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President Obama's Reading List -- March

This is a continuation of the topic President Obama's Reading List -- February.

This topic was continued by President Obama's Reading List -- the second .

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1Berly
Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 8:13pm Top





2Berly
Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 8:10pm Top

The list is long, so choose one you like from any month. It matters not! The groupings are actually from the NYTs and I just assigned months to them. Here is the suggested list for September.

October--Additional Authors and Philosophers
1. Langston Hughes
2. Richard Wright
3. Mark Twain
4. Malcolm X
5. Philip Roth
6. Saul Bellow
7. Junot Díaz
8. Dave Eggers
9. Zadie Smith
10. Barbara Kingsolver
11. St. Augustine
12. Friedrich Nietzsche
13. Jean-Paul Sartre
14. Thomas Jefferson
15. Ralph Waldo Emerson
16. Abraham Lincoln
17. Paul Tillich
18. E.L. Doctorow

And anytime, any month
By President Obama
1. Dreams from My Father
3. The Audacity of Hope
3. Of Thee I Sing a truly beautiful children's book

By Michelle Obama
1. American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
2. Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words
3. We Rise: Speeches by Inspirational Black Women by Michelle Obama, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Rosa Parks
4. Michelle Obama: Speeches on Life, Love, and American Values by Michelle Obama, Stacie Vander Pol (Editor)
5. Michelle Obama: Our First Lady

And here are some other links:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/books/president-obamas-reading-list.html

https://www.wired.com/2016/10/president-obama-reading-list/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/obamas-secret-to-surviving-the-white-house-years-books.html

3Berly
Edited: Apr 28, 2017, 2:06am Top

February--Non-Fiction Titles
1. Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Evan Osnos
2. Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
3. Moral Man And Immoral Society, Reinhold Niebuhr
4. A Kind And Just Parent, William Ayers
5. The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria
6. Lessons in Disaster, Gordon Goldstein
7. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari
8. The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
9. Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American, Richard S Tedlow
10. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo

March--Obama's All-time Favorites
1. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
2. Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson
3. Song Of Solomon, Toni Morrison
4. Parting The Waters, Taylor Branch
5. Gilead, Marylinne Robinson
6. Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam
7. The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton
8. Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois
9. The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
10. The Quiet American, Graham Greene
11. Cancer Ward, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
12. Gandhi’s autobiography
13. Working, Studs Terkel
14. Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
15. Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith
16. All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren

April--Excellent Novels and Poetry collections
(Coinciding with Mark's Poetry Month)
1. Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese
2. To the End of the Land, David Grossman
3. Purity, Jonathan Franzen
4. A Bend in the River, V. S. Naipau
5. Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff
6. Lush Life, Richard Price
7. Netherland, Joseph O’Neill
8. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, Salman Rushdie
9. Redeployment, Phil Klay
10. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
11. Plainsong, Kent Haruf
12. The Way Home, George Pelecanos
13. What Is the What, Dave Eggers
14. Philosophy & Literature, Peter S Thompson
15. Collected Poems, Derek Walcott
16. In Dubious Battle, John Steinbeck
17. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
18. The Three-Body Problem, Liu Cixin
19. Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling

May--Books About Other Presidents
1. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris
2. John Adams, David McCullough
3. Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, Fred Kaplan
4. Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, Jonathan Alte
5. FDR, Jean Edward Smith
6. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin
7. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

4Berly
Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 12:44pm Top

June--Summer Reads 2016
1. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, William Finnegan
2. H Is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald
3. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
4. Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
5. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

July--Summer Reads 2015
1. All That Is, James Salter
2. The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert
3. The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
4. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
5. Washington: A Life, Ron Chernow
6. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

August--Independent Bookstore Purchases
1. Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson
2. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
3. Nora Webster, Colm Toibin
4. The Laughing Monsters, Denis Johnson
5. Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China, Evan Osnos
6. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Dr. Atul Gawande
7. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, Katherine Rundell
8. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan
9. Redwall series, Brian Jacques
10. Junie B. Jones series, Barbara Park
11. Nuts To You, Lynn Rae Perkins

5Berly
Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 12:47pm Top

September--Childhood Classics
(Back to School Dontcha Know!)
1. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
2. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
3. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

October--Additional Authors and Philosophers
1. Langston Hughes
2. Richard Wright
3. Mark Twain
4. Malcolm X
5. Philip Roth
6. Saul Bellow
7. Junot Díaz
8. Dave Eggers
9. Zadie Smith
10. Barbara Kingsolver
11. St. Augustine
12. Friedrich Nietzsche
13. Jean-Paul Sartre
14. Thomas Jefferson
15. Ralph Waldo Emerson
16. Abraham Lincoln
17. Paul Tillich
18. E.L. Doctorow

6Berly
Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 12:48pm Top

7Berly
Feb 28, 2017, 12:51pm Top



What book are you going to read??

8Berly
Feb 28, 2017, 12:59pm Top

I already have my copy of Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Stoked!!

9Caroline_McElwee
Feb 28, 2017, 1:20pm Top

I'm checking in from time to time, but have several tomes planned for March, however I've already read four of the March list.

I'll try and do an April book, as there are a couple of those novels I've been meaning to read for a loooong time.

10m.belljackson
Feb 28, 2017, 4:16pm Top

After re-re-reading MOBY-DICK, as well as WHY READ MOBY DICK (Nathaniel Philbrick),

it is great fun to go through Sam Ita's MOBY-DICK, A POP-UP BOOK.

11Berly
Feb 28, 2017, 4:45pm Top

>9 Caroline_McElwee: Tomes are a good thing, but only in moderation. LOL. Which ones have you already read? I have read Moby Dick, Song Of Solomon, Gilead, Cancer Ward, and All the King’s Men. I think that will be my higheset have-read total for the year though.

>10 m.belljackson: Ummm. You know March hasn't started yet, right? You are WAY ahead of the game. ; )

12m.belljackson
Feb 28, 2017, 6:08pm Top

Guess I should have been clearer about actual accomplishments: I found all three books and read Sam Ita again!

Good that March is a longer month than February...

13Berly
Feb 28, 2017, 6:31pm Top

>12 m.belljackson: Aaaah! Well, actually, I feel less intimidated by you now. LOL ; )

14Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Mar 1, 2017, 4:56am Top

15jessibud2
Mar 1, 2017, 8:52pm Top

Just dipping in here to say, as an aside and possible hijack of the thread, for a moment, that today I bought one of those magazines put out by Vanity Fair Icons (I think Time/Life does them as well). You know, the ones that each issue is dedicated to one personality. The one I bought today is celebrating Meryl Streep, 40 Years of Unforgettable Performances. I rarely buy these but just had to, for her. I've been looking through it this evening and I have to say, my favourite page is the one showing Barack Obama presenting her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. It's a lovely photograph and the quote used as a caption is this: "Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There's nothing either of them can do about it."
It just made me smile. Classy...

Back to your regularly scheduled thread...

16Berly
Mar 2, 2017, 12:58am Top

>14 Caroline_McElwee: Awesome! Gilead 3 times?! Wow.

>15 jessibud2: I love Merryl Streep--I will have to look for that one! And that is a great quote. Thanks for the aside. ; )

17luvamystery65
Mar 2, 2017, 12:11pm Top

I've been reading Moby Dick since mid-January. I took a break in February and will crack at it again this month.

18Berly
Mar 2, 2017, 1:16pm Top

>17 luvamystery65: Hi Roberta! I hope you enjoy diving back in. (See what I did there?)

19m.belljackson
Mar 2, 2017, 8:57pm Top

To ease into a long month of challenging reading,
here's my Five Star review of

MOBY-DICK: A Pop-up Book

Sam Ita has created a lively and entertaining version of the chilling tale of
Moby-Dick, Ahab, Queequeg, and Ishmael.

He captures many great moments, filling them with surprises and wonder.

Adults may be charmed back into the eternal mysteries of the epic while
kids will be at once excited by each new pop-up and enthralled by the
oddness of the story that unfolds.

20Berly
Mar 3, 2017, 6:08am Top

>19 m.belljackson: Marianne--Job well done. And it is only the second day of March!! (Well, I am writing on the third, but you finished on the second.)

21m.belljackson
Edited: Mar 3, 2017, 10:46am Top

Re: Purchases of MOBY-DICK

If you haven't already bought or own copies, you may want to consider buying two.

The first would be a paperback for those who love to underline, etc., memorable words.

