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General Book Discussions & More => Non-Fiction => Topic started by: ClassicsAdmin on January 03, 2009, 06:46:19 PM

Title: Non-Fiction
Post by: ClassicsAdmin on January 03, 2009, 06:46:19 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it.  

Let's talk books!





Title: Re: Non-Fiction ~
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 04, 2009, 10:39:08 AM
WELCOME!

Isn't this a bright beginning to a lively discussion of nonfiction books.

Since this new site (and isn't it great!) began several nonfiction books have been discussed and I'll just name a few.......

Indian Summer
This Republic of Suffering
The Worst Hard Time
Barbarians at the Gate
In the Flame

I know there have been more, but that's all I can think of now.  

SO, DO COME IN AND TELL US WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN READING AND WHY YOU LIKED IT.  

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT FOR A BOOK DISCUSSION?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on January 04, 2009, 11:46:38 AM
I’m so pleased to seen this site open.  I’m more of a lurker than a participant.  I usually have 4- 5 titles going at one time on various topics/people. That way I can read what appeals to me at the moment and since they are a variety of topics I don’t get them confused. I am a plodder when it comes to nonfiction.

I keep one book in the car so I always have something with me if I’m detained somewhere.  I haven’t picked this year’s new title yet.  Left over from 2008, the kitchen table right now hosts An American Sphinx: the character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph Ellis for breakfast reading.

Next to my reading recliner, also left over from 2008, I am in the beginning of The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War by David Halberstam. 

Next week my two new treats will arrive - Lincoln: President Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861 by Harold Holzer; and, Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, ... With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory by Roy Blount.  The former will join the Halberstam next to my reading recliner, and latter with probably take up residence in the small reading room. 

I read along in all of the books and as I finish one I start something new.  Then about Thanksgiving I try to finish up all that I started. This December I finished:  An Army at Dawn: the war in North Africa, 1942-1943, Vol. 1 of the Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson; Jacob’s Well: a case for rethinking family history by Joseph A. Amato; and, Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger

I don't do well with discussion groups on a specific book because I'm still rebelling against all the years of book reports, book talks, book reviews  and having to read on a schedule. Since I've retired I enjoy reading what I want, when I want, for as long as I want and not being held accountable. I do check in nearly everyday to see what others think about the books they are reading and to get ideas for new titles to read.

For years my highlight of the week was Brian Lamb's Booknotes.  I can't tell you how many books I bought and read because of that program. 

I found The Worst Hard Time riveting. It isn't often I find a nonfiction book that I can't put down.

Time to let someone else talk!    Thanks again for this site.  Looking forward to many happy days.  Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 04, 2009, 11:47:27 AM
The book, THE WORST HARD TIME by Timothy Egan, an award winning book, was good reading.   I don't think any of us realize the extent of this man-made disaster and the impact it had on the whole western are of the United States; and still does to this day.  This book portrays a few people, their life, their way of living and their desperation during the dust bowl.

Where in the United States could these people, many of whom had been homesteaders living on free promised lands by the United States Government and the railroads, go as the depression was in full swing at the time.

----------------------

On a visit to B&N yesterday I bought the book STALIN'S CHILDREN by Owen Matthews.  Looks promising.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 04, 2009, 11:55:19 AM
HELLO MARY!

GOOD TO SEE YOU HERE!

We discussed THE AMERICAN SPHINX some years ago on the old Seniornet site and it was very good as I remember. 

What a feast you bring!  I'm writing titles that you gave us on a pad I keep by the computer and I, too, always watched Brian Lamb's Booknotes.  Now we have so many programs about books to watch and isn't it grand.

And, of course, best of all we have this site!

I find a month to discuss a book is adequate for me.  I try to decide if I should read the whole book first or just the assigned chapters and even though I have been trying to decide this for years now, I have come to no conclusion!

Discussing books is my way of relaxing even though I can't do it in a recliner!  Hahaha   My computer chair is comfortable though and I am SO THANKFUL I live in an age that makes this all possible; this communication while at home and at my own speed! 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on January 04, 2009, 01:15:00 PM
Marking my spot so I can return to find new possibilities.

I have just finished The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby.  It is a library book but I may buy my own copy so I can underline and make marginal notes, commentaries and faces expressing my opinion. 

During the 60's and most of the 70's, I was living on a mountaintop in Colorado and have often thought I completely missed experiencing the social changes of that era.  So I enjoy finding books that offer a description of the cause and effect of events during that time period.

Next on my non-fiction is Too Close To The Sun, a memoir by Curtis Roosevelt, grandson of FDR and Eleanor. 

I can see that my list of Books To Read is going to grow by leaps and bounds from suggestions I see here.  Thank you, each and every one.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: jeriron on January 04, 2009, 01:17:41 PM
I am just finishing John Grogans book "The Longest Trip Home". It is about his growing up Catholic so that may not be of interest to all. I enjoyed it. Not as much as "Marley and Me" though.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on January 04, 2009, 01:17:49 PM
Hi to everyone and Happy New Year!

I've been reading non-fiction, more than fiction, over the past few months, for various reasons.

My current (re-read), by one of my favorite authors is:
Washington's Crossing  by David Hackett Fischer (2006).

The author is an American history professor emeritus at Brandeis University, and I think I've read all of his books, including the most recent one:  Champlain's Dream.   (hidden by husband, cannot find it to give a fly-leaf description).
                   
The latter is, in my opinion, much more difficult and perhaps not the best choice for a readers' discussion, but the former is about one period of the American Revolutionary War, and it really would  be excellent for a book discussion!
               
Lacking archives, I'm not sure if this group has already done it ... have we ... or have we ever done anything by this excellent author?

As some one says, let's talk ...     ;D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on January 04, 2009, 02:11:46 PM
I have Washington's Crossing, haven't read it yet. Dewey, came as a Christmas Present. Looking forward to reading it soon.

My next book to read however will be the SciFi book, Ender's Game (Card). I promised someone, when we were over on the old SeniorNet, that I would let her know what I thought of it.

Meanwhile, I am still SLOWLY reading through Liberal Fascism (Goldberg) and Lost Christianities (Ehrman). Both are non-fiction.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 04, 2009, 02:58:12 PM
I had posted this orginally in "the library" but i'll put it here, as it's specifically a non-fiction book.

I picked up a book from the library's "new non-fiction" shelf and am finding it intriguing.

It's title is An Illuminated Life: Belle da Costa Greene's Journey from Prejudice to Privilege. Belle Greene was born Belle Marian Greener. Her claim to fame is that she became at a young age (early 20's) the librarian of J. P. Morgan's private library and eventually was the buyer and curator for his rare book/manuscript collection. She had a "dusky" complexion and as an adult stated that it was a result of Portugese ancestors, but her father was Richard Greener, the first person of mixed European/African-American ancestry to attend Harvard and who was the first Af-American professional staff person as Librarian at the University of South Carolina in the late 19th century. The U of SC was actually integrated after the Civil War and became re-segregated during the 1880's. Belle had a fascinating life, being a librarian at Princeton University during the first decade of the 20th century. While there she met J.P. Morgan's nephew, who was also a librarian at Princeton and he recommended her to his uncle. As Morgan's librarian she became a part of   NYC society, and the rare book community of the world, in the first half of the 20th century, an intriguing time and place of history.....................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: nlhome on January 04, 2009, 04:22:47 PM
I don't usually read non-fiction, mostly because I read so much material for my job, but some of the titles here sound fascinating. The latest non-fiction book I looked at was Fill 'er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations. Now doesn't that sound fascinating? Actually, it was - brought back a lot of memories. I loaned it to my sister, so will finish reading it later. Remember the old "filling stations"?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on January 04, 2009, 04:44:45 PM
Hi, all.  I just found this site.  I enjoy non fiction.  Am an history buff.  I have particular interest in the period from the Civil War to the present.  The book I am now reading is called:  "The Forgotten Man".  It is about the Great Depression, and the people who were alive at that time.  It is quite interesting.

I am down sick with a virus.  My mind isn't as clear as usual.  But, I think the author is named Amity Sch....... 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Octavia on January 04, 2009, 05:07:51 PM
I started listening(I never use lurk :)) to non-fiction in Seniornet a year or so before it died. I really enjoyed some of the discussions even though I didn't have the books. I've been reading Politician's Bio's - Kevin Rudd and Peter Costello - only relevant to other Australians here.

The book that overwhelmed me was a little volume by a French journalist, Life Laid Bare, I think it was, a matter of fact account by survivors of the Rwandan massacre. If it had been written as a dramatic, heartwrenching account, I think it would have been easier to put down.These survivors told their stories so simply and matter of factly. I'd look up and think--this is mind-blowing, they're talking about the horrible, violent, deaths of their loved ones. Then to have to go back and live and work beside their killers!

It made me feel ashamed to be a westerner, to tell the truth.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 04, 2009, 09:11:40 PM
HEY, CALLIE!  Thanks for your post.  I read TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN,  and it's a new look at the Roosevelts - I liked it.  I think all the children, grandchildren of former presidents should write a book and tell us frankly what it was like to be so close the sun.

THE AGE OF AMERICAN UNREASON is new to me; sounds good and is on my list!

HELLO JERI!  Have you seen the movie Marley and Me yet.  It is breaking records I hear.  I am one of the few who  has not read the book yet, but I will in time.  It's so funny so they tell me.

MIPPY!   Thanks for your post.  No we haven't discussed a book by Fischer; but we have done a discussion on Washington and the Revolutionary War.  At the moment, I can't think of the title; however, we could discuss Washington and that war numerous times and never complete a discussion.  I'll look it up at the Library; I saw it at B&N recently but my time was limited.  I hate that!  I could spend hours there and at the Library also!  My favorite things to do!

JEAN, Belle was an unusual lady at a unusual time in our history.  Sounds like a wonderful book!

Oh, indeed, NL, I remember fillling stations.  "Filler her up!"   "Check the oil, too"   All without getting out of the car.  My husband used to say that women would never pump their own gas, HA!

SHEILA, hope you get well soon, keep posting and we'll keep your mind busy!  It's does wonders for the body!

OCTAVIA!  Your comment about being ashamed to be a westerner is a feeling I often get when I read such books!  We are so fortunate, aren't we?  And I wonder, often, how I can help! 

I have the book CALL ME TED waiting to be read and when he was interviewed lately on BookTV he talked about his gift of a billion to the United Nations for humanitarian purposes and I think about making monies given accountable?  Where do they go?  To the common, poor people or the wealthy who can so eaily corrupt the system.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 04, 2009, 09:15:44 PM
How about thinking of a book we might want to discuss?

Perhaps March might be a good month to do it?  We'll decide in Februry so when you read one you think might appeal to the group, I'll put it in the heading
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on January 04, 2009, 09:17:58 PM
Greetings -

I just watched Brian Lamb interview Robert Caro on Q & A and am again motivated to read a book because I was impressed with the author's approach to writing.  Since I've had The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York sitting on a shelf for some time, I've decided tonight is a good night to start it.  The over 1100 pages means it'll be a while before it's finished.  At least my timing is good - since I watch little on TV except sports (football, baseball & NASCAR) and now that football is almost over, and NASCAR and baseball don't start for some time yet I can make some real inroads all of my reading - although I do watch a lot of games and read at the same time - sound off and the advantage of replay.  I don't think you'll be hearing much from me for a while but I'll be having fun (most of the time -  I'm getting plenty of exercise with this winter's over abundance of snow).  Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: jeriron on January 04, 2009, 10:37:40 PM
Ella

Yes I have seen the movie and I have read the  book. Enjoyed both.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 04, 2009, 10:57:21 PM
Ella - come to New Jersey - we don't have to pump our gas.......YET! ..... I know people who say they will not move out of the state, just for that reason......i assume that's a bit of an exaggeration................but, for me, not much of one...............LOL

There have been so many great non-fiction books practically jumping out of the publishing house windows in the last couple of years, it's hard to think of ONE that we should discuss. I'd like to read the Roosevelt book, especially if it has a different focus than all the others i've read .................. jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Gumtree on January 05, 2009, 11:02:48 AM
Hello: I read non-fiction now and again but not as a regular diet but I 'lurk' about the non-fiction occasionally to see what everyone's reading. Such a wealth of material on offer it's hard to choose....

Octavia Here we are again. My beloved one has almost finished the Costello Memoirs - He was enjoying it so much we gave it to Sydneysider son in his Xmas stocking  - Haven't heard how he likes it or even whether he's started it or not. Not sure whether I'll read it or not - my stack is huge at the moment. What was the Rudd bio like?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: dean69 on January 06, 2009, 06:17:12 AM
I have just finished reading "Outliers" by Malcolm Galdwell and found it very thought provoking.  Having read his two previous books "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" this one did not disappoint.  Gladwell writes about issues that seldom are considered in the mix of why some people are successful and some not,  such as the culture into which you were born, when you were born and most of all access.

The next book on my reading list is "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court" by Jeffrey Toobin.  I would love to hear comments from anyone who has read this book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on January 06, 2009, 06:50:56 AM
Hi,  Dean !   Nice post !
Outliers  by Gladwell is quite a good read.  It was a good fill-in book for me during many hours spent in waiting rooms, recently.   
I don't agree with everything he says, but that's par for the course.

I have just ordered Blink!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: pedln on January 06, 2009, 05:08:11 PM
For some reason, I don’t read many non-fiction books.  But when I do, I usually enjoy them.  The most recent was The Worst Hard Time, that Ella spoke of, about the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.  Two that I’d like to read are The Outliers and  Three Cups of Tea, about Greg Mortenson and his efforts to build schools in developing countries.  And as a former Wisconsinite, I guess Fill ‘Er Up has to be on that list.  It sounds like fun.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 06, 2009, 06:20:20 PM
WE HAVE ENOUGH SUGGESTIONS FOR THE WHOLE YEAR, A READER'S PARADISE RIGHT HERE.

But what about a book to discuss among us, possibly for March?  What do you think?

A friend of mine finished A TEAM OF RIVALS by Doris Goodwin; all of you have no doubt heard of it????   Or read it?  She said it was one of the best books she has ever read. 

The problem is it has 900 some pages, Wow!   We could take two months!!!  We have never discussed a book about Lincoln to my knowledge.  Libraries are full of this book, it's very popular.

http://catalog.columbuslibrary.org/

I am just beginning the book STALIN'S CHILDREN: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival by Owen Matthews.  Looks very good:  click on these links to read more about the books.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Stalins-Children/Owen-Matthews/e/9780802717146/?itm=2



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 06, 2009, 06:30:14 PM
THE OUTLIERS book sounds very good: 

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Outliers/Malcolm-Gladwell/e/9780316017923/?itm=1

Thanks, DEAN, for the post and let us know how you like THE NINE.  I've heard about it and want to read it when I get through with all the ones I have waiting.

And thank you, PEDLIN, for your suggestions. 

How to decide what to read next? 

CUBFAN, I have that huge book - the one about Robert Moses - sitting in my book shelves, someday, someday..................   It looks so very good and I love books that tell us how cities were formed and great men, etc.    I'll get to it!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on January 06, 2009, 07:01:37 PM
Have you read Outliers?
I don't see how it would work well as a discussion, as each separate section or essay stands alone.   But perhaps this group likes
that kind of collection of essays.

Moreover, there is some question in my mind about whether the "scientific" material in the book is rigorous science or not.

However, I did enjoy (most) of the book, and found it to be thought-provoking.   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 07, 2009, 08:54:10 AM
I would love to read "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I always enjoy hearing her interviewed on tv. She makes History so interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 07, 2009, 01:18:46 PM
HATS!   Where have you been?  I don't think I have seen you on our new Book site and I am so glad you found us.

Well, any other comments about TEAM OF RIVALS by Doris Kearns Goodwin?

I'm going to look up in B&N to see what a used copy (which is usually like new) costs.  I'll be back to tell you.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 07, 2009, 01:40:54 PM
Team of Rivals sounds good to me............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: gingerw on January 07, 2009, 01:50:14 PM
Hi Hats, glad you are here. Welcome home.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 07, 2009, 02:21:27 PM
Hi Ella and Ginger,

It does feel like being back home. I am glad to be with both of you again. We have gotten a lot of rain in the area. This morning we lost power for a couple of hours.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on January 07, 2009, 05:14:02 PM
I vote for "Team of Rivals".  I love Doris Kearns Goodwin.  The time period had more impact on me, than any other period in our history.  I have the book, but have not cracked it yet.  I guess I was waiting for a Senior discussion.

I am still down with a virus.  My dil has it now, and went to the dr. today.  She was told it is either the flu, or something she ate.  I hope that none of you get it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 07, 2009, 06:46:11 PM
THREE people are interested in discussing TEAM OF RIVALS!

Any others?

Let's see - we have HATS, JEAN AND SHEILA.

Oh, a good group!  Wonderful!   And SHEILA, I hope you get over that flu soon.  Did you get a flu shot which is supposed to prevent such awful incidents?

I got a used hardcover book from B&N (online) for $14, not bad considering the size of this one; the shipping costs are $3.  I have to have a copy I can write in when I am in a discussion; otherwise I forget it all later.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Janice on January 08, 2009, 12:15:43 AM
I too enjoyed Fill er up, it was fun to read.
Team of Rivals sounds interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on January 08, 2009, 06:32:14 AM
For a discussion starting in March,  may I please be included as a maybe  since family obligations ...  both good (grand-baby due in April)  and less good (illness in the family) ... may take me away from
my computer during the upcoming months.
                                                                                   
I think I'll buy "Rivals"  whether or not I can participate, so a big thanks to all who suggested it,  to Ella, and others.

And p.s. off the subject:  I also got a flu shot because of another new baby in the family, who we hope will be visiting us within the month.  The darling new granddaughter is now 4 weeks old!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on January 08, 2009, 08:04:26 AM
I want to check out "Team of Rivals" first, but if I like its looks, I'm interested.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 08, 2009, 12:00:18 PM
Hey there, all you gorgeous readers!  So glad to see that everyone is up to reading and discussing what ever you decide on.

Did I miss the description of "Rivals"???  I have only read one of Goodwin's books, entitled "Wait 'til Next Year"  which was about her growing up with the game of baseball.  Wonderful read!  I would bet that Cubfan would enjoy that one. 

I just finished a fiction discussion so will be looking in here for titles that I can put on my list for non-fiction.

So good to find old friends who were on the old SN site.  What a crash---or was it a dump??? :-\

Hello to Hats, PatH, Mippy, Gingee, Ella, Gumtree, Mabel, etc etc! And I found Macou on SL too but maybe in the fiction section.  This is like a family reunion.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 08, 2009, 03:19:17 PM
I highly recomment Doris Kearns Goodwin's
"No Ordinary Time" for any of you who haven't read it..........it's about the Roosevelt's (FDR and ER) during the war years -that's WWII. She packs in so much information and yet it reads almost like a novel............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on January 08, 2009, 04:48:14 PM
Am still down with this virus.  Yes, I did get my flu shot.  My doctor tells me that without the shot, I might die with a virus. 
So, I keep getting both, the shot, and the flu!

I am feeling better.  Not as achy, cough has diminished, but am dizzy, and weak.  All I want to do is sleep.  So, not much time for reading.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on January 08, 2009, 05:46:02 PM
I read "No Ordinary Time" when it came out, and I agree--it's a really good read.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 08, 2009, 07:17:55 PM
Hi Sheila,
My mother and my sister both got the flu shot twice and the flu got them both times.  They both finally said no to the shot.  They were both over 50 at the time they received the shot.  I have been getting the shot for 20 years and, so far, no bad results.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on January 08, 2009, 09:00:54 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: Ella Gibbons (egibbons28@columbus.rr.com)







Marking a spot.  :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on January 09, 2009, 07:23:46 AM
Good morning!
I've ordered the book "Rivals" and it was only $12.50 on Amazon, as it is now out in paperback!    So I'm looking forward to a great, long read!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on January 09, 2009, 05:22:27 PM
Greetings -
I'm fascinated with Caro's The Power Broker. It's going to take quite a while to get through.

Mippy - I too like D. H. Fischer and enjoyed Washington's Crossing. I also very much like his Albion's Seed.

AdoAnnie - Thanks for the suggestion about Doris Goodwin's Wait 'til Next Year. I had forgotten about that one.  I have always enjoyed listening to her talk about growing up as a Red Sox fan, and definitely liked both of her books No Ordinary Time, and Team of Rivals.

I know that Team of Rivals was long but it really read quickly and smoothly. I find it interesting that both Lincoln and Washington picked who they thought were best for the job not who were going to agree with him or each other. Washington spent quite a bit of time trying to keep peace in his cabinet. There's a fine line between when things are accomplished in spite of conflict and when conflict derails everything. It takes a strong leader to keep things in check.

Have a good reading weekend everyone.  Sounds like most of us have stay inside and read weather. 

Mary


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 09, 2009, 07:09:24 PM
OH, THIS IS SHAPING UP! 

We already have Hat, Jean and Sheila interested in discussing TEAM OF RIVALS; now possibly we may have four more interested.  Please let me know as soon as possible.

If I am reading correctly JANICE, MIPPY PATh, AND CUBFAN (the latter having already read it) may join in the discussion.

What a good group that would be!   Off to a great start for the New Year, our New Site!

As someone mentioned, Goodwin's books read like fiction, like a novel and I'm eagerly awaiting my book in the mail.  Shall I start it?  Or wait?  Big decisions, hahahaaaa

HELLO ANN!  Join us!

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 09, 2009, 07:10:39 PM
MARY, what a good picture!  You look so sprite and you brighten up the whole page!  Thanks for putting it here.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on January 09, 2009, 07:53:33 PM
Ella, I had a look at the book today, and I'm definitely in.  I needed to check first because of my experience with "The Island at the Center of the World".  The subject was interesting to me, Marni led the discussion in an exciting way, the other people kept up a lively and interesting discussion, but I found the book so unreadable I dropped out.  That's not going to happen here.

I didn't buy it yet, because I want the paperback, which my B & N didn't have.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on January 09, 2009, 10:39:20 PM
Ella, I did add my photo, but don't know why it wound up at the top of this discussion.   ???

Anyhow, we're hoping to here Doris Kearns Goodwin speak on Tuesday.  She's going to give a talk here, and we plan to attend.  It is free, but is first-come for for the limited seating.  I hope we can get there in time to get a seat.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 10, 2009, 03:05:11 PM
Like your picture, also MaryZ - nice to put a face to our "competition."  :) Maybe i'll try to see if i can get my mug on my posts..............I hope you get to see Goodwin, she's so interesting when she  talks about her subjects..........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Persian on January 10, 2009, 04:52:33 PM
My computer crashed last week and it took a while for the TW techies to show up.  However, the computer hiatus gave me an opportunity to prepare for a forthcoming book discussion at my local library, where I'm scheduled to speak about Afghan culture in connection with Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea.  I'm not sure how much our local Southern folks know about Central Asia and the community work that Mortenson has done abroad for many years, but I'll soon find out.  I'm taking a Samovar, some small Persian tea cups, beautiful hand-woven material for the center table and a host of stories about some of my own experiences with Afghan culture.

Did the former discussion of A Thousand Splendid Suns already end?  I lost track somewhere along the way when I had earlier computer problems and then the big crash.

My husband arrives from Egypt on the 29th and has promised to bring some new books about his home culture.  I watched a wonderful PBS program a few weeks ago about Middle Eastern and North African (Egyptian) cultures coming together with American musical culture.  It was terrific and I really enjoyed the pleasure that all the musicians experienced getting to know each other, sing and play their instruments together.

And a BIG THANKS to all for this wonderful site where we can once again bring our reading ideas to share.

Mahlia
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 10, 2009, 06:36:58 PM
Oh, good, Pat!  IT'S GOING TO BE A GOOD DISCUSSION!

I'm talking about an upcoming book we are considering discussing; one of Doris Kearns Goodwin's books - TEAM OF RIVALS.   Shall we set a date for March?  The problem with that is I am thinking of a little trip with my sister then in which we will be gone 2-3 weeks.  We'll see.  We can always make it in April.  Something to look forward to and the days, the weeks, go by so fast.

PERSIAN!  Happy to see you here.  I just finished a very good book about Russia wherein a samovar was mentioned so here is a description of one:  Incidentally, the book was a nonfiction, almost fictional in story and in the writing, and was titled STALIN'S CHILDREN by Owen Matthews.

Samovar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samovar)

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 10, 2009, 07:30:33 PM
Has anybody heard from Marne? She's usually here, hope she is o.k.............Ella it sounds like it's going to be a good discussion..............o.k. I got my picture up, but it is kind of eerie, i didn't expect it to show up everywhere................LOL.............

Mahlia - do you remember the title of that PBS program. It sounds like something i'd like to see, but i haven't seen anything like that listed on our station....................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on January 10, 2009, 10:02:23 PM
I'm in for "A Team of Rivals". I loved "No Ordinary Time" and I've heard Goodwin discuss "Rivals" on television. Doesn't it seem as if our president-elect is influenced by it as well.

If the style is like "No Ordinary Time", we won't have the trouble we did with "Island". Nothing like!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 12, 2009, 11:19:24 AM
Island, Joan???  I have a poor memory, what discussion was that?

Here is a review of TEAM OF RIVALS by the New York Times (B&N online)

- James M. McPherson
More books about Abraham Lincoln line the shelves of libraries than about any other American. Can there be anything new to say about our 16th president? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Having previously offered fresh insights into Lyndon Johnson, the Kennedys and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Doris Kearns Goodwin has written an elegant, incisive study of Lincoln and leading members of his cabinet that will appeal to experts as well as to those whose knowledge of Lincoln is an amalgam of high school history and popular mythology.


I haven't received my book in the mail yet, but, on the one hand, 944 pages are daunting, not only to a reader, but in a book discussion.  Can we make it through to the end?

On the other hand, who better to discuss; particularly as one of you pointed out Obama is patterning his image on Lincoln.  His policies, however, reflect FDR, don't you think?

The commentators, after a romance with the charismatic politician, are becoming a bit more cynical about his projected administration.




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Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on January 13, 2009, 05:17:46 PM
CubFan:  I always watch Q & A on C-Span and watched the interesting interview with Robert Caro.

I also watched the interview with the author, Greg Mortenson, of "Three Cups of Tea".  It's not only a timely but very interesting book about one man's work in building schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  He calls it promoting peace one school at a time.  In the interview the author mentioned that Gen. Petreaus had read his book and wrote him with comments.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 13, 2009, 08:21:28 PM
HELLO JEAN!  I wish I had seen that interview.  I usually watch BookTV including the Q&A when I can, but I missed the Robert Caro.

THREE CUPS OF TEA has been mentioned several places, I believe, on our new site here; I must look it over.  Has anyone read it?

I note that TEAM OF RIVALS is actually only 700 some pages as the notes, index, etc. are numerous in the back of the book.  Does that make it more doable? 

MARY, what did you think of the Goodwin lecture?  Was it awesome?  Hahahaaaa  What new stuff did you learn?   Shall we discuss the book? 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on January 13, 2009, 09:52:45 PM
We went to hear historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) speak tonight.  The talk was due to start at 7, and the publicity said that it would first-come/first-served seating.  Well, okay - we'll get there early, but no problem.  The place won't be full.  Right!   We got there at 6:20, and people were lined up in the lobby of the UTC Fine Arts Building.  It turned out that the theater where she was speaking was already full, and they were getting ready to open seating in the other theater in the Center, with a live TV feed.  Goodwin is a great speaker (yes, Ella, awesome), with delightful anecdotes about the presidents she's been close to (beginning with LBJ).  And the part of her talk about Lincoln and his Team was excellent.  Hearing her personal stories about how she got interested in history was good, too.  She certainly made Team sounds like a good book to read.

If we go to any of the other talks in this series (3 more), we'll go even earlier - and take a book to read while we wait.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 13, 2009, 10:32:40 PM
Hi there,
I was not ill long but it was weird! And its gone now!

I have not been able to look at "Rivals" yet but will try to get to the library tomorrow.
 
Ella,
We did have a great discussion of "The Island at the Center of the World" back about three years ago.  I had forgotten that Marnie lead it.

"Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortensen is a wonderful bio about his raising money for building schools for girls in Afghanistan/Pakistan and helping to get all the materials up into those steep mountains.  He even has school children raising money for those schools.  Amazing story and quite an easy read.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 14, 2009, 10:09:34 AM
Hi MaryZ,

I didn't know Doris Kearns Goodwin appeared at UTC. I bet it was crowded. Is this a series? Thank you for the Art invitation. I will not be in town after this Sunday. My first girl grandbaby is expected to arrive that Monday in Memphis. We will be out of town for a few days.

Ella,

I am excited about "Team of Rivals." Nine hundred pages??? That should take us five years and counting. :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 14, 2009, 10:11:29 AM
I am reading "Dreams from My Father." I am nearing the five hundred page mark. I am really enjoying the book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 14, 2009, 11:01:27 AM
Hello ANN!  Good luck in trying to find a copy of TEAM OF RIVALS in our Library.  Although they own 41 copies, there are no copies available for checkout.   However, there is a waiting list - UNBELIEVABLE.    That is one reason I decided to buy a copy; another is that we may discuss the book here and I need it by my side.

Thanks, MARY, for your report on Goodwin.  I have heard her on TV; probably on BookTV?  But it seems to me I also heard her on a panel discussion either of Lincoln or past presidents.  At any rate, she is very good as you said and I can imagine how full that auditorium was with her listed as a speaker! 

I know she must have spent years on each of her books and is a noted historian.

HATS!  I've read both of Obama's books and both are excellent.  He writes as well as he speaks and now on with his presidency! 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 14, 2009, 01:36:59 PM
Another view of "Rivals" from the LATimes:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-pinsker18-2008nov18,0,1360359.story

I am not sure that I want to read this book but will try to locate a copy somewhere in downtown Gahanna.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on January 14, 2009, 01:54:23 PM
Hats, congratulations on your first granddaughter-to-be.  You're going to have such a good time - but I'll miss getting to see you. 

Yes, the Goodwin lecture was part of a series - there are four in all.  I can't remember the names right now, though.  I'm sure the folks at UTC could tell you, though.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 14, 2009, 04:40:47 PM
That's an interesting contrast between Goodwin and Pinsker about Lincoln's cabinet............but that's what makes history so interesting to me. When i was teaching i tried to give the students sources or examples of how our historical figures were viewed in much the same way today's political figures are - some people loved them, some people hate them, so that the students wouldn't think that we used to have "heroes", but that we have none today.
I felt they needed to see the flaws and the different perceptions of the historical figures..........they seemed to like history better that way and found it more interesting than the way they had been taught in public school.

Annie, thanks for posting that link, we will have to keep it in mind if we have  a discussion of the book................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 15, 2009, 01:05:22 PM
YES, THANKS, ANN!  What an interesting book review.  Let me just quote a couple of things that whet my appetite for reading the book:

Lincoln's Cabinet was no team. His rivals proved to be uneven as subordinates. Some were capable despite their personal disloyalty, yet others were simply disastrous.

Only Seward endured throughout the Civil War.

Chase was the defiant rival

Atty. Gen. Edward Bates was the disgusted rival.


All those quotes are from the Los Angeles Times book review. 

I love history and I want to find out more about these men and Lincoln.  Already we see parallels to Obama's team -  his cabinet -  don't you?

I have not got my book yet although it may be in my mailbox which I haven't checked for two days! 

It's so very cold here, zero and below!  I must go out today to fill prescriptions but I won't stay out too long!  Perhaps my book is in my mailbox?






 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 15, 2009, 06:47:13 PM
I HAVE MY BOOK, AND I AM INSPIRED!!!

Is that the correct word?  I've read the INTRO and Chapter One and it is very fascinating; hard to stop there!

But I want to read it along with the rest of you - shall we say MARCH?  I'll check schedules and let you know.

One thing that puzzles me is where AMBITION comes from?  Why some have it, others don't.  It isn't money that drives politicians, what is it?  I'll just quote this one sentence from Goodwin's Intro:

"Without the march of events that led to the Civil War, Lincoln still would have been a good man, but most likely would never have been publicly recognized as a great man.  It was history that gave him the oppotunity....."

History and the march of events.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 16, 2009, 07:50:32 AM
I don't want to confuse any readers. I'm reading the large print edition of "Dreams from My Father" by Barack Obama. So, my book probably has more pages than a book written in regular print. All of the regular prints were checked out. I ended up with a large print. This is fine with me.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 16, 2009, 10:45:04 AM
Hello everyone!  It's so wonderful to have this group again. 

Mabel, I really like the way you taught history to your students.  I wish I'd had a good history teacher in high school.  It's a wonder I passed the U.S. History class I was so bored.  It was not until I got to college and had a very good professor who loved his subject that I found how interesting history is.

Ella, please add me to the group that will be reading TEAM OF RIVALS.
I put it on hold at my library. 

I saw the movie SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE yesterday.  Fantastic.  Especially the photography of India -- from the slums to the Taj Mahal--just fabulous.  Whoever the photographer was, they deserve an Oscar!  I'm goad I saw it in a theater, as it wouldn't be nearly as good on a small TV screen.

Which reminds me, PBS is doing a special on India, in our Southern California area anyway, on Monday night, Jan. 19, at 9 pm Pacific Time.  About the arrival of Islam in India -- which led to the rise of the Moghal Empire.  Also are showing some of the cities, including Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal.

Marge





Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on January 16, 2009, 01:16:44 PM
MARGE: the India special this Sunday is the last in a series. The first two were wonderful visually, although confusing and superficial Historically. I look forward to this one.

I heard Goodwin talk on TV about "Team" when it came out, and have wanted to read it ever since.This discussion is just what I needed to spur me on.

History in school -- sigh! When I was in HS it was memorizing a bunch of names and dates that meant nothing! Cheers to all GOOD history teachers!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 16, 2009, 03:08:37 PM
WE HAVE ABOUT SIX OR SEVEN PEOPLE INTERESTED IN DISCUSSING GOODWIN'S BOOK, but we haven't worked out a schedule yet.

I urge you not to read the entire book until we do.  Let's read it together!

I'm going to look up our PBS schedule to see what's on for this weekend.  Thank you for the post, Marge, and, yes, certainly I will be so happy to include you in our Lincoln discussion.

I've been thinking about Lincoln's ambition to be president, Obama's ambition for the job, all the presidents.  It has to be ego that propels them, don't you think.

The belief that they are the one, possibly the only one, that can heal the nation, that can solve the problem that exists. 



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 16, 2009, 04:16:27 PM
Ella - I think having the power to make changes - whatever changes they want to make, Dick Cheney, the Bushes, Bill Clinton, Reagan, etc., included - is a huge motivator for politicians. There isn't any where else, except in the Congress or in the Administraion, where you can have a universal influence in how events might happen, or systems might work, or policies might be carried out. And then there's that "leader of the free world" thing if you are going for the presidency................what title is better than that? That's where the ego comes in...................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 16, 2009, 05:01:13 PM
It's hard for me to imagine someone wanting to be President, but thankfully there are some good people who want it, even if it is ego that propels them.

I'm sorry I missed the first two episodes of the PBS special on India, but I'll watch the one coming up Monday, and they'll probably repeat them.

Speaking of presidents, Barack Obama will be on CSpan's BookTV program this weekend talking about his book THE AUDACITY OF HOPE.  I haven't read that yet.

Also, Joe Biden will be on Book TV discussing his book PROMISES TO KEEP.  I did read that and really liked it, -- one of the best autobiographies  I've read.  Especially liked the part about how the the Judicial Committee with Biden as chairman, was instrumental in keeping Judge Bork off the Supreme Court.  (Bork will also be on Book TV this weekend.)  Was fascinated by Biden's telling of his visit to Yugoslavia with Averell Harriman and their talk with Tito, as well as his his visits to Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Marge

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on January 16, 2009, 10:18:10 PM
Ella, count me in, if this is going to be a discussion about presidential ambitions. And isn't there an irony in that? Hasn't it always been a cardinal rule among would-be officeholders not to seem overly ambitious?

Everybody is reading TEAM OF RIVALS it seems. Many, perhaps on the strength of Obama's recommendation. It's probably a must read in government circles, and for all those of us who wish him well. If the new president finds inspiration in the life and career of that 'great' and 'good' presidential predecessor doesn't that create hopeful expectations for the thrust of his own administration?

It seems mean to suggest, as Mathew Pinsker does in his L.A. Review (Ann's link in #60), that 'Lincoln's model for cabinet building should stand more as a cautionary tale than as a leadership manual.'

