TalkOctober-December 2019 - Modern History (1946-present day)

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October-December 2019 - Modern History (1946-present day)

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Edited: Sep 14, 2019, 10:51am

This is the last quarterly topic we've selected. If we want to do the same again, we need to decide. Or, do we want to try some other way of looking at things.

At any rate, any books set 1946 - present.

Don't forget to update the wiki with your reading:

Edited: Sep 15, 2019, 9:40am

I love the format of this group, especially the quarterly reads. It forces me to read time periods I might otherwise tend to ignore. I am hoping we start over again next year so that I will read "early" literature! I have many many books that will fit this time period. I think I will wait till I'm done with September before I make my choice.

Sep 28, 2019, 4:11pm

I just joined this group in January and I like the format. As tess_schoolmarm says, it has helped me branch out in my reading. I like this group very much and will be happy to go along with whatever the group decides.

Sep 29, 2019, 3:54am

I'll be happy with both formats, even if I do not always manage more than one book.

Sep 30, 2019, 5:24pm

My comfort zone is 19th century forward. I am happy to be "forced" back in history. I've had some good reads when I have ventured there. I wouldn't mind the push. I just started in this group last year so that would all be new to me. I'm on board with whatever the group decides. This is a very pleasant group with interesting recs on each thread.

Oct 10, 2019, 5:08am

My first book for this period is Halali, where an 82-year old woman looks back on her younger days, when she was a typist in the interior ministry of the recently established Federal Republic of Germany. It's the Cold War, Soviet bloc spies roam idyllic Godesberg, and our heroine and her best friend stumble across a dead letter cache, illegal money and a corpse...
This was a very entertaining look at what it meant to be young and female in the early fifties, and it was even more interesting because the author was also 82 when she wrote this, and it is probably much like her own life at the time (except the spies): living on your own, earning your own money, having fun, being able to afford a holiday.

Nov 6, 2019, 11:20am

I decided to read Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys by Michael Collins. This is a favorite of my husband and sons and they have wanted me to read it for a long time.

The story follows Mr. Collins’ experiences as a test pilot, then astronaut, culminating in his historic role as rendezvous pilot on Apollo 11, and his life up until 1974, when the book was published.

The book is readable and engaging in spite of a lot of technical details at times. An index and a key to abbreviations would have been helpful. The book gave me a greater appreciation for the space program and the incredible minds, organization and skills of people across the country that made and make it happen. It enhanced my memory of that first thrilling moon walk. What a thing that was.

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 8:16pm

Just finished Goodbye Lullaby by Jan Murray. This book had two time periods, set in Australia. In 1951, the main character is 16 and pregnant. After trying to keep her son, she eventually relinquishes him for adoption. In 1971, the birthday lottery to conscript men turning twenty that year is happening and her son's number is drawn.

This book focused on many issues - forced adoption for many teenager mothers during that time, the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their parents, the divisive effect of the Vietnam War on the Australian people.

It was interesting and kept me reading for the whole book.

Nov 20, 2019, 12:11pm

This sounds like something I would like to read. The touchstone works shows the title but by Avril Lavigne though.

Nov 20, 2019, 8:16pm

>9 marell: Oops! Sorry, just changed it!

Edited: Nov 29, 2019, 11:03pm

Redesigning the Mob: The Nini Cocolucci Story by Jodi Ceraldi This was a great book taking place at the end of the fading protection racket ran by the Mafia in the late 1970's and early 1980's. It was a true story, but written in novel form because some of the conversations could only be imagined. Nina, at age 18, unknowingly married a mobster; in this book called Vito DeGregetti (Paul Castellano in real life) who ran things such a protection rackets, prostitution rings, credit card scams, etc. She was able to divorce him and tried to keep her 3 sons from the mob and was successful with only 1 of them joining the Marines. The other 2 became involved in family businesses but to their credit did not know with whom they were really getting involved. I feel the title is misleading because Nina really didn't redesign the mob or anything they did, so I am unsure as to why the title No doubt Nina had a tough life and I feel for her working her entire life to insure her sons did not follow the path of their father. DeGregetti (Castellano) was gunned down by the Gambino family in 1985. I got this book for free on Kindle sometime in either 2011 or 2012 356 pages

Nov 29, 2019, 2:48pm

I've posted the January- March 2020 thread:

Dec 1, 2019, 11:55pm

I almost forgot that Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland was really a story of modern history. This was a close look at the people and events that happened in the later day troubles in Northern Ireland. It was very well researched and written.

Jan 3, 4:38pm

I decided to count The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie for this quarterly read. It takes place in 1950 in the English countryside. There are lots of historic references due to the older architecture and storied families. I kicked it up a star (from 3 to 4) based on Bradley's descriptions of both character and place which were authentic, detailed and atmospheric.