The second would be the Modern Library edition illustrated by Rockwell Kent.
It's cover photograph shows the eyes which so electrified Nathaniel Hawthorne's wife.

In Why Read Moby-Dick, Nathaniel Philbrick writes:

"In 1927, William Faulkner, who would later hang a framed print of Rockwell Kent's
Captain Ahab in his living room in Oxford, Mississippi, claimed that Moby-Dick
was the one novel by another author that he wished he had written."

22luvamystery65
Edited: Mar 3, 2017, 3:24pm Top

This is my copy of Moby-Dick with a forward by Nathanial Philbrick. I loved Why Read Moby-Dick?



ETA: Still working on Moby-Dick

23lindapanzo
Mar 3, 2017, 4:04pm Top

Is everyone planning to read an Obama book every month? The pickings are very slim for me in June. Yes The Underground Railroad is outstanding but I've already read it. Maybe I'll read a Barack or Michelle book that month.

24m.belljackson
Mar 3, 2017, 4:07pm Top

Wow - who illustrated THAT edition?!?

25MarthaJeanne
Mar 3, 2017, 4:21pm Top

>23 lindapanzo: A lot of months are slim for me. Like May and June. I'll participate during months that have something I want to read.

26luvamystery65
Mar 3, 2017, 10:13pm Top

>24 m.belljackson: Cartoonist Tony Millionaire

27Berly
Mar 3, 2017, 11:20pm Top

>21 m.belljackson: Awesome info!!

>22 luvamystery65: Those illustrations are AMAZING!!

>23 lindapanzo: The different groupings are directly from the NY Times list, I just assigned months to them. By all means feel free to read a book whenever you want! I was just hoping the smaller groupings might get some people reading the same thing and generate some conversation. But I absolutely do not care if you want to read something from a different month or books by Obama and Michelle. The point is to have fun.

: )

>24 m.belljackson: Inquiring minds want to know!

>25 MarthaJeanne: See answer above. ^^ : )

>26 luvamystery65: Now that is a name!! Thanks.

28m.belljackson
Mar 4, 2017, 11:10am Top

Thank you - that wild name goes to the top of my wish list.

29Berly
Mar 4, 2017, 11:59am Top

The Obamas just struck a record deal to write a book about the Presidency.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/01/barack-michelle-obama-book-deals-penguin-random-house

30jessibud2
Mar 4, 2017, 1:25pm Top

>29 Berly: - I can't wait!

31MarthaJeanne
Mar 4, 2017, 2:30pm Top

>29 Berly: I love their faces in the picture of them reading Where the Wild Things Are

32EBT1002
Mar 4, 2017, 7:04pm Top

>29 Berly: Wonderful news!

33MarthaJeanne
Mar 5, 2017, 5:05am Top

I'm over half way through The Power and the Glory and I am not enjoying it.

34Berly
Mar 5, 2017, 1:28pm Top

>33 MarthaJeanne: Well, that's no fun! Are you going to abandon ship or struggle through? What's not working for you?

35MarthaJeanne
Mar 5, 2017, 2:05pm Top

I finished it. After all, it's fairly short. But horribly depressing.

36Berly
Mar 5, 2017, 7:20pm Top

Might I suggest a lighter read next? : )

37lindapanzo
Mar 5, 2017, 8:17pm Top

Still plowing ahead on Parting the Waters. There's a lot more about MLK's philosophy than I would've expected.

38Berly
Mar 5, 2017, 9:07pm Top

I was going to start Self Reliance today, but the type is wicked small and I am still under the weather. So not yet.

39m.belljackson
Mar 5, 2017, 9:52pm Top

Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick > 5 Stars

When readers first encounter the title,
it sounds like it could turn out to be a really dry little tome.

Happily, it is not and instead moves along like a lively non-fiction story,
along the way encompassing Melville's fortuitous friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne,
the strange reception of Moby-Dick compared with Typee,
and hints about Melville's darker inner life.

If Nathaniel Philbrick had not here pointed out the parallels between Moby-Dick
and pre-Civil War USA, many of us might have missed this connection entirely.

He stretches the metaphor further when, in talking about Jonah and the Whale,
he writes that Jonah is like "a runaway slave in post-Fugitive Slave Act America
(who) attempts to escape God's omniscient gaze..." -
making God rather like a slave master...? Or...?

Why Read Moby-Dick? works incredibly well to inspire readers to return to Melville
with renewed inspiration and deeper thinking, and to enjoy the early humor.
First time readers of both books may be both mystified and intrigued or just plain puzzled.

40cammykitty
Mar 9, 2017, 5:46pm Top

>35 MarthaJeanne: Oh, so sorry MarthaJeanne! Life is too short. I'm afraid there are quite a few of these that are horribly depressing, but next month! Looks like we've got some pure pleasure reads on the list, Gone Girl and Harry Potter. I hope he wasn't trying to find a solution to family violence when he was reading Gone Girl!

41cammykitty
Mar 9, 2017, 5:54pm Top

I just finished reading (on audio) The Souls of Black Folk. There's a wonderful recording on libravox that is free if anyone is still looking for a March book. Here's the link: librivox.org/souls-of-black-folks-by-web-du-bois/
I had mixed reactions to this running from annoyance to 5 star. Some of it sounded like an anthropologist looking at the southern black man, and believing that in ways slavery was easier. If you had the right master, maybe yes when we are talking about the black experience during reconstruction and before WWII. The parts I liked were very personal and talked about his own experiences or those of someone he knew and cared about. If you want to just dip your toes into it, I'd recommend reading chapters 11, 12 and 13 and then reading more if you wish.

42lindapanzo
Mar 9, 2017, 7:11pm Top

Still plowing my way through the Taylor Branch. Boy, is it long and densely packed with information.

I'm about a third of the way in and trying to read five Kindle thingies every day.

I think it helped reading the Coretta Scott King memoir last month. That served as a good introduction to some of this material.

43Berly
Edited: Mar 11, 2017, 5:17pm Top

I am finally starting my Obama read for this month: Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I was going to try to mark favorite passages with those little book darts, but I think there will be far too many! I am on page one, yes 1, and already found this:

"A man is the whole encyclopedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn...if the whole of history is in one man it is all to be explained from the individual experience. There is a reaction between the hours of our life and the centuries of time."

Edited to add that there was another keeper on page 2, and then this on page 3:

"Time dissipates to shining ether the the solid angularity of facts. No anchor, no cable, no fences, avail to keep a fact a fact. Babylon, Troy, Tyre, Palestine, and even early Rome, are passing already into fiction...Who cares what the fact was, when we have made a constellation of it to hang in heaven an immortal sign? London and Paris and New York must go the same way. 'What is History,' said Napoleon, 'but a fable agreed upon?'"

44lindapanzo
Edited: Mar 16, 2017, 7:03pm Top

I did it, I did it!! Just finished Parting the Waters. Still gathering my thoughts but it was certainly one of the most difficult, that is painful, books I've ever read, yet probably eye-opening books ever.

I need a break with something lighter for awhile but I absolutely now want to read volumes 2 and 3. Perhaps in a month when there's nothing of interest to me from the Obama choices. Looking ahead, June doesn't have much of interest for me so perhaps I'll read volume 2 then.

I typically read 3 or so books a week but this one took me nearly 3 weeks to read and, for the past two weeks or so, this was about the only thing I read.

5 stars.

My placeholder:

February: Lessons in Disaster, Gordon Goldstein--COMPLETED on 2/10/17

March: Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch--COMPLETED on 3/16/17

April: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese or maybe Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle

May: Hmmm, either Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by, Jonathan Alter or FDR by Jean Edward Smith

June: Taylor Branch volume 2?

July: All the Light We Cannot See??

August:

September:

October:

November: The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro

December:

45jessibud2
Mar 16, 2017, 7:23pm Top

>44 lindapanzo: - Hi Linda. Not sure how you feel about audiobooks but if you are up for it, I highly recommend the audiobook version of Cutting for Stone, narrated exquisitely by Sunil Malhotra. He does accents and voices so well that you won't need to even have the character's names said, you will just *know* the person by the life he breathes into them. One of the top audiobooks ever, for me.

46Berly
Mar 16, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>44 lindapanzo: Congratulations!! Well done. Sounds like it was difficult but so worth it. The best kind. And I like the rest of your lineup so far.