Who's got it wrong here? Obama, or the historian, Goodwin? Perhaps the criticism is simply professional envy. Imagine, writing a presidential  bio inspiring a president-elect who doesn't mind telling the world what a good read it is.

I gave up on my reserve on a library copy, and went out today and bought the book. It sure looks very readable. In the meantime I had looked around the house for anything on Lincoln, and soon found myself absorbed in Gore Vidal's LINCOLN. Vidal is regarded highly, I believe, for historical accuracy in his novels. Here's an incident which may be relevant to Ella's question about ambition.

The new president is exploring the office area in the White House with his two young aides, Hay and Nicolay. But I'll quote directly:

'Lincoln picked up the lamp from the table, then he opened the connectiong door into the President's office. The first thing that they saw clearly in the gloom was a painting of Andrew Jackson over the white marble fireplace. "Well," said  Lincoln, neutrally, "I guess we'll leave old Andy where he is."

'..."What about a painting of General Washington, sir?" Hay ran his finger round the frame of Jackson's picture, and collected an inch of dust. "Or is he too Virginian?"

' "No, the father of our country is just right. Only I might look too ambitious, moving him there." '

What a curious thing to say. But speaking about cautionary tales. Wasn't the outgoing president's farewell address the other night just that? Beware being overtaken by the rush of events.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on January 16, 2009, 10:24:10 PM
I read Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope".  I consider it a serious book about policy and could be boring for some people, but I enjoyed it.  But then, I'm one of those people who enjoys looking at the panel discussions on C-Span.  He had an interesting section about his work and travel with Republican Sen. Luger regarding nuclear material.  His respect and fondness for Sen. Luger clearly came through.  It does give you an insight to how practical he is.  As my dad would have said, he has a lot of "common sense".  The last chapter is mostly about Michelle and her family and their marriage and it was very interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 17, 2009, 07:05:07 AM
Yes, I'm afraid "Audacity of Hope" might be over my head. After I finished "Dreams from My Father," it was hard to think what to read next. I have started "Night" by Elie Wiesel. This book is very, very powerful. It's not easy to read about what this man, Elie Wiesel, and his family lived through. Still, like all parts of History I feel it's important. No wonder Elie Wiesel won The Nobel Peace Prize.

There are so many of you I would like to send a wave and hello. I might miss names. Just know I'm saying good morning.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 17, 2009, 08:58:51 AM
HATS!  I've read both of Obama's books and both are excellent.  He writes as well as he speaks and now on with his presidency!  (Ella)

Congratulations! I might take a peek at "Audacity of Hope."
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on January 17, 2009, 10:03:00 AM
Good morning, Hats.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 17, 2009, 11:26:52 AM
Good morning, PatH. I've missed you, JoanK and all.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 17, 2009, 08:44:44 PM
JONATHAN!  Good to see you here. 

"a rule among would-be officeholders not to seem overly ambitious?"  I smiled at that phrase.  Some hide that ambition better than others.  However, we do need those that do succeed in "getting there" and putting their lives, both political and private, in the public domain.  We could name a few - all of us could name a few we would rather not have speak for us again, but I admire them!  I do!  I wouldn't want the politician's job, would any of you?

Much better, if wishes could be granted, to be a historian; one such as Goodwin.  As you said, JONATHAN, how great to write a book that inspired a president.

There is an editorial in our local paper by Leonard Pitts (Miami Herald) in which he states that "Obama would be a shock to Lincoln" and I quote:

"How could he not?  He (Lincoln) was a 19th-century white man who famously said in 1858 that 'there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which...will forever forbid the two races living together upon terms of social and political equality.'"

How shallow our comprehension of history is, says the author.  We should remember this as we read about Lincoln. 

Thank God for Obama whose election and administration will disprove the words of one of greatest presidents.

-------------------------------------------

Our discussion may not be until March.  Please remember this before you start the book; place it in on your shelf until then.  We are attempting to schedule discussions so that all genres may be represented in a fair and equal manner.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 17, 2009, 09:20:26 PM
In quoting the above journalist, perhaps it is only right to quote other statements in the same article:

"We would be a very different nation, a lesser nation, without his (Lincoln) political genius, his dogged faith in the unsundered Union, his refusal to accept less than Union, even when haunted by reversals and setbacks that would have broken anyone else.  No, the argument is not about Lincoln's greatness.   Rather, it is about our tendency to cherish untextured myths that affirm our preferred narratives.." - Leonard Pits, Jr.

For Lincoln's speech in which the above statement is made, click here: 

 Lincoln's Debate of 1858 (http://www.bartleby.com/251/41.html)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 18, 2009, 08:02:32 AM
I just finished a really interesting book, CHINA ROAD; THE JOURNEY INTO THE FUTURE OF A RISING POWER by Rob Gifford.  Gifford had been a PBS correspondent from China for several years.  He decided to travel on China's new highway from Shanghai, 3000 miles across China, along their old Silk Road, and through the Gobi Desert, to the border of one of the "-stan" countries.  Fascinating book.  He speaks good Chinese, and talked with people in all the towns where he stopped, and told some of the history of the different areas.  Very interesting to hear the people's comments on their country.  Some of the Muslim/Chinese people in the west and the Tibetan people are sad to see their way of life gradually disappearing, as their children are being taught the Chinese language and culture.  China has a lot to worry about about to try to keep their huge country together with many ethnic groups and different languages.  They have as many people as live in North and South America and Europe, combined!  He talks about whether he feels China will ever become a democracy -- and feels it would take a long time, if ever.  After reading this, I wanted to visit China, and would, were I younger.  It would be a good book for discussion.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on January 18, 2009, 09:24:26 AM

Thanks for the recommendation, marjifay.  China Road sounds like a good one.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 18, 2009, 10:44:37 AM
The China book sounds very promising.  I will be looking at my library for that one.

I also want to mention another title, "Higher: A Historic Race To the Sky and The Making of a City" by Neal Bascomb.  I read this before our BOOKS visit to NYC in September and I searched out the skyscrapers in the book. The story of the race to build the tallest building in the world during the roaring 20's is worth the read. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 18, 2009, 11:28:44 AM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 18, 2009, 11:41:35 AM
Thanks, MARGE, for that recommendation!  I want to read the book also; we all need to keep our eyes on China, OH, GOSH, we owe them!   And I think they are beginning to lose faith in America's ability to pay back???  What do you think?

Hello Ann!

And now back to LINCOLN for just a few minutes.  I watched Meet the Press this morning and there was a panel discussion on the crises facing Obama and how he might best handle them.  And everyone talked of Lincoln. 

Phrases such as the "emotional intelligence" of Lincoln and the "push to succeed" that Stephen Douglas gave Lincoln, to name a few, were bandied about.  Why is it inevitable that Obama reminds people of Lincoln?

Of course, Lincoln was facing a crisis, but of such a different milieu.  In 1860 the country was literally falling apart, states seceding from the union, etc.

I would think that comparison with FDR, who faced not only a crisis overseas, but an economic crises at home would be more in tune to what Obama faces.

What do you think?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 18, 2009, 02:06:19 PM
Since we have a while before we will be reading A Team of Rivals, do you think D.K. Goodwin might come on and talk to us in March? I don't know how those th ings have been arranged in the past, but i think she might enjoy hearing our questions and comments...........we're probably a different demographic than she has talked to so far..................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on January 18, 2009, 02:45:26 PM
I'm definitely in! By ordering "Team of Rivals" and "The Guernsey Potato Peel Society" at the same time from Amazon, i squaked over the limit to get free shipping.

WELCOME, JONATHAN!! Good to see you again!

HATS: I also read "Night". A good book, but hard to read. I'll never forget it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 18, 2009, 06:32:55 PM
Good, JOAN!  Keep the TEAM OF RIVALS ready to open come March and in the meantime we can continue to review other books and here might be a good place to discuss the political scene as it unfolds this coming week.  We've discussed so many former presidents and their administrations over the years that we have been on the Internet. 

I am sure that most of you know that Seniornet was the first online book club?

Have any of you been to an inauguration in person? 

How many do you remember and why?

HATS, I read NIGHT years ago and I, too, remember it very well.  You will never forget the horrors, the world will never forget.

How many watched the Lincoln Memorial Musical today?  I watched it on HBO and some of it was very moving; it is hard not to "tear-up" (actually almost sob!) when you see pictures of soldiers kissing babies and returning home to families.  But, Wow!  What a scene, those huge TV screens on the Mall, have they ever had those before????

I hope Obama is storing up these good moments for ahead of him are some very difficult problems and, undoubtedly, there will be mistakes made along the way. 

Lincoln said "We here hold the power and bear the responsibility."

JEAN, I can try to capture the attention of Goodwin!   Wouldn't that be something?

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 19, 2009, 10:19:13 AM
I emailed 2 contacts on this site:

http://www.doriskearnsgoodwin.com/team-of-rivals.php

A YouTube interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin about this book:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N3eU2UsYio
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on January 19, 2009, 01:11:49 PM
'Good to see you again.'

Thanks, Joan. Surely that was the feeling of all of us as this site became available and we could renew our pleasant exchanges in recommending good reading. Over the years the tips I received from all you avid readers, changed, transformed my own reading habits. And great was the pleasure to hear that someone else was reading something I was engrossed in myself. Like:

KEPLER'S WITCH: An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother.

Remember that one, Joan? I just love the subtitle. A lot of comfort in that 'cosmic order', while wondering about the mother/son relationship.

Caro's THE POWER BROKER has been mentiioned numerous times here. A great book. I'm half way through it myself. I'm sure even Machiavelli could learn a thing or two about political machinations. I would like to recommend a companion volume to Caro's book. Just out recently.

ROBERT MOSES AND THE MODERN CITY: The transformation of New York. Edited by Hilary Ballon and Kenneth T. Jackson. Moses' work is beautifully illustrated and is commented on by a number of good critical essays.

I must have a look at CHINA ROAD. There certainly are a lot questions raised by the sudden emergence of this potentially big player on the world's stage. What do they make of it in Beijing?  That turmoil on their far western border. Which prompts me to mention a fascinating book:

DESCENT INTO CHAOS: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. By Ahmed Rashid. Read this to learn where all those billions went. And nothing is being built, seemingly. Geopolitical pieces scattered about, waiting to be picked up, by somebody.

I'm far too impatient to have TEAM OF RIVALS in the house, not  to get into it. And it only adds to the interest to look at the front page of my newspaper. A huge, towering Lincoln looming over the president-elect and his wife as they descend the stairs at the Lincoln Memorial. I think you're right, Ella, in wondering about the Obama preoccupation  with his distinguished predecessor.

The Goodwin history? It's very entertaining.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 19, 2009, 02:22:01 PM
Didn't we mention reading "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortensen???  Last week, maybe.
 
Well, I turned on the news today and across the bottom of the screen was the story of the Taliban bombing the schools in NW Pakistan as part of their demand that girls not be educated.  They have bombed 170 schools and ordered all girls' schools to close.  They really don't want anyone to be educated.  The people who live in these places have until Jan 15th to follow the orders given by the Taliban.  Terrorists telling simple folks what to do!

The area that Greg Mortensen built girls' schools in was this area.  He must be devastated!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 19, 2009, 06:52:02 PM
STOP READING NOW, JONATHAN!!!  Stop reading TEAM OF RIVALS until we all get into it or you will forget it.  We want your instant responses!  That's an order, hahahaaaa

All those books you recommended sounded great!  I have never heard of Kepler, but have the Caro book.  For now, I am ignoring all those books about the Bush administration and the machinations of his policies; where the money went, the blame for the wars in Iraq, Afgahanistan.  I think we need distance from it all to see it clearly and I may or may not live to read the truth of it all, which will not bother one whit!

How do the rest of you feel about the books about the Bush administration; there are tons of them!

Ann, thanks for the post; I know the news is just devastating and those poor women and young girls!  The world is a sad place, but hasn't it always been?

------------------

The decision to just present one book a month on this new site is a wise one and the Book Club Online is doing the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society in February.  We are a fairly new site, even though all, or most all of us,  have been former participants on the old Seniornet site. 

Consequently, please keep your book TEAM OF RIVALS in abeyance (oh, I love that word!) and we will be opening them MARCH lst!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 19, 2009, 06:59:09 PM
One more important notice, and one that I am very grateful for, pleased about, shouting-happy about, is that PATH is going to be the co-leader on our discussion of TEAM OF RIVALS!

In this way, if one or the other of us needs to be away, or God forbid that we get ill, there will be one here to post the heading and inform you of the next chapters - tell you when to turn the page, so to speak - and I am so thankful. 

CLAP YOUR HANDS, RAISE YOUR GLASS, A TOAST TO PAT!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 19, 2009, 08:16:14 PM
Cheers to Pat! Cheers to Obama and his administration and family! Cheers to the United States! It feels almost euphoric to watch the tv and what is going on in D.C. I can't recall another event that brought us all together in a happy/positive way. I think this is a unique day in the United States, and it's wonderful. So much togetherness, so many good feelings, so much hope, even w/ the dire straits we seem to be in! And MLK's birthday coming today and the inauguration being tomorrow is almost improbable.

The concert yesterday  - which is still playing on HBO - reminded me of some of the festivities of our bicentennial or the millenium, but even better. Pete Seeger, who in the 50's couldn't get a job because he and the Weavers had been labeled by McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover as subversives, in his 80's (?) singing on that stage for the president of the United States - i loved it!!! Yes we can change. It's all just so inspiring and exciting and wonderful........................

I've never been to an inaugural, but my husband and his sister were at the 1963 March to hear the "I have a dream" speech, and my son was at The Million Man March in the 90's, two other big events in D.C............we'll all be together w/ friends tomorrow, and in tears, i'm sure!...............................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on January 19, 2009, 09:36:09 PM
Cheers to tomorrow!  Although I live only 1 1/2 miles from a Metro stop, I will not be going down tomorrow.  The Inauguration in person isn't for the weak-limbed or cold sensitive, and I'm both.  I did see the stands at the Capitol, though, when I was downtown 10 days ago.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 19, 2009, 10:20:09 PM
Whoopee Goldberg said on "The View" today that she wasn't going to D.C. because she has a special relationship w/ her bathroom and there CANNOT be a line between her and her bathroom ;D...........i saw on the news tonight that they have 1 porta potty for every approximately 400 people that they are expecting - i'm w/ Whoopee, give me a tv, a bathroom w/in 30 ft AND w/ a guranteed roll of  toliet paper available! That's good enough for me..............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on January 20, 2009, 03:06:29 PM
I'm with Whoopee, too!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 20, 2009, 06:18:50 PM
What did you think of THE SPEECH?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on January 20, 2009, 10:49:42 PM
WOW!!!

Incredibly impressive.  Just the right tone.  Really well written.  My friends and I were just about in tears.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: pedln on January 20, 2009, 11:52:56 PM
And Gwen Ifill’s book Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama was published today, Inauguration Day.

Now watching the Inaugural Balls -- if you didn't know them you might say, "what a cute couple.  Is it their wedding, their prom?  They look so happy and are having such fun."

And then I think, this man has the burdens of the world on his shoulders and  we are all expecting him to accomplish so much.  When will he look this happy again?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 21, 2009, 01:57:26 PM
There were many tears here. We met with friends and our children - dgt, son and DIL - at a friends' house and we had a lot of tears of happiness. .........I've just watched Obama's statement on the rules of transparency in his gov't. I almost have to pinch myself to believe this is happening. It just seems so RIGHT! It's been too many years since i've felt this way about our gov't. I'm so excited about the possibilities for the future. Let's hope this euphoria and cooperation continue - at least for a while, i'm realistic enough to know it can't go on for long. ..................i saw a man, our age, at the inauguration yesterday who had on a "hippies for Obama" button and was doing the "v" sign for "peace." It took me back to the optimism of the mid-60's. That didn't quite work out, so let's hope this period of optimism is more successful..........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 21, 2009, 04:02:13 PM
PAT, you thought it was a 'WOW" speech. 

Gosh, I was disappointed.  I was expecting a "we have nothing to fear" or an "Ask Not" speech and I got a lot of neat phrases, but nothing to remember.  But he was refreshing to listen to, so well spoken and so well intentioned.

Oh, well, as JEAN expressed - "i'm realistic enough to know it can't go on for long."  The hope that he - we - can get us out of wars and debt and make it all better somehow!

Put us back into 2000 maybe?  Weren't we in pretty good shape then?

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 21, 2009, 04:05:54 PM
On the way home from shopping I listened to NPR and they had two authors on; THE FORGOTTEN MAN and THE DEFINING MOMENT (I can't remember the authors' names but those are the books) and both are about the depression.

The topic was whether FDR's policies of government spending shortened or lengthened the depression.  The two authors disagreed.  Perhaps we should be reading and discussing FDR?

The moderator asked phone-in folks to talk about what they learned in school about the depression.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 21, 2009, 04:47:24 PM
HERE IS "WOW!"  The new generation - THE INTERNET AND THE GOVERNMENT:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Will our kids know history better now that they can click it and see it, read it, watch a video, from their computer?

Will we need universities in the future?  Did you notice that one of the big commercials yesterday, along with the two big colas, Walmart and Lipitor, was THE UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX online?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 21, 2009, 05:42:18 PM
Ella, -- re the Whitehouse.gov  websight.  Really great!  The internet is wonderful.  Especially, for me, I love Wikapedia. 

However, I'd not want to attend college only via the internet.  I loved having discussions with the professor and other students.  I think I'd have missed so much not being in an actual classroom.

I thought Obama's speech was just great.  I was really surprised to see that he was hard at work today after what must have been a grueling day yesterday and with all those late night inaugural balls.  (I wonder if McCain at his age would have been up to all that?)

I loved the ending on the benediction prayer by that old man who had been so active in the civil rights movement.  Something about how everyone can get along -- the Browns can stick around, the Yellow can be mellow, the Reds can get ahead, etc.  Fun.  And I'd like to get a copy of Elizabeth Alexander's poem -- so far I can't find it.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on January 21, 2009, 06:57:04 PM
Transcript of Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem
1:25 PM PST, January 20, 2009

The following is a transcript of the inaugural poem recited by Elizabeth Alexander:

Praise song for the day.

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
 
A farmer considers the changing sky. A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; we walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign, the figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self." Others by "First do no harm," or "Take no more than you need."

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 21, 2009, 10:18:22 PM
I tho't the speech was great, very practical and down to earth about where we are and what we have to do.............i'm hoping that's the way the Obama administration is going to be.

Cubfan - thanks so much for the copy of the poem. I loved it too. Again everyday people, tho'ts and actions....................it's so great to get away from the lofty statements that then turn out not to be the actions that are being taken by the same people who made the statements...........From the past administration we had so much rhetoric about patriotism and freedom, etc. and then so much destroying of our civil rights and behind-the-doors decisions.............. The ironic thing is that altho everything about the inauguration and the Obama rhetoric has been practical/down to earth/realistic, it has generated an idealism and inspiration for so many people...............have you heard that w/ all those people in D.C. yesterday there was essentially no incidents of crime..........there was just an over all good feeling in the air, the feeling of best of humanity rising into the atmosphere..................hooray!................

Marjifay....I feel the same way about needing to have discussion in my college classes. That's the most fun about going to college.............when i was teaching at the community college, they asked me a couple times to teach an on-line class and i always said, "no thanks, that's not the way i like to teach. I want to know and hear the interactions of the students." ...........................

Ella - i would like to read and discuss the FDR years. The only problem is we'd probably need three months to get thru the 4 administrations..... ;D........let alone his whole life AND Eleanor!................................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 22, 2009, 05:48:37 AM
Thank you so much for posting Alexander's lovely poem, CubFan.

Jean's words in her post are so true.  Say it plain....
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on January 22, 2009, 07:08:35 PM
There was considerable comment during the last months of the old non-fiction board on the 1980.s David McCullough Biography of Theodore Roosevelt, "Mornings On Horseback."  I was even about to propose its discussion this winter.  Since then I have acquired another later Biography (2008) of this ex-President By Aida Donald entitled "Lion in the White House."  Has anyone read this book?  It is some 100 pages shorter  than the McCullough title but aside of this convenience in my judgment I think the McCullough title is still be best general reader biography of the  24th President.

I also have another new biography of another former U.S. President.  This one is by Jon Meacham the editor of Newsweek.  It is a biography of Andrew Jackson entitled "American Lion."  Some of you might remember Meacham as the author of a previous best seller, "Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship."  The Andrew Jackson book too would make an interesting discussion.  Have any of you seen it or read other books by Jon Meacham?

During the last several months that saw the apparent decline and fall of Seniorsnet I have taken on several new assignments in connection with my work at the local National Historical Park that precludes my participation in any on-line discussion at this time, but possibly later this year subject to the procedure of our new board, I might push for a discussion of one of these books.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 22, 2009, 11:39:43 PM
I read Mornings on Horseback many years ago. Wasn't that only part of TR's life? I remember a lot about his young years - mornings on horseback w/ his father when TR suffered from asthma attacks, thus the title. I don't remember where in his life it stopped. Did it continue thruout his life? I remember that i enjoyed it very much...............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 23, 2009, 06:12:03 AM
Ella,

You're right. I finished "Night." It's an unforgettable book. Thank goodness it's small. I didn't know Night is one of a trilogy by Elie Wiesel.
 
1.Night
2.Dawn
3.Day
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 23, 2009, 06:16:12 AM
MaryZ,

Thank you.

AdoAnnie, thanks for the "Team of Rivals" link.

I hate to admit it. I've never read a full biography about Lincoln. I think Jonathan mentioned Gore Vidal's Lincoln. I might try that one. It's Historical Fiction. To pick a nonfiction one, I wouldn't know where to start.

I've always wanted to read a full biography about Thurgood Marshall too. Nothing calls to me to read a book about Hillary Clinton unless she wrote an autobiography. I would like to read "It Takes A Village."
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 23, 2009, 06:26:41 AM
Years ago I might have read "The Day Lincoln Was Shot" by Bishop. I'm not sure. I think so. Just can't say it for sure.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 23, 2009, 11:28:04 AM
I haven't read much about Lincoln either.  Am looking forward to reading TEAM OF RIVALS which I just got from the library. 

Hats, Hillary Clinton did write her autobiography:  LIVING HISTORY, which I read sometime ago and enjoyed.  Haven't yet read Bill Clinton's MY LIFE--its over 900 pp.  Also want to read FIRST IN HIS CLASS; A BIOGRAPHY OF BILL CLINTON by David Maraniss of the Washington Post who won a Pulitzer for his coverage of Clinton's campaign.  A review said you simply can't understand Clinton without Maraniss's analysis of his past.  (in case anyone really cares (LOL), altho I do because I've found him to be an interesting character)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 23, 2009, 11:37:15 AM
Marifay,

Thanks for that title, "Living History."
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 23, 2009, 12:49:47 PM
Hats, I own a copy of THURGOOD MARSHALL; AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY by Juan Williams (author of Eye on the Prize), but I haven't read it.  Maybe you've read it.  Bought it when I heard Justice Sandra Day O'Connor praise Marshall during an interview on BookTV.  Looks like a very interesting book -- maybe I'll pull it out and read it. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 23, 2009, 01:46:20 PM
Oh gosh! All the books you've mentioned are ones that i would love to discuss w/ all of you - how much time do we have? ;D

Marjifay - i've always tho't Bill Clinton was a fascinating personality, from a psychological perspective. He's such a bundle of ambiguities, so smart, yet so stupid in his personal life and why is that? I think it's time for me to read First in His Class...................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 23, 2009, 03:53:30 PM
“However, I'd not want to attend college only via the internet. I loved having discussions with the professor and other students. I think I'd have missed so much not being in an actual classroom.”

I’m not sure how online courses work, MARGE.  My daughter taught one in nursing, but it was connected to a university and the students got together now and then and, of course, for exams.  I agree a student would miss the socialization that college offers.

----------------------

Thanks, CUBFAN, for the poem.  It does speak to everyone doesn’t it?  “Every day we go about our business”  but she ends the poem with a verse about love.  I thought it was wonderful.

-------------------------

JEAN, I smiled at your reference to four months for FDR!  You are so right!  But I think there has to be a book that condenses it all, isn’t there?  We all know his story, though, is there something new to talk about there?  What a lady Eleanor was.  We discussed a book about her last years on our old Seniornet site.  She died at the home of a friend - a doctor she got to know.  Actually, it was quite pathetic - I’ll look up the name of the book.

----------------------------

HELLO HAROLD!   Good to see you here.  Speaking just for myself, I have read a couple of books about Teddy; I would like to read and discuss the Andrew Jackson book as I don’t know a thing about him.  Here is a clickable:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=American+Lion

Looks very good and we look forward to your offering a book for discussion.  Meanwhile, we would love for you to participate in our MARCH DISCUSSION - TEAM OF RIVALS by Doris Kearns Goodwin 

Have you read it?  Whether you have or not, do come in and post!

------------------------------

Incidentally, if any of you have not read RIVER OF DOUBT about Teddy’s trip down the Amazon, do read it, it’s a great book and shows the depth of Teddy’s character and also his lack of organization!

-----------------------------------

HI HATS!  No, I haven’t read the others by Elie Wiesel, but now that you mention him, I’ll put that on the list.  Thank you!.  AND I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR PARATICIPATION IN TEAM OF RIVALS, where we will be looking in depth to Lincoln’s character and qualities that he brought to the presidency.  A good book, you’ll enjoy it!

---------------------------

YES, JEAN, read that book about Clinton and come tell us about it! 

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on January 23, 2009, 08:31:38 PM
Hi, everyone.  I flew home from Ohio, January 13th.  It is good to be home!  I missed my solitude.  On the flight home, I read more of "The Forgotten Man" by Amity Shlaes.  I am now half way through this book.  I find it fascinating!  The author writes that the biggest contributer, to the Great Depression was not the failure of the stock market, but was the banks unwillingness to free up money.  That led to home foreclosures, and high unemployment.  To my surprise the stock market ranged in the 100s, and went up and down.

I am enjoying the read, and learning so much about those days.  I had not known that Wendall Wilkie was the head of a power company that provided electricity to Americans.  The TVA project, gave ownership to the government, to build dams, which then provided power to electric companies., and communities.  The power company which Wilkie headed, obtained a line to take electric power from TVA.  I find this book flows, and is an easy read.  She writes in an interesting way.

Sheila 

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 24, 2009, 07:12:49 AM
THE FORGOTTEN MAN sounds like an interesting book, Sheila.  I've put it on my TBR list.  (Sigh--one more)

I think I still have my Wendell Wilkie button from the first grade (I saved everything).  I think I just liked the sound of his name because I sure knew nothing about politics then.  My parents voted for FDR.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: hats on January 24, 2009, 03:14:33 PM
Marifay,

I haven't read it. If you get a chance to read it, let me know.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: pedln on January 24, 2009, 06:15:55 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: Ella Gibbons (egibbons28@columbus.rr.com)




Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 25, 2009, 11:09:40 AM
  Hi, folks.  I have definitely decided to give up on reading Abba Eban's autobiography.  I loved his "Civilization: A History of the Jews", but the biography simply has too much political detail for me.
 At the same time, his descriptions and stories about the key figures of those times has been most interesting and insightful.  I plan to keep the book for reference, as it has an extensive index. I can refer to it whenever something comes up re. the 'movers and shakers' of that era.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 25, 2009, 01:02:02 PM
As promised I found our archived discussion of Eleanor Roosevelt's last year or two of life and her death.  The book is titled KINDRED SOULS and here is Doris K. Goodwin's note about it:

"Kindred Souls is a wonderful love story that opens to public view a fascinating chapter in Eleanor Roosevelt's life. Edna Gurewitsch has recreated Eleanor's last years with such remarkable empathy and such deep intuition that it seems as if Eleanor is alive once more." - Doris Kearns Goodwin

SHEILA, thank you for that review of the book THE FORGOTTEN MAN.  And your statement that the failure of the banks to lend money contributed to the great depression is somewhat frightening .   Isn't that what I am reading today?  That the billions, the first 350 billion that Bush gave to banks, was to promoted lending and the banks are holding onto instead?????

 And it is so interesting when someone reviews a book here for the rest of us to enjoy.  Do continue!  Thank you.

BABI, thanks for bringing Abba Eban's name up, it is a familiar one but lost in time.  So, here he is on one of the numerous sites dedicated to him.  You have probably seen the documentary on his life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abba_Eban

 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on January 25, 2009, 05:33:46 PM
Hi, Ella and Marji.  I cannot express strongly enough, how much I am enjoying "The Forgotten Man".  One of the things I enjoy the most is all of the author's information about names I have heard over the years.  Well known people of their day.  As for Wendell Wilkie, my father debated someone on the radio.  He favored WW.  I remember how shocked I was when I learned he had not voted from FDR.  I come from a long line of dedicated Democrats.  All four of my grandparents were alive.  I had two great grandmothers alive, and a great grandfather.  The only Republican in the family was my paternal gg.  After I got into genealogy, I discovered that in the 1920s she registered as a Progressive.  I felt better about her after I learned that.  LOL

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on January 25, 2009, 05:40:39 PM
Yes, Ella.  Reading in TFM about the banks, sounds exactly as banks are, today.  The author says that Herbert Hooker, had a  policy of keeping his hands off of the county's financial situation.  I was also surprised at the familiar names of people who urged him to get involved.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Steph on January 26, 2009, 08:04:23 AM
I promised to put this in non fiction.. Just finished "The Pages in Between" by Erin Einhorn. It is a non fiction account of a daughter of a holocaust survivor. Her Mother was a baby and was taken in by a polish family during WWII. They got paid.. She goes back to Poland as an adult to see where her Mother lived, if she can find the family, etc. Amazing book.. Not at all what you would expect. Dont think I would live inPoland, but the accounting was remarkable.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 27, 2009, 09:19:36 AM
No, Ella, I haven't seen the documentay on Abba Eban.  I was interested in him not only for the role he played, but because of I so much enjoyed his history of the Hebrew people.  Sheila said: 
Quote
"One of the things I enjoy the most is all of the author's information about names I have heard over the years."
  That is exactly what I most enjoyed in Eban's biography.  I'm saving it as a reference precisely for that reason.  I can go to it whenever the need arises, to see what he wrote about the various 'big names' of that period.

 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 27, 2009, 10:47:19 AM
HI STEPH AND BABI.

GOSH, it's quiet in here.  What are you reading? 

On a recent quick visit to B&N, I bought 2 paperbacks, THE LONG EMBRACE: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He loved by Judith Freeman - a charming book which portrays Los Angeles in the 1920's.  Another titled  ON HITLER'S MOUNTAIN: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood by Irmgard Hunt.

Last night I watched The American Experience (always a good TV show) and it focused on Robert Oppenheimer and how he was treated after his years of working for the government on the atom bomb.  I think I once read a book about him, cannot remember the name of it, and it named all the scientists that were with him.  Los Alamos is a fascinating place to visit.  If you ever get the chance, don't miss it.  So much history there and the National Laboratory is still there.  Who knows what they are working on today -  more destructive weapons?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 27, 2009, 09:13:32 PM
Ella - i looked for "Kindred Spirits" today at the library, but they don't have it. I asked them to order it. They are very good about getting anything i ask for, so i'm looking forward to it..........i did get "First in His Class" to see if i could figure out B. Clinton.............LOL...........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on January 28, 2009, 06:56:46 AM
Good morning, everyone!

Well, I can note what I'm not reading:  since we bookies were  advised to put aside Rivals until March, my husband snatched it.   We will have a friendly tug-of-war on Feb 26th or thereabouts when I need to read it myself.
                                                                   
The good news he gives it very high marks, and he's critical of history-light, which this sure is not.   He did not like Goodwin's book on the Kennedy's (old, cannot find it)  but he finds Rivals excellent.     

I'm back re-reading Washington's Crossing by David H Fischer, one of my favorite authors; most of his books are truly worth reading more than once.   Did anyone else read his new one on Champlain?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on January 28, 2009, 03:49:51 PM
The following are 4 new nonfiction titles now in the B&N catalog.  Three of these have not yet been released for sale but orders are being taken pending thair release that will come within a few days.

Eat This Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution by David Zinczenko, Matt Gouldi

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Eat-This-Not-That-Supermarket-Survival-Guide/David-Zinczenko/e/9781605298382/?cds2Pid=17806
 
    Publisher: Rodale Press, Incorporated
    Pub. Date: December 2008
    ISBN-13: 9781605298382
    Sales Rank: 5
    336pp

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by Steve Harvey

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Act-Like-a-Lady-Think-Like-a-Man/Steve-Harvey/e/9780061728976/?cds2Pid=17351

    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
    Pub. Date: January 2009
    ISBN-13: 9780061728976
    Sales Rank: 2
    240pp

The Yankee Years by Joe Torre, Tom Verducci
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Yankee-Years/Joe-Torre/e/9780385527408/?cds2Pid=17351
    Publisher: Doubleday Publishing
    Pub. Date: February 03, 2009
    ISBN-13: 9780385527408
    Sales Rank: 3
    512pp

Obama: The Historic Front Pages by David Elliot Cohen, Mark Greenberg, Howard Dodson (Introduction)

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Obama/David-Elliot-Cohen/e/9781402769023/?cds2Pid=17351
 
    Publisher: Sterling Publishing
    Pub. Date: February 11, 2009
    ISBN-13: 9781402769023
    Sales Rank: 4
    224p
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 29, 2009, 09:06:04 AM
Obama: The Historic Front Pages by David Elliot Cohen, Mark Greenberg, Howard Dodson (Introduction)

 Looks like they were waiting on this one, to see if Obama won the election.  Timed to take advantage of the high interest in the subject.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 29, 2009, 09:10:15 AM
JEAN, I hope you get KINDRED SOULS (NOT SPIRITS) by Edna Gurewitsch; you will not believe the book!  I didn't!  Who would have guessed that Eleanor Roosevelt, mother of five, wife of one of our most beloved presidents, beloved herself for her ceaseless interest in people from every walks of life, wouldl have died almost by herself except for a doctor she had gone to and became very good friends with.  Actually, she died in the doctor's home.  It's a pathetic story in many ways.

MIPPY, I'm so glad your husband is enjoying TEAM OF RIVALS.  It is a very good book as we will all discover soon - in MARCH, which will be here shortly - and I can't wait for spring.  We have 7-11 inches of snow outside and many closings!  He must post when we get into the discussion! 

Hi HAROLD, are you interested in any of those books?  Thanks for posting.  What are you reading?

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 29, 2009, 02:25:21 PM
Thanks for the correction Ella. I did look for "Souls" at the library, just switched in my mind when i wrote it here.

I've started "First in His Class"  - very readable and interesting so far. It is about Clinton's life up until he's inaugurated, so i may have to find a more recent book on him to get the last fifteen plus years. ............

I asked before, but nobody responded - does anyone know anything about Marnie? She was always in here and lead some discussions, i'm just concerned about why she hasn't shown up. If i remember correctly, just before seniornet went down there was a problem w/ her father or FIL............hope she's o.k..............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on January 29, 2009, 05:33:46 PM
Ella regarding my having an interest the new best selling nonfiction titles that I posted yesterday, I don't really see any of them  as prospectiive discussion candidates.  Others might consider them differently.  I thought that from time to time I might mention certain new nonfiction titles that have achived some popular best seller status.

My interest still centers on history.  Until recently I think I would have choosen the T. Roosevelt Mornings on Horseback biography, but today I think I would go for the Jon Meacham biography of Andrew Jackson. But any new discussion progect will have to wait until I complete some new volenteer committments at the S.A. Missions National Historical Park.

Im the meantime I hope to increase my activity here with comments relative to other posts and from time I will mention and link other new popular bew nonfiction titiles
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 29, 2009, 06:12:27 PM
Harold - thanks for the posts...............any "no diet" diet always interests me ;D

Either of the books for discussion that you mentioned would interest me.

