow--primarily on the tsunami, and primarily on the tragic effects of the tsunami on one small school in one small village.

The school in question was Okawa Elementary School which served several small villages surrounding it. Although the tsunami hit an hour or more after the initial quake, and despite that fact that tsunami warnings were issued, including trucks blaring evacuation warnings driving around and past the school, for various reasons the teachers did not move the children to higher ground, and 74 of the 78 children and 10 of 11 teachers perished in the tsunami. (In all the rest of Japan only 1 other child perished while in the care of teachers at a school).

The book examines the various ways we grieve or hide our grief. Schisms opened between parents who lost a child and those who did not. Parents whose child's body was recovered immediately had different issues than parents whose children weren't found for months (or in some cases ever). Some parents were angry and vociferous, and demanded answers from school officials at the many public meetings to try to determine a cause for this tragedy. Some parents felt that the reason didn't matter; some parents blamed themselves for not picking up their child immediately after the quake. The book provides qreat insight into Japanese culture and national personality.

What I didn't like about the book is that a large chunk of it deals with the supernatural. There are several stories about people who found themselves "possessed" by the ghosts of those who perished in the tsunami, and about the Buddhist priest who performed exorcism rites on them. I mostly skimmed these sections, although they were probably important.

If you are interested in the subject and are aware of the limitations of its focus, I would recommend this book.

3 stars

Jan 9, 4:58pm Top

2. One Doctor by Brendan Reilly (2013) 465 pp

Subtitle: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine

Brendan Reilly an internist with 40 years of experience practicing medicine divides this memoir into three sections, Now, Then, and Now. In the two Now sections he discusses in real time from his personal view point, his experiences on call in New York City Hospital over a couple of days (the second Now section taking place a few weeks after the first). While dealing with seriously ill patients, and trying to diagnose patients with mystery conditions, he must also deal with his elderly parents who are facing end of life decisions themselves, his father blind and in the terminal phase of bladder cancer, his mother suffering dementia with a heart that is slowing down. In the Then section, Reilly discusses some of his experiences when he first began to practice medicine making house calls in rural Vermont. He focuses on a husband and wife whose diagnoses and treatments he is still second-guessing himself about all these years later. I loved the stories of the process he goes through in arriving at a diagnosis. His pacing is perfect, and many of his experiences read like a medical mystery.

Interspersed with his personal stories are discussions of many of the historical, ethical, financial, and other issues facing the practice of medicine. One overriding point I took from the book is that many people today who think they have adequate health care don't have "one doctor" in overall charge of their health care. Despite health care becoming more and more complex, there is frequently no continuity of care, as various specialist handle only their specialty. This can also raise problems since many hospitals today rely on hospitalists, and our primary care doctors do not provide in-hospital care to their patients. There is sometimes a lack of communication such that hospitalists sometimes have to diagnose and treat in a vacuum.

Another thing I learned from this book is that there are many, many things I never knew about that can kill you as you get older. Oh Well.


3 1/2 stars

Jan 9, 6:51pm Top

>21 arubabookwoman: I like your review of One Doctor, and I've seen problems that arise from a lack of continuity of care in my life. I would rather not know about more ways to die as I age!

>18 arubabookwoman: No, Folio had to let go of its paid staff once the library was up and running. Because I need to be at home now, I have a part-time telecommuting job as an image database manager for an architectural firm. I would love to meet up. Crossroads or TPB?

Jan 9, 10:15pm Top

One Doctor sounds wonderful, Deborah. Great comments. I'll pass on the Parry book -- what a tragic story, and the supernatural doesn't appeal.

Edited: Jan 10, 11:45am Top

>21 arubabookwoman: This is so true, and frightening to me.

many people today who think they have adequate health care don't have "one doctor" in overall charge of their health care. Despite health care becoming more and more complex, there is frequently no continuity of care,

I think we all need a close family member/friend to help navigate when we have a major illness.

Jan 10, 1:58pm Top

>21 arubabookwoman: I think I will Skip that one being a bit of an ostrich.

Jan 10, 3:59pm Top

Hi Deborah -- a belated Happy New Year! Intriguing idea to read the years of your life. What are you using to find books published in a specific year?

Jan 13, 3:40pm Top

Noting that you are reading The Family Moskat by I.B. Singer and thinking to myself how much I’ve liked reading him. He has that magical touch with words.

Loved your first two reviews.

Jan 17, 10:11am Top

Interesting reviews, thanks for those!
I am among the lucky who have a dedicated general practitioner who I fully trust. I'm feeling even more lucky now!

Jan 18, 7:20am Top

Hi Deborah. Interesting challenge you have! Nice reviews and you have reminded me to track down more books by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Jan 22, 2:55pm Top

Hello everyone--time for some more reviews. But first,

>22 labfs39: Hi Lisa--Crossroads is closer for me--and there's more food choices. I don't work, so my schedule is probably more flexible than yours--PM me so we can set a date that's good for you.

>23 BLBera: Hi Beth--thanks. I hear you'll be in Portland in June--I'll try to get down there then for another meetup.

>24 markon: Hi Ardene--I agree having a close family member/friend with you at all times when you are in the hospital is a necessity. Unfortunately, problems can still arise due to the failure of doctors to pass information among themselves.

>25 baswood: Very understandable Bas.

>26 janeajones: Hi Jane--I'm using Wikipedia which has articles titled something like "Literature from (yr)." Unfortunately, I've already found that it's not always accurate. And then there's the issue of translated works. I'm trying to use the year of publication in the original language, but frequently the year given on Wikipedia is the year of publication in English. Then there's the problem of books published in individual volumes over a number of years, but which are basically one book. I'm thinking of Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time and Ford Maddox Ford's Parade's End. The first volume of each of these was published somewhere in my first few years. Luckily I have read these, and don't intend to reread them at this time.

>27 dchaikin: Hi Dan--I read quite a few (and mostly loved) of I.B. Singer's books about 25-30 years ago, so I'm enjoying the reread of The Family Moskat. He is such a great storyteller. I also want to reread The Manor and The Estate--will have to check the publication dates of those. I also have on my shelf a book by his brother, Israel J. Singer, The Family Carnovsky, which I also want to read. And, as I noted earlier, it somehow seems that I should read The Family Mashber by Der Nister in conjunction with reading Singer. So this one book has led to lots of other "wanna-reads."

>28 chlorine: Welcome Chlorine. You are indeed lucky to have a doctor you trust. In this book, a big part of the problem is that, at least in the U.S., most internists/family doctors do not provide care for their patients while they are in a hospital. This usually falls to a relatively new type of medical specialist, the hospitalist.

>29 amandameale: Welcome, Amanda--What books by Singer have you read? I've enjoyed almost everything I've read by him.

Thanks for visiting everyone--now on to reviews:

Jan 22, 2:58pm Top

>30 arubabookwoman: I must admit, the only I.B. Singer I've read are short stories and children's stories. I should read The Family Moskat. I also have The Family Mashber languishing on my shelves. Sigh. Someday...

Jan 22, 3:31pm Top

It would be great to see you, Deborah.

Jan 22, 3:38pm Top

3. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (2017) 354 pp

Subtitle: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Over the years, the Osage tribe was forcibly removed from their tribal lands and resettled multiple times by the U.S. government, finally ending up in a rocky area of Oklahoma no one else wanted. Then, in the early 20th century oil was discovered on their land. Each member of the tribe had "headrights" to the oil income, and overnight many of them found themselves among the most wealthy people in the U.S. Their new-found wealth attracted many unscrupulous people, and schemes and scams abounded.