>45 jessibud2: Thanks for the plug! Hard to beat that recommendation.

47lindapanzo
Mar 16, 2017, 8:51pm Top

>46 Berly: I've read books about the Holocaust and other painful subjects. I'd read this one during the day and then an hour or two before I went to sleep. I'd go to sleep either exultant or on the verge of tears.

48Caroline_McElwee
Mar 17, 2017, 6:05am Top

>44 lindapanzo: Well done Linda, and glad it was worth the effort. I might think about it as an Autumn read, I've had the trilogy on the shelf for quite a while. Those kind of books are a real committment, and you have to be ready to take it on. They generally pay off though.

49laytonwoman3rd
Mar 18, 2017, 9:08pm Top

>19 m.belljackson:, >21 m.belljackson: Our household has 4 different editions of Moby Dick, including the pop-up book you refer to, a 1964 college text paperback (well marked-up), a Library of American volume, and a children's illustrated classics edition. We also own Philbrick's book, In Search of Moby Dick by Tim Severin, and In the Heart of the Sea, which is the story of the incident that inspired Melville to write the novel. Someone here is a bit fanatical about this story, you think?

I hope to at least start re-reading All the King's Men this month. It is one of my favorite novels, one of my top five candidates for The Great American Novel. I'm so thrilled to see it on President Obama's list of all -time favorites as well.

50lindapanzo
Mar 18, 2017, 9:16pm Top

Weird. Since I finished the MLK book on Thursday, midday, I've been trying to read lighter books. They aren't holding my interest.

51EBT1002
Edited: Mar 20, 2017, 12:10am Top

I'm going to run out of month, but I have been saying that I would do a reread of Song of Solomon this year. I'd love to get to it this month in honor of our 44th president, the one I love so much, but I don't think it will happen. Later.

52Berly
Edited: Mar 30, 2017, 3:32pm Top



April is almost here, so this is the next list of suggested books. But read whatever you want! The groupings are actually from the NYTs and I just assigned months to them.

April--Excellent Novels and Poetry collections
(Coinciding with Mark's Poetry Month)
1. Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese
2. To the End of the Land, David Grossman
3. Purity, Jonathan Franzen
4. A Bend in the River, V. S. Naipau
5. Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff
6. Lush Life, Richard Price
7. Netherland, Joseph O’Neill
8. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, Salman Rushdie
9. Redeployment, Phil Klay
10. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
11. Plainsong, Kent Haruf
12. The Way Home, George Pelecanos
13. What Is the What, Dave Eggers
14. Philosophy & Literature, Peter S Thompson
15. Collected Poems, Derek Walcott
16. In Dubious Battle, John Steinbeck
17. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
18. The Three-Body Problem, Liu Cixin
19. Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling

53Berly
Edited: Mar 30, 2017, 9:03pm Top



I finished!! Phew, this was heavy, but well worth reading. One of my favorites passages came from the essay from which the book draws its name: Self-Reliance, but it also has one of my least favorites.

"A man should learn to detect and watch that gem of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lessons for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt the whole time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another." (20)

And from this need to be self-reliant Emerson draws an interesting and harsh corollary:

"Do not tell me, as a good man did to-day, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong. There is a class of persons to whom by all spiritual affinity I am bought and sold; for them I will go tot prison, if need be; but your miscellaneous popular charities; the education at college of fools; the building of meeting-houses to the vain end to which many now stand; alms to sots; and the thousandfold Relief Societies;--though I confess with shame I sometimes succumb and give the dollar, it is a wicked dollar which by and by I shall have the manhood to withhold." (22)

I could keep quoting forever, but here's just one more from "History":

"The instinct of the mind, the purpose of nature, betrays itself in the use we make of the signal narrations of history. Time dissipates to shining ether the solid angularity of facts. No anchor, no cable, no fences, avail to keep a fact a fact. Babylon, Troy, Tyre, Palestine, and ever early Rome, are passing already into fiction....'What is History,' said Napoleon, 'but a fable agreed upon?'...All history becomes subjective; in other words, there is properly no history; only biography." (3)

Other essays cover Friendship, The Over-Soul, The Poet, Experience, and The Divinity School Address. I think I would have preferred a live conversation with Mr. Emerson, but I am still glad I read this.

54jessibud2
Mar 30, 2017, 8:34pm Top

If I can squeeze it in, I will read Plainsong this month. I arrived in Montreal this afternoon for a week or so but this was not one of the 5 books I brought with me. I will still have the rest of April to try to get to it

55Berly
Mar 30, 2017, 8:39pm Top

>54 jessibud2: Shelley--Sending best wishes to you and your Mom!! Take care and don't worry about the reading. ; )

56jessibud2
Mar 30, 2017, 8:45pm Top

>55 Berly: She is still moving slowly but seems much better and happier. No doubt being home and able to sleep in her own bed has a lot to do with that. I hope you too are on the mend, Kim!

57Berly
Mar 30, 2017, 8:50pm Top

>56 jessibud2: Amazing how nice your own bed can feel. So glad you can be there with her. I managed to eat something today...and it stayed down! So, progress. : )

58jessibud2
Mar 30, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>57 Berly: - Yay, progress! Baby steps, whatever it takes.

59lindapanzo
Mar 30, 2017, 10:10pm Top

I wasn't sure which I'd read for April but have never read Dreams from My Father and so may go with that.

60Berly
Mar 30, 2017, 11:40pm Top

>59 lindapanzo: I think I am saving that one for a month where nothing else really pulls me. I am going to do a Harry Potter re-read and then maybe another one by a different author, but I'll see how the month goes.

61MarthaJeanne
Mar 31, 2017, 2:45am Top

Moving What is the What to Currently Reading. But I have a couple of doorstops going right now, so I won't get to it right away.

62jessibud2
Mar 31, 2017, 7:05am Top

>59 lindapanzo:- Linda, I listened to the man himself read me Dreams From My Father on audio and that made it extra special. He wrote it long before the presidency was a twinkle in his eye and let me tell you, the man can write! I do own a paper copy of it for my permanent shelf, too

63jnwelch
Mar 31, 2017, 9:09am Top

Kim twisted my arm hard convinced me to read The Three-Body problem in April.

64Berly
Mar 31, 2017, 9:31am Top

>54 jessibud2: >61 MarthaJeanne: What is the What and Plainsong are definitely on my WL.

>62 jessibud2: And now I really have to fit this one in some month!

>63 jnwelch: Now that you've seen the light (no bruising I hope?) and joined us for April, I had to look up The Three-Body Problem to see what it is about...Chinese Sci-Fi?! What?! I will look forward to your take on this one, Joe. : )

65jnwelch
Mar 31, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>64 Berly: Still recovering, Kim. I'm sure I'll be able to lift that Chinese sci-fi book before the end of April. That Obama; his interests range widely. :-)

66weird_O
Mar 31, 2017, 4:30pm Top

Since I have both Lush Life by Richard Price and Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff in the TBR Tower, I'll be choosing one of 'em for reading in April. I'm kind of partial to Price.

67Berly
Mar 31, 2017, 4:38pm Top

>65 jnwelch: >66 weird_O: LOL. Obama's interests range far and wide indeed!! As evidenced by the two Bill suggested...which I looked up and got a high and a very high likelihood of liking, according to LT. A who dunnit and I'm not sure what, a character study? They both sound great!

68lindapanzo
Mar 31, 2017, 9:49pm Top

>60 Berly: Good point. I'd been thinking of Plainsong. Maybe I'll get to that one.

69Berly
Apr 1, 2017, 12:28am Top

>68 lindapanzo: Anytime. ; )

70benitastrnad
Edited: Apr 4, 2017, 4:54pm Top

#65, #66, #67
I read somewhere that during one of the crises that Obama faced in the White House he needed a way to get away from it all. His mode of escape was to read something totally different that had nothing to do with the problems he had to face in his day-to-day life. Three Body Problem was his escape during that time.

During the previous year my life was topsy-turfy as well, and my mode of escape was to read Sci/FI for the same reason that Obama did - a way to get away. I purchased Three Body Problem at that time and I still have not read it. I have noticed that several people are going to read this one in April. I may get done with some of the titles I have going right now and get started on it as well so that I can join you guys.

71MarthaJeanne
Edited: Apr 9, 2017, 2:53am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

72Berly
Apr 2, 2017, 11:14pm Top

>70 benitastrnad: Another vote for Three-Body Problem!