I think you have an interest in Native Americans?...........i just read two novels by Don Coldsmith about the Kansas Territory. The first one is "Tallgrass" and has the most focus on the N.A'n's. Apparently he had intended to write only one book about the time and area, but when he got his required number of words on paper he discovered he was only up to pre-civil war, so he made it into two books. At the end of the second, "South Wind," he has some actual journal entries, one of which was a doctor who was w/ Gen Custer, before his most famous battle!..............just tho't you might enjoy them..............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 30, 2009, 07:46:42 PM
In case anyone is interested, on CSpan's Book TV program this weekend, two historians will be discussing Abraham Lincoln in depth -- his life and legacy and some of the many books written about him.  CSpan says books about Lincoln are currently being published at the rate of one per week!  The program airs Sunday 12 Noon and 12 Midnight, eastern time.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: winsummm on January 30, 2009, 11:39:51 PM
Three Cups of Tea  about building schools for Pakistani girls in the mountain regions where they use a stick to write lessons in the ground, no paper or tools and mostly no teachers outside on a hill top.
stranded mountain climber decides to change all that. He doesn't quite know where to begin but his people skills pave the way.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on February 01, 2009, 08:34:09 AM
Did anyone watch Amy Sedaris talk about her book I LIKE YOU yesterday on BookTV?  Hilarious!  Advice on entertaining, etc.  Just one I remember -- "A children's party should never last longer than 30 minutes!"  I have to read it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 01, 2009, 10:56:09 AM
JEAN, no, I don't know a thing about Marnie.  I wish I did, she was just great on our old site; I will ask around and see if we can find out anything but unless she answers an email, which I am sure has been sent out to her, we don't know a thing.  But, thanks, for asking about her.

MARJ, thanks for the updates on Abraham Lincoln.  This month is the 200th anniversary of his birth and there are planned activities everywhere - on TV, in new books, exhibits, even reenactments of his visits to various states, reenactments of battles of the Civil War, etc.

And we have our own here on SeniorLearn.  We will be discussing Goodwin's book TEAM OF RIVALS but due to scheduling it will not be until March.

MEANWHILE, COME IN TO THE DISCUSSION AND POST SOMETHING ABOUT LINCOLN, OR JUST POST THAT YOU WILL BE WITH US NEXT MONTH.  CLICK HERE TO POST:

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=187.new#new

Thank you WINSUMMM  for your post; I have heard about that book and it sounds great. 

Also thanks to HAROLD  for his interest and I would love to discuss any book you choose.

No, MARJ, I didn't watch BookTV yesterday at all.  I went to see SLUMDOG which makes 3 Oscar nominated movies I have seen.  So far, the Frost/Nixon one gets my vote! 
Title: Re: Slumdog Millionaire
Post by: HaroldArnold on February 01, 2009, 12:21:35 PM
Regarding the movie, "Slumdog Millionaire" see my post dated today on the
"Books Made Into Movies" board
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: BarbStAubrey on February 01, 2009, 03:47:44 PM
Quote
ON HITLER'S MOUNTAIN: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood by Irmgard Hunt.
Ella, I read it two years ago - good book - a book that shows the condition that Germany was in prior to Hitler's taking power - it was easy to see why he was such the hero given the economic condition of Germany, the poverty and also the way folks built their careers as intenerate workers - reading how her family and neighbors lived was an eye opener.

I still remember movie newsreals that showed hundreds of folks bedding down each night on the village roads taking up almost an entire block with each on a pallet row after row across the road.

I thought it was a good book that gave us a view of how folks in Germany lived before and during WWII and from a child's viewpoint what they did and did not know. The author is about my age - I think a year younger and so I could see how I thought I knew everything during my pre-teen years and early teens just as she writes as if she knew all there was to know.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on February 01, 2009, 04:27:03 PM
E.L. Doctorow was interviewed yesterday on Booktv and he talked about his theory that "history" was all "storytelling" - he mentioned Homer, the writers of the Old and New Testaments, etc. - until the Enlightenment when Galileo and others decided that you had to observe and prove truth in order for something to be called "history," or true ............Earlier in the week I saw a program on PBS titled "The Truth about Wikipedia" which presented both sides of the argument that you do/don't have to be a "professional" to know the truth about something and that the theory of Wiki is that everybody has knowledge and "truth" and should be able to post what they know. AND is there such a thing as "truth?" When we look at all the books that have been written about many public figures and events and the way they often disagree w/ each other, or a new one comes out w/ "additional/new" information about the person or situation, it is a striking question. How can it be possible that after 1000,s of books written about Lincoln for 150 yrs, that there are still books being published w/ "new" information? Were those previous 1000 books untrue?

Would make for a very interesting discussion, as it did on the Wiki show. I think Wikipedia is terrific and i have found that most of what i read there is accurate - as far as we know "accurate", but i guess that shows my liberal bias and my thinking that credentials are not absolutely necessary for a person to be knowledgable, or an "expert" about something.  I had a great argument w/ the vp of the college where i worked when she insisted that a person had to have a degree specifically in the discipline of the subject in order to be able to teach. I pointed out to her that in the 70's, 80's and 90's and even today, there are a lot of people who taught/can teach women's/Black  history, etc., who never had an opportunity to get a degree in those disciplines, because there were NO degrees in those disciplines when the courses were started in the late 20th century.

I think that's one of the things i like about seniorlearn - we share ideas and expertise and don't have any idea, in many cases, what the background is of the person providing ideas or insight. Of course, we are a small community who can largely trust that someone isn't attempting to pull the wool over our eyes - there really isn't any reason for someone to do that. ................what i nice feeling!....................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on February 02, 2009, 07:16:10 AM
Ella, I loved Slumdog Millionaire.  Now I want to see THE READER.  You said your favorite of the Oscar nominees so far is the FROST/NIXON.  I've not been eager to see this for a couple of reasons - First, I watched the original interviews by Frost, and second, I saw the 1995 movie NIXON with Anthony Hopkins and really disliked it.  He didn't seem to me at all like Nixon.  Maybe for those who didn't live through those years with him as president would have enjoyed it, but I heard and saw the real Nixon.  So I'm reluctant to see someone else try to portray him.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 02, 2009, 09:50:51 AM
And I am reluctant to spend time going back over that sad and disappointing story.  I don't plan to watch the Nixon/Frost movie.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 03, 2009, 11:09:57 AM
A NICE FEELING, JEAN, YES!!! 

Thanks HAROLD, BARBARA, JEAN, MARJ AND BABI for your posts.  I love coming in here and reading them and I might agree/disagree and that is the fun of it all.

Quoting JEAN - "is there such a thing as "truth?" When we look at all the books that have been written about many public figures and events and the way they often disagree w/ each other, or a new one comes out w/ "additional/new" information about the person or situation, it is a striking question"

What do you think? 

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 03, 2009, 11:19:57 AM
Our local book club is reading NINE by Jeffrey Toobey this month and I have just skimmed it; it looks very good.  Has anyone read it?

Speaking of which (and I willl be speaking of this for a few weeks starting in March) take a look at what the Supreme Court did in 1857 when they handed down the Dred Scott decision:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dred_Scott_v._Sandford

I know you have all heard of the case.  What a far cry it is today with Obama as our President.  We should be proud we have overcome.

Join us in our pre-discussion of Lincoln and his team of rivals.  What history!!!!

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?board=49.0

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 05, 2009, 06:14:00 PM
The question - is there such a thing as truth - is intriguing.  My answer would be no, not an individual truth or a collective truth.  Possibly there is such a thing as "factual truth."  It's a truth that the earth is round.  But a moral truth?

The book I had reserved some time ago finally came in to my Library and it looks very good.  AMERICAN LIGHTING by Howard Blum reports on the destruction of the Los Angeles Times Building in 1910; the trial of the terrorists who committed the crime and the labor struggles which evoked it.   Very good book, I think.

I had just listened to a short discussion of labor in this country today on NPR.  One listener calling in believes that unless we can get manufacturing jobs back into the country (said jobs now mainly in China) we are doomed to repeat the market of the late 1800's, the sweatshops, the low wages dictated by capitalism, no benefits, etc.  Our job market is disappearing somewhere and unemployment continues to rise.

Interestingly, the narrator pointed out the Washington, D.C. has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.  GO FIGURE!!!

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 06, 2009, 08:35:35 AM
So much of the stuff made in China, or the middle East, India, etc., is of poor quality.  The lower price doesn't make up for shoddy material or workmanship. The simplest solution to the problem would be for Americans to stop buying the stuff.  On the other hand, I picked up a made in China walking cane for a buck at a grocery store, and find it most useful.  So,there are obviously exceptions. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 06, 2009, 10:55:15 AM
BABI, try to find something made in America!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 07, 2009, 09:33:31 AM
I don't go into stores that expensive, ELLA.    :'( ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 07, 2009, 11:40:49 AM
THE PROBLEM!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on February 07, 2009, 05:15:44 PM
There are obviously some things we know in the natural world that we can state as truth, but when you are talking about events that include people and try to figure out "truth" that is a different story. If five of us see an accident, or any event, we are seeing it from five different perspectives, different histories bringing different thinking to the moment, eyes going to different pieces of what's happening  - and my goodness if you wait a year or a century to talk/research about it - "truth" can be clarified, or get mightily skewed. That was one of the reasons i found history so interesting and the more i learned/research/taught it the more interesting it became. ...................... jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on February 08, 2009, 10:34:02 PM
This is off topic, but I just wondered if anyone has ever read JUSTICE AT NUREMBERG by Robert E. Conot.  It's not a new book (1983?) but a real page turner!  I got started on it after reading Albert Speer's INSIDE THE THIRD REICH, which is also fascinating.  I haven't got to the trial yet, have just read a couple of chapters talking about some of the defendents they brought in.   I'd always thought of all these Nazis as being perhaps like Adolf Eichmann, scary people, but of those I've read about so far... Rudolf Hess and Von Ribbentrop were really pathetic nut cases. 

And Hermann Goering was something else.  When he surrendered and was brought in, he left behind at Berchtesgaden a train loaded with stolen artwork.  He brought with him his valet, his personal nurse, 4 aides, 5 kitchen crew members and a chef, along with his wife and her maid, and their young daughter and her nurse.  Also with him were 16 monogramed suitcases containing among other things, an accordian,
$20,000 in German marks, his medals and enough gold, silver and jewels to start a small jewelry store.  One suitcase contained 20,000
paracodine pills which he was taking at a rate of 40 per day.  It took over two months to gradually get him withdrawn from this drug.

So, just in case you're looking around for something to read....

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 09, 2009, 09:43:18 AM
MARJIFAY, I have long been of the opinion that was is the perfect medium for the rise of 'scary' people and nut cases.  Instead of jailing them or placing them in institutions, the powers that rule during war hire them to do their dirty work.
  I recently finished Daniel Silva's "Unlikely Spy",  a fiction story based on actual events.  It featured the nuts and the monsters, and it seemed everyone was practicing a deception on everyone else. It was enough to make my head spin.
It was engrossing, but not at all encouraging.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on February 09, 2009, 11:10:14 AM
Babi said, "Instead of jailing them or placing them in institutions, the powers that rule during war hire them to do their dirty work."
 
Yes, and that has happened in "peace" time too.  Perhaps not as bad as the nazis, as probably no one could match their horrors, but look at what the CIA did in various parts of the world, and, of course, Nixon's Watergate screwballs.

I've put THE UNLIKELY SPY on my TBR list.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 10, 2009, 08:24:46 AM
You're welcome.  :)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on February 11, 2009, 12:04:31 PM
Regarding Herman Goering, he cheated the Nurenburg hangman a few hours before his scheduled execution by biting a cynide pilll that was concealed cleverly in ia cermanic pipe.  One or another of his guards apparently retreived this pipe from his stored effects in violation of standing orders.  The prime suspect was a Lieutant from Central Texas who returned to civilian life and died early so the full story of the circumstance of how the pipe was delivered will never be known.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 12, 2009, 08:39:25 AM
That's a story I haven't heard before, Harold.  I wonder if the Texas Lt. was a pipe smoker, too.  It's hard to imagine anyone being willing to do a kindness for Goering, but a man who loved his pipe might.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 14, 2009, 11:38:51 AM
Is anybody reading any good books lately?

A good autobiography or biography?

I watched a portion of bookTV this morning and listened to a history professor in Virginia discuss his book HOW AMERICA GOT IT RIGHT by Bevin Alexander.  What a patriot he is; he will not concede that we have made any mistakes in the last century (or ever) with one exception and that is Vietnam.  He doesn't see China as a military threat and believes that our involvement with the Middle East was a correct one and will continue for sometime.  However, he says we have given up the idea of a democracy in the region but will keep a small military force there for sometime.

In our newspaper recently there was a review of a book HOW TO LIVE: A SEARCH FOR WISDOM FROM OLD PEOPLE (While They Are Still on This Earth) by Henry Alford.  Humorous.

Come join us in our discussion of Abraham Lincoln in TEAM OF RIVALS.  The book discussion begins March lst.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 16, 2009, 04:41:30 PM
I am reading "China Road" by a guy from NPR or PBS and finding it quite an eye opener. 
Also, Ella asked me to mention the possibility of discussing "Loving Frank", about Frank Lloyd Wright and his real paramour.  The book is well written and full of much that is true, historically.  Since we have some of Wright's students' designed homes here in my home town of Columbus, OH, I found it a source of how Lloyd felt about his "Organic Architecture".  Anyone else interested???
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on February 16, 2009, 05:06:59 PM
I have China Road ready to pick up at the library tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to getting into that one.  I hope it has good maps - I am woefully ignorant about the geography in that part of the world.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on February 16, 2009, 05:26:20 PM
Mary, China Road is a very interesting read.  It has a great map so you can follow his trip across China.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on February 16, 2009, 05:50:53 PM
Do any of you remember the Readers Digest Condensed book club?    I was an early subscriber when it was first announced in 1955, and most of all I remember the first issue. That included an interesting history by Cecil Woodham Smith about the Charge of the Light Brigade.   The story is told against the backdrop of Tennyson’s famous poem.    In some 60 pages the famous charge is detailed with the conflicts and vanities of two leading generals (Lord Cardigan (he invented the jacket style and Lord Regan).  The story also details the role of the social and military system that put them in position of command and also notes the reforms that followed.

Last Saturday I ran across a copy of this volume at one of our Chandler campus libraries and brought it home to read, which was no major project in as much as in its condensed form it was reduced o about 60 pages.    A reprint paperback of the full length book is still in the B&N Catalog at

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Reason-Why/Cecil-Woodham-Smith/e/9780140012781/?itm=1   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Persian on February 16, 2009, 06:29:28 PM
I love books with great world maps, so would really appreciate China Road.  I often turn to the National Geographic maps to "repeat" some of the trips I took while I spent a semester teaching in China in the mid-80's.  My son used some of the NG maps (and also the military ones, of course) during his two deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And they have been wonderful resources for some of my public presentations.  I'm studying one now focused on Afghanistan and trying to learn as much as I can about the Swat Valley.

I also loved my collection of the Readers Digest Condensed Books through the years and have many still on the shelves.  My 45 year old son learned many history lessons in his youth from some of those texts.  They were "treasures" in our household!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 17, 2009, 12:01:54 PM
Great posts to read this morning.  The ideas!  The books!  The memories!

CHINA ROAD was a great book, ANN!  Several of us have read  and would recommend it.

And I have read LOVING FRANK and thought the book was very good.  It's a novel, but factual in every sense of the word.

Hello, MARJ!

HAROLD, goodness, yes,  I remember the condensed books.  When we were very busy young adults they were good to read, just to catch up on what was going on the literary world.  They didn't always take the place of the whole book, though!  Are they still being published, I have no idea.  I have all the time in the world now to read the whole story.

Hello PERSIAN!  Thanks for the post.  Can you speak Chinese?  Or did you teach English while in China?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on February 17, 2009, 07:11:30 PM
Regarding the Reader's Digest condensed books series;  I don't think they are currently being published.  In fact I am almost sure that they are not.   I dropped my subscription a year or so later when apparently I found that even condensed book were taking too much of my time.

 I remember a number of titles from the early series including several titles that later became movies.  These include "Good Morning Miss Dove and in particular "The Searchers" that was a popular movie based on the Cynthia Ann Parker incident.  She was the five year old Texas Girl who in 1836 was captured by Comanche during the Texas Revolution to grow up a Comanche and become the mother of Quanah Parker The last Comanche war chief.  Twenty years later she was “liberated”  by Texas Rangers, but unable to readapt to Anglo society she died just one year later.  The “Searcher” is a loosely related fictional account of a similar incident particularly one man’s persistent search for a Comanche Anglo girl captive that finally paid off with its success.  I think this historical event has been the basic formula for several 20th century novels and stories.

Quanah Parker, who was not taken when his mother was liberated remained Comanche throughout his life and is credited with moving his people into their new role in the 20th century.   He seems to have been a prominent crowd pleasing participant in the Theodore Roosevelt 1905 inaugural parade.  The Quaker missionaries at the Reservation kept urging him to give up all but one of his several wives, but he always refused saying he was not brave enough to tell the ones being rejected.   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 18, 2009, 08:57:55 AM
Harold, thanks for that story about Quanah Parker being asked to give up all but one of his wives. That gave me a smile to start my day.  Quanah Parker was a very interesting man.
   Not long ago I read a book about two girls taken by Indians and later 'rescued'.  It was called "Remember the Morning", but right now I can't remember the author.  Their years with the Indians were a marked influence in the girls' lives.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on February 18, 2009, 10:05:46 AM
Greetings Babi -

Remember the Morning was by Thomas Fleming.  I have now finished that one as well as Liberty Tavern and am  into the Wages of Fame.   He does continue to use the same technique of  - alluding to the result of a decision - but it is not as overbearing as it was in the first book.  I have not become "connected" to any of the characters but am enjoying the settings  Remember the Morning is in the Mohawk Valley in the early 1700's when I had ancestors living there and involved with the French and Indian Wars.  Liberty Tavern - although set in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War - gave me a feel for the tavern owner and the committee of safety, which again an ancestor was a tavern owner and chairman of the committee of safety in NY.  The involvement of the Quakers was also of interest because my mother's ancestors were Quakers in NJ at that time.  In the Wages of Fame I am now into the 1820's which is a period of history that I  am weak in so it too is interesting. These books are not riveting for me - but there are well researched and I will finish the series.

In response to Ella's question -
Quote
Is anybody reading any good books lately?

I'm also reading The Power Broker by Caro which is interesting and frustrating.  FDR has just been elected governor of NY and he and Robert Moses detest each other.  Moses is one of those people who started out with good ideas and ideals and then when he had the power to do good let power become his objective. 

I would think that one of the reasons that Lincoln is considered a great president is because once he had the power he never forgot that his goal to preserve the union and he continued to use his power for that purpose.

A friend just loaned me "Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy" by Kraybill, Nolt and Weaver-Zercher about the school house shooting in PA in 2006. I will probably take a quick break from the others to read it. 

In the meantime - read some quick mysteries and a book by an acquaintance dealing with his (less than a year) losing battle with cancer.

Just received a reminder that winter is still alive in well - snow today and bitter cold and wind returning for tonight.  At least we know that March is only a week away. Soon I'll be able to sit outside in my swing and read to my heart's content.     Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 18, 2009, 09:40:42 PM
No bites on "Loving Frank"???  Well, I have another title that I am also considering and its "non fiction".  Very timely book, about an American building schools in Pakistan and NE Afghanistan.  "Three Cups of Tea" is the title.  Very good reading.

There are no maps in the hard cover of "China Road" but I think if you have a good atlas that you could follow the trip.  This book does surprise.  Just the number of people in that country is amazing.  My son was in Bejing last year and he said that the huge numbers of people, out walking and shopping, is overwhelming.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on February 18, 2009, 09:46:30 PM
I got my hard-cover copy of China Road from the library yesterday, and it has an adequate map in the front of the book - not very detailed, but it'll do.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 19, 2009, 08:40:20 AM
Thanks for the info., CUBFAN.  I wish I had more specific information about my ancestry; it would be interesting to read the history of their times and places. What I know is too vague to be of much use.
  Sorry,  Annie.  I wanted to read "The Silk Road", which I believe covers the same caravan route as the China Road.  I've heard good things about "Three Cups of Tea". I think I'd be interested in that one.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 19, 2009, 09:22:48 AM
Here is the route that Rob Gifford took across China.

http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2004/aug/china_road/

Plus Gifford's breakdown of the trip.  Very nice! Lots of pictures!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on February 20, 2009, 03:27:55 PM
The "Snoop" book, about what your stuff says about you, turned out to be a bore. It sounded so entertaining..........oh, so it goes...........

I'm also reading "First in HIs Class" Bill Clinton's life up until 1992. And then i was looking for something to read while on the treadmill, so in looking at my stash i found Bob Woodward's "The Agenda" - Bill Clinton's campaign and administration, so i'm sort of reading BC in a schizoid fashion. LOL...........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Persian on February 20, 2009, 03:35:10 PM
ANNIE - if you have additional comments about Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea
I'd be interested in reading them, since I'm scheduled to talk about Afghan culture at one of our local libraries on March 10 and 11 in connection with his experiences in Afghanistan.  I've known (and worked with) several Afghan educators and numerous Americans who have worked hard for many years to bring various aspects of education to children and youth in Afghanistan.  I'm familiar with Afghan tribal and clan culture, but have been pondering for several weeks about how much detail to present to the library discussion group.  I've even contacted several Afghan friends in the metropolitan Washington area to get their advice.  All 3 answered "take it easy."

ELLA - Yes, I was able to talk with my students in Chinese when I taught in Sichuan province in the mid-80's.  Although my university classes were in English, of course, the students were happy that we could also communicate in Chinese.  I have always considered myself fortunate be to from a multicultural and multilingual family background.  I've enjoyed learning languages for my own enjoyment, as well as at a professional level when I needed to do so.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on February 22, 2009, 05:32:40 PM
I don't remember who recommended "The Bookseller of Kabul", but I want to thank that person.  I am reading it and finding it most interesting.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 23, 2009, 10:09:19 AM
I read that one, FLAJEAN, and found it interesting, but most disturbing.  I spent a good deal of my reading time being upset and angry at the treatment of the women of the family.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 24, 2009, 10:41:34 AM
Certainly someone is reading a good nonfiction book!

Let us know!!!  I am in dire need of a good one!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on February 24, 2009, 12:06:11 PM
Babi, I did also.  My blood pressure went up when I read about Mansur (I won't repeat my opinion for him) forbidding his mother to teach even 'tho her husband was OK with it.  IMO I think this book gives a more real and rounded picture of Afghan men than "Three Cups of Tea".  However, I did enjoy "Three Cups of Tea" also.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on February 24, 2009, 04:46:14 PM
Sure, Ella, I can recommend a good one that I'm reading now:

109 EAST PALACE, by Jennet Conant. It was resting on my shelf unread, until you brought up the subject of Los Alamos, and the Manhattan Project. Once I had watched The Trials of Robert Oppenheimer that you mentioned, I was hooked on the subject. Conant's book is perhaps more human interest stuff than the rocket science nature of atom bomb construction. The subtitle is: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos. I'm pretty certain I'll be reading another book I've had for a while:

AMERICAN PROMETHEUS: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Has anyone read it?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 25, 2009, 09:27:12 AM
I am presently reading "Let's Roll", the Todd Beamer biography by his wife (with a co-writer) Lisa Beamer.  After reading and hearing so much about dysfunctional families, it is nice to read about healthy, happily functioning families. 
  That said, it is only our natural desire to know more about the heroic Todd Beamer that gives us a reason to read the book. There is nothing there to excite interest otherwise.  I can't help but feel my interest in Todd would have been sufficiently satisfied with a good magazine article.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 25, 2009, 01:36:09 PM
Thanks, BABI!!   But I have read one or two books about Oppenheimer, who was mistreated by the government after the bomb, as I remember.  The colonel (or was he a captain) in charge of Los Alamos at the time was a real tyrant, but possibly needed to keep that place secret from the world.  What a secret!!! 

Have you read anything that mentions any spies or enemies who might have somehow come in contact with that project?  We knew about the Germans perfecting their bomb, I wonder if they knew anything about Los Alamos or that project.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 25, 2009, 01:39:53 PM
I watched a portion of documentary on Hurricane Katrina last night and wonder if anyone has read a book about it?  I think it would make a good topic for discussion if I could find a good book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on February 26, 2009, 12:33:20 PM

I certainly do not need a book about Hurricane Katrina------I lived it (I am in Louisiana)----
however, there are plenty of books out there about that tragedy.
JOY
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 26, 2009, 09:32:00 PM
JOY!  How did you survive?  Still have your clothes and house?  Do you think the city will ever be rebuilt?  People move back?

Tell us a bit about it, we have heard so much and are not sure what is the truth.  Who was at fault, if there was fault?

I brought home from the library two books on the hurricane, I am not sure that either is what I am looking for but, as you say, there are many!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on February 28, 2009, 07:19:29 PM

Ella: I live in Baton Rouge---up river about 80 miles from NO, so we did not feel the effects of
Katrina as did the people in NO. However, let me tell you we felt ENOUGH. My youngest dtr (36) and family live in Mandeville ---a city on Lake Pontchartrain which is across from NO.  She and family evacuated to BR, and 2 dtrs here and their families, and I--along with the dtr from Mandeville all "camped out at one dtr's house because we thought she was in a place that would probably not lose electricity--------NOT SO. Electricity was out for about a week---
depending what part of the city you were in.  And let me tell you, Louisiana is HOT in Sept.  >:(
All you have seen on the news was true, thousands evacuated, thousands sick in hospitals, evacuation centers , nursing homes (lots of nursing home patients were sent here to Baton Rouge, as well as all over Northern Louisiana and other states). No, New Orleans will NEVER be the historic city it was, but they are TRYING. My dtr's MIL lost EVERYTHING but the clothes she
evacuated with (from NO) and countless others were in the same predicament.  I could go on-
and-on with horror stories, but suffice it to say it was the hurricane of the centaury-bar none!
Joy
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on February 28, 2009, 08:32:31 PM
ELLA: I was working for a top-secret project (not Los Alamos) during the fifties, and I will never forget the paranoid attitude of those days. We had to take lie detector tests twice a year where they asked if we were Communists. They asked if we had ever read Marx. I had read "The Communist Manifesto" as part of a Collage "famous documents of history" class. So I had to explain that I had read Marx, but I didn't want to.

I was never allowed to work on the most secret projects, and I suspect that was why.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Persian on February 28, 2009, 10:59:29 PM
Did the earlier proposed discussion of 3 Cups of Tea ever receive enough interest to begin the discussion?  I'm interested since I'm working on my presentation on Afghan culture for a local Library group on March 10th.  If there was a discussion, I'd appreciate knowing how participants felt about Mortenson's remarks.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: winsummm on March 01, 2009, 01:21:22 AM
pedin mentioned "three cups of tea"

I just finished it and feel so differently about pakistan and aphganistan.   \\ theme is that adducation and expecially fr girls itthe answer to the Taliban and Alcaeda.  the theme is that once a person gets into learning something other than killing and praying he is able to contribute in a posative way and peace prevail.  The important aspec of this is that schools for girl contribute the most.
I have learned so much about what is going on in pakistan and afganistan both poor countries forced by taleban and  alhaeca to live a lifeless existance. , .especialy the women..and financed by the saudis.

the whole book suggests that building grammer school for the children is a way out and its tone is compassionate.  writen by gregg mortenson and david relin. a MUST. it also gives suggestions for passing it on. educations helps us all to being peace.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: winsummm on March 01, 2009, 01:33:20 AM
morenson felt an obligations to educate the girls expecialy in the far flung villages of pakistan and later afganistan. His premise that it would be harder for aelida dn the taliban to recrute from them if they had been taught to think fo themselve.  Te whole book seems to ride on a theme of compassion for these peopl.  He fund themn easy to love.

easy to understand as poor people making do.  I did too. the co-write david relin found this tone and used it throughout.  there i a region at the back suggesting ways we can all help.

I find spelling a problem, so many unfamiliar names, but it is worth it  --   a great read.

claire

claire
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 01, 2009, 10:17:09 AM
I've started reading "The Faith Club", the story of the three women, Muslim, Christian and Jew, who began comparing their faiths in order to write a book explaining them to their childen.  Someone here recommended it, I believe.
  I am finding it to be a very honest and open look at the questions which people of each fatih find most sensitive and difficult to discuss. I am greatly impressed with the way these women worked past things that initially upset them, to come to a better understanding.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 03, 2009, 10:48:08 AM
I don't know, I feel that there was a rush to put a book into print before Ted Kennedy died and it doesn't seem appropriate for some reason.  The name of the book is THE LAST LION. 

An interesting one on our Library home page is: 

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping
By: Judith Levine

Many of us have tried to call a halt to our spending at one time or another. But what if we decided not to buy anything for a whole year? In honor of National Consumer Protection Week, we feature Not Buying It, a cold-turkey confession by an award-winning journalist that follows her progress--and inevitable relapses--

Personally, I never shopped much anyway except for groceries, so not a problem!  You reach a certain age and there isn't much need.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on March 03, 2009, 12:49:55 PM
I've just finished China Road.  Thanks for the recommendation.  It was a very good read - and I certainly learned a lot about China that I never even thought of before.  It's a very readable, personal story, but with lots of information.  John's reading it now.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Fran on March 04, 2009, 11:54:36 AM
I just finished reading "Mrs.Lincoln" by Catherine Clinton and truly enjoyed it. I found I got to know and understand Mary Lincoln in a "better Light." These are  some comments written by Doris Kearns:  "In this remarkable book, Catherine Clinton displays an emotional depth in her understanding of Mary Lincoln that has rarely been revealed in the Lincoln literature.  This engaging, wonderfully written narrative provides fresh insight into this complex woman, whose intelligence and loving capacities were continually beset by insecurities.  It is a triumph."
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on March 04, 2009, 01:27:03 PM
MaryZ, you probably remember in China Road how anxious the Chinese Communist Party is about seeing that the standard of living there keeps rising so that their millions of citizens  won't brood over their lack of real freedom and other problems and possibly decide to revolt.  There is an article today on the front page of the NY Times online about this subject.  It talks about how the leaders are meeting to talk about increasing their own stimulus package they've already pledged of $584 billion. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: lucky on March 05, 2009, 08:04:16 PM
Lately I have been reading books dealing with panics, money manias and depressions.  Nial Ferguson's latest book "The Ascent of Money "is fascinating.  He begins with the first coins used in Mesapotamia and takes us up to our latest financial downturn.  There is a very interesting book, (perhaps one could call it revisionist history) on the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes, "The Forgotten Man." Books on money manias, panics and crashes gives up hope.  We learn that the United States has lived through many of these downturns starting with the panic of 1792.  We came through many of these crises and we survived.  We will come through this one too.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 06, 2009, 09:14:06 AM
I am firmly convinced that human society goes through regular swings, like those of  a pendulum.  At each end of the arc are extremes which seem dire and threatening, but always we turn back from that threat and return to a norm, only to swing too far to the other side.  It's a repetitive pattern, but reassuring in its own way.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on March 06, 2009, 09:34:06 PM
Greetings -

Have just finished two interesting titles.  The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin - about a horrific blizzard that hit the Dakota territory in 1888.  It not only introduces us to the pioneer settlers of the time but also the politics of weather forecasting.  Puts our current weather situations into perspective. As much as I'm tired of snow shoveling and cold weather this year - it has really only been an inconvenience - not life threatening.

Also read, Amish Grace, by Kraybill, Nolt, and Weaver-Zercher.  This title gives an understanding of the Amish way of life and how they are able to forgive, even following the killing of the ten school girls in Pennsylvania, October 2006.

Both books explained their situations well.      Mary


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 07, 2009, 01:10:20 PM
HI FOLKS!

All those books sound good, I've got so many to read but I have a project underway at the time and it is called - DISCUSSING TEAM OF RIVALS, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

WE NEED YOUR INPUT!

The Civil War!!!  Who did it?  Why?  Did they know how it would split the country?  Did they care?  After all those fabulous revolutionary days and people, they were giving up on it?

Whether you are reading the book or not - GIVE US AN OPINION!  A ROUND TABLE DISUSSION.

Here -     http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=271.40
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: lucky on March 07, 2009, 02:51:26 PM
I would like to recommend two books, one a hugh volume on the history of New York City, starting with the colonization by the Dutch in the 16th century, l7th century, 18th century and 19th century New York City.  It is called Gotham and is over 1,000 pages but if you were born in New York City as I was ( actually Brooklyn) you will find it amazing.  The other volume is much smaller and very entertaining.  It's called "Low Life", by Luc Sante, and it is exactly what it says, the low life of l9th century New York City, gangs, crooked police, crooked politicians, political bosses, houses of ill repute, opium dens etc.  If "Gotham" appears overwhelming do read "Low Life".  You will not regret it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on March 07, 2009, 04:11:00 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: Ella Gibbons (egibbons28@columbus.rr.com)




They sound interesting Lucky, i'll look for them..............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Fran on March 08, 2009, 11:06:20 AM
Elizabeth Keckley
 Behind the Scenes or, Thirty Years a Slave,
and Four years in the white House

This book features a candid private view of the Lincoln White House during a violent turning

point in American history, and the story of a friendship that continued after Lincoln's

assassination.

Introduction and Notes by--William L. Andrews
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on March 08, 2009, 11:11:22 AM
Do you know the publishing date of the Elizabeth Keckley book? I read a book about her many years ago and it was very interesting. She ended up being one of the few "friends" of Mary Lincoln, as i recall, and really took care of her - mentally and physically, as much as she could - w/ a compassion.............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Fran on March 08, 2009, 01:31:51 PM
Jean, I'm copying this from my paper back copy:

First published in the U.S. by G.W. Carleton & Co. 1868

This edition with an introduction and notes by William L. Andrews 2005
--Fran
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Sandy on March 08, 2009, 02:04:45 PM
 
  I have just finished three memoirs - Dewey (the Library Cat)by Vicki Myron, My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, and Isabel Allende's The Sum of Our Days. 

 My Stroke of Insight was written by a 37 year-old brain scientist at Harvard as she clinically recorded her stroke and recovery. It is a fascinating study in depth of the roles the right brain and left brain each played in her recovery.

 Isabel Allende's book continues her memoirs of life in California with most of her family from Chile with her as well as her second husband (an American) and her children. I believe she is a wonderful writer.

Sandra
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 11, 2009, 11:19:54 AM
All those memoirs sound interesting, SANDRA!  Thanks for suggesting them.

On BookTV over the weekend I heard the author, Cullen Murphy, speak about his book, ARE WE ROME, and although I just heard bits of it due to a long telephone conversation, I heard enough to look the book up when I am next in the library.

The author said one of the reasons Rome fell was because the populace became complacent and America never has been in its history.  We are a country who is always looking for ways to do better, monetarily and morally.    I wish I had heard more of the discussion.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on March 11, 2009, 12:55:00 PM
Ella, http://www.booktv.org/ is the link to the BookTV web page.  I think I heard at one time that you could now listen to interviews on the computer.  I didn't look, but you might be able to find the one you want there.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: lucky on March 12, 2009, 09:27:52 AM
For history buffs I would like to recommend "Stalin, The Court Of The Red Tsar" by Simon Sebag Montefiore, everything you ever wanted to know about Stalin and everything you wish you didn't know.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on March 12, 2009, 02:07:48 PM
March is Women's History Month. What good books have you read that talked about women's role in history?


Just last night i had a wonderful experience in women's history. Women's Way in Philadelphia, which is a "United Way" for women's agencies and issues, give an award each year to the author of a book which advances the dialogue about women's rights. It's given in the name of Ernesta Drinker Ballard who was the first president of Women's Way. W'sW was started in the 70's when the United Way of Phila was giving very little money to women's agencies and projects. Ballard was a dynamo for women in PHila, in many areas of life.

The winner of the award last night was Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the author of sev'l books about colonial women, but is most famous for putting a phrase in a journal article in the 1970's about colonial funerals that said "well-behaved women seldom make history!" That phrase has been picked up and used on every surface - t-shirts, mugs, pens, banners, etc. etc. and is the title of her latest book.  This book focuses on Christine de Pisan, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Virginia Woolf, but goes on to chapters entitled "Shakespeare's Daughters," the Amazons," Slaves in the Attic," and others. She is really talking about all of us ordinary women who "make" history w/out ever having our names in history books. Gerda Learner has said everyone is making history. Do you think she's right?

I say to my students that everyone whose name is in a history book was/is a radical. Do you agree? They weren't behaving as normal, everyday people, or thay would not be noticed enough for us to still know their names.

Another of Ulrich's books i enjoyed was "The Age of Homespun." That was her first book and was about colonial women. ...................

Last night she talked about how the interest in many groups civil rights and history during the 60's, 70's and 80's brought an huge expansion of what is history and how it makes "history" a vastly different thing now than it was in 1965.

