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Author Topic: 50 books in 2019  (Read 5151 times)

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MissKitty

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2019, 10:51:34 AM »

1. The Heart's Invisible Furies - John Boyne
2. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
4. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe

5. The Road to Unfreedom - Timothy Snyder

When historian/author Timothy Snyder visited our library for a talk a few years ago I was first in line. His books chronicling both the Holocaust and the tug of war between Germany and the USSR during WWII over the 'ownership' of Eastern Europe are well-researched, well-written and a psychological sucker punch. A professor of history at Yale, he can read/write and understand nearly a dozen languages, an asset that lends greater authenticity to his work.

I first learned of him via footnotes and cited references in the books of other historians of WWII. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Snyder was the guy digging through the newly opened Soviet archives and translating the works from Russian, Polish and Ukrainian into English and German, as well as cross-referencing and comparing documents and written accounts in the original German and Russian languages.

This new history book of his also makes great use of his linguistic flexibility, as he chronicles the rise of authoritarianism and explains exactly how and why Russia is currently engaged in a cyber war with the United States and the European Union. He first took note of Russia's widespread and effective use of disinformation during the pro-democracy uprisings in Ukraine, and watched with growing horror as the same happened during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the British vote to remain or leave the E.U.

For Snyder, Russia isn’t a distraction; it’s a potent threat to democracy. “Russia obviously interfered in U.S. elections,” he says. To think otherwise is to “deny truth.” The book is bleak, but it is absolutely on point. He's not some crackpot spouting conspiracy theories on the internet, he's the guy who understands exactly what is going on, and he's written this book to give readers the same sense of urgency. Things are bad, and they are only going to get worse if we in the West don't wake up and act while we still have a choice.

It's a terrifying book to read. I admit that I had to keep putting it down because it gave me panic attacks. It's taken me several weeks to calm myself down enough to write this review. Everyone who believes in the principles of freedom as detailed in the U.S. Constitution and our Declaration of Independence needs to read this book - and act accordingly. Only we can change the future. I just hope we are not already too late.
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euro60

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2019, 10:54:30 PM »

Thanks for that insightful review MK. Of course there are other books out there examining the same issues (as there are on Trump's ways to diminish the truth, and I'm being mild). I've read several of them. And it just makes you wonder when people are finally going to wake up to what is really going on. Except that 40% or so of the US population will never wake up or accept these facts, yes, facts. They simply reject it.

As citizens, there is only one way to act, and that is to vote, each and every one of us. Coming from Belgium (where voting is mandatory), I am simply blown away how many people are not using their one way to contribute in this wonderful country that is the US by voting. But like I always like to point out, people get the politicians they deserve. At this point in time it was Trump. And it is up to us the voters to make a change about that. Unless of course we don't get enough voters like that. Think about that!
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2019, 01:13:04 PM »

1. "Manhattan Beach" - Jennifer Egan - Give me a book that's just about Eddie and the bosun.
2. "Dark Sacred Night" - Michael Connelly - Connelly finally puts Bosch and Ballard together and I like it.
3. "My Own Devices: Essays From the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love" - Dessa - I first heard about Dessa during Barb during her MPR days. I saw this book on the NPR book thingy and thought I would check it out. Parts of this book will definitely stick with me for a long time. I love the way her mind works, even if it seems to work against her in some aspects of her life.
4. "Come with Me" - Helen Schulman - Slooooooooooow start but I finally connected with the book in the final quarter. But, it took me all month (and about a week and a half of late fines from the library) to finish it.
5. "The Heart's Invisible Furies" - John Boyne
6. "Still Me" - Jojo Moyes
7. "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" - Jenny Han
8. "P.S. I Still Love You" - Jenny Han
9. "Always and Forever, Lara Jean" - Jenny Han
10. "The Wedding Date" - Jasmine Guillory - I wanted something and light and found this recommendation from Roxane Gay. I flew through the book. Definitely light and LUSTY.
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2019, 10:52:28 PM »