>71 MarthaJeanne: Hi MarthaJeanne. : )

73EBT1002
Edited: Apr 9, 2017, 12:43am Top

>70 benitastrnad: That makes me want to read The Three-Body Problem.

74Berly
Apr 9, 2017, 1:14am Top

>73 EBT1002: Since you sucked me into several books at Powell's, turn about is fair play. : P

75benitastrnad
Edited: Apr 9, 2017, 1:39pm Top

#73 & 74

I have heard from several of my Sci/Fi fellow readers that Three Body Problem is not an easy book to read. I believe that even Joe had problems with it in the beginning.

76arubabookwoman
Apr 10, 2017, 12:07pm Top

Since The Three Body Problem was one of my purchases when we got together at Powells in March, I guess I will have to make it the first read of my purchases--hopefully this month!

77lindapanzo
Apr 11, 2017, 6:26pm Top

It's been a very slow reading month for me and the NHL playoffs (and my beloved Blackhawks) are just ahead. Not to mention that start of the baseball season. I don't typically get a lot of reading done in April.

So, it's doubtful I'll get to anything from the April list. For May, I'm thinking about one of the FDR books. Maybe I'll get started on it, after I decide which one, of course. The Jean Smith one or else the one by Jonathan Alter.

I've read John Adams and Team of Rivals and both are excellent.

78Berly
Apr 15, 2017, 1:44am Top

>75 benitastrnad: I have heard the beginning is a bit slow, but that The Three Body Problem picks up and is worth it.

>76 arubabookwoman: Awaiting your review!! And a few other readers here, too.

>77 lindapanzo: You are a busy woman in April. Getting a head start on May might just be the ticket!! : ) Thanks for the endorsements.

79Berly
Apr 19, 2017, 2:20am Top

I finished my Harry Potter re-read!! And it was just as good the second time...wait...the third time. I should count reading it out loud to the kids. ; ) I enjoyed it so much, I am going to have to keep going with the series in the not-too-distant future. I miss having the excitement of waiting for the next release and how my local independent book store, Annie Bloom's, always had a release party for the kids. Anyhow--love the characters, the plot, the quirkiness. So much fun! Aside--I was looking at the size of the books, and it's amazing how "short" the first book is compared to the rest of them.

80drneutron
Apr 19, 2017, 10:03am Top

I haven't re-read them, but keep meaning to so that I can look for hints of events in later books as I go. Maybe someday I'll get to read as much as I want... :)

81Berly
Apr 19, 2017, 10:27am Top

I picked up an a few sneaky plot hints, but most pertained to the ending of book one. And wouldn't we all like unlimited reading time!! LOL

82lindapanzo
Apr 19, 2017, 1:09pm Top

I've changed one of my 2017 category challenges to a challenge of reading about the New Yorker magazine and/or reading books by New Yorker contributors.

The list of New Yorker contributors is quite extensive but I know that Dr. Atul Gawande and Junot Diaz are on the list and so those'll be two-fers for me. Hmmm, actually, Robert Caro might be on the contributors list as well.

83jessibud2
Apr 19, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>82 lindapanzo: - Others I know of (and really like) who write for The New Yorker include Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Gopnik. I have read several books by both those writers and can highly recommend them

84lindapanzo
Apr 19, 2017, 2:04pm Top

>83 jessibud2: Thanks. They are on my list for the category challenge but not on the Obama reading club list. Initially, I'm trying to figure out which of the Obama reading club choices are also by New Yorker contributors.

85jessibud2
Apr 19, 2017, 2:31pm Top

>84 lindapanzo: - Oh, I misunderstood. I haven't read Junot Diaz but have read 3 of the 4 books Gawande has written (or has he written 5? If so, I've read 4 of them). In any case, he is terrific. If you end up reading Being Mortal, it might interest you after finishing it, to see if your library has the dvd from a one-hour episode he did for the tv show *Frontline*. I found it by chance at my library and after viewing it, I honestly feel it ought to be included with the book, as a sort of final chapter. It just really added another dimension to the story that he didn't totally cover in the book. I linked to it in my first thread and can find it for you, if you want. He is such an excellent writer.

86Berly
Apr 19, 2017, 3:23pm Top

>85 jessibud2: I just read Being Mortal for my bookclub and now I will have to find this Frontline piece! Thanks.

87jessibud2
Edited: Apr 20, 2017, 6:53am Top

>86 Berly: - I found where in my first thread I wrote about it. Here is what I wrote:

PBS show Frontline and featured Dr. Atul Gawande talking about how he came to write his amazing and important book, Being Mortal. I read the book a couple of years ago and seeing this doc was such a surprising and excellent complement to it. It first aired on Frontline in February 2015.

The one hour episode on the dvd was like having an extra chapter in the book, Being Mortal. It showed Gawande talking with his mom about his dad's illness, showed some home movie clips of his family, plus he talked about how difficult it was for himself, to have those tough, end-of-life conversations, not only in his practice but in his own family. And how he decided to interview and follow some palliative physicians, experts in doing just that, in order to learn how to talk to, and listen to patients. It showed actual patients (I think there were 4 or 5 that we saw throughout) having these conversations. It would be the perfect follow-up to view right after reading the book. In fact, it would be great if it actually came with the book, kind-of as a final chapter!

88lindapanzo
Apr 19, 2017, 5:21pm Top

Just to be clear, I hope to (first) find Obama reading club books that are by New Yorker contributors. That way, I can count them here and in my category challenge. Gawande, Caro, and Junot Diaz spring to mind. Too bad Taylor Branch isn't on the contributors list. Or is he?

Then, I'll look at the complete list for other books by New Yorker contributors. I was just telling someone that this could be a multi-year category challenge for me. There's even a baseball author on the contributors list.

89Berly
Apr 20, 2017, 1:11am Top

>87 jessibud2: Awesome! Thanks. I already forwarded your first message to my bookclub and now I will add this. You rock! : )

>88 lindapanzo: Good luck with the search! It is always fun to use one book for two threads!! And it definitely could be a multi-year endeavor.

90weird_O
Apr 21, 2017, 12:30pm Top

>66 weird_O: I have made my choice. I'm about halfway through the Lauren Groff novel.

91Berly
Apr 21, 2017, 2:28pm Top

And we await your verdict!

92lindapanzo
Apr 21, 2017, 2:36pm Top

I won't have read any of the April choices but I've started on Jonathan Alter's Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope. I'm not too far into it yet but I like the idea of focusing in dept on FDR's first 100 days and all that he accomplished.

93jessibud2
Apr 21, 2017, 2:48pm Top

I just started Plainsong last night. So far, a quiet read but it's early days. But what's up with his not using quotation marks, ever, for dialogue?! I find that a bit jarring and takes some getting used to but so far, I'm ok with it. I once gave up on a book because there were not only no chapters, but no paragraph breaks! Yikes.

94jnwelch
Apr 21, 2017, 2:54pm Top

>93 jessibud2: Plainsong!! I love that book. Hope you get used to its form and enjoy it, Shelley. Haruf quickly became one of my favorite authors, starting with that one.

In case I didn't mention it, I finished The Three-Body Problem. It was okay, and it was fun to read Chinese sci-fi. Our son just raved about the second one, The Dark Forest, so I'll be giving that a go at some point.

95weird_O
Apr 22, 2017, 7:23pm Top

>92 lindapanzo: Defining Moment is a wonderful account of FDR's pragmatic attack on the nation's failings. Compare and contrast that will the current Pretender's achievements. Next week is his accounting.

96weird_O
Apr 25, 2017, 5:04pm Top

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff is a novel that Obama cited as his favorite read of 2015. I had a copy on the TBR, so I read it.

Fates and Furies, Groff's third book, presents two views of a singular, successful, blessed 24-year marriage. The initial view is from the husband's perspective, he being Lancelot "Lotto" Satterwhite, the gifted—smart, tall, attractive, charming, theatrical—scion of a wealthy Florida family. The second half of the book (roughly) reveals how the wife, Mathilde, a strikingly tall, slim blonde perceives the marriage. She has the last word.

 My complete The Weird ReportTM

97Berly
Apr 28, 2017, 2:13am Top

>92 lindapanzo: >95 weird_O: And I expect a compare/contrast 100 day verdict this weekend! : )

>93 jessibud2: Did the non-punctuation continue to be an issue, or did you get used to it?