In its infinite wisdom, the federal government decided that full-blooded Osage were incapable of handling their own financial affairs, and appointed "guardians" for them, usually white businessmen or lawyers. Many of these guardians were dishonest and abusive, for example, requiring their wards to purchase everything at businesses they owned at hugely inflated prices. There were also instances of guardians denying necessary expenses, such as for medical care, resulting in the deaths of their wards.

In addition, those Osage with headrights were sought after as "spouses" and these fortune hunters hoped for huge inheritances when their spouses passed on.

Some of these so-called "guardians" or spouses, decided to expedite their access to the Osage fortunes. For some of these fortune hunters their spouse's share of the oil income was not enough, and they decided to increase their spouse's share by insuring that their spouses became even wealthier by inheriting additional shares of income from their relatives who died suddenly and unexpectedly.

Grann opens this engaging narrative nonfiction account with a cluster of suspicious deaths within the family of Molly Burkhart. Her sister Minnie had died a few years previously of a "peculiar wasting illness." Her mother Lizzie was also weakening and dying of an unknown malady. Then her sister Anna is found in a ravine with a bullet in her head. Not surprisingly Molly began to fear for her life, along with many other Osage, including those who were attempting to investigate, as unexplained deaths continued to pile up. Ultimately, at least 60 full-blood Osage were murdered between 1921 and 1925.

Many of the murders were solved when the fledgling FBI moved in, mostly undercover, and investigated. However, many of the murders remain unsolved until the present day. During the course of his writing this book, several of the descendants of some of those who had died under mysterious circumstances sought David Grann's research skills to find answers, and their stories are also included in this book.

This was a fascinating and eye-opening account of the greed and corruption of those taking advantage of these wealthy Indians, from the guardians to the law enforcement officials to medical doctors to store owners and even to spouses. This was a real indictment of the prejudice against Native Americans and the atrocities committed against them.

Highly recommended.

4 stars

Edited: Jan 22, 4:48pm Top

You may want to skip the following. There's a lot about Trump Atrocities. But this is an important book for every American to read and understand.

4. The Case for Impeachment by Allan J. Lichtman (2017) 304 pp

Allan J. Lichtman is a distinguished Harvard professor and political historian. Two months before the election, he predicted that Trump would win, (and received praise from Trump for his perspicacity). He also predicted that Trump would be impeached (which prediction Trump overlooked). In the first part of the book, Lichtman provides an overview and history of impeachment, when it has been used, and when it should be used. The longer, second part of the book discusses and analyzes the many "high crimes and other misdemeanors" committed by Trump. And since this book was published early in his presidency (April 2017--pre-firing of Comey, pre-multiple Russia contacts revelations), the case for impeachment has only been strengthened.

Following is some random information/comments from the book I want to remember:

---His crimes in general terms: appointing cabinet members dedicated to destroying the institutions they head; no prior public service; a record of enriching himself at the expense of others; a penchant for lying; disregard of the law; conflicts of interest; mistreatment of women; covering up his misdeeds; dubious connections with Russia; reversing the battle against climate change.

--In the section discussing the history of impeachment, he clarifies that impeachment is of a "political nature" and reaches far beyond actual crimes. The questions to be considered regarding impeachment are: 1. What are the grounds?; 2. What is the scope of presidential authority; 3. What is the president's responsibility to obey the law? Lichtman also clarifies that a president's actions before becoming president can be considered in determining whether to impeach.

--Trump is a serial law breaker, including:

--There were many civil law suits regarding racketeering, civil rights violations, and other illegal acts prior to his taking office.

--Trump's charity: He never registered it, and by not registering it he avoided audits which would have revealed illegal self-dealing. Self-dealings included using the foundation's money to settle his personal debts. He also purchased self-portraits and sports memorabilia with his charity's funds. And he made political contributions (particularly to Pam Bondi for Florida A.G. during a time she was considering a matter involving him) with the charity's funds.

--Violations of the Cuban embargo. He spent $68,000 in 1998 to explore Cuban business opportunities in violation of the embargo. This is a federal crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and $1 million in corporate and $250,000 in personal fines.

--His N.J. and N.Y. casinos have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for violations, including for civil rights violations and bank reporting violations. When his casinos collapsed, $1.5 billion dollars was lost by investors.

--His fraudulent university led to a federal class action suit charging racketeering violations. He settled the suit for $25 million shortly before entering office.

--His exploitation of undocumented immigrants. He built Trump Tower in NYC using undocumented Polish workers. He failed to pay them, and ultimately they brought suit against Trump, who dragged the suit out for 15 years before settling. In addition, Trump Modeling Agency has a history of using undocumented immigrants, and taking advantage of them financially.

--Trump's Conflicts of Interest

These mostly arise because of Trump's failure to divest himself of his business interests contrary to the practice of past presidents. Some of these include:

--Dealings with the Philippines and Duterte--The head of the Trump Tower in Manila was appointed by Duterte as a special envoy to the U.S. at a time when there are sensitive issues about aid to Philippine trade and U.S. military arrangements in the Philippines.

--Dealings with China--In February 2017 a number of trademark rights were issued to Trump business interests by China. (Trump had spent a decade and hundreds of thousands of dollars seeking these trademark rights). Experts have stated that this action by China was unprecedented. It occurred right after Trump ended his flirtation with a "Two China Policy." In addition, Trump has failed to label China as a currency manipulator as promised during his campaign. Trump also has a 30% stake in a company owing $950 million to lenders including the Bank of China.

--Trump's debts (largely unknown) also constitute a conflict of interest. We know that Trump owes more than $1 billion to 150 financial institutions. The government has to make regulatory and policy decisions regarding these institutions. Two of his largest creditors, Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank have been sanctioned for fraud and Russian money-laundering.

--Domestic conflicts--Melania's and Ivanka's stated intents to profit from the office.

The book also goes through his history of lies (too numerous to list here). Lichtman points out that the lies can jeopardize national security, in addition to covering up crimes. What we know about Trumps Russian connection has largely expanded since publication of this book. Lichtman goes into something I had never considered: crimes against humanity, which broadly include actions taken by Trump to deny or reverse measures taken to remedy climate change. At the time the book was published Trump hadn't withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord, but Lichtman mentions that if Trump were to do so, it might be one of the grounds for impeachment. He also mentions the appointment of the following cabinet members: Scott Pruitt--EPA; Rick Perry--Energy; Rex Tillerson--State; Ryan Zinke--Interior.

This book is a valuable read for the way it sets everything out in a logical, factual and methodical way.


4 stars

Jan 22, 5:08pm Top

Great comments, Deborah. I loved the Grann book although it's depressing that the effects are still being felt by descendents.

>34 arubabookwoman: This shouldn't be surprising, but oh my God.

Jan 22, 5:24pm Top

My first 1950 book of my life. It took me forever to read, although it's fairly short, and I considered abandoning it, but fought that urge. I didn't really begin to get into it until about p. 100 (of 176), but after I finished I went back and reread the first part, and it was better than I remembered.

5. The Moon and Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (1950) 176

This is a book in which nothing much happens, and the setting, place and time, and the characters take the forefront. Shortly after the end of World War II, the unnamed narrator returns from America to the rural farming village in Italy where he grew up. An orphan, he was raised by a poor farmer who took him in mainly for the charitable stipend he received monthly. When the narrator grew up, he made his way to America where he became moderately successful. On his return to his village, he is perceived to be fabulously wealthy.

As he revisits the people and places from the past, we learn his life story through flashbacks. In the present, he interacts with the one friend from his youth, Nuto the musician, and also befriends a boy who is the son of a poor farmer who reminds him of himself. Along the way he also learns of the betrayals and atrocities that occurred in the village during the war, and of the fates of some of the partisans fighting the fascists, although as I stated this is not primarily a book reliant on plot.

