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Author Topic: 50 books for 2017  (Read 1962 times)

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c-lando

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2017, 08:22:19 AM »

1. "Near Enemy: A Spademan Novel" - Adam Sternbergh
2. "Commonwealth" - Ann Patchett - I could not have loved his more. LOVED TO THE MAX! My first time reading one of her novels and it will not be my last.
3. "Today Will Be Different" - Maria Semple - I totally thought this book was going to solely be about some woman's "first- world problems". But, it started taking all of these twists and turns and was much more than I thought it would be.
4. "A Gentleman in Moscow" - Amor Towles - Some moments were soooooooo slow, while I previously noted that I could live forever in the chapter from Book 2 titled, “1926: Adieu”.
5. "State of Wonder" - Ann Patchett - This author can create the most amazing stories. So rich and emotional.
6. "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage" - Ann Patchett
7. "Spoiled" - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - GFY girls write a YA book. Too Y and not enough A for me, even for a last minute beach read.

Looks like I'm back in the habit of reading bits of books and giving up on them. Hrumpf.
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MissKitty

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2017, 12:54:52 PM »

1. The People's House - David Pepper
2. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking - Anya Von Bremzen
3-4. Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe - Inara Verzemnieks
5. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - Timothy Snyder
6. Swing Time - Zadie Smith

7. The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery - Capt. Witold Pilecki [Auschwitz Prisoner #4859], translated to English by Jarek Garlinski.

Whoa. The many WWII and Holocaust-related books I've read over the years STILL did not prepare me for this one.

Capt. Witold Pilecki was a Polish soldier during the first World War and was a noted member of the Polish Underground when the Second World War tore apart his country. He volunteered to go to Auschwitz - an almost certainly suicidal mission. He got himself a fake identity and deliberately walked into a German SS street round-up in Warsaw in Sept. 1940.

Pilecki chronicled the happenings at the camp for the next three years, sending missives back to the Polish Home Office whenever he was able, and upon his escape in April 1943 penned a full report. While written primarily for military purposes, it is a shining example of heroism and love of country that transcends religion, race and time.

His story was virtually unknown because it was intentionally suppressed by the postwar communist regime in Poland - because Pilecki's story did not end with his 3-year mission to Auschwitz. He participated in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and was taken prisoner by the Germans. In late 1945 he volunteered for another undercover mission and returned to Poland where conditions were chaotic at war's end and the communists were asserting control. He was arrested as a Western spy by the Polish communist regime, tortured and executed in 1948 at the age of 47. His heroic exploits were expunged from Polish history until the country regained independence in the 1990s. He was fully exonerated posthumously and is now considered an heroic figure in Polish history.

I'd have never known about him if his story hadn't been referenced several times in Timothy Snyder's "Black Earth." Pilecki's report was translated into English in 2011, and this book is the result. If you have any interest at all in WWII/Holocaust/military history, do yourself a favor and read this. Remarkable stuff from a brave and selfless individual.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 12:58:16 PM by MissKitty »
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euro60

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2017, 10:34:00 PM »

thanks for the tip on this, MK. I kinda eye-glassed over your review as I didn't want to know too much about this, and I will be seeking it out from our library.
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MissKitty

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2017, 05:33:55 PM »

1. The People's House - David Pepper
2. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking - Anya Von Bremzen
3-4. Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe - Inara Verzemnieks
5. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - Timothy Snyder
6. Swing Time - Zadie Smith
7. The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery - Capt. Witold Pilecki [Auschwitz Prisoner #4859], translated to English by Jarek Garlinski.

8. Black-Eyed Susans - Julia Heaberlin

I read very little fiction and if it wasn't for the book club, I'd read even less of it. That said, May's choice was a solid read for me. It's a mystery thriller about a woman who, at the age of 17, was the sole survivor of the Black-Eyed Susan murders. The supposed killer is tried and put on death row, but now she is having doubts - mainly due to the black-eyed susans she finds planted under the bedroom window of every home she's lived in since the trial.