1-  i'm a stranger here myself- bill bryson
2- oh crap!  Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right- jamie glowacki
3- sideshow usa: freaks and the american cultural imagination-  rachel adams
4- bhagavad gita- translated and commentary by ac bhaktivedanta swami prabhupada
5-lord of light- roger zelazny
6- uncle's dream- dostoyevsky

7- infinite jest- david foster wallace- what the fuck?  am i left, hanging?  coulda gone for about a hundred more pages.  words fail me
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2019, 02:18:31 PM »

1. "Manhattan Beach" - Jennifer Egan - Give me a book that's just about Eddie and the bosun.
2. "Dark Sacred Night" - Michael Connelly - Connelly finally puts Bosch and Ballard together and I like it.
3. "My Own Devices: Essays From the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love" - Dessa - I first heard about Dessa during Barb during her MPR days. I saw this book on the NPR book thingy and thought I would check it out. Parts of this book will definitely stick with me for a long time. I love the way her mind works, even if it seems to work against her in some aspects of her life.
4. "Come with Me" - Helen Schulman - Slooooooooooow start but I finally connected with the book in the final quarter. But, it took me all month (and about a week and a half of late fines from the library) to finish it.
5. "The Heart's Invisible Furies" - John Boyne
6. "Still Me" - Jojo Moyes
7. "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" - Jenny Han
8. "P.S. I Still Love You" - Jenny Han
9. "Always and Forever, Lara Jean" - Jenny Han
10. "The Wedding Date" - Jasmine Guillory - I wanted something and light and found this recommendation from Roxane Gay. I flew through the book. Definitely light and LUSTY.
11. "Rich People Problems" - Kevin Kwan
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Dan

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2019, 11:12:26 AM »

Bad, good, medium?  Recommended? Hated?
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #51 on: June 26, 2019, 04:07:54 PM »

Bad, good, medium?  Recommended? Hated?
Have you read any of the other ones?
I liked it the least of the three in the series.
But, it is always fun to spend some time in that world.
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Dan

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2019, 01:09:06 PM »

About to start the first one.... someday soon?
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Dan

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2019, 10:07:44 AM »

1. Andrzej Sapkowski - Baptism of Fire
2. Tara Westover - Educated
3. Andrzej Sapkowski - Tower of Swallows
4. Agatha Christie - And Then There Were None
5. Marlon James - Black Leopard, Red Wolf

This book sucked the fun out of reading for me. It's a fantastical journey through a fantasy Africa and tells lots of stories and is written in a unique and interesting way. It also is a book that I will never read again, likely never be happy that I read in the first place, but am very proud that I finished. I hated it from the start, but I read 200 pages for Book Club and then forced myself to finish it. There are a lot of conflicting opinions about it....like it's written in a way that is both really interesting and unique and therefore I would equate Mr. James as an advanced author...but then I also think it was so difficult to read because he's such a poor writer and I couldn't understand what was going on. It's hyper violent, rapey, extremely brutal, and overly sexualized, but it's also emotionally tender and focuses a lot on love and family. Or at least, they want to talk about those things enough.

So...if you're an advanced reader (maybe an English Lit major, or a library employee, or someone who reads 50-100 books per year) it's probably recommended just so you can read something different. But...I don't know how I feel about actually recommending this book to someone. Ugh. I hear that it's intended to be the first in a trilogy (don't worry, it's a complete story) and I promise that I will NOT be reading the other two. Or probably anything Mr. James writes.
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trixi

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #54 on: July 07, 2019, 10:38:31 PM »