This book is considered a classic in Italy, and I can see how it has received that designation. Pavese has written other novels, and in addition was a well-respected translator of American literature into Italian. He committed suicide a few months after this book was published. I don't regret reading the book, but it's not one of my favorites, nor is it one which I would unequivocally recommend. Nevertheless, I recognized it to be well-written, and if it sounds like your thing, go for it.

3 stars

Jan 22, 5:30pm Top

>32 BLBera: and >35 BLBera: Beth--no matter how bad I think it is, I always find out it's actually worse. But for some reason I feel myself compelled to read books on the predicament in which we find ourselves.

>31 labfs39: Lisa the longer Singer works are well-worth getting to, and despite their length they are quick reads, and very plot-driven. However, the dilemma of too many books, too little time, is something we all experience and can commiserate with.

Jan 22, 5:45pm Top

Enjoying your reviews Deborah. The case for impeachment seems clear, but my own view is that it will not happen. Trump is making too many people rich.

Edited: Jan 22, 7:17pm Top

Many people have been reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance hoping for some insight into how/why Trump could have been elected. I've been somewhat suspicious of Vance's agenda and politics, and have resisted reading his book. Instead, I read these next two books. The first one is an anthology to which many writers contributed, and it was published after Trump's election. The second one was written by a man who returned to his Virginia town, and tries to make sense of why so many people voted for Bush in his reelection, after many bad things were known about him, including lying to get us into war in Iraq and the abuses and torture going on at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. I found much of what he found very relevant to the Trump election.

6. Tales of Two Americas edited by John Freeman (2017) pp

Subtitle: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation

"America is broken. You don't need a fistful of statistics to know this. You just need eyes and ears and stories."

This book provides the stories--essays, short stories, poems, and personal anecdotes--which as the editor writes, "demolish the myth of Horatio Alger and replace it with the reality of what it feels like to try to keep a foothold in America today."

This is a diverse collection by many of today's best writers. Some of the ones that stood out to me include:

--"Death by Gentrification" by Rebecca Solnit, in which she relates the true story behind the headlines about a Hispanic teenager who was shot and killed by the police in his own neighborhood. The police were called by one of the "new" residents of this gentrifying San Francisco neighborhood, people who were afraid of other people who did not look like them. The police shot before talking.

"Dosas" by Edwidge Danticat--a short story about immigrants from one of the places DJT considers a shithole, Haiti.

"Outside" by Kiese Layman--a personal essay starkly laying out the different treatments given for minor drug crimes committed by the privileged students at an elite college and the treatment given a young janitorial employee at the same college who committed a similar crime.

"White Debt" by Eula Bliss, a personal essay on white privilege--being comfortably with what one has, but uncomfortable with how one came to have it--"one of the conundrums of whiteness."

"Leander" by Joyce Carol Oates--a short story about a comfortable suburban matron who wants to do something to help a Black Live Matter-like group, but finds herself very uncomfortable attending one of their meetings.

"We Share the Rain, and Not Much Else" by Timothy Egan--an essay about how Seattle has changed from its gritty pre-Microsoft/pre-Amazon past when a blue-collar worker could lead a comfortable life.

"To The Man Asleep in Our Driveway Who Might Be Named Phil" by Anthony Doerr--a personal essay about the dilemma of coming home to your comfortable suburban home to find a homeless man sleeping in your driveway.

"Looking for a Home" by Karen Russell--a personal essay about living above a homeless shelter.

"Happy" by Brad Watson--an essay about growing up in a white family in Mississippi with a black maid. More honest than The Help.

These were the ones that spoke to me most, but there are many other worthy pieces by other authors, including Sandra Cisneros, Ann Patchett, Richard Russo, Roxanne Gay, Julia Alvarez, Ru Freeman, Annie Dillard, and lots of other authors.

Highly recommended.

4 stars

Edited: Jan 22, 7:22pm Top

7. Deer Hunting With Jesus by Joe Bageant (2007) 290 pp

Subtitle: Dispatches from America's Class War

John Steinbeck: "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

This book was written shortly after Bush's reelection, as an attempt to explain why so many white working class people seemed to vote against their own interests. My hometown paper said it should be, "required reading for progressive liberals." And despite its subject being a different election, those seeking an answer to how Trump was elected have been urged to read the book. In fact, as I read some of the descriptions and beliefs in this book, I found myself wondering whether Trump had read this book, so many of the positions some of these people espoused are so close to Trump's. (Not a serious thought--I know he doesn't read). But we hear from people who want to nuke Iran and nuke North Korea, and take all the oil from the Mideast, all things Trump has advocated.

Bageant, who has been described as a "gonzo" journalist, was born and raised in Winchester, Virginia, and returned to his roots after many years of working as a reporter around the world. Bageant himself said of the book, "..it is a gonzo book intended to give the flavor of the American experience, the thinking going on, more a literary book than just another book of facts and data." I found the book to be anecdotal and very mosaic-like, rather than having a broad analytical overview, so there are not many answers here, although there are lots of thoughts and stories I would like to remember.

Here are some of them:

--The Republican myth of the "Small Businessman." These are actually the self-employed electricians, plumbers and other skilled workers construction companies don't want to hire to avoid paying Social Security, worker's compensation, and health insurance. Instead, they contract with "the small businessman", and he assumes those costs and shuffles through the farce that he is one of America's ever-growing crop of dynamic entrepeneurs.

--Another popular myth is the myth of "personal responsibility."

--Winchester was the home of a large Rubbermaid Plant that in 2002 was threatening to relocate to Mexico. (This was partly caused by Walmart threatening to no longer stock their goods unless they could price them for significantly, perhaps impossibly, less.) But Va. "beat out Mexico" to save 240 Rubbermaid jobs--by paying $1 million of expansion costs, and certain anti-union measures. Sounds kind of like Trump/Pence paying millions to save a handful of Indiana jobs at a Carrier plant for a short while in an attempt to placate the base.

Another myth: "One of the slickest things the right ever did was to label necessary social costs as 'entitlements.'" Through years of repetition, the Republicans have been able to associate this term with "laziness."

Another myth: The private sector can do anything better than the government, and cheaper too.

To spread its myths, the Republicans have relied on a huge number of grass roots operatives who show up in small towns all over America. These are the real estate owners and successful business owners in the small towns. These are wealthy and prominent people who continue to commingle with the "hoi polloi" of these towns reinforcing the myths.

Bageant sees the source of white working class anger as, "the daily insults they suffer from their employers, from their government, and from more educated fellow Americans..." and, "...the brutal way in which {working folk} historically were forced to internalize the values of a gangster capitalist class..."

There is a chapter on the religious right and the growth of private religious schools in small towns across America. His own brother is an evangelical preacher with whom he is frequently at odds.

"{I}n an obsessively religious nation, values remain the most effective smoke screen for larceny by the rich and hatred and fear by the rest. What Christians and so many quiet Americans were voting for in the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 was fear of human beings culturally unlike themselves, particularly gays and lesbians and Muslims and other non-Christians." (I would add, also people of color).

I'd note that Bageant has a chapter about hunting and guns in which, despite his recognition that 13 children a day are killed by guns, he follows the NRA position that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

He also has an interesting chapter on Lyndie England, and how she came to be involved in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. At the time the book was written, she was serving time in military prison, a scapegoat for the higher-ups.

There's also a chapter about the mortgage racket. The book was written before the 2008 housing collapse and sub-prime scandal, but Bageant writes knowingly about small town bankers and mortgage brokers encouraging people who can't afford it to become homeowners, usually of trailers which did not hold their value. With all the add-ons to these subprime mortgages, the outstanding debt was usually more than the value of the asset.