Gerda Lerner has also said that one of the reasons women have been limited in their accomplishments is that they don't know their history and what they had already accomplished. What books have you read that gave you a different perception of women thru history?........................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 13, 2009, 09:03:53 AM
I recently finished reading "The Faith Club", which may have been recommended here.  I greatly appreciate that recommendation, as this is a book well worth reading.  The three women, a Muslima, a Jew, and a Christian get together with the idea of coming to an understanding of one another's faith, so they can write a children's book explaining those beliefs. 
  The women come to grips with some very hard issues, are sometimes hurt or offended, but they continue to work it out together.  They become close friends, with the added benefit of a deepened understanding in their own faiths as well as a new acceptance of that of others.  IMO, these three women have demonstrated how it should be done. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on March 17, 2009, 10:54:46 AM
Am reading "My Guantanamo Diary, The Detainees and the Stories They Told Me" by an American Afghan lawyer named Mahvish Rukhsana Khan.  She received her secret clearance and was hired by the gov. because she could speak the Pashtoon language.  It is so sad to hear stories of some innocent Afghans that were turned in by their own Afghan people for the $25,000 that we offered them.  But, unfortunately, they languished in "Gitmo" for years before our Gov. let them go and many of them were tortured.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on March 17, 2009, 01:11:18 PM
That is interesting Flajean. I didn't know there was a reward offered except for Bin Laden. Some people will accuse others of misdeeds just to get the money and/or they see a way to get rid of someone in the neighborhood they don't like and want to cause them lots of trouble. This brings into question just how many at Gitmo were falsely accused.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Persian on March 17, 2009, 10:37:31 PM
BABI - I am glad you enjoyed The Faith Club, which clearly illustrates that women of the Abrahamic faiths can work alongside each other when they allow themselves to listen to each other, discuss (without rancor) their differences (as well as similarities) and realize that they often have more in common than not.

This book was also mentioned in the recent presentation I did at a local library in connection with Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea.  This is another marvelous example of how people of totally different backgrounds, interests and faiths can indeed come together, work together and create opportunities beneficial to all.

FLAJEAN:  I have known several Afghan female lawyers in the metropolitan Washington DC area (where I lived for many years), who took translator/interpreter positions similar to the one undertaken by Mahvish Rukhsana Khan.  These women shared their experiences with several of us who had backgrounds in the Middle East and/or Central Asia as a way to ease their own anguish about some of the stories they heard or read.  I also knew Afghan woman in the same area who developed small businesses and used the profits to contribute food items to previously incarcerated Afghan individuals once they returned (often in shame) to their families after long imprisonment.

Mahlia
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 18, 2009, 09:07:02 AM
FRYBABE, I think there is no question that many people were/are imprisoned at Gitmo on little more than suspicion.  The rights we take for granted were abrogated in the 'war against terrorism' that followed 9/11.  It is a moral dilemma, the necessity to do all that can be done to protect America vs. the undoubted harm done to innocent people.  I cannot help but feel we have gone too far at Gitmo, and done too little to clear and release those being held without sufficient cause.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on March 19, 2009, 07:51:36 PM
We're proposing a discussion for May of "Three Cups of Tea". I've started the book, and had a hard time putting it down. It's the story of a "climbing bum", who got lost coming down from a failed attempt to climb K2, and wound up in a Pakistani village so small, it wasn't on the map. When he left, he promised he would come back and build a school. He wound up building over 100 schools for girls, in the area controlled by the Taliban.

If you're interested, come let us know in "Proposed discussions" or here:

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?board=57.0 (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?board=57.0)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on March 21, 2009, 09:40:30 AM
I've just put a notice about a book I'm reading called Down the Nile in the Library , and rather than repeat it here I'll just give a link: http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=24.msg15486#msg15486

It's excellent, but ....frank. Maybe TOO frank for some people. It's one woman's journey alone rowing down the Nile in a rowboat, published in 2007. It is FULL of history, and it's fascinating.

it kind of fits in with your mention here of March being women's history month. I had no idea Florence Nightingale was far from a piaster saint and a very keen observer, now I want to read her book also. It's amazing what doors  one little set of pages can open. Come over and comment if you like. :)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 23, 2009, 12:14:02 PM
Hi Ginny!

I just requested the Library to reserve a copy for me and its purchase of 41 copies is an indication that the book is a popular nonfiction one.  Sounds very interesting and thanks for the recommendation!

Ann Coulter was on Book TV speaking of her new book: "Guilty.   Liberals:  Victims and their Assault on America."  I don't a thing about the woman but she is interesting to listen to and watch all  her gestures and body language.  I understand she is an author and a commentator of some sort.

Has anyone read any of her books?  Columns?  Where are they published?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on March 23, 2009, 02:35:59 PM
Ann Coulter is a hateful, self-aggrandising person. If she comes on to a program i am watching, i turn from it. I feel like i'm saying something to the channel/program but i don't know if they get the msg. (Do you think they are sophisticated enough to look at their viewing numbers in those small segments?)
I like opinionated debate of the various sides of an issue, but i want adult, mature, factual discussion, not just hateful name-calling, which is all Ann Coulter does. Unfortunately it seems to sell her books and has made her a wealthy woman............it amazes me how people will do anything to make money today, leaving all principles behind...................jean 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on March 23, 2009, 03:36:58 PM
Jean, I agree with you completely concerning Ann Coulter.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 24, 2009, 10:45:12 AM
Thanks you two.  I'll avoid her! 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on March 24, 2009, 04:35:08 PM
I saw a bit of Ann Coulter on the tube the other day. I didn't find her very interesting. Every chance she got she mentioned her new book, probably because the host actually wanted to talk about issues and didn't mention it. My best friend has one or two of her books. He says she is difficult to read, not because of content so much as writing style. I've read a few of her acticles, but I don't remember getting much out of them.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 25, 2009, 09:42:42 AM
The Ann Coulter opinion poll seems to be unanimous.  I agree with Ella. It's good to know who not to waste one's time on.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 28, 2009, 11:22:12 AM
I am just finishing a cute book called "HOW STARBUCKS SAVED MY LIFE: A son of privilege learns to live like everyone else by Michael Gates Gill.  His father had written for The New Yorker for years, knew everyone that "was" someone, and had money.  The author also had a great job with an advertising firm, but then came divorce and a forced retirement and he was broke.  He is now working as a waiter at Starbucks and loving it.  He's met all the greats also, Hemingway, Robert Frost, and the rest of them.

You 'll enjoy it.

Also the NILE BOOK looks very good.  I'll get into that today.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on March 29, 2009, 06:45:33 PM
Noteworthy New Nonfiction

I visited one of the large local Barns & Noble retail stores the other morning.  In fact myself and several of my Chandler neighbors had a tour of the store by the local manager.  I have been trying to get them to send me monthly the names of new nonfiction titles coming into their catalog with clickable links to their catalog for posting here.  I somehow don’t think that is going to happen.  I think they correctly sense its not going to result in any great sales response.   My purchases were limited to three Andre Rieu DVD’ and two manuals for Microsoft Excel 07 and Microsoft Vista, but I also browsed the nonfiction display tables where the following new nonfiction titles caught my eye.
 
Descartes Bones by Russell Shorto. 
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Descartes-Bones/Russell-Shorto/e/9780385517539/?itm=1

Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man by Steve Harvey.  Click the link below for synopsis and information.   In this book the Author Steve Harvey presumes to advise modern women on their relationship problems.  My friend Brandy Davis bought this book.  I’ll see if I can get her comments for a later post.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Act-Like-a-Lady-Think-Like-a-Man/Steve-Harvey/e/9780061728976/?itm=1

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.  Click the link below for synopsis and Information.  Here the Author studies the reason for the emergence of certain individuals as the best and the brightest.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Outliers/Malcolm-Gladwell/e/9780316024976 

Never Give Up!: Relentless Determination to Overcome Life's Challenges by Joyce Meyer.  This is another self-help title.  It profiles some fifty individuals who successfully overcame great obstacles to achieve success.  Click the following link for a synopsis and additional information about the author.   
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Never-Give-Up/Joyce-Meyer/e/9780446580359/?itm=1

Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England by Lynne Olson.  When the War began on Sept 3 1939 Neville Chamberlin brought Winston Churchill from the back benches to head the Admiralty.  This book tells how a small group of young MP’s brought Churchill to power as PM on May 10th 1940 as German Panzers raced through Holland and Belgium into France.  Though another five years and a worldwide war was required to achieve final victory, Churchill’s bull doggish determination was a sharp contrast to the defeatist Chamberlin government and other possible alternates.  Clich the following for Information.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Troublesome-Young-Men/Lynne-Olson/e/9780374531331/?itm=1

Does anyone have comment concerning any of these titles?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on March 29, 2009, 11:25:29 PM
Harold:  Thanks for the interesting list of books.

I saw the author of OUTLIERS (Malcolm Gladwell) on CSpan BookTV yesterday and put the book on hold at my library.  Looks very interesting.  I was fascinated by the author's discussion of countries which have the most airline crashes.  He talked about a crash of a Colombian airliner.  The investigators listened to the cockpit conversation on the "black box."  The co-pilot of that plane had tried excitedly to give some advice to the pilot, but the pilot ignored him.  In Colombian culture you don't question your superiors.

I've had TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN on my TBR list.  Just have not  had time to read it yet.

I'm not much interested in self-help books.  I figure if I don't know by now at my age, it's kind of a waste of time to try to change.

As to Barnes & Noble, they send me a list of book recommendations periodically.  I went to their Book Club section, looked at some of their nonfiction books, and registered with them.  I find that Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. has excellent recommendations in their monthly newsletter.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 30, 2009, 09:15:55 AM
Quote
In this book the Author Steve Harvey presumes to advise modern women on their relationship problems
.

  'Presumes' is a good choice of words here, Harold.  I don't believe any man can truly see things as a woman sees them.  Our brains simply work differently. Not better or worse, but definitely different.  There have been some fascinating studies on the subject.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on March 30, 2009, 11:01:59 AM
"I don't believe any man can truly see things as a woman sees them."  Babi, Message #225

How true, I gave up trying long ago!

Harold
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 31, 2009, 08:10:44 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 31, 2009, 10:18:36 AM
Thanks, Harold!

I browse the B&N site often and my own Library's site online for suggestions for reading, but nothing beats going in person to a bookstore.  I do treat myself to a trip now and then and I write down titles that look interesting and reserve them at my Library.  I have learned through numerous purchases that a reading of a page or two, or the book jacket, does not a good book make.  I have no further room on my bookshelves anyway.

VIVA LA DIFFERENCE!

I never did read that book so popular a few years ago - MEN ARE FROM MARS AND WOMEN FROM VENUS.  Did anyone?  Does it attempt to explain the differences?   I think men and women compliment each other don't you?  If we were all alike, how boring!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on March 31, 2009, 02:40:22 PM
I find that Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. has excellent recommendations in their monthly newsletter.
Politics and Prose is just about the only small independent bookstore left in the DC area.  They seem healthy, but I try to get books from them whenever possible to do my bit.  They are one of those serendipitous places where you find books you didn't know about, and they also have good f 2 f discussions and many book signings.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on March 31, 2009, 03:07:00 PM
The only thing I know about Politics & Prose is that many of the author talks on Book-TV (CSPAN-2) are held and filmed there. :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on March 31, 2009, 04:27:12 PM
They're about 5 miles from my house, the second closest bookstore to me.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on March 31, 2009, 05:13:46 PM
The Politics and Prose bookstore has always intrigued me - just the name is intriguing. Sounds like a wonderful place to wander around.

I'm almost finished reading First in His Class, DAvid Mariness' book about Bill Clinton. I'm glad i'm reading it. BC is an enigma. Is he sincere, is he really that curious about everything and everyone? Knowing he's so smart, is every statement a game? Those have been some of my tho'ts as i've watched him thru the yrs. This book implies that he really is curious about everything and really does want to hear about people's lives or theories about everything. I still think he may have honed those skills as he realized that people, especially girls, at first, enjoyed spilling their ideas and life stories to him. But mostly it sounds like that behavior is genuine. Part of it seems to be his small-town-southerness, but then i think "Jimmy Carter doesn't seem to have that same ability to listen." He's also very bright, but prefers to "lecture" rather than listen, IMO.

Any way, i recommend First in His Class. It also reminds us of the angst that the society was going thru in the late 60's and 70's about the draft and Vietnam. i'm just getting into the section about his relationship w/ HIllary. DM gives us a good look at her background too. The book ends at his election in '92.............................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 01, 2009, 09:16:35 PM
OH, PAT, TO HAVE A BOOKSTORE THAT CLOSE!  Heaven!

And, JEAN, you have intrigued me, I will get that book about Bill Clinton.  Are you interested in reading the one he wrote?  My sister and I are thinking about taking a driving trip together in June and ending up in Arkansas to go to his library. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 02, 2009, 03:15:17 PM
Ella - i have the Bob Woodward book about the Clinton admin on TBR list, so that one will be next - sorry, can't remember the title right now, i'll get back to you. I think BC's autobio is huge............i may be sick of him after i finish the first two, but it would be interesting to have his perspective and compare it to what the other two authors have said...............I would be really curious to see his library, lucky you................jean
Title: Re: Inside the Clinton Whitehouse
Post by: HaroldArnold on April 02, 2009, 07:01:24 PM
The Bob Woodard book on Clinton noted above is The Agenda- Inside the Clinton White House.  It was first published in Nov 2005.  For more information click the following

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Agenda/Bob-Woodward/e/9780743274074/?itm=1       
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 03, 2009, 01:37:25 PM
JEAN, I meant to get that BC book at the Library, but was in a hurry and forgot it.  Instead I grabbed two books from the nonfiction shelves; both look good.

BARBARIANS AT THE GATE, the Fall of RJR Nabisco, by Burrough and Helyar, published in 1990.  "One of the greatest business books ever written" said a critic on the New York Times.  Reads well; at least the first couple of pages, hahahaaa  Something new to read.

ISAAC'S STORM by Erik Larson.  For some reason it is very familiar!!  Perhaps I've read it before, which has happened on occasion. 

I also brought home a CD which I am hoping will catapault me out to the treadmill in the garage to exercise.  It is FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT by Ada Huxtable, an architecture critic.  This could be a companion to the book we are going to read in fiction in May. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on April 04, 2009, 06:30:44 AM
I own Eric Larson's book, ISAAC'S STORM, about the awful 1900  hurricane storm that destroyed part of Galveston and killed over 6,000 people.  Several friends and I were going to drive thru there a while back, but went another way instead, and I've never read the book.  It's supposed to be very good.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 05, 2009, 11:22:45 AM
MARJIFAY:  I am skipping all the detailed scientific parts of the history of weather in the book ISAAC'S STORM.  Some might enjoy that, however.

 Before I get too far into that book I finished DOWN THE NILE by Rosemary Maloney.

I liked the book, and the sights she saw in Egypt; the historical part of the book.  However, I cannot understand her reasoning for rowing on the Nile.  She describes her desire to be alone in a rowboat on the water and I keep thinking why in Egypt?  She could be alone on the water in a rowboat anyway in the states, but , of course, the book and her adventures could not have been written in this manner.  She can speak but little Arabic and a white woman, non-Muslim, even though dressed conservatively, buying a boat and traveling alone arouses great interest among the people, particularly the men who think all western women are sinful and prostitutes.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction-Regarding Isaac's Storm
Post by: HaroldArnold on April 08, 2009, 12:31:36 PM
The following is a Sept 1998 post I made to the old (now archived ) History Board commemorating the 100th anniversary of the great Galveston Storm:
 
September 8, 2000 - 08:28 am
Today is the 100th anniversary of the great killer hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas on September 8th & 9th, 1900. How much above 100 MPH the winds were can never be known as the measuring instruments were blown away when they reached that speed. There were as many as 8,000 people killed or missing and presumed dead when the storm finally subsided. This was about 17% of the population (Ap 9,1909) I‘m not now sure of this figure I now think it was much higher) . In terms of lives lost this was the most destructive natural disaster to ever have hit the U.S. The entire island that then was was nowhere more than a few feet above the sea was inundated by gulf tides. Every structure on the island was either swept away or damaged.

At the time the city of Galveston was a thriving port and the commercial center of Texas. There were three very prominent families who were business and civic leaders, the Sealeys, Moody’s and Rosenbergs. Each of these families owned great three story Victorian homes on Broadway with such architectural features as imported Italian marble trim and more importantly a structural steel core. They survive though the lower floors were flooded. It is said that many less secure neighbors were taken-in during the heights of the storm.

After the storm the city went through a decade of re-building. The elevation of the center of the Island was raise several feet by dredged silt pumped from the gulf. More significant a sea wall was built to shield the city from the tidal surge that in 1900 raged unimpeded through the city. Though Galveston never resumed its pre-hurricane position of State commercial leadership it has prospered in this century. Today it is an active port and  tourist Mecca. It has had several visits by killer hurricanes since but so far its sea wall has kept the destructive tidal surges from the town.

In a follow-up post I linked the following 1908 photograph made by my Grandfather of a section of the then new seawall 

http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~hharnold/T006Lg_Pg.htm

Today the left side of the picture showing  a section of the new seawall would appear virtually unchanged, but the center and right side will show a 10 lane automobile jammed boulevard  with some 20 miles of high rise hotels apartments, and etc.
And:
Click the following Link to review all of the interesting 1998 posts on the oldarchived History Board.    http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/archives/general/HistoryBiography/History&HistBiographies6-00.htm
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 08, 2009, 12:57:03 PM

(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: Ella Gibbons (egibbons28@columbus.rr.com)





-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------











I tried to go back to look for something in the SN archives, but my bookmarked site wouldn't take me to it. Does anyone know the "address" for it? .................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on April 08, 2009, 02:33:00 PM
Here is how I found the old History discussion archive that I referenced in my earlier post:

1 From the main Seniorslearn discussion menue scroll down and click"Archived Pre 2007 Book discussions."

2. From the resulting page scroll down the 8- Item list to again click "Archived Pre 2007 Discussions."

3. Depending on the nature of the discussion you want to access, choose from the Menu Fiction, NON Fiction, or General Book Discussions. 

For example, to choose the old History Discussion Archive I Clicked the General Book Discussion option and click the History Discussion I was looking for.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on April 09, 2009, 09:13:30 AM
HAROLD, the recovery of Galveston from this latest hurricane is going very slowly.  I wouldn't be surprised if it takes a decade to rebuild, and I suspect
many who left will not return again.  Galveston is so vulnerable.  I heard stories of the one that hit when my Mother was a tiny girl, and was carried pig-a-back through the flood by her Dad. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 09, 2009, 02:08:33 PM
Thanks Harold...................Marni from SN hasn't joined any of the SL sites, had anyone heard from her? She was so active in the non-fiction discussions, i've just wondered if she's o.k............................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 09, 2009, 05:50:18 PM
No one knows about MARNIE.  I remember she had illness in the family when SN went down, but we all hope she will return someday. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction-Access to Archived Pre 2007 Discussions
Post by: HaroldArnold on April 10, 2009, 12:05:29 PM
Try this short-cut by clicking the following:  http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=181.0   The choose from Fiction, Nonfiction or General Book discussions.

You might want to bookmark this page for future use.  I suspect your problem is that you failed to strictly follow the 2nd step to scroll down the 8 item table to click the last item. Pre 2007 discussions.   Instead you went all the way to the bottom of the page to click another apparent Pre 2007 Link that dos'nt work.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 15, 2009, 11:50:18 AM
Recently I read a short biography of John Steinbeck, who had a very difficult time of it attempting to support himself as a writer and often had to go back to his parents for a place to wash up and get something to eat.  But once he sold a book which became a movie his troubles were over. 

A couple of his last books, TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY, and EAST OF EDEN, sounded interesting so I looked for them at the library.  Not one Steinbeck book was on the shelves, so I had to request one.  What a shame.  As you know, he wrote about the human spirit in dealing with such hard times as the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and poverty

Two years before he died, Steinbeck  wrote about how American literature had developed in his own lifetime.  I quote:

"Perhaps someone knows how the great change came which elevated American writing from either weak imitation or amusing unimportance to a position of authority in the whole world, to be studied and in turn imitated.  It happened quickly.  A Theodore Dreiser wrote the sound and smell of his people; a Sherwood Anderson perceived and set down secret agonies long before the headshrinkers discovered them.  Suddently the great ones stirred to life:  Willa Cather, then Sinclair Lewis, O'Neill, Wolfe, Hemingway, Faulkner.   There were many others, of course; poets, short story writers, essayists like Benchley and E.B.White.

Their source was identified; they learned from our people and wrote like themselves, and they created a new thing and a grand thing in the world - an American literature about Americans.   It was and is no more flattering than Isaiah was about the Jews, Thucydides about the Greeks, or Tacitus, Suetonius, and Juvenal about the Romans; but, like them, it has the sweet, strong smell of truth.  And as had been so in other ages with other peoples, the Americans denounced their glory as vicious, libelous, and scandalous falsehood - and only when our literature was accepted abroad was it welcomed home again and its authors claimed as Americans."

I don't know what to think about that last sentence, does anyone have an idea?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on April 15, 2009, 12:05:06 PM
Greetings -

I think that his final sentence illustrates the statement made in the Bible and in various forms else where :  There is no prophet without honor except in his own country, among his own kin and in his own house ... 

It carries over in all aspects of life/business ...  notice how often there is an "in house" authority on a topic i.e. technology etc - who is not paid attention to or rejected -  but someone 50 miles or so away is brought in - at expense - to say the same thing that the local person already said.   Goes on all the time in education.  Often the local person is recruited by other communities to do the same thing.

Once they are recognized for their excellence by outsiders - then the local community/country claims them as their own.  Must be "human nature".

Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on April 15, 2009, 01:13:39 PM
Travels with Charley is one of our favorite books of all time!  Our girls all had to read it in high school and unanimously hated it.  I should suggest they read it again and see what they think now.  Actually, I probably should read it again and see what I think.  ::)

I read Bold Spirit on my Kindle and loved it.  I ordered a hard copy to send to my 89-year-old aunt, then to pass on to our 20-year-old granddaughter.  My aunt loved it.  I'm in the middle of The Big Rich, and am fascinated with it!  I grew up in Texas in the 40s and 50s, and am very familiar with all those names.  I'm sending a copy of that to my aunt, too.  Thanks to those who recommended both of them.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 15, 2009, 02:54:05 PM
Wasn't Bold Spirit an amazing story? To go thru all of that struggle and time and then not to have happen what she expected to happen - i won't spoil it for folks who may read it in the future. And to be treated so badly by the people in her hometown and her family that she didn't even talk about it to her children and grandchildren. The Fates had to have a hand in getting this story out.......her dgt in law keeping the written story instead of throwing it out as the dgts were doing.........the grandson writing about her for the essay contest..........the husband of the author being a judge of the contest and suggesting she look into the story. It was all so senendipitous. I like that part almost as much as the actual story. Glad you enjoyed it MaryZ...............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on April 15, 2009, 03:42:46 PM
I particular want our granddaughter to read it, jean, because she's the most likely one to see that stories like that get collected and saved (also her mom).  I know there are lots of things that I don't know about our family.  And those who DO know are long dead.  Sighhhhhhh!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on April 15, 2009, 04:05:07 PM
I was able to tape conversations with my mother, her sister and my Dad's sister.  I will forever regret that I didn't think about this  - or, really, have the opportunity - to do with my Dad.

A few years ago, I put together an album about my late husband as a Christmas gift to our sons and his sister.  Unfortunately, there are no personal stories from him, either but I was able to write some things I knew about each phase of his life.  It isn't fancy; I did it all on my computer and printed out the pages myself.  I made copies for the gifts and kept the original pages in a 3-ring notebook in my file cabinet.

Now, I'm slowly working on my own story.  I took a class at the local Senior Center which helped me make an outline and start a 3-ring notebook divided into chronological sections.  I have pictures (not sorted) relating to each section tucked into a top loader with each section.  Of course, I keep thinking of things I want to include in the outline - and finding more pictures for possible use. By the time it's finished, it may be too heavy to lift!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on April 15, 2009, 06:36:27 PM
Good for you, Callie!  I need to check our community college and university continuing programs for that type of class.  We can take classes at any state school for free (over 60).
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on April 16, 2009, 12:13:34 AM
MaryZ, the lady who teaches the class here offers it in various places - the Senior Center, the library, a church, etc.   I'm not sure she has a schedule; I see the announcement in the paper every once in a while.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanP on April 16, 2009, 10:56:02 PM
We'll vote the first week in May for future book discussions.  Some good titles in the header right now - still time to add some more.  We're looking for books that you think might make for a good group discussion.

The Suggestion Box is open here! (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=309.0)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 18, 2009, 03:17:01 PM
I am waiting somewhat patiently for several nonfiction books at the Library.  The one about Frances Perkins seems to be popular as the waiting list for it is long.  And I have one to pick up about Brigham Young.

So much depends upon the author!

This morning I listened to an lecture on C-Span3 (History) by Simon Winchester  (2005) about San Francisco and the earthquake.  He made an interesting point.  European cities - old ones like London, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg -  have been there forever with no great disasters because they were built in the right place.  There are ruins in Europe of cities that were not and tourists love to roam there (Pompeii).  He speculated on cities we have built in the USA, particularly New Orleans, which he said should never have been built. 

His next book was about China.  Perhaps I've read it, I'll have to look at it.

Has anyone read any of his books?  He's a good speaker.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on April 18, 2009, 07:27:18 PM
MaryZ, TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY was a favorite of mine also.  Read it years ago.  Maybe I'll re-read it now that you and Ella mentioned it.

I also loved Steinbeck's EAST OF EDEN which was wonderful--the best book I read last year. 

Can't imagine a library without any Steinbeck, Ella.  Where do you live?
I'm only sorry I've never gotten to the Steinbeck museum in Salinas, CA yet. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 19, 2009, 11:39:28 AM
Hello Marj!  There are Steinbecks in our Library, just not at the moment any at our branch.  We have _____upteen branches of the Library and when I put a reserve on a book (at my computer), I get the book at my branch in 3-4 days and I get a note sent to me on my computer.

How sweet it is!

The books shift around at my branch; some old ones appear now and then, new ones; many childrens' books.

Did any one else see GREY GARDENS last night on HBO?  Do you remember the hullabooloo that occurred in the press when the mother and daughter was uncovered (by reporters in a documentary) in abject poverty when Jackie Kennedy was the Queen of America?  They were cousins I believe; she did rescue them from their horrible living conditions.  Jessica Lange was wonderful in the mother role; I haven't decided what I think about Drew Barrymore yet.

I attempted to get the documentary and I was 53rd on the list.  I'll wait!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on April 19, 2009, 01:27:48 PM
I remember "Travels with Charley" with great pleasure. I wasn't sure I would like it when I picked it up, but found it a happy choice.  I've only read a couple of his books.  He was undoubtedly a great writer, but I found his themes heavy sledding for the young and optimistic soul I was then. Now I'm old enough not
to want to burden myself with dreariness and melancholy.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on April 19, 2009, 03:49:32 PM
Ella, I saw "Grey Gardens" but did not remember the story - probably because I was living on a mountain top in Colorado and not paying attention. <smile>
What a pitiful story. I don't care to watch the documentary.

I agree about Jessica Lange and thought Jeanne Tripplehorn (of "Big Love") was very good as Jackie Kennedy.  What do you question about Drew Barrymore's characterization?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 20, 2009, 02:19:10 PM
Hi Callie.  Perhaps the worst thing you can say of an actor is that he/she was "acting."  That was my impression of Drew Barrymore.

Both actresses, Jessica and Drew, seemed to be speaking in an unnatural way, faintly reminding me of the way that Jackie Kennedy spoke and I am wondering if it is ingrained in the family to speak in such a measured manner.  Jessica seemed to be true to her character, but not Drew.

The documentary has become a cult and it was stated in an interview that both actresses worked very hard knowing their parts would be scrutinized carefully.  I remain open minded until I see the documentary.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on April 20, 2009, 04:06:36 PM
Hi, Ella.   I read an interview with Drew Barrymore in which she said she watched the documentary several times to get the speech pattern right.
 I've never lived "back East" so don't know if that manner of speaking is typical.

I agree that Jessica Lange seemed more natural in her role.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Steph on April 22, 2009, 07:49:57 AM
I found and bought the second Wally Lamb on the prisoners writing project in Connecticut. It is quite good and much to my surprise and delight, he mentions our Ginny and the Senior Net library project. Nice to be recognized for trying to help. I remember how much Ginny sent off..
These essays are not particularly how they got to prison, but snips of their lives. Interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on April 22, 2009, 10:21:36 AM
Today, April 22nd is Earth Day.  The following link is to a Barnes & Noble email promotion with catalog links to over a dozen book titles appropriate for Earth Day reading:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/container/2-3-merch.asp?r=1&PID=27095

For more information on Earth Day in the United States go to the Earth Day home page at http://earthday.envirolink.org
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 22, 2009, 11:52:47 AM
Hello Harold!

Thanks for the links.  Our paper had a huge section devoted to Earth Day with graphics showing exactly what happens to recyclables.  Where each goes, what good they do.  So many are re-used, which is good to know.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on April 24, 2009, 02:21:13 PM
Regarding Ella’s recent post on John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley, I vaguely remember reading this book.  Charley was Steinbeck’s old dog that according to text on the dust cover was afflicted with a prostrate problem.  Charley was Steinbeck’s motor-home travel companion.  My recollection of it is that it was an interesting fun reading, but today in my memory its importance ranks far below three other far more memorial travel accounts.  These are the John James Audubon “1826 Journal,” Francis Parkman’s “Oregon Trail,” and Rudard Kipling's “American Notes.” 

I also have a copy of Francis Parkman’s journals, “The Journals of Francis Parkman,” two volumes, Edited by Mason Wade and published by Harper Brothers in 1947.  This is an interesting publication because it contains not only Parkman’s original day by day field accounts of his 1845 trek through the west, but also his accounts of his many other travels including his early 1840s grand tour of Europe and his field trips through eastern Canada gathering material for his major work on the 18th century English/French strugge for control of North America.

I will in the future post further details on the Parkman and Kipling titles.  For now the following is copied from my earlier post on the now archived pre 2007 History and Biography board about the John James Audubon “1826 Journal”

Harold Arnold
June 26, 2000 - 01:08 pm
Here is a comment on a post regency/pre Victorian travel journal that I found to double as a social history of the time. The book that I am referring to is “The 1826 Journal of John James Audubon” edited by Alice Ford, University of Oklahoma Press, 1966 (Library of Congress #66-22713). This book describes the 1826 trip of the author from his home in Kentucky to the United Kingdom to publish his life work, ”The Birds of North America.” Apparently in the early 19th Century, the publishing expertise in the United States was unable to print the color reproductions required.   (Added April 24, 2009)  This is not entirely true.  I now know Audubon knew that a rival ornithologist was favored in Philadelphia.  Apparently he was not sure of a favorable reception there, and choose to go to England to avoid an embarrassing conflict.)

I was first attracted to this book because of the description of the riverboat trip from Kentucky to New Orleans where Audubon booked passage on a cotton cargo sailing ship, the Delos. There are interesting accounts and sketches of the voyage. It took two months, half of which was spent in the doldrums in the Gulf where the sighting of another vessel aroused concern lest it turn out to be a pirate. Once in the Atlantic the voyage went faster but Audubon showed boredom leading to several afternoon bouts with a bottle of Porter the effect of which left several journal entries illegible to his 20th century editor.

In Liverpool Audubon introduced himself through letters of introduction to several “middle class” families, meaning rich merchant intellectual types. These were principally the Roscoe and Rathbone families. It is amazing how easily and how quickly he was accepted into their circle. The friendship of his own in-laws, the Bakewells, was much more difficult to establish (This included his wife’s sister’s husband who was a Liverpool merchant). A showing of his bird pictures at the Liverpool establishment of the prestigious Royal Society was quickly arranged. A similar showing followed in Manchester while contact was being established with publishing experts in Edinburgh.

There is a wonderful account of the long stage trip between Liverpool and Edinburgh. Ten years later Audubon could have went by train. Here Audubon continued his easy association with the intellectual, professional and business elite. This contact led to meetings with a young Lord Stanley (the pre Stanley Cup, Stanleys) and Sir Walter Scott. It also led later to Audubon's election as a member of the Royal Society. The publication of his bird pictures began. This apparently involved the etching of copper plates that were used to make two-tone prints (Black and white or maybe sepia and white). The prints were hand colored with transparent light oils and sold by subscription at a price only the very rich could afford.

One negative fact to emerge from this reading that came as a surprise to me, was that John James Audubon was no ecologist. His method of painting birds and animals was to shoot the creature dead and by wires and supports pose the body in a natural and characteristic position for sketching and painting. While in Edinburgh he actually executed a street cat to make one of his better-known non-bird art works. Though John James Audubon is not recognized to-day as a great artist, he is recognized as a great ornithologist and his works in this field to-day remain significant. To me the significance of this book lies in neither ornithology nor art, it lies in its description of the society in which the actors, John James Audubon, the Rathbone family, the Roscoes, Bakewells, and many others played their parts.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on April 24, 2009, 03:28:51 PM
Please sir, Harold, can I have some more?

My reading of travel journals has been limited. The most notable has been Dana's Two Years Before the Mast.  Recently, I read The Places in Between where the author, Rory Stewart, walked across Afghanistan shortly after the Russians left.

I love to use maps to follow characters or principals around as I did with the above. The first were Oliver Twist and Two Years Before the Mast.  In Latin class, we've tried to follow Caesar around on campaign in Britain. I've followed explorers, military campaigns, and adventurers with maps.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on April 25, 2009, 08:42:08 AM
Interesting, FRYBABE.  I had never thought of "Two Years Before the Mast" as a travel journal.  Of course, it's been a very long time since I read it, so I don't remember it well, only that it was the story of a man who was shanghaied and
forced to serve on a sailing ship for two years.
  Oliver Twist?  You'll have to explain that one to me.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on April 25, 2009, 10:37:11 AM
Babi,

Dana was not shanghaied but signed on as a working hand aboard ship, sailing from Boston Harbor on August 14, 1834.

He had become ill with measles during his Junior year at Harvard. This apparently affected his eyesight. He always liked the sea and on recommendation from several physicians, he decided to take a sea voyage. He didn't want to go as a passenger as he thought that would give him too much leisure time to read thereby counteracting his goal to give his eyes time to become strong again. After returning home he completed his studies and became a lawyer specializing in maritime law and the rights of merchant seamen. He also wrote To Cuba and Back: A Vacation Voyage and Elements of International Law.

For Oliver Twist, I had a city map of London to locate places and streets Dickens mentioned.  The internet makes it all the more exciting, now, because we have ready access to more maps, old photos and the like of places mentioned.

Steve Berry's The Templar Legacy was based on real people and a real church/monastery. So, when I did a search I was able to see the real deal. It is a fascinating story even without Mr. Berry's fictionalized overlay. http://www.renneslechateau.com   Have a look.

In our Latin class, someone is always finding pix of old maps and places mentioned in the writings of likes of Caesar, Pliny, Cicero, not to mention the archaeological digs and historical sleuthing done my modern (and not so modern) experts. It all makes history, places and people come alive for me.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on April 25, 2009, 09:42:10 PM
You surprised me, FRYBABE.   I was sure Dana had been shanghaied.  Well, it
was a very long time ago that I read it, and I may have confused it something else since then. Thanks for setting me straight.
  I also like to follow any maps that the books include. I keep going back to
the map to follow the route.  Since many of those 'maps' are about fictional
lands, I haven't tried to find them on-line. ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 28, 2009, 10:36:42 AM
Anyone reading a book that's interesting?

I am finishing one about the Stanford White murder of 1920 (but I wouldn't recommend it) and one that I would is the Frances Perkins book.  I am contemplating offering that one for discussion sometime in the fall.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on April 28, 2009, 02:12:41 PM
 Yes, as noted in the Library, I'm reading The Big Rich and it's incredible, about the original Dallas TV  type oil barons, who knew that was not just a Dallas joke? Along the way I'm learning a LOT about the oil business, I recommend it heartily!

I've gotten to where I really like non fiction.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: nlhome on April 28, 2009, 06:47:17 PM
I'm reading the Worst Hard Time by  Timothy Egan. It was mentioned here earlier.

My Grandfather lost his farm during the dust bowl years, so it's interesting to read the history of the times.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 28, 2009, 07:49:04 PM
HEY GINNY!   I just got notice that my reserved copy of the Big Rich is in at the Library so will pick it up and take a look.  I am sure I will enjoy it as I read your post and one other in our Library site!  Yes, let's think about a discussion!