>94 jnwelch: Three-body Problem only got an "okay," huh? Hmmm. I was hoping for more. But your son like the second in the series.

>96 weird_O: I like Groff, but haven't read that one, and it sounds interesting, so I have that to look forward to. Another great Weird Report!

98Berly
Apr 28, 2017, 2:15am Top

So, it is almost May and time to start thinking of next month's reads...



The list is long, so choose one you like from any month. It matters not! The groupings are actually from the NYTs and I just assigned months to them. Here is the suggested list for May. Other months are listed up top.

May--Books About Other Presidents
1. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris
2. John Adams, David McCullough
3. Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, Fred Kaplan
4. Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, Jonathan Alte
5. FDR, Jean Edward Smith
6. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin
7. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

And anytime, any month
By President Obama
1. Dreams from My Father
3. The Audacity of Hope
3. Of Thee I Sing a truly beautiful children's book

By Michelle Obama
1. American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
2. Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words
3. We Rise: Speeches by Inspirational Black Women by Michelle Obama, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Rosa Parks
4. Michelle Obama: Speeches on Life, Love, and American Values by Michelle Obama, Stacie Vander Pol (Editor)
5. Michelle Obama: Our First Lady

And here are some other links:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/books/president-obamas-reading-list.html

https://www.wired.com/2016/10/president-obama-reading-list/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/obamas-secret-to-surviving-the-white-house-years-books.html

99Berly
Apr 28, 2017, 2:16am Top

I am thinking this month may be an anytime, any month choice for me. Or perhaps one from an entirely different month...still undecided.

100MarthaJeanne
Apr 28, 2017, 3:30am Top

I finished Behind the beautiful forevers and was very impressed. However, I had also started What is the What? And had to put it on hold as I couldn't manage both at the same time. I'll get back to it soon.

I also see that Sapiens is on the list, and I just picked that one out from my eBook 'pile'.

101jessibud2
Apr 28, 2017, 6:49am Top

>97 Berly: - Well, I am still reading Plainsong and I am still not enjoying the lack of quotation marks. Sometimes, even within one sentence or paragraph, there is dialogue and narration and I find myself having to reread. It surprises me that I am so conscious of this. I will admit that I am not as blown away by this book as others seem to have been but not enough to quit. I am heading out today to stand in line for 2 films (doc film festival begins this week), and will have this book with me, so hopefully, will make good headway

102cammykitty
Apr 28, 2017, 10:49am Top

LOL - Most of the May books are chunksters. Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter is the shortest and it looks like a good one. Team of Rivals has been on my WL for years, since it came out when I worked at Borders, but it's thick enough to scare me. I'm going to try Defining Moment because Obama hasn't led me astray yet.

103cammykitty
Apr 28, 2017, 10:53am Top

April: I finished Three-Body Problem and although it wasn't what I thought it would be - I thought three body meant genders female, male, and other - I enjoyed it immensely. A smart person would've realized that three body referred to a physics problem of predicting the motion of three objects that exert gravity on each other. So the three-body problem specifically refers to a planet that is trying to learn the best ways to survive with a difficult to predict three-solar pattern. But, it is through the lens of Cultural Revolution China. Very engaging, and also brings up questions of what does social science predict the effects of first contact might be?

104lindapanzo
Apr 28, 2017, 12:43pm Top

>97 Berly: Hope you're not holding your breath on that 100-day comparison. A couple pages in and I can tell you that there is no comparison.

The Alter book looks like an excellent book. The Kaplan book about Lincoln as a writer also looks good but the Alter book seems more timely writing now so I am going with that one.

105Caroline_McElwee
Apr 28, 2017, 2:14pm Top

>101 jessibud2: you know, I'm not sure I noticed that when I read it. Maybe because I read other writers (Cormac McCarthy, for instance) who don't use them, I'm acclimatised.

106karspeak
Apr 28, 2017, 4:37pm Top

>103 cammykitty: I enjoyed the Three Body Problem, as well, and also the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy. I really liked the scope of the third book, pretty mind bending! The characterization was really weak throughout the series, I thought, but that was fine with me because the focus was on such creative plotting.

107Berly
May 1, 2017, 12:24pm Top

>100 MarthaJeanne: So are you deep into What is the What or Sapiens? : )

>101 jessibud2: How is Plainsong going? I have to admit to not being pulled to read that one, especially after you grammar comments.

>102 cammykitty: I have Team of Rivals sitting on my shelf, and that's where it is going to stay right now. LOL. How is Defining Moments going?

>103 cammykitty: Thanks for that quick summary. I didn't have a good grasp of what The Three Body Problem was all about. I still want to give that one a try, especially since I heard that second one in the series is even better.

>104 lindapanzo: {{Exhales quickly.}} Nope. Not holding my breath! Enjoy the Alter book.

>105 Caroline_McElwee: But did you like the book?! {Plainsong : )

>106 karspeak: And another vote for The Three Body Problem and its sequels! Thanks.

108Berly
May 1, 2017, 12:25pm Top

I finally decided to go with Obama's audio version of Dreams of my Father, so we'll see how that goes. Happy Monday everyone!!

109MarthaJeanne
May 1, 2017, 12:26pm Top

>107 Berly: Both are good. but slow.

110streamsong
May 1, 2017, 12:51pm Top

I'll be joining in this month with Team of Rivals. I read about half of it a few years back with my RLBC. I really want to finish it!

111jessibud2
May 1, 2017, 12:57pm Top

>107 Berly: - Hi Kim. Well, to be honest, Plainsong has moved to the back burner for a bit. As I stood in line for movies last week, I wanted something that I could get lost in and so I grabbed Strength in What Remains and that most certainly did the trick. I think I will pick up Plainsong and give it a last try but maybe I'm just too anal about stuff like that. The lack of quotation marks throughout is bugging me more than it probably ought to be. I am thinking that maybe if the story was more gripping, I might not notice as much, but, whatever. It's not like I lack for reading material. I will finish up John Lewis's March Book Three probably within the next half hour and then am going to pick up the Kidder book again.

So many books, so little time, ya know...! ;-)

112Caroline_McElwee
May 2, 2017, 6:45am Top

>107 Berly: yes, I did Kim. I need to get to the rest of the series too. I read his final novella as well, which I also loved.

One of the things that attracts me to a book is tone, and that is something I liked in his novels.

113MarthaJeanne
May 2, 2017, 3:41pm Top

I finished What is the What? I read another book about the Lost Boys last year. God's Refugee. Interesting that both young men went on to create schools.

114MarthaJeanne
May 6, 2017, 3:18am Top

Finished Sapiens. I wish he had made a clearer divide between fact and opinion.

115Berly
May 8, 2017, 1:27pm Top

>110 streamsong: How are the Rivals getting on?

>111 jessibud2: Glad you have alternatives! Is Plainsong working out for you or have you abandoned ship?

>112 Caroline_McElwee: Great feedback. Thanks!

>113 MarthaJeanne: >114 MarthaJeanne: Well, somebody's been busy! Are these books you would recommend?

116lindapanzo
Edited: May 8, 2017, 4:49pm Top

I'm about a third of the way through Defining Moment. FDR finally won the election and he and Hoover are doing battle during the long period between the November election and the March 4th inauguration.

I love how the author is bringing other influences into it but I want to hear about the 100 days and I think he's finally going to be getting into that.

It is interesting to hear how, during the campaign, FDR didn't offer a lot of concrete specifics on what he planned to do. For some reason, I always thought that he had.

It's interesting and, despite the slow to get into it feel, I'm really enjoying it.

117jessibud2
May 8, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>115 Berly: - Hi Kim. Hope you are feeling better each day!
I haven't abandoned Plainsong altogether but have not as yet picked it back up. I finished (and loved) Strength in What Remains and am well into The Someday Birds and loving that one, too. I have 2 other books on tap for challenges this month so we shall see how it plays out. I am heading back to Montreal next weekend to visit with my mom so maybe I'll take it with me on the train (a 5-hour ride each way ought to settle the issue one way or another, lol)

118MarthaJeanne
May 8, 2017, 2:55pm Top

>115 Berly: What is the What is a good book, but there are some passages that are very violent. It isn't an easy read. (I think I enjoyed God's Refugee more, but What is the What is better written.)

The other Obama book, Sapiens, is an opinion piece, NOT a 'brief history of humankind'. It was interesting in the beginning, but I got more and more fed up as I continued to read it.