Another chapter considers the health care system. (Pre-ACA). At the time the book was written, more than 50% of bankruptcies were caused by the inability to pay medical bills.

One of the most eye-opening (for me) facts was that 89-94 million Americans are functionally illiterate. I've long recognized and despaired of the fact that many Trump supporters seem to live in fact-free zones. But many American adults cannot distinguish between an ad and real news. Worse, Bageant points out, the problem is that many are pretty happy just the way they are.

This was an interesting and engaging read. It sometimes seemed to be a little overblown, but the times, particularly now, may warrant that. I'm glad I read it, and if it sounds interesting to you, I can recommend it. It's just not an essential read.

3 stars

I think I'm done for the day even though I have at least 4 more books to review to catch up.

Jan 22, 7:25pm Top

>38 baswood: Thanks Bas. I agree with you regarding the unlikelihood of impeachment, but my husband (and a few other people I know) thinks there's a possibility if Congress goes Democratic in the fall elections.

Jan 22, 10:04pm Top

>33 arubabookwoman: Killers of the Flower Moon sounds very interesting. Not something I would normally pick up, but perhaps now I will. Thanks for a great review. And for the reviews of all the Trump-era books. Unfortunately I am still unable to face much of the news and the current state of America. For my own sanity, I have to avoid too much teeth-gnashing; I've already cracked one tooth! I did find interesting the illiteracy rate. I have taught ESL/ELL for many years, but perhaps I should switch to focusing on those for whom English is their first language.

Jan 23, 5:05am Top

>37 arubabookwoman: no matter how bad I think it is, I always find out it's actually worse. But for some reason I feel myself compelled to read books on the predicament in which we find ourselves.
I get that, but the current stuff is just too awful for me to get into now, it sends me spiraling downwards. Which is why instead I've been focusing on the similar issues (well, not the 45-esque insanity, but, you know) of the past, with the Civil Rights Movement stuff. It's still, quite sadly, incredibly relevant for today, but at the same time there's the distance of when the specific events took place, that make it somewhat easier for me to take in without drowning.

It sounds like you're doing lots of good reading, though!

Jan 23, 11:19am Top

Fascinating reviews.

Concerning hospitals, I'm actually not sure how it works in France (I was almost sent to the hospital two weeks ago, if that had been the case I would surely be more knowledgeable ;)
I think the family doctor does not intervene during a hospital stay but he/she does keep in touch and at least knows what happened when you get out.

Jan 23, 6:14pm Top

More great stuff on the American Psyche.

Jan 23, 9:09pm Top

>34 arubabookwoman: I’m not holding my breath for impeachment, but I’d be very happy to be wrong. The only problem with the result of that is next in command. I think he is just as dangerous, and possibly more so, because people might take him more seriously.

Jan 24, 3:02am Top

>46 NanaCC: Oh he is, but the thing is that he's already there anyway, it's not like 45 actually gives a crap about anything other than his popularity and his money, he doesn't care about anything Pence wants to do/dismantle, it's wide open to him as it is. At least with Pence in the front seat the rest of the world wouldn't be completely cut off, and the threat of nuclear disaster would be waaaay down (there's still Kim Jong-un to worry about, but at least w/o a serious antagonist...).

Jan 24, 4:14pm Top

>34 arubabookwoman: I read The Case for Impeachment last year also gave it 4 stars. It's very well laid-out, as I recall, and especially good for people are aren't exactly sure what grounds for impeachment are.

Edited: Feb 2, 3:55pm Top

>42 labfs39: I'm not alone in being a fan of Killers of the Flower Moon--it's been highly praised all over. David Grann, the author, is (was?) a writer for the New Yorker, and he is a very good writer. The other book by him that I've read is The Lost City of Z, which was, based on the subject matter, one that I didn't think I would like, but which I ended up loving. So maybe it's worth a try for you.

>43 .Monkey.: I can fully understand avoiding the whole subject of what's going on in Trump-land. It depresses me to keep up with this reading, but I think I would feel worse not knowing.

>44 chlorine: I'm glad that you were able to avoid being hospitalized, and hopefully your health issues are resolved.

>45 baswood: Thanks, Bas.

>46 NanaCC: and >47 .Monkey.: I agree about Pence (and Ryan as next in line after Pence). They are also awful, but I think they would be less likely to start a nuclear war.

>48 auntmarge64: I agree that the book was very informative about the grounds for impeachment, particularly in clarifying that the grounds need not be actual criminal activity and can include things that occurred before the election. It's also important that the founders envisioned that the grounds could be unpopular political or policy actions taken by the President, or for "merely" lying to the public.

Time for more reviews. I read 20 books in January, which is I think about the most I have ever read in a month. Four of the books I read were books published in 1950, The Moon and Bonfires, A Murder Is Announced, The Family Moskat, and L'Abbe C. (Three new reads and one reread). I still have a few more 1950 books to read, so 1950 reading will continue in February.

I read 14 library books, 4 books off my shelf (Yay!), and 2 Kindle books.

Feb 2, 4:05pm Top

8. Shelter by Jung Yun (2016) 337 pp

Kyung Cho, a Korean-American professor, and his Irish-American wife Gillian (along with their young son) are struggling financially--they overextended themselves to purchase their home, and are now facing the necessity of selling it. Kyung's wealthy parents live nearby, but Kyung's relationship with them is strained and he avoids contact with them. Then, a brutal home invasion attack on his parents, Mae and Jin results in Mae and Jin moving in with Kyung and Gillian, and all sorts of old wounds are reopened.

Besides being an interesting domestic drama, semi-crime thriller, and a psychological study of a dysfunctional family, there is also a lot of interesting background about the culture of Korean families, and the difficulties of a marriage of two people from very different backgrounds. Overall, this was a decent read, although I felt that it ended on an abrupt, and perhaps uncharacteristic note.

3 stars

Feb 2, 4:17pm Top

>50 arubabookwoman: Too bad the ending was off-key, as from the beginning of your review it seemed to be quite a good book, and thanks for the review! (sometimes I tend to get jealous of people who read as many books as you do, then I remember first and most importantly that comparison is neither relevant, as we each have different lives, nor wanted, then that I don't think I would be able to write so many reviews ;)

Edited: Mar 7, 2:48pm Top

A 1950 read:

9. A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie (1950) 298 pp

Believe it or not, this is the first book by Agatha Christie I have read. She is a much-beloved mystery writer, and was extremely prolific. Perhaps you can divide the reading world into those who are Agatha Christie fans, and those who are not. I, unfortunately, fall into the Not-a-Fan crowd. I didn't like the dated characters or the contrived way in which the crime occurred and was solved. However, for those who haven't read this one, which belongs to the Miss Marple series (of which my only knowledge is the Angela Lansbury reruns my mother watches), here is a brief description:

One Friday morning an announcement appears in the local newspaper: "A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6:30 p.m. Friends please accept this, the only intimation." Based on this notice, the owner of Little Paddocks prepares refreshments for a gathering that evening, and various residents of the town who read the announcement drop 'round Little Paddocks for drinks. All are mystified by the announcement. Promptly at 6:30, the lights go out, and all are in darkness, until the door is opened and a dark figure holding a flashlight stands in the doorway. Shots ring out. When the lights go back on, a stranger lies in the doorway, dead, and the hostess has been wounded. Police begin an investigation, and Miss Marple arrives in town to gently guide them on their way.

I think Agatha Christie fans would like this, and technically there's nothing wrong with it. As I said, however, this type of book isn't my thing.