Before or after Texas secedes from the Union?  Hahahaaaa  Or breaks up into five states?  Think of the clout they would have in the Senate? 

HELLO NLHOME.  Yes, I recommended the Worst Hard Time.  A good book!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on April 29, 2009, 09:48:21 AM
 Why does no one believe us? (sigh) You would be surprised, GINNY, how many of the Texas 'jokes' are fact. (Most, of course, are tall tales for the greenhorns.   ::) )
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bellemere on April 30, 2009, 08:42:58 AM
I am also reading The Worst Hard Time by timothy Egan. I love the way he weaves together eyewitness accounts of the Dust Bowl years, and the families that went through it.  What a great cautionary tale about caring for the land.  It supported bison for thousands of years, and was destroyed in a decade by crop farming.  I wonder how conditions are today in Boise City and Dalhart?  I hope ;to read more by Egan.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 30, 2009, 02:57:11 PM
Since this is the 50th anniversary of the end of the 1960's, i'm facilitatiang 3 discussions at our library about the 50's and the 60's. The first one is "Seeds of the Sixties," or, the 1950's. That discussion has already taken place. The next one is the cultural sixties and the third one is the political sixties - yes, they are difficult to separate, but we are going to try.

So, i've been reading some books that talk about that era. David Halberstam has a mostly political book titled The Fifties, which is a good look at the politics that were happening - especially the Cold War. Halberstam also worte a great book about the desegration of Central H.S. in Little Rock, titled "The Children." I love Halberstam's style of writing.

David FArber has two good books on the sixties. One is a book of essays by various authors which FArber edited. It includes topics on Viet Nam, Civil RTs, Women's Liberation, the youth culture and the "silent majority." The other book, which he authored is The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960's. It covers many of the same topics in Farber's easily read style. It's hard to believe that those events took place more than 50 yrs ago.

I love that title because i have said to my college students, many times, that in 1970 many of us tho't we would have all the problems (civil rts, women's rts, environment, poverty, wars, etc.) solved by the year 2000! Now it seems to me that problems are never solved, they just keep evolving, or getting pushed back a step for every step that we seem to make in progress.

Is it left to the young to dream of better times ahead? .......................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 30, 2009, 07:11:32 PM
Gosh, Jean, wish I could be at your Library and get in on those discussions; they all sound terrific.

Is it left to the young to dream of better times ahead?   

 - I think you answered this question by this remark:


Now it seems to me that problems are never solved, they just keep evolving,  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on April 30, 2009, 10:47:45 PM
Bellemere,  http://www.ccccok.org/ (http://www.ccccok.org/)  Scroll down to read about Boise City and click on small photos to see pictures.

http://www.dalhart.org/photo_gallery/photo_gal.htm (http://www.dalhart.org/photo_gallery/photo_gal.htm)  Click on links for pictures of Dalhart.  Click on links in left-hand column for more information.

http://books.simonandschuster.com/That-Old-Ace-in-the-Hole/Annie-Proulx/9780743242486 (http://books.simonandschuster.com/That-Old-Ace-in-the-Hole/Annie-Proulx/9780743242486)  for a review of Annie Proulx' novel "That Old Ace In The Hole", which is about the TX and OK panhandles in more recent years.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanP on May 01, 2009, 09:10:02 AM
The VOTE IS ON!  May 1 - May 5
After reading reviews of the nominated titles,
in the  Suggestion Box (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=309.40)-  please vote for future Book Club Online discussions.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on May 04, 2009, 01:27:00 AM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: Ella Gibbons (egibbons28@columbus.rr.com)



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------







I just finished reading "The Forgotten Man".  IMO, it is an excellent book about the "Great Depression".  So much of what went on then, is going on now.

Now, I am back to reading "A Savage Peace".  It is the story of what was happening in 1919.  One of the things that I have learned so far, is that thousands of American troops were still stationed in Russia.  They had been sent to Russia partly to fight the Nazis, but also to protect American business interests.  So, seven months after the Armitace, our troops where being killed, and maimed. 

These troops were short of supplies.  Communications with loved ones, was almost non enexistent.  Senator Hiram Johnson, of California, lead a protest to alert American citizens about what was happening. 

It makes me wonder if that will happen with our troops in both Iraq, and Afganistan.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 04, 2009, 11:07:24 AM
About 5 years ago Ella & I led a discussions on Margaret Macmillian's book on the Peace Conference that ended WWI  Its title was "Paris 1919."  I know a British contingent was In Russia to support the White counter to the red communist regime that was in power under Lenin.  I did not know Americans were involved. In any case they were fighting the Communists, not the Nazis. 

Clich the following for the Archived discussion of Margaret Macmillian's "Paris 1919".
http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/archives/nonfiction/Paris1919.html    
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on May 04, 2009, 05:46:48 PM
HAROLD, I have "Paris, 1919.  Just haven't begun reading it, yet.  I am looking forward to reading it, when I finish "Savage Peace".

Wilson sent the American troops to Russia, while WWI was still going on.  They were to fight against the Nazi.  The war ended November 11, 1918, of course.  However, they began fighting the Bolsheviks (? sp) and they were still there, in May of 1919.  The author writes that Michigan troops were there in high numbers.  People in Michigan collected signatures on petitions, and took them to D.C.  But, it wasn't until Senator Hiram Johnson became his campaign to bring the boys home, that Congress began to take some action.

I am just amazed by both this situation, and the similarity both the Depression, and American troops being in Russia.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on May 04, 2009, 05:50:30 PM
That is a terrble last sentence.  I meant the comparision between those two situations, and what is happening to the world today.   

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction-Travel Books
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 06, 2009, 10:54:25 AM
The following is further comment on "American Notes," by Rudyard Kipling that  I promised  in aqn earlier post. 
In 1889, Rudyard Kipling at the time an editor on an India publication “Allahabad Pioneer, made a West to East tour of the U.S.  It would seem the publisher was embarrassed by Kipling’s lampooning of certain high officials in the India Colonial Government and chose the tour of the U.S as a means of getting him temporarily out of India. Kipling traveled by Steamship first to Japan and on to San Francisco where he quickly related to the Wild West culture of the day that he described in this book.  Included were colorful descriptions of exclusive San Francisco Saloons in particular he liked the free lunch served in the Saloons).  He also visited a Chinese Opium Den.  Kipling made a hurried exit after witnessing a murder.
   
From San Francisco Kipling traveled by train north up the coast to the mouth of the Columbia where he visited a Salmon canning factory that was built on pilings over the river for convenient garbage disposal,   He seems to have been familiar with the product remarking that it was what every hostess kept available lest she have unexpected dinner guests.  He gave a rather complete verbal description of the process including the stuffing of the can, the lead Soldering-on of the lid with one small air hole, its cooking in a steam pressure cooker followed by the immediate sealing of the hole with additional lead solder.
   
Kipling continued his American trip with a train journey to the then new Yellowstone National Park.  His description of the trip with the train speeding through the day and night on primitive first generation tottering wooden bridge strictures over canyons hundreds of feet deep would terrify the modern traveler.  Kipling wrote an impressively descriptive account of the train racing through the night with all the men passengers drunk and armed to the teeth with rifles and pistols.  The few women, some with children were terrified 

From Yellowstone Kipling continued to Chicago and on to the east before continuing on east, eventually returning to India.  This book for is an outstanding example of interesting descriptive writing an art the practice of which the author has few peers.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/American-Notes/Rudyard-Kipling/e/9781406503081/?itm=2
Title: please excuse a bit of spamming - important
Post by: JoanP on May 06, 2009, 12:22:34 PM
As often happens when there are so many nominations, the results tend to be scattered.  So that we come up with the title for the next book discussion with the most interest, we have set up a new poll with the top FIVE contenders.  You will only get to vote for one of them this time.

Before opening your ballot, please be sure that you are familiar with the following titles so you know what they are each  about - (You can learn about them by clicking the title in the chart in the heading at the top of the page in the Suggestion Box Discussion (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=309.msg22093#msg22093))

Quote
The Last Dickens by Pearl (read together with The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Dickens)
The Book Thief by Zusak
People of the Book by Brooks
Bridge of Sighs by Russo
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by Wroblewski

 
VOTE  HERE: Run-off Vote for Future Book Discussions (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=sRwHjzi3QWJUqOTWw_2f1fNw_3d_3d)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction : Comments on Jopnes Post #285
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 07, 2009, 01:01:08 PM
All of these titles appear to me to be fiction.  The attached links will give you information on each of them.  All, based on their B&N “Sales Rank,” qualify as best sellers with three of them ranking below 1000.

The Last Dickens by Pearl (read together with The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Dickens)
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Last-Dickens/Matthew-Pearl/e/9781400066568/?itm=1

The Book Thief by Zusak http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Book-Thief/Markus-
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Book-Thief/Markus-Zusak/e/9780375842207/?itm=1
1
People of the Book by Brooks
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/People-of-the-Book/Geraldine-

Bridge of Sighs by Russo
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Bridge-of-Sighs/Richard-Russo/e/9781400030903/?itm=1


The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by Wroblewski
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Story-of-Edgar-Sawtelle/David-Wroblewski/e/9780061768064/?itm=1

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on May 16, 2009, 10:20:18 AM
Hi Harold,
Yes they are all fiction and Joan Pearson ask anyone to suggest some non-fiction so these are some of mine.


Ghost Train to the Eastern by Paul Theroux


The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
 

The Middle of Everywhere by Mary Bray Pipher (any of her books are a treasure read)


The Devil's Playground by James Traub[/b]
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 16, 2009, 10:41:37 AM
OH, GOSH, DO I HAVE IDEAS FOR NONFICTION BOOKS!

Having just returned from an Elderhostel vacation in the Hudson River Valley, I find myself overwhelmed with history and ideas for books to read and despite my resolution not to purchase books I did and had to carry them home on two flights.  Darn, and they were heavy!

I brought home a book about the early years of John D. Rockefeller, one about FDR and Lucy Mercer, a Vanderbilt book and notes to get the following from the Library:

My Closest Company (a book about FDR and Daisy Suckley, whose home we toured)
A book about Henry Hudson which includes the early history of the Hudson Valley
A book about the Tiffany brothers
Books by Russell Shorsto, particularly one entitled (I think) The Island in the Center of the Earth
A book about Jay Gould

Has anyone read any of the above? 

Have you an idea for a good book to discuss?

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 16, 2009, 10:50:54 AM
My trip was one of the best I have been on I believe, despite the long days and the hours on a bus.  We saw and were lectured on the following Hudson Valley Mansions:

LOCUST GROVE - Samuel Morse, Telegraph
KYKUIT, Rockefeller, petroleum
LYNDHURST, Gould, railroads
MILLS, Mills, Banking
SPRINGWOOD, FDR, International trade
Vanderbuilt, transportation
WILDERSTEIN, Suckley, International trade

They were all magnificent, but I would have to say that the Rockefeller estate was the most impressive; FDR's home the warmest, Daisey's the most interesting.

Fun, fun!  Nice people!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on May 16, 2009, 12:08:38 PM
Hey, Ella, welcome home.
Of your list of books, we have read and discussed only one, Russell Shorto's "The Island at the Center of the Earth".  Most interesting.
I want to add another non-fiction to my list:

"Losing Mum & Pup" by Christopher Buckley, Wm F Buckley's son.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 16, 2009, 12:53:07 PM
One of the nonfiction books I just picked up to read is The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia (Kodansha Globe) by Peter Hopkirk. Hopkirk  also wrote Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling's Great Game which I have yet to order.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_0_13?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=peter+hopkirk+the+great+game&sprefix=peter+hopkirk

I found Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer quite interesting, read way before the movie came out. The movie was better than I expected.

Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell. I haven't read this yet, but my Mom has. She found it very interesting. In fact, I don't think she could put it down for long gauging from the speed at which she read through it.

Another recent purchase in the TBR pile is The Affair: The Case of Alfred Dreyfus by Jean-Denis Bredin.  http://www.amazon.com/Affair-Case-Alfred-Dreyfus/dp/0807611751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242492118&sr=1-1 

Ella, your book about Henry Hudson and early Hudson Valley history sounds interesting. The Hudson and Genesee Valleys are rich in early colonial, revolutionary war and French and Indian War histories. It is something on which I would like to expand my knowledge. The Hudson Valley is also rich in artistic and literary inspiration.



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 16, 2009, 07:25:04 PM
Hello Ann!   I heard Christopher Buckley, son of William T., on BookTV not too long ago, and was impressed by all he has written.  Surprisingly that memoir of his parents that you mentioned is a humorous one by all accounts.  I do want to read it.

Hi Frybabe:   Those books look VERY interesting.  I didn't know there was a movie about Seven Years in Tibet and must look it up at the Library.  Gertrude Bell books have been around for while and I think I read one and, yes, they are all good about this marvelous woman.

The Dreyfus Affair.  It's so familiar and yet I cannot think of the details - what it was about.  Of course, I have Google which is so-s-so helpful!  I'll look it up.

But I have NO BOOK on Henry Hudson and I want one.  So many fascinating details were brought up in a lecture I heard and I want to pursue them, so I will soon be looking for a good one at the Library or the Book store.

I was hoping one of you could suggest one.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 16, 2009, 08:40:45 PM
Ella, No I can't recommend any books about Henry Hudson - yet. I have read some of Carl Carmer's work (Genesee Fever, a novel, and Listen to a Lonesome Drum, folklore and myths).  Carl Carmer contributed to something called the River Series, by writing a book about the Hudson River and one about the Susquehanna River (just a third of a mile from my home). Both of these I intend on buying some day. I believe that Columbia University Press (I think I have the right Univ.) still prints them.

Within the last two years or so several TV programs focused on the French and Indian War and the American Revolution in the area which have peeked my interest in actually going up the Hudson some day. I would love to take the Adirondack up along the Hudson and stop to see such places Stonybrook Battlefield and Fort Ticonderoga. It would also be neat to see some of the scenery that inspired such literature as Rip Van Winkle and Legend of Sleepy Hollow not to mention all the great artwork.

...And then, too, my best friend has a family connection to Mad Anthony Wayne. Genealogy and history are big subjects in his family.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 17, 2009, 09:18:56 AM
  The book we are discussing now, "Three Cups of Tea", by Greg Mortenson and Daniel Relin, is excellent.  We have an enthralling story, full of information and insights on the people, culture, and political situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the last two decades.  You find yourself involved with the people you meet in this book, their hopes and their struggle.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 17, 2009, 09:33:54 AM
FRYBABE -   If you get a chance to do so, you will be enchanted by the Hudson River Valley and the scenery; I cannot remember when I have seen such views.  I won't even attempt to describe them, you should see them for yourself.  The Gilded Age folks, those wealthy enough, built their homes with a view and what a view!!!  Have I emphasized the "view" enough?????

I am in no mood for a war book but a biography of Henry Hudson appeals to me.

Hi BABI. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on May 17, 2009, 11:41:47 AM
Ella and Frybabe,
I just received an email from the NYC Museum about this program on May 20th by Russelll Shorto about Henry Hudson Legacy.  Now this has to be very psychic!  Here's the link:

http://www.mcny.org/public-programs/lectures/ussell-Shorto:The-Accidental-Legacy-of-Henry-Hudson.html
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 17, 2009, 01:14:46 PM
Thanks Adoannie, I checked the exhibition schedule and found that "Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson" runs between April 4 and Sept. 27 at the museum.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 17, 2009, 02:11:05 PM
Well, darn, I'm not in NYC, but that's the book!   That's the book that was mentioned on my trip, so I have it reserved at my library.

I hope it is a good read!  He's an interesting fellow.

Shorto wrote a number of books, I must look them up.  Anyone read any of his books?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 17, 2009, 02:12:39 PM
THANKS, ANN!  I HAVE NOT GONE THROUGH ALL MY NOTES YET FROM THE TRIP, BUT I RECOGNIZED THAT TITLE RIGHT AWAY!

NOW, WILL YOU DO MY LAUNDRY?  HAHAHAAA
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 18, 2009, 10:47:40 AM
One of the homes I toured in the Hudson Valley was Wilderstein, Daisy Suckley's home.  She was a fifth cousin of FDR,  as was Eleanor,  and very close to him.  He confided in her and claimed she was more knowledgeable about the problems facing the country than he was and he used her as a companion and a confidant. 

I read a small paperback book about FDR and Lucy and it tells the story of all the female friends that FDR delighted in; he helped them with their decisions, often helping in appointments and finances.  Father and friend to the females.

Daisy was homely, wore her hair straight back in a knot, didn't try to impress but she was warm and friendly and loved her dogs.  She gave Fala to FDR; outlived most of them living to the age of 100.  There was a grainy video, black and white, of an interview with her shortly before she died in the sixties and she was asked why she didn't paint her house - a huge thing on the Hudson River.  She answered that she had painted it several times over her lifetime and it is rusting away as she is; however the house is now in the National Historic Trust and is being repainted.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 18, 2009, 10:51:57 AM
Here is the site showing the house; if you click on Restoration it goes into great detail of what the Historic Trust is doing, but this paragraph tells the story:

http://www.wilderstein.org/

"When Wilderstein was established as a not-for-profit institution in the early 1980s, the house and grounds were in a severe state of decay. The exterior of the mansion had not been painted since 1910, windows from the tower were missing, and water had penetrated the failing roof."   


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on May 18, 2009, 11:59:06 AM
'...she was asked why she didn't paint her house - a huge thing on the Hudson River.  She answered that she had painted it several times over her lifetime and it is rusting away as she is; however the house is now in the National Historic Trust and is being repainted.'

That's wonderful. Wilderstein deserves to be restored and preserved. But what an undertaking, to paint that place. What an architectural wilderness. Isn't it interesting that Daisy wanted her place to grow old along with her. It's unfortunate that nothing can be done for rusty Daisy.

The last dozen posts have brought it all back. The wonderful journey my wife and I did along the Hudson Valley a few years ago. There just has to be a good book in here somewhere that would make for a good discussion.
 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 18, 2009, 01:18:19 PM
Hi Jonathan!  You loved the Valley also I see, the history there is fabulous and the views, did I mention the views!

I agree, there should be a book here somewhere.  Of course, we could read an autobiography of any one of these people who built these grand mansions; who controlled the railroads, the ports, communication, finance.  But that's not what I want. 

Do  you know that most of these robber barons (as they are called) could have the railroad stop at their home while they hooked on their own private car - all except Jay Gould, whom none of them liked.  He had no influence with the railroads so he bought a huge yacht and made a show of getting on his private boat to go to the city.  Most of these people knew each other and could walk or ride their horses to visit. 

It would be a book regarding the late 1800's, early 20th century, I would think.

Let's all browse around and find one that looks good.  Meanwhile I will look at Shorto's book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 20, 2009, 11:40:59 AM
Regarding  the History of the Hudson River valley, my exposure was  through my 2003 Seniorsnet/Books discussion of Francis Jennings’s  “The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire<” http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/archives/nonfiction/AmbiguousIriquoisEmpire.html .

The Hudson’s European intrusion began in the 17th century by the Dutch West Indian Company whose trading ships sailed up the Hudson where they would chain their ship to trees lining the shore to trade with Iroquois.  This early trading operation led to the promotion of the Iroquois Confederation by the creation of the “Covenant Chain,” as a trading association in which the Iroquois came to occupy a favored position over other tribes throughout much of the North East.  This was an area that extended from Canada as far South as Virginia.  In effect it resulted in the creation of what the historian Francis Jennings called “The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire” in which throughout the last half of the 17th and the first half of the 18th century , most all colonial Indian trade with all area Indians went through the  Iroquois. 

This book was not a great book for a Seniorsnet discussion because it was really written for professional historians.  Jennings writing style was not really for the popular reader.  It really required effort to understand.  Nevertheless when it was over I was much impressed with Jennings’s most scholarly writing and his book’s great contribution to American Indian History.  In addition to the discussion archive that I linked above I also wrote a Readers Guide that apparently has not survived the transfer from the Seniorsnet site as it is not in the current Seniorlearn menu.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 20, 2009, 02:36:04 PM
I found my Reader's Guide to The Ambiguous Iriquois Empire still availaable on the old Seniorsnet board. The folloing is a copy of the Plot Synopsis section or click the following for the complete Guide.

http://www.seniornet.org/php/readerguide.php?GuideID=34&Version=0&Font=1


Plot Synopsis:
In the Preface to this book the author, Francis Jennings, tells us it "is a history neither of the tribes nor of the colonies, but rather of the Covenant Chain that bound them together." The Covenant Chain was the unique 17th and 18th century trade arrangement for the conduct of North American, inter-culture trade between the Northeast tribes and the English Colonies. The Dutch at their Fort Orange colony originally initiated the Covenant Chain early in the 17th century. Later after Fort Orange had become English, renamed Albany, the concept of the chain was refined and formalized by a series of treaties between the tribes and the English. Under these treaties the Iroquois Confederation acquired a particularly strong position of power as middlemen and the agent of other tribes in their trade dealings with the English colonies. This position of Iroquoian power led Jennings to suggest the use of the word, "Empire," to describe the status of the Iroquois Confederation during the last half of the 17th and much of the 18th centuries.

After the Iroquois through a series of successful 17th century inter-tribal conflicts known as "the Beaver Wars" established their position of power, Jennings continues to document the significantly different interpretations of the respective roles of the Iroquois and the English in the Covenant Chain. While the Iroquois never saw the relationship as involving any concession of tribal sovereignty on their part, the English, on the other hand, interpreted the position of the Indians, including the Iroquois, as junior partners, the subordinate agents of the European powers subject to their overall sovereignty.

As Jennings continues his account of the century long story of Iroquois successes and failures, the reader can not help but note the accumulating effect on the Iroquois of the mounting losses from war and pestilence, and the growing pressure from the ever increasing European population. At this point Jennings ends his book with the 1744 Treaty of Lancaster, which, as interpreted by the English, opened the entire Ohio Valley west of the mountains for the European settlement that promptly followed. Though the Iroquois still remained a power in the Covenant Chain, their inevitable decline was poised to follow.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 20, 2009, 03:54:11 PM
Hello Harold!  Glad you found the Readers Guide.  I missed that discussion and it sounds so interesting.  What year did you do that one?

This book was mentioned to me and it does look interesting.  Anyone read it?

It's called Ligthning Man and is a biography of Samuel Morse, who was a man of many parts.

Morse (1791-1872) is best known as the inventor of the electromagnetic telegraph, but Silverman (English, New York U.) throws light on his many endeavors as a painter, pioneer photographer, the first professor of fine arts at an American college, and republican idealist who ran for Congress and for mayor of New York City. Annotation #169;2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

It should be well written as the author teaches English at NYC.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on May 21, 2009, 08:23:43 AM
Sounds interesting, Ella. I did find a link to that museum that I mentioned at lunch but had remembered it wrong.  So forget about the Morse Museum at Winter Park, FL.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 21, 2009, 09:18:29 PM
The book LIGHTNING MAN: The Accursed Life of Samuel F.B.Morse by Kenneth Silverman (winner of the Pulitizer Prize) looks very good.  The "accursed business" is explained somewhat in the jacket as follows:

"Morse viewed his existence as accursed rather than illustrious, his every achievement seeming to end in loss and defeat; his most ambitious canvases went unsold; his beloved republic imploded into civil war, making it unlivable for him; and the commercial success of the telegraph engulfed him in lawsuits challenging the originality and ownership of his invention."

I can believe that last sentence; however, those other assertions don't ring true.  Ambition does not sell paintings, war happens in the best of times.

Edison did not have too much trouble with his inventions being challenged did he?  I can't remember, of course, he came along at a different time.  But certainly in Morse's days we had the patent office??

------------------------------------------------------------

I like this quote and I think it is still true:

"We are a people essentially active.  I may say we are preeminently so.  Distance and difficulties are less to us than any people on earth.  Our schemes and prospects extend every where and to every thing." - John C. Calhoun, speech in the U.S.Senate, June 24, 1812"

Samuel was born in 1791, the first child of a Congregationalist minister in Massachusetts, near Boston.  The family called him Finley and he contracted smallpox when he was 4 years old; he had 6 siblings - only two survived. 

I think I'll open the book and settle down to read how Finley became the man we know as the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel B. Morse.

-------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 23, 2009, 07:05:33 PM
HEY, HEY, HEY, IS ANYONE AT HOME? 

IS ANYONE READING A BOOK?

I have several I can loan you or suggest, if you like.  

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 23, 2009, 08:53:06 PM
HI Ella,

I am into a SciFi at the moment - Elizabeth Moon's Victory Conditions, which is the last of her Vatta series. I will start on Carol Goodman's The Night Villa, on Monday in preparation for the upcoming discussion starting June 1. Sometime in this coming week I will be starting one of the Wallander series books we are discussing in the Masterpiece Mysteries group. After that, I have several non-fiction books clamoring for attention.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on May 23, 2009, 09:53:58 PM
I'll put in my comments on the books I know anything about.

We read Russell Shorto's "Island at the Center of the World" on SeniorNet.  He did a remarkably good job of poring through historical documents and getting the real story and a remarkably poor job of telling his story in a way that made sense to a reader.  You really had to work hard to figure out what was happening.

Hopkirk's "The Great Game" is one I've been meaning to read for a while.  Frybabe, thanks for telling me about "The Quest for Kim", which I didn't know about.  Both of these touch on our discussion of "Three Cups of Tea", since they deal with earlier political manipulations in the area.  I recently reread "Kim" for a f2f discussion of Edwardian literature, and found it every bit as good as I remember from my youth.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 24, 2009, 01:03:12 AM
I don't actually remember if I ever read a Kiplinger book or not when I was little. I kind of think I did, but it could be I just remember seeing Kim and Gunga Din ten million times. It would have been Kim if I did. I know I didn't read Jungle Book. Anyhow, I have Hopkirk's book, a book about Alfred Dreyfus, one about Gertrude Bell and one about the MIddle East just after WWI called The Kingmakers to read soon. I have not ordered In Search of Kim yet.

After just getting my last stack of books, I am up to five on my new to  buy list already.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 24, 2009, 09:35:19 AM
  I looked up the Vada series in my local library, and found the had books 3 & 4, but not 1 & 2.  Pity. If I'm going to read a series, I like to have all of them available.
  I remember how enthralled I was reading Kim.  It was a new arena for me, and I remember trying to remember the ways to identify different groups. The Sikh headdress, for example.  I can still recognize that.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 24, 2009, 11:46:41 AM
Yes, Babi, with the Vatta series it is best to read from the beginning. I got my hands on book 3 and read that before I realized it was part of a series. Then I went back and read 1 & 2. It explained a few things I puzzled over in book 3.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 24, 2009, 02:51:53 PM
Hopkirk's THE GREAT GAME is a very interesting read, as was TOURNAMENT OF SHADOWS by Karl E. Meyers, also about the "great game."

Have never gotten around to reading KIM.  Will have to read it now, along with QUEST FOR KIM (thanks, Frybabe).

That was funny, Steph, about your cousin redecorating your room in black.  I feel for you parents.   My favorite room color back in the 1960s was dark green with lots and lots of green plants (which usually didn't live long, as my thumb, unlike my walls, was not very green.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 25, 2009, 08:35:45 AM
 You must have had a romance with the forest going back then, Marjifay. I'm no great shakes at gardening either, but I found one plant that seems to thrive under my level of care, and I stick with it. My violets do beautifully, thank goodness.   :)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on May 25, 2009, 09:49:40 AM
I'm still reading the Billionaire's Vinegar, which I like very much and am learning a lot from, a good bit on Thomas Jefferson, but more on the business of wine. It's pretty fascinating.

Still reading Rogue's Gallery about the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, featuring a huge chapter on our own Thomas Hoving and he's in a lot more, too, fascinating. Almost as good as one of his books.

Am making great headway thru Mary Beard's newest Pompeii book which I read frantically during our Latin classes, it's on Pompeii and it's not a book you should read like I did in bits and pieces, so started it over and I can see why it's shortlisted for a prize: it's really good. Dr. Beard teaches Classics at Cambridge and she has a lot of interesting information on Pompeii. Once you read it, you really do know a lot more, (even tho you may have thought you knew a lot, when you get through you know a lot more. :)

I ran out and bought all of the books I could find by Rosemary Mahoney who wrote Down the Nile. The only one which has come so far is Whoredom in Kimmage, about women in  Ireland, and I love the way she writes and can't wait to get into it.

I'm also reading The Library of the Villa dei Papyri by David Sider and if you are remotely interested in ancient books, this one's for you, it's fabulous.

I guess that's about it for me and non fiction so far this month.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 25, 2009, 11:07:19 AM
OH, FUN!!

Hearing about all the books you are reading and I would make a list of them for my own  pleasure if I didn't already have a list that is impossible to expect to ever succeed reading.

ONE AT A TIME.

Having put aside a delightful book about Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor, while taking a vacation in the hills of the Hudson River Valley, I have opened it at my bookmark and this morning have read the following paragraph which I wondered if it is at all pertinent to today's young women.  Two women in my family kept their names after marriage.

"Early on in her marriage, she decided to keep her own name.  Although she used Mrs. Paul C. Wilson in private and on her passport, professionally Frances kept her last name for various reasons, citing different motives at different times.  On one level, she said, she'd been touched by feminist ideas: and was interested in preserving her sense of identity.  More pragmatically, she also had seen that in the career world, single women were viewed more favorably than married women. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 25, 2009, 12:27:24 PM
That was an interesting paragraph about Frances Perkins you posted Ella.  I have that book on my TBR list.  I suppose employers preferred single women employees, thinking that married women would become mothers and quit their jobs.  I remember all the (now verboten) questions I was asked when applying for a job:  How many children do you have?  Who takes care of them?  Do you intend to have more children? etc. etc.  Frances Perkins was a smart cookie.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 26, 2009, 01:03:20 PM
HELLO MARJFAY!

Frances Perkins is a fascinating woman, and SMART!!!  

But she had rather a sad life.  Career women, ambitious woman often have trouble with family issues.  On the other hand, how many women get a book written about their lives?  Is that a trade-off?

It's a good book!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO DISCUSS IT WITH A FEW OTHERS (hopefully!) IN AUGUST?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 26, 2009, 01:53:46 PM
Yes, I'd like to read the Frances Perkins bio  (THE WOMAN BEHIND THE NEW DEAL) for an August discussion, Ella.  It's only 480 pp, so (unlike Team of Rivals), I could finish it before having to return it to the library.)

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 26, 2009, 02:09:57 PM
Oh, and thanks, Ella, for your recommendation of Kenneth Silverman's LIGHTNING MAN, about the "accursed" life of Samuel Morse.  I looked up that author's other books and found another one of his I'd like to read: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF COTTON MATHER, for which he won a Pulitzer.  I'd heard of Mather and always intended to read about him.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 26, 2009, 10:09:50 PM
Oh, good!  I'll have to get back to you with that proposal!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on May 27, 2009, 08:47:34 AM
Ella,
Sounds like you are in the planning mode for a new discussion.  I am interested in reading about Frances Perkins but also would like to read about Samuel Morse.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 27, 2009, 12:29:46 PM
HI ANN!  That's makes about three of us interested in the book.  

Anyone else?

Here is a review:

"Frances Perkins is no longer a household name, yet she was one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Based on eight years of research, extensive archival materials, new documents, and exclusive access to Perkins’s family members and friends, this biography is the first complete portrait of a devoted public servant with a passionate personal life, a mother who changed the landscape of American business and society.

Frances Perkins was named Secretary of Labor by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. As the first female cabinet secretary, she spearheaded the fight to improve the lives of America’s working people while juggling her own complex family responsibilities. Perkins’s ideas became the cornerstones of the most important social welfare and legislation in the nation’s history, including unemployment compensation, child labor laws, and the forty-hour work week.

Arriving in Washington at the height of the Great Depression, Perkins pushed for massive public works projects that created millions of jobs for unemployed workers. She breathed life back into the nation’s labor movement, boosting living standards across the country. As head of the Immigration Service, she fought to bring European refugees to safety in the United States. Her greatest triumph was creating Social Security.

Written with a wit that echoes Frances Perkins’s own, award-winning journalist Kirstin Downey gives us a riveting exploration of how and why Perkins slipped into historical oblivion, and restores Perkins to her proper place in history.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on May 27, 2009, 01:54:12 PM
I have requested the book from our library which owns 14 copies which are all checked out and I am 13th on the waiting list.  So we will see how long it takes to arrive and if I need to rereserve it later in the summer, around the discussion date.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 30, 2009, 01:01:09 PM
ANN, I understand its popularity.  The book is well written, but for those of us who are a certain age you will recall, when you read it, many of the problems in the country during the depression, the Roosevelt and the Truman years.  Frances was there on the scene during all of that;  actually, she was at times the most important member of the team that brought us such programs as social security, the regulation of hours and wages, prohibition of child labor, etc.

Her relationships with family and public figures (whom you will be familiar with if you followed the news back in that era) are fascinating.  And there is this:

"Few women had climbed as high in public life as Frances, and many were reluctant to attribute her rise to the simple fact of her proven competence.  The public often assumed sex was involved when women took over important posts."

Throughout her life she rose above the stigma of being a woman although it was difficult as she was surrounded by men - men who had achieved much in life and had huge egos.

Appointed by Roosevelt to a cabinet post, she wrestled with this complicated man throughout her life.  Here is one paragraph"

"In time, Frances developed a deeper friendship with Franklin Roosevelt than with Eleanor.  Indeed, Frances had set out very purposefully to learn how FDR thought and to maximize her effectiveness.  Roosevelt appeared extremely complicated from the very first conversation."  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on May 31, 2009, 12:04:47 AM
Ella - i would be interested.............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: kidsal on May 31, 2009, 04:38:58 AM
Gertrude Bell, Queen of the Desert, is a wonderful book.  Surprised there wasn't more interest in this book during the beginning of the Iraq war because she was so influential during WWI and the drawing of the borders of Iraq.  She began the Bagdhad Museum.  There are quit a few books about her - a daughter of a wealthy industrialist in England.  Wish they would make a movie of her life!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 31, 2009, 09:06:44 AM
Kidsal, I bought the Gertrude Bell book about six months ago, but haven't read it yet. I gave it to my Mom to read in the meantime. She enjoyed it immensely. One of these days, I'll get around to reading it.

I've read T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom and several of his other books. I know he was not happy about promises to the Arabs not kept and about how the countries were partitioned. What I don't remember is whether he ever mentioned Bell.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 31, 2009, 09:09:19 AM
Tongue in cheek.... I just read a mystery short story in which the sleuth was
Alice Roosevelt Longworth, pushed into involvement by her cousin the Sec. of the Navy, Franklin.  Whom she fondly dreamed of throttling!  It was amusing.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on May 31, 2009, 09:51:45 AM
I'm reading Ayun Halliday's book No Touch Monkey!

It's about a different kind of travel than I do, backpacking, somewhat filthily, through Europe. It's an eye opener, she leaves nothing to the imagination, not the way I want to or would travel, but I'm not in my young 20's any more, and it's fascinating to see the "tricks" that they use to avoid paying hotel rooms etc.

So far it's pretty amazing, actually.
 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 31, 2009, 11:55:07 AM
I'm reading a very interesting book -- THE BITTER ROAD TO FREEDOM; A NEW HISTORY OF THE LIBERATION OF EUROPE by William L. Hitchcock.  It was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.

I'm learning a lot of things about WW2 that I never new.  A surprising story, often jarring and uncomfortable.  Some amazing photos I've never seen of the destruction of towns in the path of the Normandy invasion.   Depicts in searing detail the shocking price that Europeans paid for their freedom.  The author says he realized that the different experiences of Europeans and Americans of the liberation of Europe was behind their disagreement on invading Iraq.   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 31, 2009, 04:50:03 PM
MARJIFAY:  What a interesting statement you made: 

The author says he realized that the different experiences of Europeans and Americans of the liberation of Europe was behind their disagreement on invading Iraq."

Would you elaborate on that, please?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 31, 2009, 06:47:20 PM
My copy of the Frances Perkins Biography on order from B&N should arrive before the end of the current week. 

Harold
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on May 31, 2009, 06:47:47 PM
The Frances Perkins book sounds good to me.  August works, too.  So, count me in.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 01, 2009, 09:49:37 AM
HAROLD, you will enjoy the book.  You'll recall all of the incidents related in the book, e.g. dockworker strikes, price controls.  I had not thought of these things in years but they all came under the Department of Labor which Frances Perkins headed.  With the advent of the containers, there is no such thing as dockworkers today - is that true?  I don't know, but I don't read of many strikes, do you?