119lindapanzo
Edited: May 10, 2017, 12:45pm Top

I finished The Defining Moment by Jonathan Alter late last night. It's very good, very interesting.

My gripe with it is that it's billed as a book about FDR's first 100 days. I think that's a bit misleading. FDR's inauguration doesn't take place until about two-thirds of the way in and, even after that, much of the focus is on factors influencing his actions, such as his first-class temperament. There's also a section on the second 100 days.

All told, there's probably only one or two chapters on those actual first 100 days.

Even so, looking at the period from the campaign through mid 1933, it's very interesting, especially at conveying the hopelessness of the American people. It makes me want to read one of those lengthy, in-depth FDR bios, such as the one by Jean Smith.

I'm not too thrilled about any of the June choices and may carry on with the second of the MLK trilogy from Taylor Branch.

120Berly
May 12, 2017, 12:40am Top

>116 lindapanzo: >119 lindapanzo: Glad you liked The Defining Moment despite the false advertisement. It must have been good if it inspires you to tackle one of the tomes! If the list for June doesn't appeal, by all means, look elsewhere. ; )

>117 jessibud2: I hope Plainsong calls you to again soon. I haven't read that one, so I can't speak to it one way or the other. A long train ride sounds like a good place to give it a chance. But bring a backup just in case...

>118 MarthaJeanne: Interesting. Sounds like a few of these books are having some false advertising! Too bad about Sapiens.

121Berly
May 12, 2017, 12:43am Top

I am enjoying Obama's Dreams From My Father. I am listening to it on audio, and it is great to hear his history in his own voice. And I absolutely love the vocabulary! I haven't learned anything earth shattering yet and he is still too young in the book to have any racial awareness. They are just moving to Hawaii.

I haven't had much alone time in the car lately, so that has really cut into my audio time. Hoping to get more later in the month....

122jnwelch
May 12, 2017, 2:28pm Top

Plainsong is one I have to hold myself back from jumping up and down about. I loved it to pieces. I'm a big Haruf fan now, and that remains my favorite.

123jessibud2
Edited: May 12, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>121 Berly: - I also adored that book. He is so articulate and such a good writer. And to think, he wrote that one long before the White House was on his horizon.

Do you think he is giggling in his boots at the mess trump is making of it all? Of course, he is too intelligent and respectful to do so publicly, but behind closed doors, I have to wonder....

124cammykitty
Edited: May 13, 2017, 4:00pm Top

>119 lindapanzo: It's good to hear your thoughts about Defining Moment. Yup, I'd say the subtitle is misleading! I'm almost through the first 100 pages and haven't gotten to the first 100 days. I'm finding it tough going, not because of the writing. That is excellent. It's because I'm reading it as an "entertainment" book, like a novel, and I don't like the main character. He may have been a great president, but I certainly wouldn't have liked the pre-president man and would've spent my time talking to Eleanor.

125lindapanzo
May 13, 2017, 4:24pm Top

>124 cammykitty: Absolutely agree. I greatly respect FDR's presidency. He did great things. But I had no idea that he was such a lightweight beforehand.

I would have loved talking to Eleanor. I've read the first in the Eleanor Roosevelt bio trilogy by Blanche Wiesen Cook. Years ago. I would like to read the second and third but they're massive. I figure I'm going for only 2 or 3 more such weighty tomes this year but an FDR one and an Eleanor one might be possible.

I'd also like to read Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about FDR and Eleanor and the homefront during WW2.

126weird_O
May 13, 2017, 6:15pm Top

>123 jessibud2: I don't think Mr. Obama is relishing what Trump's doing. There's such an abyss between the GOP mindset and that of democrats. Probably he chuckles about some of Trump's ignorance and idiocy, but not about the serious damage he's doing to healthcare, international relations, climate change, environmental concerns, education, civil rights, and way more. Certainly, Michelle isn't sparing of his changes to school lunch and nutrition. What shocks me is the conduct of all but a very few of the GOP.

127jessibud2
May 13, 2017, 8:45pm Top

>126 weird_O: - No disrespect intended, Bill, seriously. I agree wholeheartedly with you that Obama is more likely to be cringing than laughing especially at the things trump is doing to dismantle the positive changes made during the past 8 years. It's beyond shocking, though, that he is getting away with as much as he is and positively scary to contemplate how much more damage he could still do before someone manages to string him up and throw him out. So ad, really...

128cammykitty
May 13, 2017, 11:02pm Top

126> and 127> Gallows humor. There's a lot of that going around.

129cammykitty
May 27, 2017, 4:26pm Top

>125 lindapanzo: I saw Blanche Wiesen Cook at Borders when her second bio on Eleanor came out. Fascinating! I finished Defining Moment and had to laugh at how Alter sidestepped the issue of Eleanor's sexuality, and then three or so chapters later gave some pretty clear evidence that backed Wiesen Cook up. Defining Moment got better and I'm glad I read it, but it can be rehomed now. I didn't love it.

130lindapanzo
May 27, 2017, 6:04pm Top

As we approach June, I am just not up to reading any weighty tomes.

I think my June book will be a book about Obama, which I picked up at the library today. It's written by Alyssa Mastromonaco, who worked for Obama for 10 years. It seems to have a bit of humor in it, which I could use and it's also fairly short. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?. Mastromonaco served as Obama's Deputy Chief of Staff, among other things.

131cammykitty
May 28, 2017, 9:05am Top

I'm interested in seveneves but think that one might be to long for me since that author usually writes door stoppers. Girl on the train sounds good.

132m.belljackson
May 28, 2017, 11:48am Top

>129 cammykitty:

Hi - where is the BORDERS that is still open?

How we miss it on the east side of Madison, Wisconsin!

There is now only a Mall Barnes and Noble
(overly lit, noisy, and they've discontinued all Adult programs)
and one independent used bookstore > both expensive.

133MarthaJeanne
May 28, 2017, 12:22pm Top

I think I will try Plainsong in June.

134Berly
Edited: May 29, 2017, 3:04am Top

I am glad you guys are carrying on without me!! Good job. :)

As a reminder, for those who haven't chosen yet, here is the June NYT's Obama grouping. As usual, if you don't find one you like, read something else from the many choices up top.

June--Summer Reads 2016

1. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, William Finnegan
2. H Is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald
3. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
4. Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
5. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

I have both H Is for Hawk and The Underground Railroad in the TBR piles, somewhere, so it will be one of the two for me!

What about everyone else?

135Caroline_McElwee
Edited: May 29, 2017, 11:46am Top

I've read The Underground Railroad which I thought excellent. I'm planning to read H is for Hawk for another challenge, do it will sit well here too.

136m.belljackson
May 29, 2017, 10:58am Top

I started H is for Hawk, then realized that I totally did not understand how capturing and training a wild bird to bring you dead and dying creatures could lift your grief.

137jessibud2
May 29, 2017, 11:48am Top

>136 m.belljackson: - Interesting to hear you say this, Marianne. I had started this one, as well, last year and never finished it, despite all the buzz about it and despite hearing a very moving interview with the author on the radio. Oh well, win some, lose some.

138Berly
May 29, 2017, 7:44pm Top

>135 Caroline_McElwee: >136 m.belljackson: >137 jessibud2: Well, after that input, it looks like it will be The Underground Railroad for me!! Thanks for the tips.

135 I await your thoughts on H is for Hawk before I totally give up on it. ; )

139banjo123
Jun 8, 2017, 12:50am Top

I finally finished one!
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

140streamsong
Jun 10, 2017, 11:20am Top

>110 streamsong: Team of Rivals didn't work out too well. When I received the audio from the library, it was obvious that it was an abridged version even though it wasn't indicated anywhere (8 hours versus 40 hours for the unabridged). I did listen to it, but am not counting it as having completed the book. I'll have to get back to reading my print copy!

I had a few quibbles when I read H is for Hawk, but I really enjoyed it. Unlikely subject, beautifully done.

My reading has slowed to a crawl pending upcoming cataract surgery, but I think the next one I read for this challenge will be The Girl on the Train since I have a copy living on Planet TBR. It sounds like a fun, light summer read.

141Berly
Jun 11, 2017, 12:08am Top

>139 banjo123: Congratulations!!! Whoohoo! Now, I don't want to kill the mood, but you still have work to do. What did you think of it?!?! : )

>140 streamsong: When is your surgery scheduled for and how long does that take to recover from (recover as in back to being able to read)? I enjoyed TGonT. It is a perfect summer read.