1.  All We Ever Wanted--Emily Giffin
2.  Let Me List the Ways--Sarah White
3.  My Whole Truth--Mischa Thrace
4.  Hey, Kiddo--Jarrett J Krosoczka  (2019 YALSA Non-Fiction Finalist)
5.  Darius the Great is Not Okay--Adib Khorram (2019 Morris Winner)
6.  The Night Diary--Veera Hiranandani  (2019 Newbery Honor)
7.  The Swing of Things--Linda Keir
8.  Fool's Moon (Tarot Cats Mystery)--Diane A.S. Stuckart
9.  A Heart in a Body in the World--Deb Caletti (2019 Printz Honor)
10.  Check Please!: #Hockey V. 1--Ngozi Ukazu
11.  The Tattooist of Auschwitz--Heather Morris
12.  Hurricane Child--Kacen Callender
13.  Children of Blood and Bone--Tomi Adeyemi
14.  Becoming--Michelle Obama
15.  Beastie Boys Book--Michael Diamond
16.  Hearts Unbroken--Cynthia Leitich Smith
17.  Freshmen--Tom Ellen
18. Liar, Liar--James Patterson
19.  Picture Us in the Light--Kelly Loy Gilbert
20.  The Road to Auschwitz: Fragments of a Life--Hedi Fried
21.  Miracle at St Andrews--James Patterson
22.  Brazen:  Rebel Women Who Rocked the World--Penelope Bagieu
23.  On the Come Up--Angie Thomas
24.  The Chef--James Patterson
25.  The Reckoning--John Grisham
26.  The Driest Season--Meghan Kenny (a Dayton Literary Peace Prize nominee)
27.  The Clubhouse Thief--James Janko (a Dayton Literary Peace Prize nominee)
28.  The Evolution of Love--Lucy Jane Bledsoe (a Dayton Literary Peace Prize nominee)
29.  That Kind of Mother--Rumaan Alam (a Dayton Literary Peace Prize nominee)
30.  Southernmost--Silas House (a Dayton Literary Peace Prize nominee)
31.  The Girl They Left Behind--Roxanne Veletzos (a Dayton Literary Peace Prize nominee)
32.  The Sisters Hemingway--Annie England Noblin
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #55 on: July 08, 2019, 01:57:11 PM »

1. "Manhattan Beach" - Jennifer Egan - Give me a book that's just about Eddie and the bosun.
2. "Dark Sacred Night" - Michael Connelly - Connelly finally puts Bosch and Ballard together and I like it.
3. "My Own Devices: Essays From the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love" - Dessa - I first heard about Dessa during Barb during her MPR days. I saw this book on the NPR book thingy and thought I would check it out. Parts of this book will definitely stick with me for a long time. I love the way her mind works, even if it seems to work against her in some aspects of her life.
4. "Come with Me" - Helen Schulman - Slooooooooooow start but I finally connected with the book in the final quarter. But, it took me all month (and about a week and a half of late fines from the library) to finish it.
5. "The Heart's Invisible Furies" - John Boyne
6. "Still Me" - Jojo Moyes
7. "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" - Jenny Han
8. "P.S. I Still Love You" - Jenny Han
9. "Always and Forever, Lara Jean" - Jenny Han
10. "The Wedding Date" - Jasmine Guillory - I wanted something and light and found this recommendation from Roxane Gay. I flew through the book. Definitely light and LUSTY.
11. "Rich People Problems" - Kevin Kwan
12. "We're Going to Need More Wine" - Gabrielle Union - OK celebrity memoir - not enough gossip, but good thoughts on parenting as a step-mother, as a celebrity, and as a parent of black boys. I'm none of those things, but still enjoyed reading her insight.
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MissKitty

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2019, 03:44:18 PM »

1. The Heart's Invisible Furies - John Boyne
2. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
4. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
5. The Road to Unfreedom - Timothy Snyder
6. Closer You Are: The Story of Robert Pollard and Guided by Voices - Matthew Cutter

I really enjoyed the first half of this book about Guided by Voices ringleader Bob Pollard but the last half became little more than "toured, wrote more songs, drank, wrote more songs, drank, wrote more songs, recorded, drank, toured, drank, wrote more songs etc." The first half of the book was a solid A+, with glimpses of the teenage Bob obsessively creating artwork for hundreds of fictional bands, recording stuff on a portable tape recorder and simultaneously being a Northridge jock all-star in football, basketball and baseball. Bob also does a lot of shit-talking about Dayton, but loves the place too much to leave.