This is a really good book if you like murder mysteries or suspense thrillers. I didn't even know that I did, but now I think I will seek our Heaberlin's other books.
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2017, 08:37:58 AM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin

Wonderful conclusion to the trilogy, though I think Voices was my favorite installment.
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2017, 08:50:21 AM »

1. "Near Enemy: A Spademan Novel" - Adam Sternbergh
2. "Commonwealth" - Ann Patchett - I could not have loved his more. LOVED TO THE MAX! My first time reading one of her novels and it will not be my last.
3. "Today Will Be Different" - Maria Semple - I totally thought this book was going to solely be about some woman's "first- world problems". But, it started taking all of these twists and turns and was much more than I thought it would be.
4. "A Gentleman in Moscow" - Amor Towles - Some moments were soooooooo slow, while I previously noted that I could live forever in the chapter from Book 2 titled, “1926: Adieu”.
5. "State of Wonder" - Ann Patchett - This author can create the most amazing stories. So rich and emotional.
6. "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage" - Ann Patchett
7. "Spoiled" - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - GFY girls write a YA book. Too Y and not enough A for me, even for a last minute beach read.

Looks like I'm back in the habit of reading bits of books and giving up on them. Hrumpf.
8. "Modern Lovers" - Emma Straub - I thought I liked where the book was going but then it seemed like she just got lazy and gave up by using some newspaper clippings to tie everything up. BOO.
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MissKitty

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2017, 09:47:19 AM »

1. The People's House - David Pepper
2. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking - Anya Von Bremzen
3-4. Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe - Inara Verzemnieks
5. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - Timothy Snyder
6. Swing Time - Zadie Smith
7. The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery - Capt. Witold Pilecki [Auschwitz Prisoner #4859], translated to English by Jarek Garlinski.
8. Black-Eyed Susans - Julia Heaberlin

9. Playing Dead - Julia Heaberlin

Welp, this was nowhere near as good as Black-Eyed Susans. Not sure what she was going for here but it was a miss. Characters were fairly one-dimensional and there were way too many of them. I couldn't be bothered to keep them all straight - and it didn't really matter anyway. Thin on plot and the main character was stupid.

If I'd read this book first I'd have never picked up Black-Eyed Susans.
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trixi

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2017, 10:51:47 PM »

1.  The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust--Edith Hahn Beer
2.  Tragedy Girl--Christine Hurley Deriso
3.  Dear Amy--Helen Callaghan
4.  Highly Illogical Behavior--John Corey Whaley
5.  The Serpent King--Jeff Zentner
6.  The Bitter Side of Sweet--Tara Sullivan
7.  True Letters from a Fictional Life--Kenneth Logan
8.  The Wrecked Life: the war story of a physician--Jakub Herzig
9.  Nor the Moon by Night--Joy Packer
10.  Dash and Lily's Book of Dares--Rachel Cohn
11.  To the Stars--Molly McAdams
12.  A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet: My Grandfather's SS Past, My Jewish Family, A Search for the Truth--Rita Gabis
13.  March: Book 3--John Lewis
14.  A Season for Fireflies--Rebecca Maizel
15.  Humans, Bow Down--James Patterson
16.  Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents' Tailor--Martin Greenfield
17. Never Never--James Patterson
18.  The Female of the Species--Mindy McGinnis -  a teen novel with a female serial killer.  She kills those who have hurt others (starting with her own sister's murderer)
19.  The Smell of Other People's Houses--Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
20.  We Are Still Tornadoes--Michael Kun  (this is the one I think you'll like c-lando, Goodreads never sent my review post to fb so I could tag you).  Page 5 immediately brought you to mind :-D
21.  The Sun is Also a Star--Nicola Yoon
22.  Rani Patel in Full Effect--Sonia Patel
23.  Year of fear; a Jewish prisoner waits for Auschwitz--Philip Mechanicus
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2017, 08:57:50 AM »

18.  The Female of the Species--Mindy McGinnis -  a teen novel with a female serial killer.  She kills those who have hurt others (starting with her own sister's murderer)
19.  The Smell of Other People's Houses--Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
20.  We Are Still Tornadoes--Michael Kun  (this is the one I think you'll like c-lando, Goodreads never sent my review post to fb so I could tag you).  Page 5 immediately brought you to mind :-D
21.  The Sun is Also a Star--Nicola Yoon
22.  Rani Patel in Full Effect--Sonia Patel
23.  Year of fear; a Jewish prisoner waits for Auschwitz--Philip Mechanicus
Why did this title automatically appeal to me!?!?!? " The Smell of Other People's Houses".
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trixi

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2017, 09:50:02 PM »


Why did this title automatically appeal to me!?!?!? " The Smell of Other People's Houses".