142Berly
Jun 23, 2017, 3:50pm Top

Finally got my hands on a copy of The Underground Railroad. It may wind up being a July finish, but I am on it!!

Anyone else finish up anything? Hope summer is off to a great start for everyone.

143MarthaJeanne
Edited: Jun 24, 2017, 5:26pm Top

I should finish Plainsong tomorrow.

Finished. Not bad while reading it, but it is one of those frustrating books that doesn't have a proper ending, but just sort of stops. I kept waiting for the various strands to somehow come together.

144lindapanzo
Jun 25, 2017, 10:28pm Top

I'm aiming for a TIOLI sweep this month but none of those many books are Obama Reading Club books.

I am hoping to get back on track with All the Light We Cannot See for July. That one has been at the top of the TBR pile for a long time.

145Berly
Jun 28, 2017, 1:15am Top

>143 MarthaJeanne: Well that's just plain disappointing!! Sorry.

>144 lindapanzo: That's an awesome book! I have to finish up my June read first, and then decide on a July book.

I should post the July suggestions, huh? : )

146Berly
Jun 28, 2017, 1:19am Top

July--Summer Reads 2015

1. All That Is, James Salter
2. The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert
3. The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
4. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
5. Washington: A Life, Ron Chernow
6. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

I am leaning towards The Sixth Extinction. Anyone else? : )

147MarthaJeanne
Jun 28, 2017, 2:03am Top

That is my plan, too. The library has the book in German or the eBook in English. I'll do the eBook, I guess, but second half of the month, as on top of the eBooks I had already borrowed, I now have an ER eBook to read.

148Berly
Jun 28, 2017, 2:19am Top

Well, I have searched my TBR Tower and found that I actually own (but hadn't entered) The Sixth Extinction, so that is definitely my July read.

149Caroline_McElwee
Jun 28, 2017, 6:15am Top

>146 Berly: well I've already read Between the World and Me. I've had the Anthony Doerr on my shelf since it came out, so I might try and read that this month.

150weird_O
Jun 29, 2017, 5:10pm Top

I neglected to report in on my ObamaRamaRead for June, which was Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. Excellent book. As I expected The Man is right on with this book.

 My complete The Weird ReportTM

151weird_O
Jun 29, 2017, 5:45pm Top

Since The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri is the one book on the July list that's both on my TBR and a readable length, I'm intending just now to make it a July read for me. (I do have Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life on the TBR, but it's, like, a billion pages long. Ain't up for that!)

My performance this year in this Presidential Challenge is spotty.

 • I took passes in February and March (though I have All the King's Men ripe for a re-read and might get 'er read for March well after the fact).
 • For April, I read Fates and Furies.
 • For May, I took a pass.
 • For June, The Underground Railroad.
 • I do have Lush Life by Richard Price (which is on the April list) teetering atop the TBR and might read it and count it for an undisclosed month.
 • I'm set with two TBRs for August.
 • September is an uh-oh month, since I've read all four listed books fairly recently.

I guess I'll deal with the remaining months as they come up.

152Berly
Jun 29, 2017, 6:37pm Top

>149 Caroline_McElwee: Which one do you have on the shelf?

>150 weird_O: I am not reading your review until I finish reading the book! Nope. Not. Gonna.

>151 weird_O: I just got The Lowland on audio and I am "eye" reading The Sixth Extinction, once I finish The Underground Railroad that is.

I've done pretty well with the list so far.

Here's what I've chosen:

January - the challenge wasn't up yet
February - Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo ✔ ✔
March - Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson ✔ ✔
April - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling ✔ ✔
May- Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama ✔ ✔
June -- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead -- reading
July - The Sixth Extinction
August -
September -
October -
November -
December -

Feeling pretty good!!

153Caroline_McElwee
Jun 30, 2017, 5:57pm Top

>152 Berly: I have most of his books Kim, but the one I aim to read in July is All the Light We Cannot See.

154MarthaJeanne
Edited: Jul 6, 2017, 7:08am Top

The Sixth Extinction is a scary book. Maybe we should send a(n audio) copy to Trump.

I'm about half way through.

155m.belljackson
Jul 6, 2017, 5:16pm Top

>154 MarthaJeanne:

If you want trump to read it, you'll likely have to send it Tweet-by-Tweet.

156Berly
Jul 7, 2017, 12:38am Top

>153 Caroline_McElwee: I really enjoyed that one. I think you will not be disappointed.

>154 MarthaJeanne: That's because we, as a race, can be scary!! I love how you recommend the audio version for t

>155 m.belljackson: and you recommend Tweets! Lol.

And so sad.

I am halfway through my June read of The Underground Railroad. Life is just so dang busy!!

157MarthaJeanne
Jul 8, 2017, 1:42am Top

>154 MarthaJeanne: Finished now. Still scary.

158BLBera
Jul 9, 2017, 5:24pm Top

I'm reading Song of Solomon right now -- better late than never, right Twinnie?

159Berly
Jul 9, 2017, 8:56pm Top

>157 MarthaJeanne: Good job!! Biting my fingernails because I know it's gonna be scary.

>158 BLBera: It's never too late!! : )

160Berly
Aug 1, 2017, 12:03am Top

Well, I still haven't started my July read, but I have already read my August read! I read Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Dr. Atul Gawande for my RL bookclub earlier this year. (It was very good!) I think I will try to catch up on The Sixth Extinction and maybe slip in a Junie B. Jones.

What is everyone else thinking?

161Berly
Aug 4, 2017, 6:03pm Top

I finally opened my book...starting The Sixth Extinction!

162MarthaJeanne
Edited: Aug 4, 2017, 6:41pm Top

I'll read Being Mortal as soon as I get it from the library.

I've also reserved Where the Wild Things Are to be ready for September.

163jessibud2
Aug 4, 2017, 9:52pm Top

Just wanted to say happy birthday to President Obama today!

164lindapanzo
Aug 7, 2017, 12:22pm Top

My President Obama Reading hasn't been going well. I never even cracked open my planned July read.

If I get to one in August, it'd most likely be Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Dr. Atul Gawande.

165Berly
Aug 7, 2017, 2:19pm Top

>162 MarthaJeanne: I enjoyed Being Mortal and that's a great idea for September! Maybe then I'll have a chance to catch up. I am currently reading The Sixth Extinction which is my July read in August. LOL

>163 jessibud2: : )

>164 lindapanzo: Remember that this is supposed too be fun! Skip a month and read the one the calls to you. You can catch up later. Or not! ; )

166lindapanzo
Aug 7, 2017, 2:22pm Top

>165 Berly: True. I have so many I'd like to do for October that I may just get a head start on those.

167jessibud2
Aug 7, 2017, 2:37pm Top

Today, at the used books store, I picked up a copy of a book called Change We Can Believe In, published in 2008, with the foreword written by Barack Obama. I feel it would be good to have a look back. Sad maybe, but important. It may not be on any of your lists, but I think it fits this thread's purposes.

>164 lindapanzo: - Good choice, the Gawande book. It is one which ought to be compulsory reading for every human being. Period

168Berly
Aug 7, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>166 lindapanzo: : )

>167 jessibud2: That sounds like a good one! Can't wait to hear what you think.

169Berly
Aug 20, 2017, 12:08pm Top

How's everyone enjoying this month's read? : )

170MarthaJeanne
Edited: Aug 25, 2017, 5:33am Top

I'm currently reading The Gift of Anger by Arun Gandhi. It is not on the list, but would fit.

(I haven't started Being Mortal yet, but there is still some month left.)

I actually 'complained' at the library recently that they are getting too many good new books in. This includes their Overdrive membership, meaning that I consistantly borrow more eBooks than is good for me. But I spent 4 years in India as a child at a time when Gandhiji was still an active memory, part of everyday conversation. How can I resist borrowing a book like this immediately?

171Berly
Edited: Aug 26, 2017, 6:35pm Top

So, September is almost here. I am still finishing my July read of The Sixth Extinction, finished my August book of Being Mortal and for September I plan on Junie B Jones and Where the Wild Things Are.

The list is short for this month, but again, read any book from any month!

What's the plan for everyone else?

172lindapanzo
Aug 26, 2017, 7:56pm Top

I haven't read any Obama books for a few months but, for Sept Childhood Classics, I'm thinking about Treasure Island.