2 1/2 stars

Edited: Mar 7, 2:48pm Top

10. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond by Sonia Shah (2016) 288 pp

"By 2008, a leading medical journal acknowledged what had become obvious to many: the demise of infectious diseases in developed societies had been 'greatly exaggerated.' Infectious pathogens had returned, and not only in the neglected, impoverished corners of the world but also in the most advanced cities and their prosperous suburbs. In 2008, disease experts marked the spot where each new pathogen emerged on a world map, using red points. Crimson splashed across a band from 30 to 60 degrees north of the equator to 30 to 40 degrees south. The entire heart of the global economy was swathed in red: northeastern United States, western Europe, Japan, and southeastern Australia. Economic development provided no panacea against contagion...."

This book is a history of past epidemics/pandemics, together with thoughts and predictions about possible future epidemics/pandemics of diseases old and new. Each chapter of the book relates to a particular stage/requirement for the development of a pandemic, as follows:

1. "The Jump"--how, where and when pathogens, old and new, move from a host to humans.

2. "Locomotion"--how pathogens spread among humans. There is an interesting example of a new pathogen, NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamose) which has spread because of the growth in "medical tourism."

3. "Filth"--the role poor sanitation has played in the spread of pathogens. We think we're safe in modern times, but then she points out things I've never thought of--diseases spread by cat and dog feces, not to mention people who live downwind of factory-farms raising pigs. Also, in present-day Haiti, only 19% of its population has access to toilets or latrines.

4. "Crowds"--Urban crowding facilitates the spread. In addition, as civilization moves into previously undeveloped areas, new pathogens are exposed.

5. "Corruption"--We can't always rely on our public officials to do the right thing. An interesting historic example was how Aaron Burr received a lucrative contract to bring clean water to New York City. However, he pocketed most of the money and tapped into a contaminated water source.
In addition, officials are frequently reluctant to impose quarantines or to issue health alerts, usually for economic reasons. Modern examples of this abound, from the Chinese authorities at first hiding and then downplaying the initial outbreak of SARS, to Saudi Arabia seeking to stifle the reporting of MERS, to India downplaying the significance of NDM-1.
Drug companies are complicit in pushing for the overuse of antibiotics, resulting in the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In addition, many of our health policies are strongly influenced or even controlled by corporations and other entities that have conflicts of interest. For example, insecticide companies help WHO set malaria policy, even though the need for their product would be eliminated by the eradication of malaria. Today, 75% of WHO's budget comes from voluntary contributions, and many of the donors earmark what the contributions can be used for. In a recent year 91% of WHO's voluntary contributions were earmarked for diseases that account for only 8% of global mortality.

6. "Blame"--examples abound. For example, Haitians blamed UN aid workers for the cholera outbreak after the earthquake. South Africa in the 1980's disputed stories by Western journalists about the AIDS crisis in Africa. Many people in developing countries are suspicious of vaccination programs, sometimes suspecting that they are actually being used for sterilization purposes. (Not to mention people in developed countries avoiding vaccinations as causing autism).

7."The Cure"--scientific research to develop cures and programs for water purification.

8. "Revenge of the Sea"--The world has been brought infinitely closer together as the result of fossil fuels, which facilitates the spread of pathogens. This chapter also tracks the spread of new types of cholera, the hosts for which are moved by ocean currents which are changing as our climate changes.

9. "The Logic of Pandemics"--a discussion of how our genetic makeup helps/hinders the spread of pathogens to ensure that there will always be some humans to outwit any plague.

10. "Tracking the Next Pandemic"--our current surveillance systems are inadequate. This may also tie into "Corruption."

This was an eye-opening and informative book. Recommended.

3 1/2 stars

Edited: Mar 7, 2:49pm Top

11. A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto (1971) 224 pp

This is an intriguing Japanese psychological thriller. Perhaps, thriller is not quite the right word, but it's the story of the psychological dissolution of a man after the death of his wife.

Tsuneo Asai is an upper mid-level civil servant away on a business trip when he receives word that his wife Eiko has died suddenly. Eiko suffered from a heart condition, so her death is not entirely unexpected. However, after Tsuneo returns home and learns more about the circumstances of her death, he becomes suspicious. At the time Eiko suffered her purported heart attack, she was in a strange part of the city where to Tsuneo's knowledge she had never been and had no reason to visit. He wonders why his wife was in that area, why, with her heart condition she was walking uphill, and what sort of secret life she may have been leading.

This is a book with complex characters who think and act within the confines of Japanese cultural expectations. Tsuneo's pursuit of the truth about Eiko's death becomes an all-consuming obsession, and we follow him along the dark paths he travels after he discovers his wife's secrets.


3 1/2 stars

Edited: Mar 7, 2:49pm Top

12. Echoes From the Dead by Johan Theorin (2008) 402 pp

Julia's young son Jens went missing while staying with his grandparents on the island of Oland. Twenty years later, Julia still has not recovered from her grief, when her father Gerloff calls from Oland to say there is news. Gerloff has received a sandal in the mail, which appears to be the sandal Jens was wearing the day he disappeared. Julia returns to Oland, and she and Gerloff (and some of his elderly friends) begin to investigate.

The present day story of their investigation alternates with a story from the past, beginning in 1936, of Nils Kant, a thug who had committed crimes, including murder, on the island in the past, and whose crimes remain legend on the island. However, Nils is dead and buried in the island graveyard. But was it really his body in the coffin?

This is a book in which the setting plays an important part, and the atmosphere of the island is mysterious, foggy, austere, and evocative. Large parts of the plot take place on the "alvar" which is a raised rocky plain that takes up about a quarter of the island. The role of the island as a prominent fishing and sea port in the past, and its present economic reliance on tourism were well-portrayed.

I also loved the characterizations, and enjoyed the use of old (and sometimes infirm) characters as prominent investigators--who better to know the past? And there is a real twist at the end that was totally unexpected, but totally logical.

This book won the prize for Sweden's Best First Crime Novel.


3 1/2 stars

Feb 2, 6:45pm Top

I don't think I want to read Pandemics - too depressing and I think I have left Agatha Christie behind, however Echoes from the dead and A Quiet place look interesting

Wow - 20 books in January, you are on course for well over 200 this year.

Edited: Mar 7, 2:51pm Top

Another 1950 read, this time a reread.

13. The Family Moskat by I.B. Singer (1950) 608 pp

I sank with abandon into this big old-fashioned family saga. It's the story of a large Jewish family in Warsaw from the turn of the 20th century until the invasion of Poland by Hitler in 1939. There are dozens of vividly drawn characters (luckily there is a family tree at the beginning of the book). While it is an essentially a story of day-to-day life, there are lots of things happening--love, abandonment, adultery, embezzlement, religion and the loss thereof, anti-Semitism, Zionism, emigration to America, the Russian revolution, World War I, and the looming threat of Hitler as a way of life begins to vanish.

I read a number of books by I.B. Singer years ago. (My copy of this book is a mass market paperback from the 1980's, so I'm guessing that's when most of my reading of Singer took place). It was so easy every night to pick this book up and dive right back into the lives of the Moskat family members. I haven't had a big old-fashioned read in ages, and I was ready for this. Read this! It's great entertainment, and much more.

Highly recommended.

4 1/2 stars

I hadn't remembered from my previous read of this book that it went all the way up to WW II. So when the book ended just as Hitler has invaded Poland, it made me all the more eager to get to my next 1950 read, The Wall by John Hersey, a fictionalized account of life in the Warsaw Ghetto during WW II. The Wall is another reread for me, and I'm enjoying it immensely so far.

Feb 2, 8:53pm Top

>51 chlorine: Despite my complaint about the ending, I think overall the book is a worthwhile read.

>56 baswood: I can understand not wanting to read Pandemic. It is a bit frightening. In part of the book she describes her family's (her and her son's) experiences with a MRSA infection that proved nearly impossible to get rid of.
I didn't realize you were a crime-fiction reader. Echoes from the Dead and A Quiet Place were both good stand-alones.