A lot of people reviewing it say that's what made them pick it up :-)  It's a teen book set in 1970s Alaska.  Reads from different viewpoints that will eventually tie together toward the end. 
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2017, 12:42:05 PM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin
19. Orlando - Virginia Woolf

I'm no longer a Virginia Woolf virgin, and what a ride it was. Took me forever to get through it -- I got bogged down in the middle and had to read other, lighter fare for a bit. Some times it may have been a chore to read, but other times it was stinking hilarious. Not sure I every really got accustomed to her prose, but I'm glad I tried.
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2017, 01:41:34 PM »

1. "Near Enemy: A Spademan Novel" - Adam Sternbergh
2. "Commonwealth" - Ann Patchett - I could not have loved his more. LOVED TO THE MAX! My first time reading one of her novels and it will not be my last.
3. "Today Will Be Different" - Maria Semple - I totally thought this book was going to solely be about some woman's "first- world problems". But, it started taking all of these twists and turns and was much more than I thought it would be.
4. "A Gentleman in Moscow" - Amor Towles - Some moments were soooooooo slow, while I previously noted that I could live forever in the chapter from Book 2 titled, “1926: Adieu”.
5. "State of Wonder" - Ann Patchett - This author can create the most amazing stories. So rich and emotional.
6. "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage" - Ann Patchett
7. "Spoiled" - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - GFY girls write a YA book. Too Y and not enough A for me, even for a last minute beach read.

Looks like I'm back in the habit of reading bits of books and giving up on them. Hrumpf.

8. "Modern Lovers" - Emma Straub - I thought I liked where the book was going but then it seemed like she just got lazy and gave up by using some newspaper clippings to tie everything up. BOO.
9. "The Hate U Give" - Angie Thomas
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MissKitty

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2017, 11:40:54 AM »

1. The People's House - David Pepper
2. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking - Anya Von Bremzen
3-4. Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe - Inara Verzemnieks
5. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - Timothy Snyder
6. Swing Time - Zadie Smith
7. The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery - Capt. Witold Pilecki [Auschwitz Prisoner #4859], translated to English by Jarek Garlinski.
8. Black-Eyed Susans - Julia Heaberlin
9. Playing Dead - Julia Heaberlin

10. On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century - Timothy Snyder

My love for Mr. Snyder is no secret and hearing him talk at the library recently is (most likely) the highlight of my year. An historian of WWII with a heavy focus on Eastern Europe, he has spent much of his life studying and learning from those who lived through the pogroms, purges, exiles and uprootings, and the events he is seeing now in our country mirror those of 1930s-40s Germany, Soviet Russia and the lands between those two countries. Scarily so.

This small book is packed with lessons of how tyranny gets a foothold and spreads like a cancer, and thoughtful instruction on what the average citizen can do to prevent it.

Should be required reading for everyone.
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2017, 09:41:12 AM »

1. "Near Enemy: A Spademan Novel" - Adam Sternbergh
2. "Commonwealth" - Ann Patchett - I could not have loved his more. LOVED TO THE MAX! My first time reading one of her novels and it will not be my last.
3. "Today Will Be Different" - Maria Semple - I totally thought this book was going to solely be about some woman's "first- world problems". But, it started taking all of these twists and turns and was much more than I thought it would be.
4. "A Gentleman in Moscow" - Amor Towles - Some moments were soooooooo slow, while I previously noted that I could live forever in the chapter from Book 2 titled, “1926: Adieu”.
5. "State of Wonder" - Ann Patchett - This author can create the most amazing stories. So rich and emotional.
6. "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage" - Ann Patchett
7. "Spoiled" - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - GFY girls write a YA book. Too Y and not enough A for me, even for a last minute beach read.

Looks like I'm back in the habit of reading bits of books and giving up on them. Hrumpf.

8. "Modern Lovers" - Emma Straub - I thought I liked where the book was going but then it seemed like she just got lazy and gave up by using some newspaper clippings to tie everything up. BOO.
9. "The Hate U Give" - Angie Thomas
10. "The Wrong Side of Goodbye" - Michael Connelly (a Harry Bosch/Lincoln Lawyer book)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 12:51:03 PM by c-lando »
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luisterpaul

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Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2017, 08:32:40 AM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin
19. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
20. *The Other Wind* - Ursula K. Le Guin

Yeah, I'm on a Ursula K. Le Guin kick. Deservedly so. The use of language in her writing is gorgeous, and this book in particular is a beautiful story. While it's the sixth Earthsea book, they don't read together as one long epic. They're individual stories, and though there are characters shared among the books, each book stands on its own.
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