OK, I actually just finished an Obama book but didn't read the Obama book in the right month. Last night, I finished Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and really liked that one. That's an October Obama book.

For October, I may look at my list of Saul Bellow books and see which ones I haven't read. I've long wanted to read that Robert Moses, The Power Broker, by Robert Caro, which is a November book.

173Berly
Aug 27, 2017, 7:45pm Top

I haven't read Treasure Island in a long time, but have fond memories of that one. Glad you liked Oscar. I have already been reading the books out of month order, so no worries there! Have fun.

174MarthaJeanne
Aug 31, 2017, 6:49pm Top

Finished Being Mortal. Next question. Where does one find a doctor who gets it? My last doctor and I were constantly at loggerheads, because she wanted to ensure that I survive as long as possible, and I want to continue to have a life as long as possible.

It's very empowering to read a doctor understanding my issues.

175jessibud2
Aug 31, 2017, 7:07pm Top

>179 - When I read this book a couple of years ago, my take-away was that is needs to be mandatory reading for everyone who wants to become a doctor, before the degree is granted. It also needs to be mandatory reading for everyone who might ever get old, or sick.

Another aside for this book, which I discovered quite by accident was that there is a one-hour tv program on PBS, I think, called (I am blanking on the name but will find it in my thread notes and edit it back in here soon). The whole hour was devoted to Gawande and how he came to write this book. It showed him with his parents, showed him shadowing some doctors at the hospital and at homes of some patients, because he felt he needed to learn how to talk about death and quality of life WITH PATIENTS and DOCTORS. It was like having a bonus chapter to the story, told I his own words and it was pure coincidence that I found this DVD at the library very shortly after having read the book.

Sorry, I can't seem to find where I wrote about that show. It was one of those American magazine programs and my library seems to have quite a few of them (as single episode DVDs) in stock for borrowing. It isn't in my review of the book so I must have been mentioning it in someone's thread.

176MarthaJeanne
Edited: Aug 31, 2017, 7:24pm Top

>180 Or who has loved ones who might get old or sick.

The DVD is very unlikely to available to me unless Amazon.co.uk carries it. BTW someone has entered it : Being Mortal DVD

I'm very pleased that my library had the book. Otherwise I'd have missed out. This is the kind of book that doesn't so much clarify my thinking as give me the words to describe what I already knew, but didn't know how to say.

177MarthaJeanne
Aug 31, 2017, 7:29pm Top

Just got the message that Where the Wild Things Are is waiting for me. That will take care of September.

178jessibud2
Aug 31, 2017, 8:53pm Top

>181 - Ok, I've done some digging in my own threads and the tv show that I saw was called *Frontline* and the episode was about Gawande. It first aired on Frontline in February 2015.

179Berly
Sep 3, 2017, 7:46pm Top

I am glad you guys are keeping the thread warm. : )

180MarthaJeanne
Sep 14, 2017, 12:08pm Top

September was fun!
Where the wild things are

181Berly
Sep 15, 2017, 11:16pm Top

Agreed!!! : )

182Berly
Sep 30, 2017, 8:13pm Top

Well, I read Where the Wild Things Are and the first Junie B. Jones for September. Now what to read for October? Hmmmm.....



Here is the list to choose from:

October--Additional Authors and Philosophers
1. Langston Hughes
2. Richard Wright
3. Mark Twain
4. Malcolm X
5. Philip Roth
6. Saul Bellow
7. Junot Díaz
8. Dave Eggers
9. Zadie Smith
10. Barbara Kingsolver
11. St. Augustine
12. Friedrich Nietzsche
13. Jean-Paul Sartre
14. Thomas Jefferson
15. Ralph Waldo Emerson
16. Abraham Lincoln
17. Paul Tillich
18. E.L. Doctorow

What are you guys going to read?

183luvamystery65
Sep 30, 2017, 11:22pm Top

If your library has a copy of February 1965: The Final Speeches by Malcolm X, I highly recommend it! It's the transcripts of the final speeches he gave the last 3 weeks of his life.

184Caroline_McElwee
Oct 1, 2017, 7:02am Top

>188 I'll certainly look out for those.

I've not really participated in this challenge, though I have already read a number of the books, but maybe I'll get to The Autobiography of Malcolm X at the end of the month, as it is winking at me from the top of the tbr mountain.

185MarthaJeanne
Oct 1, 2017, 9:05am Top

I just bought The Underground Railroad, which is listed for June. So I might read it now.

186Berly
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 9:41am Top

>188 Great suggestion! I will head over to the library page and see if they have a copy.

>189 I think, since you already have a copy, it is destiny! And who doesn't like to use their own TBR mountain?

>190 Perfect! I read this one earlier in the year and I will say no more until you read it and post some thoughts. Remind me to ask you a question about one of the prizes it won. ; )

Myself? I think I am going to cheat a little. I have a copy of The Best of McSweeney's, which is a collection edited by Dave Eggers and I have had it for years, so I think I am going to use that for this month's pick. I have previously read Egger's Zeitoun and The Wild Things, a screenplay of Where the Wild Things Are (my October Obama read), and I really liked both of them.

187MarthaJeanne
Oct 1, 2017, 10:17am Top

>191 It had Obama's name on the cover, so I figured I would use it whether or not it was on the list.

188Berly
Oct 1, 2017, 10:23am Top

189EBT1002
Oct 2, 2017, 11:39pm Top

I'm actually starring this thread. I've not been participating in the President Obama reading challenge even though I think he is one of the smartest presidents we have ever had and I hold him and Michelle in the highest regard. This month's list is intriguing --- several authors I have loved and several in which I have interest. So, I don't yet know what I will do but I'm going to lurk at the very least.

190Berly
Oct 2, 2017, 11:45pm Top

>194 Hello, Ellen! How nice to see you here. ; )

I look forward to seeing what cover you open...or at least your lurking presence (see how I managed to get Halloween in to the Obama thread?!)

191EBT1002
Oct 8, 2017, 8:42pm Top

Well, I own a copy of Swing Time and, even though it has received mixed reviews here in our LT community, I'm interested in reading it and it would qualify for this month.

192BLBera
Oct 10, 2017, 7:41pm Top

I loved Swing Time, Ellen, even if it isn't as good as White Teeth.

193Caroline_McElwee
Oct 11, 2017, 4:55am Top

I didn’t warm to Swing Time until the second half. Not as good as White Teeth or On Beauty for me Ellen.

194Berly
Oct 14, 2017, 3:34pm Top

>196 How is Swing Time going?

>197 Hi Twin!

>198 I couldn't get into Swing Time and never even made it to the second half. Maybe I should try the other two you mention.

I am currently reading The Best of McSweeney's and loving it. Awesome short stories, poetry, comics. I have been reading a lot of the spooky stuff (for October and Halloween), but there is lots of other wonderful stuff, too.

195lindapanzo
Edited: Oct 17, 2017, 1:35pm Top

>199 I was the same with Swing Time. It'd pick up a bit and I'd keep going. I got to nearly halfway and said "enough."

I read Junot Diaz a month or two ago.

My niece was telling me that Barbara Kingsolver is the most famous alum of a college she's looking at so maybe I should pick up a book by her. I note that my only Kingsolver book on my Kindle is her Prodigal Summer so maybe I will read that one.

196MarthaJeanne
Oct 17, 2017, 5:09pm Top

>191 EBT1002: It's certainly bizarre. I'm rather surprised that I am enjoying it as much as I am. Getting close to the end now.

197Caroline_McElwee
Oct 17, 2017, 7:01pm Top

>200 Linda, I loved Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible.

198jessibud2
Edited: Oct 17, 2017, 7:09pm Top

>200 - I also loved her book High Tide in Tucson. I think it was the first Kingsolver I read and it was beautiful

199lindapanzo
Oct 18, 2017, 12:39pm Top

>202 >203 Thanks for the Kingsolver suggestions.

200MarthaJeanne
Oct 19, 2017, 7:27am Top

Finished The underground railroad. Very bizarre. Very well written, but bizarre.

201Berly
Oct 24, 2017, 2:24am Top

Yup.

202MarthaJeanne
Oct 24, 2017, 2:58am Top

My sister was here and saw it. she took it home with her to read on the plane. Wonder what she made of it.

203Berly
Oct 27, 2017, 12:21am Top

Time to start a new thread, one that finally doesn't say March in the title!! LOL

What are you guys going to read for November...come tell us!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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