SHEILA, thanks!  We're getting a good group together here.  We will, however, do a proposal sometime when I get it together!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 01, 2009, 10:26:07 AM
Regarding Dock workers today, I suspect the work is much more automated.  Instead of gangs of dozens of muscular men carrying 80 pound bags of grain from dock to ship, the grain is blown through large diameter hoses from dockside elevators to the ship.  Far fewer dockworkers making good union wages now connect the hoses that deliver the grain to the ship.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 01, 2009, 05:44:06 PM
Ella, you asked about the statement from a reviewer regarding the book THE BITTER ROAD TO FREEDOM that "The author says he realized that the different experiences of Europeans and Americans of the liberation of Europe was behind their disagreement on invading Iraq." 

I'm only about a third of the way through the book, but I think what the author meant was that the Europeans realized that what happened to them would be the fate of a great number of Iraqis.  On D-Day alone, some 3,000 French civilians were killed, roughly as many as the number of American soldiers who lost their lives on that day.  And that was only the beginning.  The Germans were entrenched in the towns, villages, farms, hospitals and other buildings, and the allies' bombing and straffing killed not only Germans.  Between D-Day, June 6 and August 25, he says, about 20,000 French civilians in the five nothern departments (counties) of Normandy where fighting was heaviest, paid for liberation with their lives.

He also talks about what some of the soldiers did as they moved into Normandy.  The power that liberating soldiers possessed over the civilians whom they freed, he says, opened up enticing avenues of privilege and temptation for these young, male soldiers:  Even the best of them consumed scarce food and drink and were capable of drunkeness and vandalism, with some going further and looting homes and sexually assaulting women.  The author quotes not only from European sources, but also from the countless memoirs, diaries, letters and oral testimonies of British and American soldiers themselves.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 01, 2009, 06:43:01 PM
Thanks for the post, Marjifay; however, I don't understand why there is disagreement between the two - the Europeans and Americans.  I know about D-Day and its aftermath but I have an idea the Europeans created as much havoc among civilians as did the Americans.  They were all fighting for the same cause, to free Europe of Hitler's menace.

Isn't it farfetched to bring Iraq into this scenario?  Who are the good guys, the bad guys in the Iraq war?  Are the Americans the bad guys here?  Are we the Hitler menace?

Harold, yes, I agree; more jobs have been eliminated because of "automation."  Fortunately, the computer era has taken up some of the slack in unemployment don't you think?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 01, 2009, 06:47:35 PM
The Washington Post has a great article regarding Frances Perkins.  Here it is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/06/AR2009050602612.html?sub=AR

Of course, the author of the book is Washington Post staff writer, it helps!!

Here are a few paragraphs from the article; however, read the whole of it for better content:


"When Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed the presidency in the midst of the Depression, he was flanked by a prestigious brain trust of economic and political advisers: Adolf Berle, Raymond Moley and Rexford Guy Tugwell, all Columbia University professors. These were the Larry Summerses and Tim Geithners of their day, spouting elevated theories and cultivating lavish media coverage.

The president was casting about for a plan to slash unemployment, boost incomes and give relief to the needy. Yet the early stimulus effort that ultimately won most support was not engineered by these high-powered advisers. It came together through the efforts of a former social worker, a plain woman with luminous dark eyes, an individual of unique emotional intelligence whom Roosevelt appointed as his secretary of labor: Frances Perkins.

Perkins had known Roosevelt for two decades, and the two had worked together for four years, when she was state industrial commissioner while Roosevelt served as governor of New York. The only woman in the Cabinet, Perkins had spent almost 30 years studying the American workplace, talking to laborers and employers in factories, retail stores, harbors, mines and mills across the country. She was exactly the kind of person a neophyte president needed by his side.

I wonder, does Barack Obama have a Frances Perkins somewhere in his administration?"



 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 01, 2009, 11:23:39 PM
Ella, there was disagreement between Europe and the U.S. re sending troops into Iraq.  Bush had one heck of a time getting other countries to volunteer troops. 

As to bringing Iraq into the scenario, I've heard estimates that some 78,000 or more Iraqis were killed by U.Sl. and "coalition" airstrikes.  And look at all the displaced people.  Some estimate that about 2 million refugees, including their skilled professional doctors, lawyers, educators, etc., have escapted to other countries like Syria and Jordan.
Not to mention their other problems with unemployment, poverty, lack of electicity, water, etc. 

IMO, the "bad guys' were us who started the war in Iraq. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 02, 2009, 08:37:59 AM
  We may not be "bad guys", ELLA, but there is no question that we were the
invaders. War is always a situation of extreme hardship for the country where it is fought.  In the Allied invasion of WWII, the horror of the Nazi rule made defeat of the Nazis imperative.  The loss of life from genocide far outweighed the losses incurred by invasion. The French were glad to see the liberating armies.  We can't say the same about the Iraqi's.  I suspect there will always be disagreements about how necessary our intervention there was.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 02, 2009, 11:02:33 AM
Thanks, MARJIFAY AND BABI for your posts.  I agree we were the invaders; however, to put us in the same category of Germany's Hitler is too much for me to swallow.  We did not intend to conquer, did we? 

True, we made errors of judgment (Bush's war) in the aftermath of the horror of the bombing of the Towers.  And true we did unimaginable damage to civilians, property, etc.  How to prevent future wars of this kind is a problem;  I think, we must control such "interventions" such as these.  Right now, North Korea is a threat and I remember that was in Bush's "axis of evil" speech.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 02, 2009, 07:29:39 PM
I read an interesting book on North Korea: MELTDOWN; THE INSIDE STORY OF THE NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR CRISIS by CNN reporter Mike Chinoy. 

Another book about the North Korean Kim dynasty that was recommended to me is UNDER THE LOVING CARE OF THE FATHERLY
LEADER by Bradley K. Martin.

I hear that their "Dear Leader," Kim Jong Il, has designated his youngest son, Kim Jong Un to be their next leader.  They've already written a song in the son's honor, "Commander Kim," which they are teaching the people to sing.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 03, 2009, 08:58:03 AM
Oh, definitely not in the same category as Hitler's Nazis, ELLA. On the contrary!

Quote
"...which they are teaching the people to sing."
I think that is how a dynasty becomes the'fatherly leader', MARJIFAY.  This sort of propaganda and mind control. The Chinese are especially good at this.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 03, 2009, 10:10:27 AM
My Library doesn't have that book, Marjifay!  But I think if we could find a good book about the country of N. Korea we could get a discussion going.  Let's look.  There is an interesting article in my paper this morning with the headline:  China won't let N. Korea collapse.

Although China deplores N. Korea's nuclear testing, still it will not allow the regime to be overthrown.  Communist countries stick together.  However, the article by Gwynne Dyer states that the country of N. Korea is weak in every kind of weapon, planes, ships, etc.

Is this what you read in the book? 

The current Secretary of Labor is a woman also, a fact I did not know until I read this morning that she is touring a few factories in Michigan and Ohio.  It is interesting that in periods of economic distress the country finds itself in the hands of a female Secretary of Labor; not at all what one would expect.  I must look up her background.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 03, 2009, 10:19:59 AM
Here she is:     http://uspolitics.about.com/od/biographies/ig/Obama-Cabinet/Secretary-of-Labor.htm


Fairly young, I think, what do you think?

Wikipedia has this to say about cabinet officers, which I thought interesting:

"Though the Cabinet is still an important organ of bureaucratic management, in recent years, the Cabinet has generally declined in relevance as a policy making body. Starting with President Franklin Roosevelt, the trend has been for Presidents to act through the Executive Office of the President or the National Security Council (which generally does include some Cabinet secretaries) rather than through the Cabinet. This has created a situation in which non-Cabinet officials such as the White House Chief of Staff (who requires no Senate confirmation), the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Security Advisor are now as powerful as or more powerful than some Cabinet officials.

Indicative of the Cabinet's relative unimportance in contemporary American government, President Obama did not meet with his assembled Cabinet until a full three months into his administration."



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 03, 2009, 09:58:52 PM
Yes, Ella, I would think a discussion on North Korea would be interesting.  I'll look for some books on the subject.  North Korea seems to spend all its money on its military and weapons.  Sad  how many of their people died (2-3 million) of starvation. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 03, 2009, 10:13:41 PM
Hope I'm not getting too political, but I read today that a large statue of Ronald Reagan has been placed in the U.S. Capitol Building today.  (It seems that each state gets two statues there - not sure who the other one is from California.)  There was a photo of Nancy Reagan with tears in her eyes as they installed it.  Sad to say very few Democrats attended the ceremony.  I'm a Democrat, but I did admire a lot about Reagan.  Seems to me that since he was a former President, more Democrats should have attended.

I've been to the Reagan Library and Museam in Simi Valley, CA several times.  A lovely building with a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains.  I always encourage friends to be sure to visit there if they come to Southern California.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on June 04, 2009, 08:02:28 AM
Marifay,
I think that any presidential library is worth perusing even if that president isn't of one's party.  I have only been through Jimmy Carter's library. which is in Atlanta.  I took a large group there several years ago.
As to the Reagan library, just seeing him put to rest there gave some of us a real good view of the grounds.  I lived in California before the library was finished so didn't get to see it. 
Ella,
That is a surprise that N. Korea has a female Secretary of Labor.  I saw a short news story about the new head of state, Kim Jong Un.  Although he is young and the third son of Kim Jong Il, he is considered the smartest of the males in the family. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 04, 2009, 08:06:23 AM
Quote
Indicative of the Cabinet's relative unimportance in contemporary American government, President Obama did not meet with his assembled Cabinet until a full three months into his administration."
  That's interesting, ELLA.  Since so many of them are new to their position, I wonder if he was just letting them get settled in, just as he was. I know I wouldn't have a great deal to contribute until I was more familiar with my job.

 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 04, 2009, 08:49:46 AM
ANN, my post was confusing.  Sorry!

The Secretary of Labor that I was referring to in my Post of June 3rd was America's Secretary not N. Korea's.  I thought it was interesting  we now have a female Secretary of Labor in a time of recession as we had Frances Perkins as Secretary in the Depression.  Of course, it just happened and was not intentional.

BABI, possibly, although I have heard this comment before from other sources.  Presidents can appoint friends or former staff members to important offices in the White House without prior Congressional approval; whereas Cabinet offices, I think, must be approved by Congress.

Rahm Emanuel and Tim Geithner were from Obama's Chicago headquarters I believe and seem to be in almost daily contact with the president.  I'm skating on thin ice here (or slipping on the the sidewalk!) as I am not sure of what I am typing!!!

MARJIFAY, thanks for the post.  I hope you are successful in finding a good book on N. Korea.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 04, 2009, 10:48:57 AM
Yes, Annie, I agree that any presidential library is worth visiting even those not of one's own political party.  You made me think.  Here I was bemoaning that few Democrats attended the installation of Reagan's statue in the Capitol Building, yet I have never visited Nixon's library which is practically next door to my home, just because I disliked him so much.  Guess it's about time I visited it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 04, 2009, 02:07:14 PM
My copy of the Frances Perkins book arrived yesterday and I have begun reading it.

Regarding the presidential libraries I think all are worthy for visitation.  The one that is most available to me is the LBJ Library at the University of Texas in Austin.  I have been their many times often to attend meeting on a variety of civic issues, one 6 years go on a seniors book discussion issue.  

Also the Bush I Library at Texas A&M is in easy visitation range just 8o miles east of Austin.  I have not been their but I am going to ask our Chandlers Activities Director to schedule a day trip there soon.  I understand that the Bush II Library will be at Southern Methodist University at Dallas.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on June 04, 2009, 03:43:21 PM
I am just begining a new, non fiction book, called:  "War Against the Weak".  Edwin Black is the author.  It is fascinating!  The story of eugenics.  Thousands of people were sterilized.  Many of them had no idea what their surgery was for. 

I first learned about eugenics, by watching a history program on PBS.  It seemed unbelievable to me, that my government had taken away the ability to have children, from thousands of our citizens.  Recently, I watched a program on CSpan's Book Club, with Mr. Black.  It is his contention that the seeds of the Holocaust were planted in America, with eugenics.  Which began in the late 1800s. 

It reads almost like a novel.  I have trouble putting it down.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 05, 2009, 08:15:03 AM
ELLA, I may not be functioning too well yet this early in the morning, but I'm
 missing the relationship between my comment and your reply in Post #353. Did I misunderstand you, or did you misunderstand me?

  I have heard of proposals, from time to time, that people with terrible genetic
disorders should accept sterilizsation to prevent passing on the strain. It should be
voluntary, of course, but it seems a logical choice and one I definitely would consider
if I were in such a position. Involuntary sterilization of unwitting victims is an
entirely different thing. I think people who decide to take this sort of responsibility
on themselves must have a 'god' complex.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 05, 2009, 04:05:36 PM
Thanks, SHEILA, for the recommendation; perhaps we need to educate ourselves about the subject.  I'll look up the book at the Library.

BABI, you function very well!  At times, it is just too difficult for me to explain what is meant from a keyboard.  Perhaps my age?  Certainly not the age of reason!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 06, 2009, 09:07:30 AM
That I understand perfectly, ELLA.   :-\  ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on June 06, 2009, 12:11:46 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it.  

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: Ella Gibbons (egibbons28@columbus.rr.com)




-------------------------------------------------------------------------------










Sheila,
I remember reading about those awful procedures in a newspaper article.  The human race certainly is a strange mix, isn't it!!  

                             - ADOANNIE
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 10, 2009, 02:12:05 PM
WHAT ARE YOU READING?

I am halfway through a book by Stacy A. Cordery titled ALICE ROOSEVELT LONGWORTH: from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker.  I knew of her, of course, by not these details!  She and her father, Teddy, were so close; she helped him politically all his life and missed him dreadfully when he died.  Her marriage to the senator, Nicholas Longworth, was not a happy one for either of them but they settled into a comfortable relationship.  She and Eleanor Roosevelt never cared much for each other - that I knew.



My sister, from MA, is visiting me and she is reading all the books on the library shelf that have to do with Altzheimer's disease.  Once she gets interested in a subject she becomes an expert!  She was telling me the story of the one she is reading now - a doctor writes of his diagnosis of cancer 8 years ago; he refuses chemo and with alternative methods believes he is cured. 

That is the short version, the very short version, of her book.

Give me an idea for a good book to read!!!  I need one.  I was at Barnes and Noble the other day and came away with nothing.  Absolutely nothing!  A first!!!

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 10, 2009, 04:11:12 PM
That book on Alice Roosevelt Longworth sounds interesting, Ella. I'll add it to my (too long) TBR list!

You asked for suggestions for books to read.  Here are a couple I want to read:

A SAFE HAVEN; HARRY S. TRUMAN AND THE FOUNDING OF ISRAEL by
Allis and Ronald Radash.  Heard about it on CSpan's BookTV program.
As the president told his closest advisors, these attempts to resolve the issue of a Jewish homeland had left him in a condition of "political battle fatigue."  A suspenseful, moment to moment recreation of this crossroads in U.S.-Israeli relations and Middle East politics.

FAMILY SECRETS; THE CASE THAT CRIPPLED THE CHICAGO MOB by Jeff Coen.  Heard the author on CSpan BookTV.  He said he couldn't believe his ears when he heard the stories one of the mob members told at the trial, but found they were true.  The first time a "made" mob member squealed on other members.  A riveting, shocking book on self destructive Costra Nostra members (known as "The Outfit" in Chicago) engaged in a death dance of suspician and betrayal.

SARAH'S KEY by  Tatiana de Rosnay   A book recommended highly by a couple of my friends.  A remarkable historical novel which brings to light a disturbing and deliberately hidden aspect of French behavior towards Jews during WW II.  Per PW, Starred Review, this book is so riveting, it's hard to put down.

Unlike you, I check books out at the library.
Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 10, 2009, 07:50:45 PM
Oh, MARJIFAY!  Did I give the impression I buy all my books?  Hahahaaa   I'm a weekly regular at our library and my sister trotted home an armload of books to look through and read one or two. 

I do, at times, buy one; it's a treat!  But my shelves are full and in order to put another one in I must take one or two out and give to someone.

Truman and Israel!  That book sounds great, I must get it.  In fact, all of those you mentioned sound good - from Israel, to France to the Chicago Mob.

Thank you so much for the recommendations.

Pray tell, what are you reading? 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 10, 2009, 10:53:13 PM
What am I reading, Ella?  Well, no nonfiction right now.  Am working thru Eliot's MIDDLEMARCH.  Then want to read the BROTHERS KARAMAZOV for a July group discussion.  Read it many years ago and it's one of my favorites by Dostoevsky.  In between I've sneaked in Dashiell Hammett's RED HARVEST.

After that I want to read BLUE LATITUDES; BOLDLY GOING WHERE CAPTAIN COOK HAS GONE BEFORE by Tony Horwitz.  Then I want to read the Truman book I mentioned about the founding of Israel.  Truman was one of my favorite presidents.  I also want to read about the drive he and Bess took from Missouri to New York all by themselves in 1953 in their brand new Chrysler New Yorker to celebrate their anniversary:  HARRY TRUMAN'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE by Matthew Algeo.  Also heard about that one on BookTV--sounded very good.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on June 11, 2009, 10:28:55 AM
On a recommendation from here, I'm reading (on my Kindle2) The Rogue's Gallery by Michael Gross, about the founding and early history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  It's interesting, and I'm enjoying the book. 

However, I've found what must be the worst piece of prose writing I've come across in quite some time.  And I wanted to share a good laugh with you.  The pronoun "his" in this single sentence refers to Henry Osborne Havemeyer.

"His tastes evolved, moving from volume to quality and from objects to paintings after he married Louisine, who'd led a privileged childhood in Philadelphia and Europe, before her first $100 purchase from the unknown and financially strapped Degas, who, legend has it, was about to quit painting when she came along."
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 12, 2009, 08:43:49 AM
 Okay, the guy's editor needs to discuss the use of periods with the man. I do think, tho', that I've run across worse writing.  I wish I could recall some of them, but unfortunately I did not preserve, much less memorize, them.  ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 15, 2009, 12:58:59 PM
Harold and I just opened a PROPOSED DISCUSSION on the book FRANCES PERKINS: The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kirstin Downey.

Here is the site:

    http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=587.msg26098#msg26098

Come post a message if you are interested in joining us in August!  We will need a quorum of at least 4-5 people; hopefully more!

See you there.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on June 20, 2009, 01:19:51 PM
Just heard Michael Gardner on Book TV. He's written a book "Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks." My father was such a big fan of Turman's and I liked McCullough's book on HST. I think his courage on civil rights has been overlooked. I'm going to check w/ my library and see if they have it.

I'm reading "Condolezza Rice" by Susan Burmiller, the White House correspondent for the NYT's from 2001 to 2006. It's interesting also. Rice lived in Birmingham, Ala during the 50's and 60's and her families' response to MLK is quite different from the news clips we see of what was happening at the time. I think they are probably what my response would have been. I don't think i would have had the courage to endanger my job or house or family in the way many did in the South during the 50's and 60's. How did those parents send their children to Little Rock H.S. every day? I don't think i would have had the guts to do that. .....................CR's comments in the book seem rather superficial to those events. SB spent 8 hrs interviewing her and had access to her family and friends. It is not an "authorized" bio, but seems objective. I'll be curious to see how her comments might change, perhaps become more in depth,  when it gets to the more recent years. ..........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on June 20, 2009, 02:19:47 PM
I admire those of you interested in political figures or American history, I'm not, particularly,  for some reason, maybe I'll grow into it. Since I can't take my trip this year I'm traveling vicariously, now with Roland  Murello in Italian Summer, I just read about this book in a magazine, it's brand new.

I really like it, so far, see our Library discussion  for a fuller description, if you like golf and you wish you could go to the Lake Como region of Italy, it's your kind of book. It's even made ME appreciate golf, which is a miracle. :)

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 20, 2009, 07:35:34 PM
Interesting comments, JEAN, about Condoleeza Rice.  I wonder what she is doing today, back to teaching?  And do tell us what she stated about MLK? 

Golf, GINNY, it would take a powerful book for me to get interested in the game, although we were just talking in a restaurant about Tiger Wood and his phenomenal career.  Jack Nicklaus is very famous in these parts, but he takes a back seat to Tiger.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 21, 2009, 08:50:15 AM
 Harry Truman was very unpopular in many sectors during his presidency, but
in hindsight he emerged as a much better president than he was given credit for.
  Actually, Lincoln and F.D.R. also got a lot of verbal abuse in their time. I
can only suppose that any leader who takes strong action is going to polarize
opinions.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on June 21, 2009, 09:48:03 AM
If you have not read "Truman" by McCullough, it is a very good book.  Our SN bookies met Mr McCullough in DC in 2002 at the book festival.  Very nice and enthusiastic gentlemen.  He wants us all to encourage our children and grandchildren to in their studies of history.  I believe that Stephen Ambrose was the same about our children.  He used to camp with his whole family on trails to historic places.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 22, 2009, 10:21:36 AM
During 2002 there was a discussion to the McCullough Trueman biography on the old Seniornet/book site.  This archived discussion is now available at http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/archives/nonfiction/Truman.html .
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 22, 2009, 10:49:25 AM
Condoleezza Rice is back at Stanford University and Its Hoover Institute.  See http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Condoleezza_Rice .  The site indicates that we will see books by her in the future.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on June 22, 2009, 01:05:29 PM
The author of the Condonlezza Rice book is SusanBumiller, not "Elizabeth," sorry for the mistake. The book was on my nightstand upstairs and not in front of me. I'm still finding it very interesting.

Ella - her family and many of their friends - middle class, professional people of Birmingham - tho't MLK was just going to create problems for them by messing w/ the status quo. And they were right in the short run. Even those who were not invovled in the demonstrations were sometimes harrassed by the the white establishment, just to intimidate the black population................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 23, 2009, 09:05:14 AM
Hmmm, interesting, JEAN.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 25, 2009, 06:58:12 PM
At B&N today I jotted down some titles to look up in my library and then sat down with a coffee and a sweet with a book I bought on sale.  The title is TRUTH AND DUTY: The press, the President aand the Privilege of Power by Mary Mapes who has been a producer and reporter for CBS News, primarily for CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 60 Minutes.

She won a Peabody Award for reporting on the Abu Ghraib prison tortures in 2005.  It looks interesting.  There are many books coming out on President Bush and I understand he is writing his memoirs, plus Dick Cheney is writing his.

What are you all reading?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 26, 2009, 08:25:19 AM
Don't  you find that memoirs often tend to be quite selective and self-serving?
Whenever I do read one, I tend to be somewhat cautious in believing what is said. A great deal depends, of course, on who is writing the memoir. Some people I already trust...but the politicians in that line-up are very rare.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on June 26, 2009, 09:02:04 AM
Don't  you find that memoirs often tend to be quite selective and self-serving?
Whenever I do read one, I tend to be somewhat cautious in believing what is said. A great deal depends, of course, on who is writing the memoir. Some people I already trust...but the politicians in that line-up are very rare.
[/b]
Couldn't have said it better myself, Babi!  But they are fun to read.  Its just not "quite from the horse's mouth"??  Yeah, that's it!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 26, 2009, 09:42:35 AM
I agree, ANN, they are fun to read and, at times, illuminating; only one must keep an open mind.  I read a couple of chapters in the book and now understand why it was on sale!  Hahahahaaa
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 27, 2009, 08:37:59 AM
Been there, ELLA.  :P  :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on June 27, 2009, 11:08:58 AM
Ahhh, yes, the truth will out ooooorrrrrrrr NOT!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on June 27, 2009, 03:24:01 PM
You are a much more sensible B&N shopper than I am. I just broke the bank there buying books I could have gotten cheaper online. At least, I esisted their cheesecake, and settled for a cup of coffee.

My son disapprves of the fact that I talked to people at neighboring tables. But at the bookstore back East, thats what everyone does. I love to find out what others are reading.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on June 27, 2009, 05:41:05 PM
Me,too, JoanK. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 28, 2009, 08:11:27 AM
JoanK, I had a friend that talked to strangers everywhere she went.
Very outgoing, and a real eye-opener and lesson to my own rather
introverted self. It was good for me.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 28, 2009, 02:52:34 PM
On reading an old book, an out-of-print, book on FDR by Frances Perkins I am getting a wealth of information about him that only a person who knew him and Eleanor would be able to write.  She wrote it in 1946 a year after his death and I am sure she is, perhaps, overcome with the tragedy.

She is not very objective, but in some things that she knows personally, particularly labor laws, etc, she is no doubt correct.  And her impressions of the important people in politics at that time is fascinating.

She tells of his reading habits, stating he was not a good student.  He read a great deal of political history, political memoirs, books of travel and learned to read himself to sleep on the "modern American soothing sirup, detective stories."  He did not read poetry or philosophy.

We have never discussed a book on FDR to my knowledge on Seniornet or SeniorLearn.  Perhaps we should?

We will be discussing some of his policies and problems in our August discussion of Frances Perkins, his Secretary of Labor - The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kirstin Downey.



"
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on June 29, 2009, 06:41:50 AM
What the title of your book, Ella??? Did you find it in the library??
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 29, 2009, 09:29:44 AM
Hello Ann.  The title of the book is THE ROOSEVELT I KNEW by Frances Perkins and it is not available in our library.  It was published in 1946 and is out of print.  I ordered from an online bookstore; right not I can't remember the name of the site but I can find it.  The cost of the book starts at $5.

Perkins write well, I think, and the book is so interesting but I have read only l/4th of it, enough to know I will finish it when I have time.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 29, 2009, 09:35:45 AM
Just for fun I wrote an email to President Obama quoting one paragraph in Perkins' book where she writes of FDR's habit of throwing his head back, which she thinks he was unaware of.  I have noticed the same habit in Obama and I think he is unaware of it also.  It is not a habit of arrogance or looking down the nose at people (which Perkins said some thought was true of FDR) but later people looked at that habit as one of looking forward with courage and hope.

Has anyone noticed that gesture in President Obama?  Other gestures?

What was interesting about my email was that as soon as I clicked on "Send" I got an instant reply (a thank you form) and both the email and reply do NOT SHOW UP either on my computer's "send or receive" message boxes.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 29, 2009, 09:44:19 AM
Ann:  The book site I ordered from is Abebooks:

http://www.abebooks.com/
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on June 29, 2009, 04:45:44 PM
Ella,
I found it cheaper on Alibris but didn't order it.  How important is it that I have it??
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 29, 2009, 05:52:18 PM
Oh, Ann, it isn't important at all to have the book by Frances Perkins, I mentioned it because it is good and also timely, as the article in TIME mentioned that President Obama would be wise to follow a few of the ideas Roosevelt used in the depression years.

It's just a good book if you are interested in Roosevelt.  I have over the years read a great deal about the man, this just adds to it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 29, 2009, 06:32:19 PM
To bore you with another anecdote from the Perkins book, which reminds me of Obama of whom it has been stated that he "runs things himself."

FDR did not expect to be elected Governor of New York, did not especially want to run for Governor as he was still recuperating after his long illness with polio, but he was persuaded by the Democratic party, who was running Al Smith, the former popular governor, for President.  Smith lost both the bid for president and lost the governorship and then attempted to tell FDR how to be governor of New York. 

After numerous advisement of whom to appoint, what decisions to make, etc., FDR said:  "You know, I didn't feel able to make this campaign for governor, but I made it.  I didn't feel that I was sufficiently recovered to undertake the duties of Governor of New York, but here I am.  After Al said that to me I thought about myself and I realized that I've got to be Governor of the State of New York and I have got to be it MYSELF.  If I weren't, if I didn't do it myself, something would be wrong in here (tapping his chest).  I've got to do it myself.......I am awfully sorry if it hurts anybody, particularly Al."

It created a tension between the two of them, but it made FDR an uprising  political star.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 29, 2009, 06:38:57 PM
Has anyone read a biography of Al Smith?  There is one in my library written in 2001 and I think when I get time I'll attempt to get it.  The title is
 Empire statesman:  the rise and redemption of Al Smith by  Robert A. Slayton

Summary:   Born to Irish immigrants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Al Smith was the earliest champion of immigrant Americans. In 1928, Smith became the first Catholic to run for the presidency but his candidacy was fiercely opposed by the KKK, and his campaign was wiped out by a tidal wave of anti-Catholic hatred. After years of hardship, Smith reconciled his soured relationships with political bigwigs and once again became a generous, heroic figure.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 01, 2009, 09:42:19 AM
GREAT NEWS!        GREAT NEWS!        BREAKING NEWS!

The author, Kirstin Downey, of the life of Frances Perkins, THE WOMAN BEHIND THE NEW DEAL, is going to participate in the discussion of the book on August lst.

What fun to talk to an author, one who has put 10 years into researching this book (one just has to look at the Bibliography and Notes to be amazed at the effort).

Come join us as we take a look backward into the Great Depression and the live of Frances Perskins, first woman to be appointed a cabinet member.  And now that I type that, I am wondering if she is the only female cabinet member??



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on July 01, 2009, 01:06:49 PM
I looked to see if the Frances Perkins book was available for my Kindle.  It is, but costs almost $20.00.  I wonder what happened to "all books are $9.99"?  I checked a couple of other titles that interested me (McCullough's Truman, etc.) and they were about $15.00.  Hmmmmmmm.

I've been working on Rogue's Gallery - the story about the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I'm interested in the story, and keep working at it.  But it's one of the worst written books I think I've ever read.  If it had been a mystery or some subject I was less interested in, I'd have pitched it out long ago.  And may do this yet.  :-\
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 01, 2009, 03:54:13 PM
MARY, do you access to a library?  I'm sure they will have a copy of the Perkins book or can get it for you.  There has to be a way!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on July 01, 2009, 04:45:33 PM
I'm sure our library will have it - haven't looked.  I will, though.  I won't be here for the first week in July.  I read so slowly nowadays  >:( that I couldn't get it read in the one week that's usually allotted for a new book anyway.  I will check in on the discussion, but mostly I just think it's an interesting-sounding book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on July 02, 2009, 10:29:56 PM
Mary, the discussion doesn't start until August, so you have plenty of time to figure out when you can get the book.  It reads really well, and Perkins was an amazing woman, worth learning about.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on July 03, 2009, 09:00:34 AM
Maryz,
Who wrote your book about the Met?? I don't want to find myself trying to read it. :D  There must be a better one.  Have you tried any of Thomas Hoving's books???  He wrote a lot about the Met and since he was the director there for a few years, they might read better.  He was our author to meet in NYC in 1998 and just full of colorful stories about the Cloisters and the Met.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 03, 2009, 05:27:35 PM
Booktv is programming 3 days of non-fiction books, starting today............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on July 03, 2009, 08:03:04 PM
AdoAnnie, it was written by Michael Gross.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on July 04, 2009, 12:27:43 PM
Thanks, Mary Z.  I shall put that on my short list of not reads. ;D

Thanks, Jean,  for the reminder about BookTV.

I just came in from the hometown parade.  My grans were in it skating and bike riding, all decorated up.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 05, 2009, 06:25:52 PM
Anyone watching BookTV?  See anything good?

H.W.Brands, a professor from the University of Texas, author of TRAITOR TO HIS CLASS, talked about FDR.  He would be a fun prof to have, very enthusiastic, off the wall fellow, flailing his arms while he talked.  He had some interesting ideas, best of all his reason for writing another biography of FDR.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on July 06, 2009, 01:47:15 PM

I would like to mention a book written up in yesterday's book section.
I have not read but intend to do so.  The library is taking no holds on it
at the present time.  The name: In the Sanctuary of Outcasts--
a memoir, and it has a LOT of local appeal as it is about Carville, LA, just about 18 miles downriver from Baton Rouge (my location).  The
only leper colony in the United States was in Carville- a federal institution for the incarceration of victims of leprosy -now called Hansen's Disease.  All but a VERY FEW patients have been moved out
except for those that refused to go. Author is Neil White, who once ran
New Orleans Magazine and Louisiana Life magazines.
Joy
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on July 06, 2009, 07:35:35 PM
My goodness, JOYOUS, how interesting! I think I, like most people, think of leprosy as occurring only in the Middle Ages, which of course isn't true at all.

Apparently, leprosy today is treatable, many countries have eliminated it. The treatment is available free from the World Health Organization. Many countries have eliminated it, but sadly, people don't always come forward for treatment because of the social stigma.

http://www.who.int/lep/en/ (http://www.who.int/lep/en/)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 07, 2009, 08:37:58 AM
JOY, years and years ago I read a book written by a lady who was taken to the Leper Colony in LA after her doctor diagnosed her with the disease.  A teenager, she came from a middle class family who were outraged as the doctor immediately called the health authorities and she was practically dragged from her home.  She was at the Leper Center and not disfigured by the time treatment and the cure came, at which time the patients were given the choice of either leaving or staying.  She left, married, had a child, attempted to work but wherever she went her employer or fellow employees would somehow find out her past and she was told not to come back.  It was a sad story.  I never forgot the book, but have been unable to find it again.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 07, 2009, 08:40:29 AM
Interesting:       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carville%2C_Louisiana
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on July 07, 2009, 09:23:30 PM

Additional input re: the Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) National Hospital @ Carville received patients from all over the world.  It was located in Carville, LA because of the remote location.
Just a little postscript regarding the hospital.  It is still a Federal institution but I am not sure
for what purpose it is used.  It is a BEAUTIFUL place, well-kept, and nuns administered to the
afflicted in those by-gone days.
Joy
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on July 08, 2009, 08:04:02 AM
Joy, how interesting that sounds, let us know how it is as you read it?  Ella, I hope you can find that book, I'd like to read it, myself, sounds wonderful.

One of the most interesting stories, to me, is that of Typhoid Mary, who insisted that she did NOT have typhoid fever and caused the deaths of so many people. She was a cook, was actually sent to jail, changed her name and kept on cooking in schools and institutions. She must have been a carrier. Scary stuff.

Mary, I'm enjoying Rogues Gallery but unlike you, I cheated. Since we met with Thomas Hoving I started with his chapter, wonderfully written, I thought (Hoving probably dictated most of it, he's very colorful as we know) and exciting.  Since he DID talk directly to the author, he's all over the book. When I finish with his bit, I'll start at the beginning hoping for  good writing, but knowing where Hoving appears adventure follows. :)  Hoving's own King of the Confessors remains one of the best books I have read and he's got an update on it in a down loadable version. I also liked his own Museum Confessional, Making the Mummies Dance.

I am enjoying reading about his background as well.

I'm also reading Service Included, which is not worth even a library loan, about an eavesdropping waiter at Per Se restaurant. Bland and blah.

Still picking up travel writers, just bought In the Merde by Stephen Clark about, apparently irreverently, travel in France.

I wish I could find more Rosemary Mahoney in print! Her Down the Nile is spectacular.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on July 08, 2009, 09:15:19 AM
In the Merde by Stephen Clark. Love the title.   ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 08, 2009, 09:53:04 AM
There must be books about this Leprosy Center at Carville if we could find them.  I wish I could find that old book I read, it was very interesting.  As I remember it was dramatic when the doctors came to the center and announced a cure and those who had endured years of disfigurement shuddered in disbelief.  All were given a choice, stay or go.  Of course, those who were very disfigured chose to stay. I wonder if any remain there.

Somewhere overseas - was it in Rome? - there was an island hospital and it was pointed out to us that  it used to be a leprosy center. I'll look it up.

Here's a very good quote, I think, about biographies. 