Part of what made it very interesting for me, personally, is that I know the places and a fair amount of the Daytonians mentioned in the book. A few I worked with at the record store, some are old college friends, some are scensters I used to run into at shows, parties and the like. I mean, Dayton is a fairly small city and the music scene back in the 1980s was pretty tight, regardless of what Bob says. But hey, it's a book about him, and he can say whatever he wants. The author, clearly a fan, doesn't delve too deeply into fact-checking.

Unless it's about the shows. The minutiae about set lists and what band members wore on stage fills the second half of the book. It was like Pollard gave the author access to a Pollardized version of his early years, but slammed the door shut on the latter half and the author had to fill it with set lists and snippets of published album reviews for each release (and we all know Pollard puts out releases as often as a chain smoker puts out a cigarette). And interestingly, either very few of the current or former band members granted the author interviews, or Uncle Bob forbade the author from talking to others to get their takes on events mentioned in the book.

It's like the closer you are, the vaguer it gets.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 03:50:11 PM by MissKitty »
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euro60

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2019, 10:56:57 PM »

Thanks for that interesting review, MK. I will check out "Closer You Are" at the library.
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c-lando

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #58 on: August 01, 2019, 08:01:15 AM »

1. "Manhattan Beach" - Jennifer Egan - Give me a book that's just about Eddie and the bosun.
2. "Dark Sacred Night" - Michael Connelly - Connelly finally puts Bosch and Ballard together and I like it.
3. "My Own Devices: Essays From the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love" - Dessa - I first heard about Dessa during Barb during her MPR days. I saw this book on the NPR book thingy and thought I would check it out. Parts of this book will definitely stick with me for a long time. I love the way her mind works, even if it seems to work against her in some aspects of her life.
4. "Come with Me" - Helen Schulman - Slooooooooooow start but I finally connected with the book in the final quarter. But, it took me all month (and about a week and a half of late fines from the library) to finish it.
5. "The Heart's Invisible Furies" - John Boyne
6. "Still Me" - Jojo Moyes
7. "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" - Jenny Han
8. "P.S. I Still Love You" - Jenny Han
9. "Always and Forever, Lara Jean" - Jenny Han
10. "The Wedding Date" - Jasmine Guillory - I wanted something and light and found this recommendation from Roxane Gay. I flew through the book. Definitely light and LUSTY.
11. "Rich People Problems" - Kevin Kwan
12. "We're Going to Need More Wine" - Gabrielle Union
13. "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" - Gail Honeyman - I found myself crying a lot while reading this book. She really pulls you into the loneliness of this character.
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daytime drinking

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Re: 50 books in 2019
« Reply #59 on: August 01, 2019, 11:06:19 PM »

1-  i'm a stranger here myself- bill bryson
2- oh crap!  Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right- jamie glowacki
3- sideshow usa: freaks and the american cultural imagination-  rachel adams
4- bhagavad gita- translated and commentary by ac bhaktivedanta swami prabhupada
5-lord of light- roger zelazny
6- uncle's dream- dostoyevsky
7- infinite jest- david foster wallace- what the fuck?  am i left, hanging?  coulda gone for about a hundred more pages.  words fail me

8- the complete works of pseudo dionysius- some fifth or sixth century syrian monk adopted this moniker after someone from the bible.  his works influenced thomas aquinas and others who would but share in his mysticism.  his work parallels that of what the hindus were preaching

that's not to paraphrase alan watts but all those words he most likely used.  the two works he recommended were the divine names and the theologia mystica.  i slogged thru divine names on a mega bus up to wisconsin with little one.  i read little of it the week we were there.  the theologia mystica was short and sweet but i read that too quickly.  my buddies' buddy's got a commentary on that i'll get my hands on

i find myself investigating a bridge between christianity and hinduism.  their gods seem so similar.  dionysius' big thing was that jesus wasn't an individual part of the trinity.  the three were always one.  that's like some hindu shit right there.  ultimately i want the tao to prevail.  i'm just keeping an open mind.  ultimately i don't know why i bother, which is what they say i should be doing

the celestial hierarchy and the ecclesiastical hierarchy were two other works within the corpus (that's what the work is called apparently).  seemed more geared towards christian fanboys.  i occasionally got something out of it in a rare moment of going thru the motions.  but yeah   
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