Feb 2, 9:42pm Top

Wow! You got me with A Quiet Place, Echoes from the Dead and THe Family Moskat. Sigh. I need to retire, Deborah.

Feb 3, 7:14am Top

>57 arubabookwoman: I love those big family sagas. I am going to look for this one.

Feb 11, 7:38pm Top

>49 arubabookwoman: Yes, I did read Lost City of Z and would have missed an interesting book if I had continued to avoid it due to the hype and subsequent movie. I find the lives and motivations of earlier explorers to be fascinating. Percy Fawcett was a prime example of an explorer obsessed with his projects, always needing financial backing, and willing to undergo extreme physical privation in order to follow their passion. Equally interesting are the families they leave behind and either their support or their incomprehension.

Pandemic sounds interesting. I haven't read a nonfiction medical book in a while and should. Did you read Influenza? I was fascinated and horrified at the rapid devastation wrought by "the flu" and how we discuss influenza so casually now, as though such things are long behind us.

My copy of The Family Moskat disintegrated long ago, but your review makes me want to run out and buy a copy. Next TPB sale?

Feb 12, 8:07pm Top

Just popping in to catch up on your reading, Deborah. Pandemic does sound interesting.

Feb 13, 1:08am Top

>53 arubabookwoman:

Interesting review. Having just read Station Eleven which takes place in a world mostly eradicated of humans due to a "flu" outbreak, it certainly made me wonder about my own survival skills. Living in Tokyo now I think I would be one of the first to die in an epidemic due to the congestion of such a large city.

>54 arubabookwoman:

I roughly enjoyed the Seicho Matsumoto thrillers I've read but I much prefer Seishi Yokomizo.

Feb 25, 12:43pm Top

Hi Deborah. We must have been in the same group sometime before, because I recognize your name. You have some great reads here and several BB's for me!

Mar 3, 4:37pm Top

Just catching up on your very interesting thread! I think Killers of the Flower Moon needs to go on my "learn more about America" reading list.

>34 arubabookwoman:, AUGH. And in the little more than a month since you posted this review, how much more is there to add to the list? Every day there’s something so horrible and ridiculous it alone probably would have sank his predecessors.

>39 arubabookwoman:, I like your alternatives to Hillbilly Elegy. I read it. I thought it worked fine as a memoir but failed as sociology, especially at the end, when he turned toward political solutions. Here’s some additional criticism you might enjoy, from a woman with a very similar set of experiences to Vance: I was born in poverty in Appalachia. ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ doesn’t speak for me.

Mar 4, 2:53am Top

>39 arubabookwoman: I have Hillbilly Elegy on my TBR pile. My friends and I have read Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town and some have read Hillbilly Elegy; they tell me it is not even in the same class. I live about 70 miles north of Appalachia (Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia) so I was hoping for some of the "why" of Appalachia, but I do see from reviews that the "why" seems to be a very narrow narrative. Living in central Ohio, I can readily understand why Trump won the election. I can imagine the more impoverished areas are even hurting worse. Although, according to the media, (ahem) many of Trump supporters were farmers and they weren't the small mom and pop farmers, they were the 2000+ acres very wealthy farmers who have air-conditioned combines with dvd players in them with satellite. I would like to see some answers to "why" on that one. Our next non-fiction read (June) is Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right so that may answer some further questions.

Also have Killers of the Flower Moon on my ereader. Thanks for reminding me of both of these books.

Mar 7, 4:15pm Top

Hello all. I'm way behind on reviews already. I spent some time in February visiting grandkids in Texas, with not much access to computers. I also didn't get as much reading done in February as I did in January, and most of what I read is what I consider "throw-away" reading. I kept starting and abandoning books. I hope to do better in March.

February Stats: 9 books read
4 Nonfiction, 5 Fiction
7 Male authors, 2 Female authors
1 Books of My Life Book--1950

Since I still have 1950 books I want to read, I will carryon reading 1950 books in March.

>59 BLBera: Hi Beth--I can highly recommend retirement from personal experience.

>60 NanaCC: Hi Colleen--I hope you like The Family Moskat when you read it. It has been favorable compared to Buddenbrooks as a family saga.

>61 labfs39: Hi Lisa. The aspect of how the families of explorers dealt with their absence and lack of support was one of the aspects of The Lost City of Z that stood out for me too.
I haven't read Influenza. Aspects of influenza were covered in Pandemic. Influenza is something we should take very seriously.
Let me know about any TPB sales. I am trying to buy fewer books since we are planning a move to the East Coast in a year or so when my husband retires and I won't be able to move many of the books I already have. However, I can usually be persuaded when I am in a bookstore.

>62 avaland: Hi Lois. It was very interesting.

>63 lilisin: Hi Lilisin. I haven't read Seishi Yokomizo--I will look for him. I have enjoyed most of the Japanese mysteries I have read. Keigo Higashino is one who stands out.

>64 tess_schoolmarm: and >66 tess_schoolmarm: Hi Tess, and welcome! Thanks for the comments on Hillbilly Elegy. I have Strangers in Their Own Land on my Kindle and hope to get to it soon, so I'm interested in your comments when you read it. It is one I am particularly interested in because I believe it's about people in Louisiana, where I lived for 18 years. I'll also be on the lookout for Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All American Town.

>65 fannyprice: Hello Chris (?). Yes, so much more to support impeachment has happened or has come to light since this book was published last spring--Trump was just getting started then. I watch the news everyday in fascination and horror--what more can there be? Apparently, quite a lot. I've read a couple of more Trump books, and reviews are pending for Collusion and Trumpocracy. I also have David Cay Johnson's new book, It's Even Worse Than You Think on my Kindle to get to soon.
Thank you for the link to the article. I had previously seen elsewhere, read it, and it was one of the things that persuaded me that I didn't want to read Hillbilly Elegy.

Well, let me try to do some reviews.

Edited: Mar 7, 5:26pm Top

Here is another review of a Trump-related book. I read this in January, right around the time that Lindsay Graham and another republican wrote a letter urging that Michael Steele, author of the "Steele Dossier" be criminally prosecuted. That seems so long ago. Nevertheless, this book was very timely for me, since it clearly establishes the bona fides of Steele, and contains a lot of facts corroborating the allegations of the Steele Dossier. There will be a lot of facts included in this review, so if you have Trump-overload, feel free to skim or skip.

14. Collusion by Luke Harding (2017) pp

Subtitle: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win

First, the author, Luke Harding, is a highly respected reporter for The Guardian, and he is an expert on matters involving Russia. He is also the author of a book on the radiation poisoning of Russian exile Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 in London. (Coincidently, Michael Steele as an officer of M16, the British spy agency, was the British official in charge of investigating that murder in which Putin was clearly implicated.)

During the election, Trump's constant promotion of the hacked emails and his continuous praise of Putin raised the issue for Harding of whether Trump was being blackmailed. Trump's failure to disclose his financial information, particularly his tax returns, also raised Harding's suspicions--was Trump truly a billionaire, or was he broke and overleveraged, owing millions to overseas banks? Harding decided to investigate.

In December 2016, before the Steele Dossier became publicly known, Harding interviewed Michael Steele. He knew Steele was a Russia expert, but did not know that Steele had already investigated Trump. Harding had two leads. He believed Russia had covertly provided financing to Trump's campaign, but he had no proof. Harding also knew that high-ranking Russians had laundered $20 billion in a scheme to finance political matters abroad. Most of the recipients of this money was unknown. Steele recommended that Harding pursue two avenues of investigation. He advised Harding to "follow the money," i.e. look at the contracts for the hotel and land deals that Trump did, and check their actual values against the proceeds received through loans. Steele also indicated that sex was an interesting line of inquiry.