 "Of course I think biography aspires to be an art, just as the novel does.  It is a piece of imaginative storytelling, as well as an historical investigation. It celebrates the wonderful diversity of human nature, and its aim is enlightenment. But biography is also a vocation, a calling. The dead call to us out of the past, like owls calling out of the dark. They ask to be heard, remembered, understood."  -  Richard Holmes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on July 08, 2009, 10:14:43 AM

I do not have the book at the present time--public library is taking "no holds" on it right now, and I think the B&N price is in the range of $25-$30 (I looked it up but can't remember), which is a little steep for me.
In the same newspaper write-up last Sunday another book was mentioned --"Squint: My Journey with Leprosy" by Jose Ramirez, Jr. It also is in the $25-$30 range. To quote the paper:" It is a painfully honest chronicle of life as a patient there, a call for dignity for Hansen's sufferers". I haven't looked that one at our public library, but will do so today.
Joy
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on July 08, 2009, 10:31:34 AM

I have just looked up the "Squint; My Journey with Leprosy", by Jose Ramirez, Jr., and I think
I would even opt to buy that one first, if I have to buy.  Look it up @ B&N and read about it.
Joy
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on July 08, 2009, 05:35:34 PM
Ella,
The book, "Squint: My Journey with Leprosy" is in our local library, should you desire to read it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on July 08, 2009, 08:36:48 PM

Ella: <I wonder if any remain there>----I am fairly certain that no patients remain there. The very few that had no family  or anywhere to go now are one floor of one of  our hospitals, just
as a residence.  I have a friend who volunteers there, and they take them out to lunch once a month at a local restaurant, and other places of interest. My guess is that the Federal Gov't.
probably pays for them to stay there instead of at the hospital since there are so few.
Joy
Title: Re: Non-Fiction- regarding the Leprosy thread
Post by: HaroldArnold on July 09, 2009, 05:23:30 PM
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprosy for the Wikipedia article on the disease.  Though I knew that modern medicine had brought the disease under control and that the extreme isolation of victims was no longer a factor, I was surprised that 95 % of the human population is naturally immune to the disease.  The Wikipedia article noted that modern drugs quickly bring the disease under control, but I saw no use of the word cure in the article.   It is fortunate that under conditions of modern hygiene, it is very rare.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 09, 2009, 06:59:39 PM
HI Harold.  Undoubtedly, you are right.  I was in error; I should have said in a previous post that the doctors announced treatment.  Regrettably, I mistake cure, treatment, cause, all those crucial aspects of medicine and diseases.  It gets worse as I grow older, I'm afraid.

Thanks, Ann.  I'll look up that book in our library.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on July 09, 2009, 07:45:41 PM

Father Damian(sp?) was the priest that went to treat the lepers on Molokai , and I THINK he eventually contracted the disease and died on Molokai.  I am not sure of this, but ????
Go to: http://visitmolokai.com/kala.html
Or---just google molokai leper colony
Joy
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on July 09, 2009, 08:23:36 PM
Yes, Father Damien(sp?) ::) did die from leprosy while serving the lepers of Molokai. I think that one can tour that island but not sure.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction- Another comment in the Leprosy thread.
Post by: HaroldArnold on July 13, 2009, 06:41:00 PM
Some of you current Seniorlearers might remember our 2005 discussion of the W. Somerset Maugham fiction book, "The Moon And A Sixpence." http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/archives/fiction/Moon_SixPence.htm .  This is one of only two fiction books that I have participated in as a DL.  It is a fictional account of the life of an English artist escaping to Tahiti.  In our discussion,true to my nonfiction inclination, I emphasized the comparison of Maugham's fictional character to the historical artist Paul Gauguin.  Clearly Maugham intended this comparison in his creation of his fictional character.  It made an interesting discussion with both fictional and nonfiction vectors.

Their was a close parallel between the narrative of the fictional artist and the historical one.  Both were 19th century European Artists; both were struggling painters in Europe who left wives and children to escape to Tahiti to paint in a primitive south-seas environment. One notable difference was that the fictional artist died of leprosy; Paul Gauguin died of syphilis.   In general most of the participants in scoring the character of the two based on their over-all social and human value easily rated the historical Gauguin far worthier than the fictional counterpart.  The leprosy death at least to me was a surprise ending.  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 14, 2009, 11:24:04 AM
That's interesting, Harold.  Thank goodness the disease has been eradicated and aren't we fortunate that a few others have been also.  Particularly polio.

We are getting ready to discuss the Frances Perkins book - THE WOMAN BEHIND THE NEW DEAL by Kirstin Downey - and, of course, President Roosevelt,  (whom you all know as the president with polio in a wheelchair) will be a prominent person in our discussion.  We'll try not to let him take over entirely.  

Frances was an impressive lady!  She deserves all our attention!

----------------------------------------------------


Having seen a good documentary on HBO about the Booklyn Dodgers I wanted to read more so I got the book THE LAST GOOD SEASON by Michael Shapiro.  It is the kind of book you can read a couple of chapters and then put down for a few days.

Also while on a weekend trip I bought a book titled ANNIE'S GHOSTS by Steve Luxenberg, which tells the story of his search for his mother's roots through imperial Russia, the Holocaust, the Philippines, and to the depression era of Detroit.  What a story!  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 15, 2009, 09:21:01 AM
IS ANYONE AROUND - ARE YOU ALL AT THE BEACH - OUT TO LUNCH???

HAVEN'T HEARD A WORD FROM ANYONE FOR A LONG TIME.

COME TELL US ALL WHAT YOU ARE READING AND WHY YOU LIKE IT!!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on July 15, 2009, 10:37:52 AM
Just started with the book discussion for People of the Book and finishing up an Agatha Christie. I am really getting itchy to read one of the non fictions in my TBR piles, but haven't settled on which one yet. Bio of Winston Churchill or George Washington, The Dreyfus Affair, several Roman, Middle Eastern and American histories, Welsh and English histories. So many book, so little time. AHHHHHHHH!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on July 15, 2009, 10:50:49 AM
I'm reading the Sebald, as mentioned in the Library, The Rings of Saturn, ruminations upon a walk thru Sussex England by an author who, had he not died prematurely, was to be considered for the Nobel Prize (according to the committee chair).    It's quite good and as they used to say, "deep," so you have to read a little and stop and reflect.

I was reading but put down Service Included, which is the story of a real life waitress at Per Se, it's bad, tedious and tiresome. Don't recommend it, unless you want to eat there and know what not to say or do.

I have found a new (2003)  Rosemary Mahoney! This one's about pilgrimages: The Singular Pilgrim: Travels on Sacred Ground

Here's the Amazon blurb:
Quote
Amazon.com Review
Sometimes purposeful, sometimes footloose, the act of undertaking a pilgrimage is "both a preparation for death and a hedge against it." So writes Rosemary Mahoney, who knows well whereof she speaks. A reluctant churchgoer, and less interested in religion per se than in the faith that underlies it, she travels in this absorbing narrative to some of the world’s great pilgrimage sites: Ireland’s Croagh Patrick, Lourdes, Santiago de Compostela, Canterbury, the banks of the Ganges. "As I got into the rhythm of it," she writes, "I found that the more I walked, the more I wanted to walk." Walk she does, over hundreds of miles, observing and recording along the way, talking with ascetics and skeptics, joining the multitude whose physical beings wander in order that their minds might turn toward the divine. And to what end is all this hard slogging? "Dunno, really," one of Mahoney’s fellow travelers shrugs. "When it’s done, you feel very good about it." Fans of travel narratives and religious memoirs alike will find much pleasure, and much on which to reflect, in Mahoney’s pages. -

I like her writing, loved her Down the Nile, and look forward to this one as well, she's a young woman.


I've gotten very interested in Stanley of Stanley and Livingstone, because of the current just ended National Geographic series of programs tracing his footsteps thru Africa.  There appear to be no end of books and even movies on the subject, so I am going to consult the Read More About It part of the Nat. Geo website and see what they recommend, what an adventure!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 16, 2009, 08:27:40 AM
Winston Churchill is bound to be interesting, FRYBABE, and I've always
found the Welsh fascinating as well. If you decide on one of those, let
me know what you think of it.

 Y'all have me interested in Rosemary Mahoney; now if I could only find
one of her books.  :(
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 16, 2009, 12:13:51 PM
Where is  National Georgraphic on TV - is it on one of those extra stations?  I have HBO which I watch often.  

Last night, (continuing on with baseball, and I am not even a fan!) I watched a Ted Williams documentary on HBO.   Great hitter with the Boston Red Sox, lousy husband and father, but very good looking, cute smile.  He was frozen when he died - cryogenics (sp?)

And I finished reading the THE LAST GOOD SEASON by Michael Shapiro about Brooklyn and the Dodgers.

Brooklyn, so many stories and books about Brooklyn over the years, but it still lives as a neighborhood of a mix of people from different places.  Russians live in Brighton Beach, Haitians and others from the islands along Flatbush Avenue, and then there are the bankers in Brooklyn Heights, blacks in Fort Greene, Orthodox Jews and others mixed in.  I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge once years ago and that is as near as I have gotten to it.

I think I read DOWN THE NILE, now, darn it, I'll have to look at it again.  One forgets!

Yes, let us know Frybabe if you find a good book about Winston.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 17, 2009, 09:00:20 AM
ELLA, you got me to thinking.  'Lousy husband and father' sorts tend to be
self-centered, I think.  Is cryogenics popular with the egoistic, I wonder? It
seems like a logical common denominator.  I suppose there are those who
want to do it purely out of scientific interest...but it's an expensive hobby with
very few opportunities to indulge. ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 17, 2009, 03:00:53 PM
BABI, I love the word "egoistic."

Probably, there are many reasons why a person would want to be frozen after death. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on July 17, 2009, 05:47:41 PM
"but it's an expensive hobby with very few opportunities to indulge."  Tee, hee, Babi.  Cryogenics figures in some sci-fi stories, but I can't believe that current techniques would give any chance at all of revival.

A number of years ago a local figure ran for president on the Maryland ballot with a platform of reviving the frozen dead.  He didn't get many votes.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 17, 2009, 08:21:56 PM
I'm smiling at both of you!

In the Ted Williams documentary they showed the company where he is frozen and this is it:

http://www.alcor.org/   His children hated the publicity.  Now their father is known as the frozen man instead of the great baseball player he was.

A site commenting on the subject - science fiction?

http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/human-cryogenics/2007/11/01/#comment-71013





Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on July 17, 2009, 10:25:38 PM
Yes, science fiction.  Nanobots are a good device for a writer, but nowhere near any practical use.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 18, 2009, 09:19:42 AM
 
Quote
Nanobots are a good device for a writer, but nowhere near any practical use
.

  Give it time, PAT. We'll get there. ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on July 18, 2009, 09:43:30 AM
And for something completely different :) Wednesday night on TV there appeared the original movie Stanley and Livingstone (or is it Livingston?) That thing, shot in 1939, with a young Spencer Tracy, was unreal, it was in black and white and had all the music of the old Movietone announcements they used to have in WWII.

It showed notations in pen in a diary with an overvoice and sweeping black and white scenery of Africa. At first the diary said XXX has misrepresented the difficulties of this journey, we're having a fine time. I switched channels, flipped back,  and the next thing you saw was what appeared to be a million Masai or something flooding down the plain at them, unreal, they were running and setting fire to the brush and the next thing you saw was them trekking on and Stanley saying we will not come out alive.

I first want to read his diary, that's been reprinted. Then I'm going to see if I can see the movie thru, when were "Talkies" invented?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 18, 2009, 06:38:43 PM

I would like to mention a book written up in yesterday's book section.
I have not read but intend to do so.  The library is taking no holds on it
at the present time.  The name: In the Sanctuary of Outcasts--
a memoir, and it has a LOT of local appeal as it is about Carville, LA, just about 18 miles downriver from Baton Rouge (my location).  The
only leper colony in the United States was in Carville- a federal institution for the incarceration of victims of leprosy -now called Hansen's Disease.  All but a VERY FEW patients have been moved out
except for those that refused to go. Author is Neil White, who once ran
New Orleans Magazine and Louisiana Life magazines.
Joy

JOYOUS!!!

I just finished reading this book - it's so fascinating, I couldn't put it down.  He writes so well, but then he has had a newspaper, editorial background. 

I was surprised to see a number of books and DVDs listed in the Bibliography.  Why I was surprised I don't know but it has been and still is a stigma, a frightening subject.  The old Carville Hospital has been turned into a National Historic Site and I think the National Hansen's Disease Museum is located there.

The author touches on some of the history of the place and its patients, but leaves out more to be investigated by the reader. 

And I didn't realize that there about 3000 cases being treated in the U.S. and about 250 new cases every year; of course, none of the people with the disease are talking about it.  About 95% of the population of the country is immune to the bacteria that causes it.

The author was incarcerated there for year in a part of the institution which was being turned into a prison; which idea was later abandoned.  There are still about 30+ patients still living there.

I highly recommend the book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 18, 2009, 06:43:49 PM
GINNY, I JUST READ YOUR POST!

I saw the Spencer Tracy movie in which he portrayed Stanley.  How much was true?  I like old movies and I like Tracy.  I think I saw in the credits that Sir Cedric Hardwicke portrayed Dr. Livingston, can that be right?  Or who was it?  I'll do some snooping. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 18, 2009, 06:52:33 PM
Yes,  it was Sir Cedric, and, yes, it seemed true as far as movies go.  Here are two sites:

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0031973/

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/stanley.htm
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on July 19, 2009, 07:37:07 AM
Thank you for those links, Ella, that Imdb is something else. I read the entire thing (Walter Brennan too and neither he nor Spencer Tracy ever went to Africa, they used doubles for those scenes, pretty sophisticated camera work because there were some close ups). That's interesting in itself.

I did not watch it all but after reading in your first link  about Stanley and Leopoldville and the Congo, I think I  am not going to read Stanley's diary. He was considered a hero but look at what he did AFTER he found Livingston (spelled correctly finally). Not sure what to think, I think I'll pass on it tho. Now if Livingston had written a diary! Maybe I better check that out, apparently he was the true  heroic figure.

Strangely enough I was reading about the Congo last night in the Sebold. :) But it's a wide ranging book.

Did you watch the whole movie and do you recommend it?  I can't get over the parallel between that and the National Geographic Channel's Expedition to Africa, very much similar, actually, as they tried to retrace Stanley's steps.



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on July 19, 2009, 10:18:15 AM

Ella: Many thanks for your report on "In the Sanctuary of Outcasts". I'm glad you could put your hands on the book, as in our public library there is a "no holds accepted" due to the popularity.  Were you able to obtain it from the library?????
JOY
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 19, 2009, 12:31:59 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it.  

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)
















HI, JOY!  Yes, I got it from the Library after having it reserved for a week or two.   Our library bought 8 copies of it; perhaps that helped.  It is a new book (2009) and I think more people will spread the news of it; obviously they have where you live as you are having trouble getting it.

I told my daughter about it and she is going to download it on her kindle for a 3-week vacation she is taking to Croatia and Greece.  We both like the same books so I told her to download a couple more or she will run out; I finished the book in a two-day session.  It reads well and keeps your interest.

GINNY, I liked the movie.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 19, 2009, 01:59:15 PM
Just read Ginny's mention of Henry Morton Stanley.  Reminds me I have wanted to read KING LEOPOLD'S GHOST by Adam Hochschild.
Has anyone read it?

Am curious why people would find a book about a leper colony so interesting. 

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 20, 2009, 08:12:57 AM
  I was sorry to read on the news this morning that Frank McCourt has died.
Sadly, it was apparently not an easy death.  He was in hospice with cancer. A
hard childhood and a hard passing.  I'm so glad he achieved a measure of success and satisfaction in his career.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 20, 2009, 11:33:14 AM
MARJ, I will quote John Grisham's book review about the "leper" book, IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS by Neil White.  I think it says it better than I could ever do.

"A remarkable story of a young man's loss of everything he deemed important, his imprisonment in a place that would terrify anyone, and his ultimate discovery that redemption can be taught by society's most dreaded outcasts."

Yes, I was sorry to learn of Frank McCourt's death also.  We discussed his book TEACHER MAN on our old site and it is archived.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on July 22, 2009, 10:49:51 AM
Click the following link for a Frank McCourt obituary.   He had an interesting career.  I had not realized that his book , “Angela’s Ashes” were in the 10 million copy range.

http://news.aol.com/article/frank-mccourt-dies/578119?sem=1&ncid=AOLNWS00170000000004&otim=1248273551&spid=29279720   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on July 22, 2009, 12:07:12 PM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_84746691_2?ie=UTF8&docId=1000398561&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=right-1&pf_rd_r=081YQA2HXNT6FWRH29KF&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=482617491&pf_rd_i=1000398531

The above link leads to amazon.com’s 10 best nonfiction books so far this year.  Perhaps the title that interested me the most was "Nine Lives" by Dan Baum.  It seems a sort of biography of the city of New Orleans from the 1960’s through Katrina and its aftermath.  During much of this period I would always spend at least a week each year in that city usually in December or January for the Fair Grounds racing and the jazz.  I have not been there since 2000.

I am sure there are titles on this list that will interest you too.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on July 23, 2009, 06:56:33 AM
Here's a bit of a heads-up on one of the 10 books on the Amazon list:
All summer I've been trying to tackle  Goldsworthy's  How Rome Fell.
It's much less readable than his Caesar, which I've read more than once,
as I'm in a Latin class with Ginny.

Unfortunately, the latest Godsworthy reads somewhat like cut/and/paste and
also frequently refers to historical events out of context, i.e., everyone knows
what/who that is, so why give background ... and if the reader doesn't, too bad.
So thumbs down on his latest.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 23, 2009, 09:01:50 AM
Thanks, HAROLD.  I think "The Big Burn" and "The Unforgiving Minute" look
good. I have always like stories about how people handle themselves in
times of crisis. In fiction, Nevil Shute did that very well.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on July 23, 2009, 10:34:22 AM
Sorry to hear about the Goldsworthy book, Mippy. It sounds like he got a little lazy. I have several of his books, but not How Rome Fell nor Caesar.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on July 23, 2009, 10:45:46 AM
Thank you Mippi and Babi for your comment on the Amazon.com best nonfiction list.  I thought there would be something on the list that would strike the interest of our readers.  The "How Rome Fell" title also caught my interest.  May years ago I read Gibbon's "Decline and Fall' and most of the Durant's Story of Civilization Titles.  Today most of my history reading concerns Texas Spanish Colonial and Texas Indian History.  This is in connection with my work at the Institute of Texan Culture and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. 

 I may take a look at the Goldsworthy "Ceaser"title noted above by Mippy as more readable than the "How Rome Fell" reviewed in the Amazon link. 

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on July 23, 2009, 05:03:17 PM
I wondered about that list. It sounded a bit too weighted toward "pop" to be truly the best. And I questioned having adds for other books along the side: you had to look closely to tell which were in the list.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on July 23, 2009, 05:23:34 PM
 Thank you for that list, Harold. I am interested in this one on the page but I am not sure if it's on the list:  The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Quote
The inspiring story of William Kamkwamba, a self-taught inventor who created a better life for his family through old bicycle parts and PVC pipe, is a true tale of hope and perseverance (available September 29).

I'd like to read the one about the leper colony too.

I've just gotten My Life At Grey Gardens: 13 Months and Beyond by Lois Wright who actually lived IN the house with them, it's in the form of a diary, quite odd actually. I'll know more when I'm finished.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on July 23, 2009, 07:01:15 PM
Joan and all:  I attach absolutely zero (No!) authenticity of the word "Best" as used in the  Amazon.com nonfiction list I mentioned in message #445 .  It is no more than some advertising Executives descriptive word for a list of titles that a customer wanted to promote.  Yet it lists an interesting thought provoking assortment of books from witch most of us as individuals can find at least one or a few that interest us.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on July 23, 2009, 07:37:12 PM
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Boy-Who-Harnessed-the-Wind-CD/William-Kamkwamba/e/9780061841989/?itm=1  Click the above for pre publication information on “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba mentioned by Ginny above.  This pre-publication listing gives price for delivery after its publication release Sept 29, 2009

I have nothing against wind energy except their visual pollution. I remember the long auto drive between San Antonio, TX and Red River New Mexico.  In the late 1990’s when I first made that drive there were no Wind farms.  A few years later about 2002 they began to appear.   By 2007 the visual view of  several scenic sites had changed to a vast field of maybe 100 wind towers spread to the horizon.  It may be cheap clean electric energy, but it is not free.  One of these is in Texas near Sweet Water RX, the other is in eastern New Mexico several hundred miles north of Clovis. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 25, 2009, 12:15:36 PM
All those nonfiction books on Amazon's list sound just great, HAROLD!  Thanks for posting them. 

I am reading the book AMERICAN EMPRESS: Marjorie Merriweather Post, by Nancy Rubin,  whose father, C.W. Post, pioneered the breakfast cereal, Grape Nuts, and the hot drink, Postum,  in Battle Creek, Michigan.  His early experiments are fascinating.  Having a series of illness early in life he entered a sanitarium run by Dr. W.H.Kellogg (recognize that name, hahaha) whose patients ate a granola, avoided tea and coffee and drank a substitute, which was called Caramel Coffee.

Later came Post Toasties, of course, plus the whole General Foods Corporation.

Post's rise to great wealth brought him a host of troubles; at the beginning of the 20th century the threat of labor unions was beginning to trouble employers and the Postum company employed 400 people so C.W. built 579 houses on 80 acres of land adjacent to his facory.  Down payments were minimal and each buyer was responsible for his own mortgage and monthly payments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._W._Post
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 25, 2009, 02:46:37 PM
That book (American Empress) sounds very interesting, Ella.

I just received a book I ordered after reading a little about the Spanish American War.  The book is THE ROUGH RIDERS by Theodore Roosevelt.  It was based on a diary he kept, and was originally published in 1899 in installments in Scribner's Magazine.  The book description says it's a spirited chronicle of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry's bloody battles in Cuba against deeply entrenched Spanish forces. 

I've had Martin Gilbert's history of the second world war for some time, and have decided to read a part of it each day (it's about 900 pages) to learn more about the war.   Does anyone have any books they'd recommend about that war?

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 25, 2009, 06:30:14 PM
Hi Marj!  A fascinating look into Teddy Roosevelt's character is the book RIVER OF DOUBT.  Wonderful adventure and an excellent read.

A book about WWII?  Oh, golly, there are so many.  Any book about FDR or Churchill or Eisenhower will fill that request.  And the movie, Private Ryan, about D-Day is very good.  I asked my daughter if the Army would really do that and she said yes, they would.  Send 8 soldiers to find one missing one in France somewhere.

Was that a book? 

Oh, there are so many.  Linger awhile in the US history section of any library and you are sure to find just the one you are searching for.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 25, 2009, 06:37:27 PM
MARJ, I just typed in WWII in my Library search box and this book, written in 2008, with just 385 pages (doable) sounds very good:

The real history of World War II
a new look at the past
Authors: Alan Axelrod 
 
My Library bought 31 copies of it which is a lot for a nonfiction book so I am assuming they expected it to be popular.  I have no idea if it is good or not.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 25, 2009, 06:45:44 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Real-History-World-War-II/dp/1402740905/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1248561813&sr=1-1

Sounds very good to me, Marj!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on July 25, 2009, 07:08:57 PM
Saving Private Ryan is certainly the best current movie about D-Day.  But the one that almost everyone agrees is the best is The Longest Day.  Almost every male actor in the world was involved - Americans played Americans, Brits played British, French played French, Germans played Germans, etc.  Check out the cast list in this link to IMDb.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056197/
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 25, 2009, 08:14:10 PM
Thanks so much, Ella, for finding the book THE REAL HISTORY OF WORLD WAR II.  It looks very interesting, especially re probing the motivations of those involved.  I read the book's description and it almost looks as if the book should be longer than 400 pages.  My library has only two copies, but both are out, so someone is reading it, as I will be when it becomes available.

There are a couple I want to read:

HUMAN SMOKE; THE BEGINNING OF WWII, THE END OF 
CIVILIZATION by Nicholson Baker  (576 pp, 2009)  I had read part of this but had to return to library before finished, so bought my own copy (used).  Study of the tragic path that led to WW2.   The author disputes the myth that WW2 was a "just" or necessary war. 

TEARS IN THE DARKNESS; THE STORY OF THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH AND ITS AFTERMATH by Michael Norman (463 pp, 2009)  I just heard the author on CSpan's BookTV, and it sounded very good.

Marj




Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 25, 2009, 08:25:31 PM
Oh, I just noticed you recommended two books, Ella.  Thanks for the other one about Teddy Roosevelt, RIVER OF DOUBT.  These books should keep me busy for a while.

I"ve seen both movies Mary Z, and I agree, they are very good.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 28, 2009, 11:56:54 AM
Should we have a "winter retreat" for our presidents?  Marjorie Post thought so and tried to give her mansion - Mar-A-Lago - in Palm Beach, Florida to the government but when they found out what the yearly upkeep was they refused.  Imagine, our government being frugal, but  isn't it good to know?  Donald Trump bought the estate and turned into a private club.

She also attempted to give the Smithsonian her Washington, D.C. mansion called Hillwood, which contains the finest collection of Russian Art anywhere except in Russia.  But they, too, renged on the promise to accept when they found the yearly costs.  The mansion is now maintained by the Post Foundation.

Her "camp" consisting of 68 buildings and acres+ was left to the State of New York who later sold most of it and retained some of the acreage in a state forest.  

What a life!!  She had 3 daughters (Dina Merrill is one) and 4 husbands; the most interesting part of her life was when she was married to FDR's ambassador to Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution and before WWII.  His name was Joseph Davies and there was much jealousy in the State Department at his close association with FDR.

The president gave orders to be friendly to that bear as we wanted it to be on our side in the coming war; consequently Davies ignored the cruelty of Stalin.   During this period she and Davies collected priceless objects of Russian art and their association with the powers-to-be in Russia before and during the war would make a very good book.  Perhaps there is one!

Her mansions:  (just three of them)

http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar-A-Lago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Topridge



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 28, 2009, 12:01:38 PM
SO, WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Our discussion of FRANCES PERKINS, THE WOMAN BEHIND THE NEW DEAL begins this Saturday.

iT'S OUR AUGUST SELECTION, SO..........

I HOPE ALL OF YOU WILL BE THERE WITH YOUR COMMENTS! 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 29, 2009, 01:35:10 PM
I am not a fan of war movies, but i loved The Longest Day and recommended to my students. I tho't it was adapted from a book. oh yes! It says Cornelius Ryan wrote the book and the screenplay.

A book I've been remembering since Walter Cronkite's death is The Murrow Boys about the group of journalists that Ed Murrow put together in Europe during WWII. You'll find a lot of familiar names in his group. The authors are Stanley Cloud and Lynne Olson. It goes beyond the war years. I found it very interesting........................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 30, 2009, 08:25:33 AM
Thanks for those links, ELLA.  I would love to visit Hillwood Estate;I love both
museums and gardens.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 30, 2009, 11:31:22 AM
Jean, I am not a fan of either war movies or books about wars.  Now the biographies of the people during those war years interests me, as does Edward R. Murrow.  Do you remember his People to People programs during the early years of television.  We usually watched them. We were smoking during those years and thought nothing of Murrow sitting in front of a TV with his cigarette smoke curling upwards.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on July 31, 2009, 05:55:06 PM
Tomorrow we will begin our discussion of "The Woman Behind the New Deal," by Kirstin
Downey.  I know that many of you who are active here will be involved in this discussion.  I want all of you to know that you are welcome to follow this discussion and should you have comments you care to make your posts will be welcome.  This discussion promises to be an exceptionally good one because in addition to over a dozen  registered participants we willl have the author, Kirstin Downey and Barbara Burt, executive director of the Frances Perkins Center as participants.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on August 01, 2009, 07:59:34 PM
I just watched a fascinating interview on BookTV with Douglas Brinkley talking about his new book WILDERNESS WARRIOR; THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND THE CRUSADE FOR AMERICA.  Didn't think I'd be interested in the book, but after hearing Brinkley talk so passionately about how Roosevelt saved so much wilderness for us, I will read it.  (I don't think the intereview will be repeated this weekend, but will probably be back another weekend, it was so good.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 02, 2009, 05:52:02 PM
And I am just starting to read FORDLANDIA by Greg Grandin: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City.  Fascinating!  What a strange man Ford was.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on August 02, 2009, 07:17:13 PM
Ella, I saw a program once about his Amazon endeavors. As I recall he tried to make a rubber plantation, complete with worker town/company store and such, so that he could make tires for his vehicles. Let me know how you like the book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 03, 2009, 01:15:02 PM
I will, FRYBABE.  The author gets bogged down too much at times, I feel, but I'm finally just getting into his Amazonian projects.  He's into "building character" in people, which is crazy because his assembly lines made robots out of his thousands of workers. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 03, 2009, 01:17:00 PM
You'all should come over to the discussion of Frances Perkins, the woman behind the New Deal.  Our author, Kirstin Downey, is reading and posting.  Fun!

JEAN, our history teacher, where are you?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 05, 2009, 11:40:21 PM
FRYBABE, I finished the FORDLANDIA book today.   I don't recommend you going out of your way for it; it's not written well but I slogged my way to the end.  Actually, the last chapter was the best one.

The experiment in the Amazon forest was a total disaster costing Henry Ford millions.  Eventually his grandson, who took over all the businesses after Henry and his son, Edsel, died, sold almost all the"cottage" industries and the Amazon station, such as it was, was sold to the Brazilian government for a mere pittance. 

Ford's labors were scorned by the author; in fact, the author had nothing good to say about Henry Ford whatsoever!!  He was a very ignorant man in many ways, sending bookkeepers, carpenters, teachers, nurses to the Amazon and not one expert on soil, weather, agriculture, diseases, insects, etc.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on August 06, 2009, 11:22:06 PM
Thanks Ella, I guess I will pass on reading it. The program I saw was pretty good.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 11, 2009, 12:05:20 PM
SO, WHAT IS EVERYONE READING HERE?

ARE YOU READING?

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE NOT READING?  Hahahaaaa   We live to read, or read to live!

On the average, I am not too fond of the books that my f2f book club chooses, but they hit the jackpot now and then for me.  The current one is the reason I stay with the club as I would not have known of this one, which is very good, so well written, and sad.  Perhaps because it is nonfiction.

BROTHER, I'M DYING by Edwidge Danticat, A MEMOIR.

Her books have won numerous awards and I can understand the reasons.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 12, 2009, 08:31:55 AM
I was reading "Julie, Julia", ELLA, but I took it back to the library.  I found myself
disliking the author and not at all enjoying the book. I do plan to see the movie,
since I understand Meryl Streep as Julia does a wonderful job.  Even there, tho',
there have been complaints about 'too much' of Julie.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 12, 2009, 03:18:16 PM
My daughter saw the movie and said the parts with Julia were much better than the parts with Julie.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 20, 2009, 10:46:15 AM
I NEED A GOOD NONFICTION BOOK TO READ!  Any suggestions?

An old (2 Years, I think) interview of Rober Novak by Brian Lamb was on a TV channel and I watched a portion of it.  Has anyone attempted to read his book, THE PRINCE OF DARNESS?  I looked it up online and its 600+ pages seemed daunting but I'll take a look at it at the Library.

He's had an interesting life, and said he hoped that those interested in both politics and Washington, D.C. would read his book.

A quote from TIMES ONLINE - "Novak was a difficult, pugnacious figure; friends, colleagues and professional sparring partners described him as nicer in person than his television screen persona suggested while also acknowledging his toughness. "

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on August 23, 2009, 12:17:38 AM
Ella, today C-Span II, repeated a 2007 interview with Brian Lamb interviewing Bob Novak.  I found it quite interesting.  I enjoyed him on CNN's Capitol Gang, several years ago.  My politics are almost totally opposite to Novak's.  But that show included Mark Shields and Bill Press.  I always enjoyed that show.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 26, 2009, 06:12:25 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)








Sheila, I got the book from the Library yesterday, the Novak book.   Wow, it's a big one.  I haven't had a chance to read much of it, just skimmed a bit, not very seriously.  Wonder if he had any real friends?  He seems so critical of everything and everyonel, but that is a journalist's job.  Make noise, people will read.  I'm being cynical, I know, but there is so much of it on TV anymore.  I think eventually it will be the death of these commentators.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on August 27, 2009, 12:26:08 AM
Ella - have you read any of Cokie Roberts books - We Are Our Mothers Daughters, or Founding Mothers, or Ladies of Liberty? I love her writing and i can just hear her talking as i read the narrative........................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 27, 2009, 02:56:57 PM
We had a book discussion of "Founding Mothers" a while ago. I learned a lot.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 01, 2009, 02:11:35 PM
Ella - i happened to be going thru the list of books i've read, so i got reminded of some non-fiction books that i liked that you might like.
If you haven't read them yet:
Pearl Buck by Peter Conn
President Nixon by Richard Reeves
Freedom's Daughters by Lynn Olsen about women in the civil rts movement
Grandmama of Europe: the crowned descendants of Queen Victoria by Theo Aronson about Queen Victoria and how her grandchildren ruled all over Europe - i liked it very much
Guns, Germs and STeel by Jared Diamond about why some groups of people became great civilizations and others don't - i liked it very much, but not his second book Collapse, why some groups collapse.
First Ladies, there are at least 2 books by that name, one by an author named Carl Anthony and one by Betty Caroli - i liked them both
First Mothersby Bonnie Angelo, also a good read.
Walking With the Wind by John Lewis

Some of them may have had subtitles, but i don't remember what they were............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on September 04, 2009, 10:41:55 AM
Our Frances Perkins discussion is now finishing.  I know that many of you like myself have diverted our Books interest from this general nonfiction discussion to the Frances Perkins Board.  This proved an interesting discussion with the author , Kirstin Downey an active participant, but now we can return here to keep each other current on our new nonfiction reading interest.  Hopefully within a few months we can have another nonfiction discussion going. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 07, 2009, 11:58:54 AM
Two books I'm reading, small ones, thin ones.  Both excellent.  The first is titled THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by Robert Goolrick, a memoir of his life.   You have to not mind the sex in it, he's liberal in that, but his life in a middle-class family is one of great sadness.  His father was a professor; his mother witty and elegant.

Perhaps I have mentioned the second one, also a slim book, by Jonathan Franzen, a Memoir.

Two male authors and both start their memoirs with descriptions of their parents dying, etc.  Neither author thought they had good parents; gosh, are they critical!

Both sad books, so to balance it all out, I read a mystery by David Ellis, who just published a new one.  I do like his mysteries having read all of them.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on September 07, 2009, 02:12:05 PM
I actually found a non-fiction paperback that will fit into my purse: The Highland Clearances by John Prebble. Unfortunately I didn't get to start it yet as we actually had work to do last night. Prebble also wrote, among other things,Culloden and The Buffalo Soldiers. Culloden was made into a made of TV movie and he got an award for best historical novel of the American West for The Buffalo Soldiers. Didn't that become a movie too? I think so. Will have to look it up.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on September 11, 2009, 11:24:48 AM
Here is information from the B&N atalog on five new titles released by their publisher in Sept 2009.  The Ted Kennedy title is certainly timely, and also I suspect I for on would find the Hemmings family history title interesting.  Also King Tut seems to remain popular.

Further comment from any of you on these or other new titles particularly if you see them in libraries or book stores is always welcome.

True Compass : A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy
Sept  2009
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/True-Compass/Edward-M-Kennedy/e/9780446539258/?itm=1

New York 400 : A Visual History of America's Greatest City with Images from The Museum of the City of New York by The Museum of the City of New York
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/New-York-400/The-Museum-of-the-City-of-New-York/e/9780762436491/?itm=2
Sept 2009

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed
Publishers Release date Sept 2009
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Hemingses-of-Monticello/Annette-Gordon-Reed/e/9780393337761/?itm=3&usri=1

The Murder of King Tut: The Plot to Kill the Child King - A Nonfiction Thriller by by James Patterson, Martin Dugard
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Murder-of-King-Tut/James-Patterson/e/9780316034043/?itm=7&usri=1

Inside the Revolution : How the Followers of Jihad, Jefferson and Jesus Are Battling to Dominate the Middle East and Transform the World by Joel C. Rosenberg
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Inside-the-Revolution/Joel-C-Rosenberg/e/9781414326269/?itm=6  
 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 11, 2009, 06:20:43 PM
Ginny had mentioned on the "Library" site a few months ago that she was reading "Down the Nile." It seemed to me that someone else mentioned a similar book fo a woman traveling in the Middle East, was it on here? I've looked thru some of the postings, but can't find that discussion. Friends of ours are going to Egypt in Nov and they have already read Down the Nile, i tho't i'd suggest the other book, but  ??? ???..........(throwing up my hands  :) ).................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 12, 2009, 08:57:33 AM
  I am presently reading "The Woman Who Defied Kings, The Life and Times
of Dona Gracia Nasi" by Andree Aelian Brooks. I first heard of this woman when we were reading and discussin Geraldine Brooks' "The People of the Book".  A most remarkable woman.
  The research done to produce this book is amazing.  The opening paragraph
of "Acknowledgements" says:  "A book that delves into the remote corners of history and uncovers information contained in fading documents and obscure works written in thirteen different languages--Dutch, Old French, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Croatian, Old English, Ladino, Portuguese, German, Hebrew, Aramaic
and Turkish written in Arabic script--requires a worldwide "army" of translators and handwriting specialists."
  The book is full of information.  It is somewhat of a drawback that every
statement of new facts or logical deductions is footnoted back to its source.
Chapter Three is the leader so far with 121 reference notes! In spite of all
this, the book is engrossing.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 12, 2009, 01:56:27 PM
That sounds great. We were all fascinated to find out about her in the Brooks discussion. She led an incredible life.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 13, 2009, 09:30:20 AM
  My main complaint with "The Woman Who Defied Kings" is that there is no
first-person action or speech.  The closest it comes is quotes from letters.  It
tends to make somewhat dry reading, but the author is avoiding any semblance of  'imagining' what might have been said or done.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanP on September 17, 2009, 09:23:22 AM
 We are nearing a vote  for upcoming book discussions.  It would be great to include some non-Fiction titles in the vote.  Some people think that our site is all about Fiction.  You know that's not true, but from the titles that have been nominated, it sure looks that way.
There's still some time for nominating a title that you would like to see included in the vote.  We're waiting to hear from you in the Suggestion Box  (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=309.80) right now!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 17, 2009, 10:35:39 AM
JoanP, I read many nonfiction books but there are few I would recommend for discussion and when I do find a good one that has cultural or historical references or "meat" as they say I propose it for discussion.

