In May I'm reading ...
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Not sure what NF I will read this month. Have to read my RL book group books first.
I'm reading The Radical and the Republican about Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. I'm cleaning up my TBR list from March 2007!
The People of the Abyss by Jack London. He spends a few months (in 1902) living in London's East End in the slums, and reports back on what life is like for the unfortunate people who have to live there. Jack London was horrified by what he saw, and this book is one big rant against a society that can allow it's poorest, sickest, oldest, and most unlucky citizens to live in such squalor.
Fascinating, really. I had no idea that London ever wrote anything besides books and stories about dogs and people freezing to death in Alaska.
I'm reading Chapel in the Sky by R. Lance Factor, a discussion of Knox College's Old Main and the Masonic symbolism hidden in it by its architect.
I just finished LBJ: Architect of American Ambition by Radall B. Woods
Don't know what I will read next, has several good ones to choose from.
I've received a copy of Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement by Catherine Redfern via Early Reviewers. So far I've skimmed through the intro and it looks like it might be an interetsing read - a bit like something I might have read at uni, but pretty accessible. I'll be posting a review once finished.
I'm also continue to read through Among the Believers - very good, but I'm finding it a bit slow going due to baby brain!
Working my way through Keepers of the Keys of Heaven: A History of the Papacy by Roger Collins. It is really interesting & very well-written.
I just started Touched with Fire, about the link between manic-depressive disorder and the artistic temperament.
I'm reading Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original which I'm finding good and very thorough. It would be difficult without familiarity with Jazz since there's a continuous listing of names. I have also started Constantinople: City of the World's Desire which seems good.
I'm reading a collection of Canadian non-fiction called Cabin Fever, published by the Banff Shool of Literary Journalism.
I just finished Getting The Pretty Back . It was a fun light-hearted advice book .
I'm half way through Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and am really enjoying it!
Almost done with Alfred and Emily - half non-fiction, at least. I like it.
I've started reading Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture. Although not always interested in globalization and economics, I've found it's historical background very interesting. Still not sure where Shell is headed on her criticism of our "Discount Culture."
I'm reading Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose, about intellegence activities in the Revolutionary War. Very interesting.
I'm almost finished with Lost on Planet China. a funny, predictable travelogue.
What are novels such as 'Cavedweller' and 'Trash' doing on this Non-Fiction thread?
I am reading The Seamstress, which I ran across while looking for another book by the same title. It is beautifully written and I am enjoying it thoroughly.
Traveling with great difficulty through 1930s Afghanistan and Iran (then Persia) with Robert Byron in The Road To Oxiana.
I just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. Very smart, funny, persuasive writing about eating locally grown food. I really enjoyed it!
I just started The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill.
I listened to it on audio, which was fine for the first part, but the second part profiling up-and-coming African-American politicians ran together I'm afraid.
#34> Interesting. I wonder whether those profiles will run together a little less on the written page. We shall see.
I'm still working my way through Streetwise Spanish, which is excellent for the intermediate or advanced Spanish speaker who wants to improve their Spanish. Hands down the best "improve your Spanish" book I've ever read.
Just picked up Idiot America by Charles P. Pierce, and almost through with Politics Lost by Joe Klein. I can't just read one book at a time......
I just finished reading Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original. I found it to be a well researched and well rounded picture of Thelonious Monk.
I have always loved his music and this look at the man gives me even greater respect for him. As others have mentioned, the book would probably be tedious without a familiarity with jazz movements and musicians.
In addition to my above post about finishing the LBJ book, (#10) I have finished this month:
Gerald R. Ford by Douglas Brinkley
American Presidents Series on Ford, natch!
The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the "Fram," 1910 -- 1912: Volumes 1 and 2 by Roald Amundsen (Project Gutenberg ebook)
Good read if your into Arctic/Antarctic exploration. Was struck by how easy his trip to the South Pole was, compared to Scott's.
John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights by David S. Reynolds
Wow, loved this book. It is a cultural history, never read one of those before. Fasinating.
I read mainly non-fiction now days. Making up for all the Mack Bollin books I read when younger.
Don't know what else I will read, looking at my TBR pile now.
I just finished the book, Spent. Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. The book uses the findings of evolutionary psychology and our compulsion to display our desirability as mates, friends, parents etc to explain how conspicuous consumerism developed, why communism fails, and how conspicuous consumerism is not inevitable. It is written with enough humor that when your own irrational behavior is pointed out, you can consider it without defensive anger. Despite having thought about American consumerism, the book gave me plenty of new examples and new ways to think about it.
When the author turns to solutions or new ways, some of his ideas made my skin crawl but still worthy of consideration. Other ideas sound right and brilliant but unlikely to occur. A population more aware of their hidden motivations would seem to me capable of making some headway towards a more satisfying way to live.
I finished Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill, which I thought was pretty good. I learned a lot that was of interest and enjoyed Ifill's writing, as well. I did not find that the profiles of the various African American politicians ran together, as Seajack did (#34), and I really do wonder if that was a function of reading the book vs. listening to it on audiobook, as he did. Be that as it may, I recommend this to anyone interested in modern American politics and/or race relations.
I'm reading Conquistadors of the Useless which is a mountaineering memoir by Lionel Terray. It's lively, and the title is very apt!
Just finished my 6th book total, and 5th Non-fiction book this month (the other was the classic "Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea" by Jules Verne)
Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir by Louis L'Amour
My son gave me this book as a gift, and it was a great gift indeed.
Don't know what is coming next, will decide that in the morning.
I am reading Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien.
About a damaged barn owl who lives with a Caltech researcher and their relationship.
Just finished my 6th Non-fiction of the month (7th book total)
It was In Search of Butch Cassidy by Larry Pointer finished early this morning.
The book make a compelling case that Butch Cassidy did not die in a hail of gun fire in South America, but died of cancer in Spokane, Washington in the late 30's. Pretty good read.
Bill "Sarge" Masom
I am reading The Singing Life of Birds. A very entertaining survey of how and why birds sing. It has definitely changed the way I listen to the birds in my neighborhood. Comes with a CD of birdsongs as well.
By pure chance I picked up a gem my last trip to the library. I've just begun it but I'm thrilled with it so far. Ten Hills Farm tells the history of a farm established by John Winthrop, Puritan governor of Massachusetts, with a focus on the people who ran, lived, and worked on the farm through the years. What makes it particularly interesting is that the people and times are brought to life, and that includes all the people, masters, servants, and slaves. History the way I like it.
At the risk of appearing non-intellectual, I still feel justified in reporting that I am enjoying an illustrated book called 'Magnificent Miniatures' (2008) reviewing the construction of 1/12 scale models of great homes and palaces of the western world. These are not 'doll houses', but rather museum quality recreations of great architecture, also including the interiors as originally designed and furnished. The models are so good that it is extremely difficult, and often all but impossible, even to believe that the photo does not show the actual house. These models must be seen to be believed. People have even asked where the makers got the giant hen's egg or teacup to put in the actual building. I did note that one of the photographs was reversed when the book was printed in Singapore. This is because the name on the exterior of the building, "Sans Souci', is reversed in one photograph.
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