The book goes on to describe Steele's career and qualifications, and discusses how Steele was retained to do research on Trump. Early on, Steele discovered that Russian intelligence had been cultivating Trump for at least five years. As he continued his research, Steele concluded that Russia had compromised Trump sufficiently through his activities in Moscow to be able to blackmail him. (He also discovered that Russia also had compromising material on Hillary.) The dossier documented many meetings between Trump associates and Russian spies in Europe, and concluded that Trump had colluded with Russia regarding the hacking operations.

Notably parts of the dossier were corroborated by the intelligence agencies of several countries other than the U.S. The U.K.'s intelligence agency found a suspicious pattern of activity between Russians and Trump associates in 2015 and 2016. The intelligence agencies of Germany, Australia, Estonia, Sweden, Poland, and possibly the Netherlands and France also supplied U.S. agencies with similar suspicious patterns of activity. U.S. intelligence agencies were cautious and slow to act on this.

Steele personally (as a former intelligence officer) became extremely concerned about the implications of what he was finding, and in September, 2016 he contacted the FBI and shared his findings. Steele says the FBI reaction was one of "shock and horror," but from Steele's viewpoint, it appeared that the FBI was failing to act. Thus, in late September Steele met with a small group of U.S. journalists, hoping this would spur action. He met with journalists again in October. Then, Comey announced that the FBI was reopening its investigation of Hillary Clinton, and Steele's relationship with the FBI broke down. On October 31, journalist David Korn published and article about the existence of the dossier, but did not discuss the details of its findings.

Some Democratic senators knew about the existence of the dossier. Harry Reid had written a letter to Comey in which he stated that the FBI was sitting on "explosive information" about ties between Trump and Russia. After Trump won the election, there was a meeting in Halifax of some international experts. At the meeting, the former U.K. ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood, who was shown the dossier and said he "took it seriously," briefed John McCain about the dossier. McCain sent a senior advisor to London to meet with Steele on November 28, 2016. This advisor again briefed McCain, and McCain obtained a copy of the dossier. On December 8, 2016, McCain met with Comey and gave him a copy of the dossier. (Comey did not let on the McCain that the FBI already had an investigation underway.) This led to both Obama and Trump being briefed about the dossier.


Back in 2013, two Russian spies in the U.S. (one now jailed, the other deported) discussed recruiting Carter Page as an asset (witting or unwitting). Over the years, Page made many trips and had many contacts with Russia. Then, in March 2016 out of the blue Trump named Carter Page as one of his 5 foreign policy advisers.

In July 2016, Page took a trip to Moscow which was preapproved by the Trump campaign. He gave a speech, at which he was introduced as a "celebrated American economist," in which he discussed America's attempts to spread democracy and how disgraceful they were. The dossier states that during this trip, Page met with Igor Sechin, a former spy who is very close to Putin and who from 2004 has been the executive chairman of Rosneft, the Russian oil company. Sechin raised the outlines of a deal whereby if a Trump administration dropped the sanctions there could be an "associated move" in "bilateral energy cooperation." (My question--does this explain the appointment of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state out of the blue?) Sechin also offered the brokerage of up to a 19% interest in Rosneft in return, which would have a value in the 100's of millions of dollars. Page also had a second meeting with a Putin administration official who told him that Russia had compromising material on Hillary, AND ALSO that they had compromising material on Trump, and that Trump should bear that in mind in his dealings with Russia.

In the summer of 2016, the FBI obtained a FISA warrant on Page, which warrant has been since renewed. However, as Page's Russian ties came to the surface, the Trump campaign distanced itself from Page.

In December 2016, after Trump had won, Rosneft announced that it was selling off a 19.5% interest. This raised $10.2 billion Euros. The source of the funding for almost 1/4 of this is unknown. At least one of the partners is a Cayman Island entity with an unknown beneficiary, probably a chain of offshore entities.

Continued in next message:

Edited: Mar 7, 7:31pm Top

Collusion continued:


By early January 2017 lots of journalists were aware of the dossier, but since it was unverified, nothing was published. Obama and Trump were briefed in depth, and House and Senate leaders received a pared down briefing. Finally, in mid-January, Buzzfeed went ahead and published the dossier. Just a few hours later, at 1:19 a.m., Trump tweeted FAKE NEWS--A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCHHUNT! A reanimated press began investigating, and behind the scenes, the FBI was corroborating many of the points discussed in the dossier. Of the reaction to his dossier, Steele said he probably wasn't in any physical danger, but he feared for the safety of his sources. (As an aside, it was recently pointed out that in the testimony of Glenn Simpson, whose firm commissioned the dossier, he stated that at least one person has been killed as a result of the release of the dossier,)


The FSB (Russian spy agency) frequently used hackers. The dossier reported on this, and stated that the source for this information was an FSB cyber operative.

On December 16, 2016 at an FSB meeting attended by Colonel Sergei Mikhailov, deputy head of the spy section relating to electronics, some people came in, put a bag over Mikhailov's head, and led him away. Mikhailov's deputy and two others were also arrested.

On December 26, 2016, Oleg Erovinkin was found dead in his car. He was close to Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft, and was also employed by Rosneft. (Steele says Erovinkin was not the source of his information about the Rosneft deal.)

Over the weeks after the election and before the publication of the dossier, several other Russian officials "dropped dead." Sergei Krivov, a consular official in NYC, died under mysterious circumstances on election day. Petr Polshikov of the ministry for Latin America was shot dead in his Moscow apartment in December 2016. Andrey Malanin, the Russian consul in Athens, was found dead in January 2017. Vitaly Churkin, a Russian representative to the UN, who has known Trump since 1986 also mysteriously died.

In December 2016, Obama was conclusively advised that the Russians were behind the hacking and that Putin had personally directed it. He expelled 35 Russian "diplomats" known to be spies, and extended the Russian sanctions. Retaliation was expected from Putin, but none came. Trump praised Putin as "smart" for not taking action.


The dossier states that there was a deliberate effort by Russian operatives to cultivate Flynn. He was fired by Obama in 2014, and first met Trump in August 2015. In December 2015, Flynn traveled to Russia, and sat next to Putin at a dinner. By spring 2016, Flynn was a highly vocal Trump supporter and foreign policy adviser. Despite Obama's advice not to hire Flynn, Trump appointed him National Security Advisor. For 18 days after the Trump White House was advised by the Department of Justice that Flynn was compromised, Flynn remained in his position. He was present during a one hour phone call Trump had with Putin on January 28,2017. Over the months after his firing of Flynn, Trump continued to defend him as a "good guy."


Before signing on with Trump in 2016, Manafort had worked in the Ukraine for a decade, primarily with the Russian-backed president (now former president) and for a Russian oligarch. He is also the former partner of Roger Stone. His role in the campaign ended in August 2016 when a ledger from Ukraine showed that he had received more than $12 million. He said he quit because it was a distraction.

The Steele dossier says Manafort was at the center of a conspiracy between the Trump team and Russia. It also states that the Trump team was relatively relaxed for a while about Russia allegations because it diverted attention away from Trump's dealings in China, which involved bribes and kickbacks.

Manafort had also worked for Konstantin Kilimnik, who flew to the US 2 weeks before Manafort became Trump's campaign manager and again in August. There are many emails between Manafort and Kilimnik, one of which discusses notifying Russian oligarch Derispaska of inside information about the campaign, including "private briefings."


On March 17, 2017, Comey for the first time publicly confirmed that there was an FBI investigation of possible Russian collusion. The book covers the whole saga of Trump's various attempts to influence Comey, his ultimate firing of Comey, and the various reasons given for the firing.


The dossier states that Russia may have opened a file on Trump as early as 1977, when he married Ivanka, who is from a former Communist country. Trump's first trip to Moscow was in 1987, when he was investigating opening a luxury hotel there. The trip was arranged through the Soviet ambassador in NY. It was also in 1987 that Trump for the first time began to talk about running for president. He became friends with Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov and his son Emin during the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. It was Emin who arranged to notorious Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. et. al. and several Russians in June 2016. It was just a few days after the Moscow Miss Universe Pageant that Putin awarded the older Agalarov one of Russia's highest civilian honors.


In the summer of 2017, at the G20 meeting, Trump met with Putin. At their first meeting, which lasted over two hours, the only people present for the US were Trump and Tillerson. National Security Adviser McMaster was not present, nor were any State Department Russia experts. They agreed to work together to stop cyber-crime. Later, at a formal dinner, Trump left his seat and went over to talk to Putin for over an hour, with only Putin's interpreter privy to the conversation. This discussion was not announced by the White House, but it leaked out, after which Trump said they just talked about "things" which included "adoptions" (code for sanctions).


The book details many of the facts about Russians purchasing Trump properties for cash, sometimes for apparently inflated prices. It also goes into the connection between Cyprus banks and Russian money-laundering, noting the fact that the man appointed Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross is a former shareholder/executive of a Cyprus bank. Trump's curious relationship with Felix Sater, who has ties to the Russian mafia is described. In November 2015, Sater wrote to Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney, "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected." Note that during the election, despite Trump's repeated statements that he had no business connections with Russia, Cohen was working on trying to get approval for a Trump Tower Moscow. After the election, Cohen and Sater worked on a "peace plan" for the Ukraine which involved lifting the Russsian sanctions. The plan was delivered to Flynn.

In addition, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was investigating cases of NY real estate bought with Magnitsky money. After he was fired, the case was settled for a small fine experts have described as "outrageous."

Then there is the strange case of Trump's Deutsche Bank loans. (Deutsche Bank has admitted and paid substantial fines for Russian money laundering.) In 2005 after his near-bankruptcy, Trump was desperate for financing. He was able to borrow a substantial sum from Deutsche Bank to build the Trump Tower Chicago when no other bank would lend him money. Trump personally guaranteed these loans. During the financial crisis of 2008, Trump defaulted on $330 million of Deutsche Bank loans. The bank sued, and Trump countersued the bank--for $3 billion in damages. He claimed that the financial crisis was a force majeure so he shouldn't have to repay the loan. In addition, since Deutsche Bank was a major financial institution, and was one of the institutions primarily responsible for the economic crisis which had caused him great damages for which he wanted compensation.

This is an important book, and while it was published almost a year ago, it is apparent that the allegations in the Steele dossier continue to be more and more firmly corroborated. The Russian connections are clearly there, although there is not yet (at least in public knowledge) a smoking gun directly connecting Trump. Highly recommended.

4 stars

(Sorry this was so long. I wanted to remember the things I learned from this library book.)

Mar 7, 7:55pm Top

15. Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung by Min Kym (2017) 240 pp

Min Kym was a child violin prodigy. She grew up, became a successful soloist, and performed all over the world. As a young woman, she was able to purchase a Stradivarius--not one from his "golden" period, but a Stradivarius nonetheless. From the first touch, this Stradivarius spoke to her, and it became a part of her being and never left her side. Then, one evening while she was waiting for a train, it was stolen. The police soon discover the culprits--it was a crime of opportunity and the thieves at first had no idea what they had taken. (Shortly after stealing the violin, they tried to sell it for 100 pounds--it was worth 750,000 pounds.)

Despite learning the identity of the thieves, the police were unable to recover the violin. Without the violin, Min's life fell apart. She could no longer perform, and in fact couldn't even bring herself to play another violin.

This book had some interesting insights into what it was like to be a child prodigy, one who forgoes a "normal" childhood for the sake of her art. It was also an interesting look into the life of a traditional Korean family residing in London so that Min could receive the appropriate musical training. Min was able to convey her love of music, how she experienced music emotionally, and how she practiced and learned her art. She also adequately conveyed her emotional breakdown, although I found that part less interesting.

Recommended, if this description appeals.

3 stars

Mar 7, 8:17pm Top

Your review of Collusion has more information than hours of news on CNN and MSBC.

Mar 7, 8:28pm Top

The first in a new to me detective series:

16. The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris (2012) 483 pp

You've never met a crooked cop until you've met Detective Nick Belsey. He bends the rules into pretzels and beyond.

When we meet Belsey he is awakening in a park meadow, hungover, with a police cruiser crashed nearby. Nevertheless he goes into work, where his job is already in jeopardy anyway, not to mention that he has been evicted from his apartment for nonpayment of rent. Nick takes the first call of the day. Alex Devereux, a wealthy businessman, is missing, and later determined to be an apparent suicide. His mansion seems to be the perfect solution for Belsey's temporary homelessness. He moves into Devereux's mansion, begins driving his Porsche, and even wearing his clothes. He begins the process for trying to get access to Devereux's Swiss bank accounts.

However, taking on the identity of Devereux (even as he maintains his day job as a detective) turns out to be not as simple as Belsey thought it would be. Devereux was apparently involved in some shady deals, and he seems to have enemies everywhere who don't realize he may already be dead. Soon people with connections to Devereux start turning up dead.

This is a police procedural with a twist. The plot was fairly complicated, but it all tied together in the end. I liked it well enough to get the second book in the series.

3 1/2 stars

Mar 8, 2:40pm Top

>72 arubabookwoman: Deborah, I just finished the third and most recent bad boy detective Nick Belsey novels. Appalling, but so addictive, and generally I like my detectives ethical (which I think is the more difficult choice). The author is not a book-a-year writer. I'm surprised these haven't been made into a television series yet.

Mar 8, 4:21pm Top

>72 arubabookwoman: You’ve added another series to my wishlist, Deborah. Now stop that! :)

Mar 8, 7:08pm Top

>68 arubabookwoman: OK, I'll admit I'm not going to read the Steele Dossier book, but it's so good to know this stuff is coming out all the time. I never watch the news now. Ever. I get the basics reading the NYT, Washington Post and CNN websites, and my news-watching friends know to tell me if there's something important I might have missed. If I have to see that man (T) talk one more time I swear I'll tear out my hair. Good lord, I expect more intelligence, verbal ability, curiosity, honesty and decorum from the children in my life.

Sorry, just needed to blow off a little steam.....
Glad you reviewed the book!

Mar 9, 7:36am Top

>72 arubabookwoman: I just downloaded a sample of this yesterday, having read avaland's review of the third book in the series. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Mar 9, 7:09pm Top

>68 arubabookwoman: I am thankful for your long review. Politics is a topic I can read little of - it's emotionally frustrating and not an interesting topic for me so I forget half of what I read - so I appreciate how thoughtful and informative it was.

Mar 9, 8:28pm Top

Deborah - Thanks for the great summary of the Steele Dossier book. I don't plan un reading it, and after reading your comments, I don't have to! The Harris series sounds interesting. I'll add it to my WL.

Have a great weekend.

Mar 9, 9:04pm Top

>68 arubabookwoman: Great summary of the book.

Quite an indictment against many. However, I saw the author being interviewed by the Guardian and he got so mad he left the interview. It seems they wanted some hard evidence that he could not provide. Then the verbal editorial after he left was that there wasn't any "hard proof"......just fyi..........I applaud you for reading the book---I can't take another minute of it and I can't tell who's telling the truth or lying.

Group: Club Read 2018

87 members

5,004 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.




About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 123,737,779 books! | Top bar: Always visible