I recently collected three nonfiction books to give to a neighbor that I thought she would enjoy, but none of them were worthy of a month-long discussion.  One was a biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, another by Jonathan Franzen called THE DISCOMFORT ZONE and another enjoyable one but I forget both title and author.

Be sure that when I find a good one for discussion I will suggest it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on September 17, 2009, 12:05:14 PM
Who here has read Rudyard Kipl;ing's "American Notes?" This is Kipling’s travel log account of his trip through the U.S in 1889.  It seems in his work as an editor on an Indian English Newspaper he had embarrassed certain high officials or the Imperial Indian Government administration.  His publisher thought it best he leave India for a while.   The result was a long extended trip through the U.S.  He arrived in San Francisco via Japan by steamship.  Some of the scenes cover 1889 San Francisco with a Visit to a Chinese Opium Den where he witnessed a murder, then a train trip up the coast to the mouth of the Columbia where he toured a Tuna cannery built on pilings over the river.  Then came a wild train ride east to early Yellowstone National Park, and on to the east for a unique Englishman’s accout of late 19th century America, Americans, and their culture.

I have a hard cover edition of the book now out of print, but the book should be available at most libraries and an inexpensive paperback seems available from Barnes & Noble.  http://search.barnesandnoble.com/American-Notes/Rudyard-Kipling/e/9781406819021/?itm=3&usri=1

I have mentioned this title on our :Suggestions" Board as a possible candidate for discussion.Is anybody here interested?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 17, 2009, 03:13:56 PM
Certainly I have read one of Kipling's books and do you know I can't remember?  

Harold, I just reserved that book at my library and will take a good look at it, sounds as though it would make a good discussion and be very interesting.

While reserving books I also reserved this one written in 1990 by Sam Tannehaus.  I did not know of it until I read Christopher Buckley's book LOSING MUM AND PUP.  Here is the summary of the Whittaker Chambers book:

"Synopsis
Whittaker Chambers is the first biography of this complex and enigmatic figure. Drawing on dozens of interviews and on materials from forty archives in the United States and abroad--including still-classified KGB dossiers--Tanenhaus traces the remarkable journey that led Chambers from a sleepy Long Island village to center stage in America's greatest political trial and then, in his last years, to a unique role as the godfather of post-war conservatism. This biography is rich in startling new information about Chambers's days as New York's "hottest literary Bolshevik"; his years as a Communist agent and then defector, hunted by the KGB; his conversion to Quakerism; his secret sexual turmoil; his turbulent decade at Time magazine, where he rose from the obscurity of the book-review page to transform the magazine into an oracle of apocalyptic anti-Communism. But all this was a prelude to the memorable events that began in August 1948, when Chambers testified against Alger Hiss in the spy case that changed America. Whittaker Chambers goes far beyond all previous accounts of the Hiss case, re-creating its improbably twists and turns, and disentangling the motives that propelled a vivid cast of characters in unpredictable directions.

A rare conjunction of exacting scholarship and narrative art, Whittaker Chambers is a vivid tapestry of 20th century history.
- Barnes and Noble
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on September 18, 2009, 12:02:15 AM
Keep us posted, Ella, on the Tanenhaus biography of Whittaker Chambers. I think I would like to read that one. I made a note of it myself when I followed up on the posts a few months ago, regarding LOSING MUM AND PUP. It was there I read that Tanenhaus was working on a bio of William F. Buckley, Jr. I'm waiting for that one to come out. I was in the middle of Buckley's WIND FALL, described on the jacket as 'the latest of his wonderfully readable sea sagas...also the best.' And it is good. Add to that, that he has been called the 'Moses to modern conservatism', his life could be made very interesting.

Another book I'm working on, thanks to your hostelling on the Hudson, is a curious biography of Henry Hudson. You have the beautiful river named after him. We in Canada have the huge Hudson Bay, where HH was set adrift in a small boat with his son and seven others of the ship's crew. The painting of HH and his son in the boat, with a huge iceberg in the background, by the artist John Maler Collier has haunted me all my life, after seeing it in my grade school reader.

The title and subtitle give one a good idea of the turbulent exlorer's life and fate:

GOD'S MERCIES: Rivalry, Betrayal and the Dream of Discovery. By Douglas Hunter. It's painstaking reconstruction using the available documentation found in ship's logs, diaries, and courtroom evidence, etc.

The Chambers book might be a good follow-up to the Frances Perkins discussion. Chambers' book, WITNESS, made a great impression on her, and thousands, perhaps a million others. The synopsis makes it sound like a turbulent life
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on September 18, 2009, 12:26:00 AM
Our annual college book sales here in Toronto are coming up, running through October. I might even get lucky and find a copy of Tanenhaus's book. I'm almost certain to find Perkins' The Roosevelt I Knew. These discussions always leave me with a shelf of books. Waiting to be read:

Jean Edward Smith's, FDR. Smith is working on a biography of Eisenhower. He also wrote GEORGE BUSH'S WAR, the 1990 gulf war. I'm in the middle of that. I like his style. Now retired, he was professor of political science, here at Univ of Toronto.

I've also acquired Doris Goodwin's NO ORDINARY TIME. Wasn't her TEAM OF RIVALS a good discussion. That one  left me with a dozen books on Lincoln's life and times. They're stacked up on the floor all around me. I need a chair to get the to the ones on top.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 18, 2009, 08:52:01 AM
I read Chambers book, 'Witness' many, many years ago. As best I recall,
it was my depressing introduction to the underworld of politics. IMO, an
important book, but I don't think I would care to read it again.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 18, 2009, 10:05:09 AM
BABI, I read WITNESS years ago also, but this is a new book, written recently, with updated material, some from the archives of Russia.  Should put a historical slant on that whole episode of our history.  I'll let you know.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 19, 2009, 08:43:05 AM
 I'll be interested in what you find, ELLA. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 19, 2009, 11:11:32 AM
OH, JONATHAN, I smiled.  "I need a chair to get the to the ones on top." (books)  We need more smiles, chuckles.

Yes, I will let you know when I get the Chambers book by Tannehaus.  For some reason, any book about Eisenhower would seem dull, he seemed dull to me, but, of course, he wasn't.  He was a leader of men, obviously.  I last was in touch with a remnant of his life when we did an Elderhostel for a week in Gettysburg some years ago (all three lectures every day on the battle, I was fatigued through it all).  While there we drove to Eisenhower's home/farm which had opened to the public.  A modest home, lovely though, very up to date barn, etc.  The guide through the home and grounds told us things about the man I wish I didn't know!!!

I wonder if his library is there??  It wasn't at the time.

Speaking of Buckley, I did NOT like his son, Christopher, when he was on BookTV.  Affected I thought.  And I did not like his book on his parents either.  He was critical of them which I found odd.  He should not have written it, IMHO.

 

 
 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 19, 2009, 11:19:48 AM
The book on Henry Hudson sounds very good, but at the moment I cannot, just will not allow myself any more books to read.

You know, I try fiction now and then and nothing suits!  Why I do not know.

I am halfway through MEET YOU IN HELL: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick by Les Standiford.  That's a phrase that Frick used to reply to Carnegie's conciliatory message on his deathbed in his 80's.

An easy book to read and fascinating, of course.  I've read of Carnegie's exploits in industry before but his relationship with Frick is one for the book!

Also FABERGE'S EGGS: The Extraordinary Story of the Masterpieces that Outlived an Empire. a very good book.  I think I mentioned it before, but I repeat because I think it would make a good discussion; that period of Russian life is extraordinary.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on September 19, 2009, 03:43:59 PM
I must look for that one: MEET YOU IN HELL. With that nasty reply to Carnegie's generous offer, Frick assured himself of a place in hell. And Carnegie's remorse, no doubt, took him to heaven. Getting Frick to his deathbed was probably the last dirty trick Carnegie played on him. Does the book tell about other offers from Carnegie that didn't pan out for Frick? I wonder how eternal justice will finally deal with these arguments between brother barons.

'...any book about Eisenhower would seem dull, he seemed dull to me, but, of course, he wasn't.' 

After Eisenhower it did get very exciting, didn't it? Isn't it time for another dull president? I would be LOL if it weren't so serious.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 20, 2009, 08:19:30 AM
 I suspect it would be difficult for any child raised by the idiosyncratic
Buckleys to be entirely natural and normal, ELLA.  I read an excerpt from Christopher Buckley's book on his parents in a Sunday supplement, and thought it good. He seemed to me to be simply honest and frank about his parents. He admired them, but they would certainly be hard to live with.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on September 22, 2009, 02:42:45 PM
Has anyone read BOBBY AND JACKIE; A LOVE STORY,a new book by C. David Heymann?  I'm reading it in between another book, so have only read about half of it.   About Robert and Jacqueline Kennedy.  Apparently they had a "romance" after JFK's death.  Seems that it was general knowledge among their friends who kept it quiet to outsiders at the time. 

But so far the book is mostly about the Kennedy family.  What a promiscuous bunch!  I'm almost sorry I started it.  I always had a lot of respect for JFK, but now whenever I see a picture of him, all I can think about is how whenever he arrived in any city, he'd ask his aides,
"Where's the broads?"  He'd send them ahead to scout for prospective women, and I guess they had no problem finding them.

Also, am feeling a little sorry for Jackie.  The Kennedy family didn't like her -- thought she was a snob.

Heymann seems to have documented what he says in his book.  He was nominated for a Pulitzer for his biographies, so he didn't seem to be a "hack" writer.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 22, 2009, 02:56:01 PM
HI MARJ!  No, I haven't read that, I'll look it up and I agree that it is disquieting (I like that word, I think this is the first time I have ever used it, haha!) to hear or read about a person you have admired and to find out they are not what they seemed to be.

Just think about all those people who were backing Edwards for president!  He was in the running for awhile I think!  

My sister, who likes to cry at other people's misfortunes (although she would have a fit if I said this to her) has read two of Elizabeth Edwards' books and feels very sorry for her.

One's sorrow can be turned into profit, or one's improprieties.  Those of us who have been loyal and faithful wives and mothers will have to find other sources of revenue, not to mention excitement and illegalities.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 23, 2009, 09:37:19 AM
Quote
One's sorrow can be turned into profit, or one's improprieties.  Those of us who have been loyal and faithful wives and mothers will have to find other sources of revenue, not to mention excitement and illegalities.


 Good one, ELLA.   ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 28, 2009, 09:50:17 AM
JOHN MUIR!  I never heard of him until I watched the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE last night and the first installment of Ken Burns' National Forests documentary.  I can get teary-eyed over the beauty of those scenes and the struggles to maintain the forests!  I want to go to Yosemite Valley!  Will I be able to walk very far through it?  Have I waited too long to see the beauty?

There are at least a dozen book on John Muir at my library.  I reserved one, I hope it is written well.

Has anyone read any about him?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on September 28, 2009, 11:09:46 AM
I didn't know that everybody didn't know about John Muir.  There's a wonderful grove of Sequoias or redwoods just north of San Francisco called Muir Woods (http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm).  It's one of the most peaceful places in the world!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on September 28, 2009, 12:13:51 PM
John Muir at Yosemite

'When the first heavy storms stopped work on the high mountains, I made haste down to my Yosemite den, not to 'hole up' and sleep the white months away; I was out every day, and often all night, sleeping but little, studying the so-called wonders and common  things ever on show, wading, climbing, sauntering among the blessed storms and calms, rejoicing in almost everything alike that I could see or hear: the glorious brightness of frosty mornings; the sunbeams pouring over the white domes and crags into the groves and waterfalls, kindling marvellous iris fires in the hoarfrost and spray; the great forests and mountains in their deep noon  sleep; the good-night  alpenglow; the stars; the solemn gazing moon, drawing the huge domes and headlands on by one glowing white out of the shadows hushed and breathless like an audience in awful enthusiasm, while the meadows at their feet sparkle with frost-stars like the sky; the sublime darkness of storm-nights, when all the lights are out; the clouds in whose depths the frail snow-flowers grow; the behaviour and many voices of the different kinds of storms, trees, birds, waterfalls, and snow avalanches in the ever-changing weather.'

I'm sorry I missed the first part of Ken Burns' new documentary on America's wilderness. Oh, well, it should be easy to acquire. Just lately I acquired a John Muir omnibus, The Eight Wilderness-Discovery Books, a thousand pages of poetic, wilderness prose. Like the above. I'm planning to while away a Canadian winter accompanying Muir  to all his wild spots. The dust jacket has a fine photo of Muir and Theodore Roosevelt 'viewing Yosemite from Glacier Point in May, 1903.'

'An influential man from Washington wants to make a trip into the Sierras with me...I might be able to do some good in freely talking around the campfire.'

Good results. 'Their  campfire talks during this visit led to the President designating over a million acres of irreplacable scenic value to the National Parks and forests.'

The editor of the omnibus suggests Rediscovering America: John Muir in his Times and Ours, by Frederick Turner, (Sierra Club Books, 1985) as the definitive biography.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 28, 2009, 06:29:25 PM
I've heard of John Muir. I'm almost sure I've read a book by him, but the book I dimly remember was about the East, and all the ones I saw on Amazon were about the West.

There are many good American nature writers, starting with Thoreau.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: nlhome on September 29, 2009, 07:35:53 AM
John Muir's family came to Wisconsin from Scotland, and he spent about 10 years in Wisconsin, growing up, working very hard on a farm. He must have been a brilliant man, to do all the things he did around the country.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on September 29, 2009, 08:44:44 AM
Thanks, MaryZ, for mentioning the Muir Woods near San Francisco.  We've driven the coastal route several times thru SF, but didn't know about the Muir Woods.  Will be sure to see it next time.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 29, 2009, 12:43:43 PM
JONATHAN, my library does not have the book you suggested - the one by Frederick Turner, but I have another reserved; a biography of Muir's life.  I saw another episode of Ken Burn's documentary last night; the one where Teddy Roosevelt, accompanied by an entourage of guards, friends, etc., headed west.  Teddy was supposed to attend a dinner one evening (I forget what city), but instead played hookey and met John Muir, alone, in the woods and the two spent a few days and nights getting acquainted around a camp fire and hikes.  

John Muir, taking advantage of this friendship, was to make suggestions to Teddy throughout his presidency that gave America more acres for forests and monuments, but losing the Hetchy Hetchy River when Woodrow Wilson became president.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir

I've been west several times for various reasons, but have never seen a sequoa.  I must go to Yosemite Valley and thank John Muir while there.  (I know, I know)

I'm reading still the Faberge Egg book and just finished the pages where the Czar and Czarina and family were murdered and their homes looted by the Bolsheviks.  Now the hunt goes on for the eggs themselves; some of them end up in the strangest places.  The eggs themselves are not gems, but  the history of the period and the jeweler and the royal family  make them valuable.

As the author, Tony Faber, says "There's only really one price that's significant with a work of art, and that's what the patron pays: the rest is just completely ephemeral."

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 29, 2009, 09:37:03 PM
I've just started Fabrege's Egg. So far, very interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 02, 2009, 09:54:23 AM
I finished the book, JOANK.  It touched on the period of the revolution in Russia, the Bolseviks, the White/Red armies, the abdication and, later assassination of the Czar and his family.  The second half of the book  traces all the Faberge eggs that have been recovered or listed, at least.  I think there were over fifty of them and the Forbes Collection had a race with Russia as to who could possess the most.

Armand Hammer, a collector of the eggs, is an interesting character:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armand_Hammer
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on October 02, 2009, 04:18:52 PM
I'm reading Ted Kennedy's biography, TRUE COMPASS, A MEMOIR.   It surprised me in that it's really keeping me turning pages.  I got it mainly to read about his long years in the Senate, but am fascinated with the stories of his younger life, and with his family.  And he has a good sense of humor.  I had to laugh at some of the crazy stunts he did while campaigning for his brother, Jack -- like riding in a rodeo on a wildly jumping horse. 

Another biography I really liked was that of Joe Biden, PROMISES TO KEEP.  Loved his stories of his 35 years in the Senate, a job he loved.  And the parts about his personal life were very good, often poignant and sometimes tragic.  Also a very good read.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 02, 2009, 09:58:22 PM
Thanks, Marj, for letting us know about those two books.  I've read the Joe Biden book and agree, but I haven't read Ted Kennedy's book.  I will.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on October 03, 2009, 11:17:50 PM
I read True Compass and found it very interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 04, 2009, 04:20:56 PM





(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)















 I like the Cicero quote.  Some things are timeless aren't they; true then, true
now.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bellemere on October 09, 2009, 10:39:28 AM
The House at Sugar Beach, by Helene Cooper,is fascinating.  It is her early life in Liberia, the country that the US founded before the Civil War for freed blacks. they sent over a few boatloads and promptly forgot about them 
both Liberia's history, and Cooper's amazing career as a reporter fo r the Wall St. Jounal and the New York Times, are great reading.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 09, 2009, 12:47:23 PM
Thanks, Bellemere!  I'll get it, I need a good nonfiction book to read, this one sounds very interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on October 09, 2009, 02:24:30 PM
Yes, thank you bellemere. for your  comment on  Helene Cooper’s  “House At Sugar Beach” book.  Liberia should be an interesting subject.  I would like to know more about it.  I was aware of the circumstances of its founding but I am quite ignorant of its subsequent history.  Ella if you get to see the book,  please  post further commenting on it.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-House-at-Sugar-Beach/Helene-Cooper/e/9780743266253/?itm=1&usri=The+House+On+Sugar+Beach

Click the above link for the B&N catalog page on this book.  It has a better than average synopsis of the story..
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on October 10, 2009, 09:49:00 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Liberia  Click the preceding link for a short history of Liberia.  This outline if printed would fill 14, 8 1/2  X 11 inch pabes meaning it is a sisgnificant overview of the history of this Country from its inception to the present.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanP on October 11, 2009, 10:19:51 AM
A Special Announcement -
We've just opened a poll to assess interest in a number of titles for upcoming Book Discussions.
IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION, the titles in the header of the Suggestion Box   (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=309.msg41589#msg41589) are links to reviews.
PLEASE MARK AS MANY TITLES THAT YOU MIGHT LIKE TO DISCUSS in depth in the coming months. (We're looking for a number of titles)

WHEN YOU ARE READY, THE POLL IS HERE
 (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=GY5huAKPlhGJzIlGtuN3wQ_3d_3d)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 11, 2009, 12:35:44 PM
HAROLD AND BELLEMERE, I reserved Cooper's book at the Library and will post about it later; meantime I am listening (while on the treadmill) to Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tannehaus (1997) which promises to be fascinating.  I remember bits and pieces of it all but you forget with time.  Here is one paragraph on a review, who can resist it?

"Whittaker Chambers is the first biography of this complex and enigmatic figure.  Drawing on dozens of interviews and on materials from forty archives in the United States and abroad - including still classified KGB dossiers - Sam Tanenhaus traces the remarkable journey that led Chambers from a sleepy Long Island village to center stage in America's greatest political trial and, in his last years, to a unique role as the godfather of post-war conservatism."

Whittaker Chambers is rich in startling new information about every phase of its subject's varied life; his days as New York's 'hottest literary Bolshevik', his years as a Communist agent and then defector, hunted by the KGB, his conversion to Quakerism, his secret sexual turmoil, his subsequent decade at TIME, where he rose from the obscurity of the book review page to transform the magazine into an oracle of apocalyptic anti-Communism.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 11, 2009, 12:38:07 PM
JOANP, I see your post and I hope everyone votes for their selection.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on October 12, 2009, 08:32:56 AM
I just voted, for two of the books.

Ella, I have always been curious about Whittaker Chambers.  This might be a good way to learn some answers to my questions about him.

I just finished watching a segment on C-Span 2's "Non fiction books".  It was so interesting that I ordered the book for my Kindle.  It is called:  "The Harding Affair".  What convinced me that I wanted to read it, was learning that it is also about what was going on in the world, from 1911.  That period in time really fascinates me.  I am intrigued by world affairs during the lifetimes of my grandparents, and my parents.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 12, 2009, 09:35:14 AM
 I started on Anne Bronte's "Agnes Grey". It's fiction, of course, but written in
the form of a journal, or biography.  I thought the opening paragraph quite
relevant to some of our recent posts.

 "All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut."
 :)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 12, 2009, 05:50:24 PM
Good one, BABI.  Nuts are hard to crack at times and, particularly when they are hidden in a book!

SHEILA, is the book about President Harding's life?  I don't think he was one of our better known presidents even if he was from Ohio (my home state).  Didn't he campaign from his front porch and later involved in some scandal or other?  But what president has NOT been involved in scandals?  Well, there is Jimmy Carter, bless his heart!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on October 14, 2009, 03:51:52 AM
Ella, I am not sure how to answer your question, about Harding.  I am just begining this book.  It begins in 1911.  Yes, it is about his life from then, until his death.  The author was fascinating on C-Span.  I believe he said that the woman, with the child she claimed was Harding's, isn't true.  Instead, the love of his life was a married woman.  She, and her husband, were friends with Harding and his wife.  The two couples spent quite a bit of time together.

The author also said that Harding was one of our better presidents.  News of WW I overtook publicty about Harding's accomplishments.  I will let you know what I think of it, after I am more into the book.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on October 14, 2009, 12:11:52 PM
Sheila -
I have not read any biographies of President Harding, but I did read a 1998 biography of his wife called Florence Harding: the first lady, the Jazz Age, and the death of America's most scandalous president by Carl Sferrazza Anthony.   The strong arm tactics of the Harding supporters come through in her biography as they paid off and tried to hush up Harding's affairs.  As we who read history know - nothing changes. People are people and politics are politics and the pendulum just swings back and forth between left and right and right and wrong.  It all makes for interesting reading for us.   Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on October 14, 2009, 09:04:44 PM
I also heard the talk on C-Span II on Pres. Harding.  Very interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 15, 2009, 08:43:51 AM
 True, CubFan.  And also true is that a position of power enables one to indulge
all the fantasies and take whatever is desired.  How many are strong enough
to resist that kind of temptation?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 15, 2009, 11:15:53 AM
I was so disappointed when I picked up the Whittaker Chambers audio book at my library to discover it was on TAPE - tape!  Usually the Library transfers those on tape to C.D, but as I listened to the first tape I can understand why they did not.  IT'S THE READER!  He reads in a monotone and much too fast, who would want to listen!  Why an author would permit that I do not know. 

I'll see about getting the book, I don't know  how large it is. 

Also I reserved the Harding book.  It must be popular as the Library bought 21 copies (unusual for a nonfiction book) and there are 27 requests for it.

Thanks for suggesting it!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on October 15, 2009, 11:58:12 AM
When I first signed up with Verizon's DSL way back when, I got a free online audio books package for three months. I downloaded and copied several books to CD but never got around to listening to them before my subscription ran out. I didn't renew partly because I didn't find a lot of readers that did the books justice. The program was proprietary so I don't think I could have played the books on a regular CD player.  The one CD that I thought was excellent was Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price reading Edgar Allen Poe. Excellent.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 15, 2009, 06:14:23 PM
FRYBABE - is that the life of Poe or is it just his poetry?  I like the poetry, but would rather listen to a biography.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on October 15, 2009, 09:25:33 PM
They were reading his stories and poetry. Just imagine Vincent Price doing The Raven. Hey, didn't he do a movie around the poem?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 16, 2009, 08:23:42 AM
ELLA, I once discovered, to my disappointment, that a poet reading his
own poetry can also be a big mistake. You would think they would have a
natural feel for their own creation, but it doesn't always work that way.

  My son wants me to read "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman. He wants to be able to
talk with somebody about it.  Has anyone here read it?  If so, what do you think of it?
Naturally, I'm going to read it since he asked, but I'd like a clearer idea of what it's about.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on October 16, 2009, 11:36:29 PM
Babi, I've found the same thing about poets reading their own works.

"American Gods": for a start, it's hardly non-fiction, more like fantasy.  The narrator, just released from prison, takes a job with someone who is obviously Wotan in modern dress.  There seem to be a lot of the old gods stuck in this country, brought over by immigrants, then left dangling when no one believed in them any more.  We are traveling through a sleazy Middle America, meeting more of these gods along the way, and going toward some kind of showdown.  I got tired of it half way through and stopped because it didn't seem to be going anywhere, but my daughter assures me I'm wrong and it's well worth finishing.  It's well-written and vivid, and someday when I'm in the mood I'll pick it up and finish it.

If you read it, do tell us about it in sci-fi.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Gumtree on October 17, 2009, 05:30:35 AM
Hi folks:  Clicked in here by mistake - or chance and stayed to have a read of what you're up to. Lots of interesting titles mentioned though I'm not really in a position to start reading them all at present.

The mention by Babi of Agnes Grey caught my eye. I've done a lot of work on the Bronte literature at various times so would be glad to hear your thoughts Babi and anyone else's too. How do you think Anne Bronte compares with Charlotte and Emily? - she's a different kind of writer from her sisters of course and she cut her teeth with Agnes Grey - but her real strength is in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - a much under rated book.

I agree with the comments about hearing a poet read his own work. I was all agog with excitement one time having secured a tape of T.S Eliot reading The Waste Land. What a disappointing let down! Yet Alec Guiness reading some of Eliot's other work was a joy to hear.... he somehow manages to imbue the poetry with more  meaning and symbolism than I was then aware that it embodied.


Thanks everyone - I'm glad I stopped by today!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 17, 2009, 09:00:17 AM
  So I discovered when I looked for it at the library, PAT.  I had assumed it
was non-fiction from the title, and the fact that my son wanted to discuss it.
He has a poor opinion of formal 'religion', and he has probably found things in the book that he feels support that.  Actually, while a person of firm faith, I find fault with 'religion', per se, myself.  In my mind, they are not the same thing.
  I am finding "Agnes Grey" pleasant enough, GUM, but Anne Bronte is not a
writer of her sisters' caliber.  She lacks their wit and her characters seem too
one-sided.  She occasionally moralizes too long, to the point where I skip to
the end of the lecture. Still, I care about 'Agnes' enough to finish the book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on October 19, 2009, 05:56:52 PM
"The Harding Affair", by James David Robenalt, is fascinating to me.  I keep thinking about Ella, living in Ohio.  So many towns in Ohio are in this book.

Warren Harding was said to have had a child, out of wedlock.  This book says that isn't true.  He did have an affair, with the wife of a friend of his.  They met in 1905.  Harding spent time at Kellogg's health institute in Battlecreek, Michigan, several times.  He reccomended it to his close friend.

During World War I, his lover was thought to be a German spy.  The book says that his wife was not physically affectionate, following her stroke.  It is also said that he was a very handsome man.

I do not want to stop reading it.  So, many people I have heard of are in it.  I like the author's writing style, also.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 19, 2009, 07:00:08 PM
SHEILA, I am just starting to read the Harding Affair and it is interesting.  I haven't gotten very far along, but I do recognize the towns.  Certainly!  I have heard of Harding off and on all my life so this will add much to all the rumors about the man and the scandals.

After taking the Chambers audio book back to the Library, I got another and it is very good.  FIVE DAYS IN LONDON:  May, 1940, by John Lukacs.

Will we ever lose our fascination with WWII?  So many countries involved, all of Europe, and, of course, America.  The men, the leaders, Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, FDR - they are such familiar names to people of my generation.  Will they continue to be of interest in the future?  Somehow I do not see anyone of their stature, good or bad, on the horizon.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bellemere on October 19, 2009, 09:57:19 PM
the House at Sugar Beach lost some of its unique appeal once Helene and her family leave Liberia after the coup d'etat.  Cooper's story is a typical "immigrant kid makes good in USA" and, in truth, she has had a rerarkable success as a journalist for the Wall St. Journal and the New York Times.  When she returns to a Liberia still strife ridden and finds her foster sister again, the book sort of regains its integrity.  All in all, I enjoyed it, and I am grateful for the insight I gained into a different culture.  I remembered that a college classmate was Liberian, and I googled her.  Sure enough, she married a Cooper, and served her country in different capacities.  There is a school named after her.  She was Hilda Knight Cooper, a relly lovely young woman when I knew her; her father was in some ambassador type, either in Washington or at the U.N.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on October 21, 2009, 10:58:15 AM
Well, I am now at chapter 7, in the Harding book.  At this point it seems to be more about the woman, with whom Harding had his lengthy affair.  Also, about his lover's family.  I am disappointed.  But, I will continue to read.

I am not nearly as interested in the details, of his affair with Carrie Phillips.  I am much more interested in historical information.  Chapter 7, is back to Harding's political life, when he ran for Governor of Ohio, in 1910.   At this point I do not know if I reccomend this book, or not.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 21, 2009, 12:15:48 PM
Sheila, I am of the same opinion after reading a few chapters.  This is not a good biography of Harding at all.  Am disappointed!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 21, 2009, 12:18:59 PM
However, the book by John Luckas - FIVE DAYS IN LONDON: 1940 is fascinating.  I'm listening to the audio and I think I'll get the book to read.  I have always wondered why Hitler did not cross the channel when he conquered France and stopped!  Britain was so weak at the time and could have been attacked and the British Empire could have crumpled and the war won.  Many, many reasons.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bellemere on October 21, 2009, 10:49:22 PM
Alain de Botton is an English philosopher whose essays are wonderfully readable.  "The
Art of Travel" tells you not WHERE to travel but how and why. 
"The Status Seekers" deals with our civilzation's "insatiable quest for status" and is funny as well as clear headed.  and "The Consolations of Philosophy" summarizes some of the great philosophical thinkers of history, Epicurus, Seneca, Nietsche.  I am stuck however on his latest "The
Architecture of Happiness' which actually is about architecture, and is getting over my head.  Has anyone else read this wonderful English polymath?His works are available in paperback and are not long.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 22, 2009, 08:21:36 AM
 The "Consolations of Philosophy" sounds intriguing to me, BELLE.  I
would like to have at least a summary of the great philophers thinking.
I have done a bit of reading in some of them, and have vague ideas of
others. I'd like to 'pin down' some of those ideas.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on October 22, 2009, 02:15:57 PM
I'm reading You'll Never Nanny in this Town  Again, which is absolutely  marvelous. Names names, right now we're dealing with the "great" Michael Ovitz. I liked Diary of a Nanny which was a super movie which they keep playing on TV, in which the names were changed, but this one is even better and you really get a feel for what parenting is like out in LA. It's hard to put down actually.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bellemere on October 22, 2009, 03:51:28 PM
Babi, Alain de Botton's book is for you!  of all the ancient philosophers he summarizes, the
Greek Epicurus appealed most to me.  Having always associated the word "epicurean:" with fancy food, I found how wrong I was.  You can get all his books in paperback. If you do get Consolations of Philosohy, I would love to hear what you think of it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 23, 2009, 07:44:24 AM
 My library only has the Botton book in audio, unfortunately. I'll have to
look for it elsewhere.  Since I've never had any problems whatsoever with
'status anxiety', I think I can skip that one even tho' the library does have it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bellemere on October 24, 2009, 09:38:01 PM
I got to my 100 pages of Julia Child's My Life in France, and I think I'll quit before I get heartburn.I have lost all sense of guilt about not finishing a book; I will give it 100 pages max and move on if it doesn't do it for me.
I think when you eat French food a la Julia, you are basically eating butter, wine , and cream, with a little fish or veggie thrown in.
the descriptions of the restaurant meals in Paris were pretty inspiring, but I am too American to relish the idea of eating a lark or brains or sweetbreads, which I think are some animal's pancreas, is that right?  Anyway, au revoir and bon appetite, Julia.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 25, 2009, 11:29:37 AM
SERENA:  After listening to this - click below for a fascinating radio interview - I think I shall go back to the Harding book and read a bit more.  At least, take another look at it, how are you doing with it?  I don't think much of the author but in this interview the president, the man and his "take" on war and peace seem to be right on!  I never knew about Harding's Birmingham affair, did you?  And the author seems to believe that if Harding had been president, instead of Woodrow Wilson, the world would have been a better place.  Interesting indeed to think about.

And racial diversity???  What do you think?  Type in "President Harding" in the search box at the top of this page for the interview:

http://radiotime.com/program/p_1631/All_Sides.aspx



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on October 26, 2009, 12:48:54 PM
I am still reading the "Harding" book."  Ella, are you familiar with the "Golden Lamb", in Lebannon, Ohio?  They serve wonderful meals.  We go there every Christmas.  On the inside front wall, is a list of all of the Presidents who have stayed there, and/or eaten there.  I believe that Harding is among those listed.

In addition, I am reading "Night", by Elie Wiesel.  It is powerful.  Only a little over 100 pages.  It is his story of how his family were picked up, and transported to one of the prison camps. 

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 26, 2009, 02:02:08 PM
Funny you should ask, Sheila.  I went on a day's journey with a group from our Senior Center and we ate lunch at the Golden Lamb, which, as you say, has very good food.  I was there a number of times in the '70's as my daughter graduated from the University of Cincinnati.  Their campus does not allow autos on it, so there were quite a number of trips to and fro for four years.

After lunch we went to a fascinating place where this fellow started growing bamboo after he got fired from an insurance company some years ago.  He had started a privacy fence in bamboo, so he got interested in the product, expanded and now has a thriving business selling world wide.  He sells to many zoos as pandas eat bamboo.  There are many, many species of the plant, and it does not grow real tall in Ohio because of our winters but it does well enough.

I'll go back to the HARDING book.  Did you listen to the radio interview?  It was very good!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on October 26, 2009, 05:28:21 PM
I read "Night" many years ago. A very powerful book: I shall never forget it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 26, 2009, 07:59:58 PM
Yes, I have read "NIGHT" also, Serena and Joan.  Some long years ago, but have never forgotten it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 27, 2009, 08:47:08 AM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)








 ELLA, I love stories about people who find new and interesting careers
after losing a job.  Sometimes what seems like bad news turns out to
be the best thing that could have happened.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on October 27, 2009, 09:31:31 PM
Hello, everyone. Some of you might be interested in a program that will be broadcast on PBS on October 28 in some areas. It's called Botany of Desire and is based on the nonfiction book by Michael Pollan. Has anyone here read the book?

 The book explores the nature of domesticated plants from the dual perspective of humans and the plants themselves. Pollan presents case studies that mirror four types of human desires that are reflected in the way that we selectively grow, breed, and genetically engineer our plants. The apple reflects the desire of sweetness, the tulip beauty, marijuana intoxication, and the potato control. Learn and access more, including an 18-minute video, Perspectives from the Arts, Humanities and Sciences, in which a panel of professors from UC Berkeley discuss the importance various themes and technologies described in the book. See http://www.pbs.org/thebotanyofdesire. If any of you view it, we can talk about it in our PBS discussion at http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=918.0
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 28, 2009, 08:31:31 AM
 This guy certainly know how to make a botany lesson appeal to the
masses.    ;D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 28, 2009, 09:27:32 AM
So, if you had only one choice of plant to put in your garden, which would you choose?

I think BEAUTY!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 28, 2009, 09:33:10 AM
Serena, I'm still reading the Harding book; I decided to skip over the every-other chapters about the female spy,  finding that method of writing a book very confusing.  It subtracts from the purpose of the book; the author could have substituted those chapters (if he needed to flesh out his book) by writing more of the period in which Harding lived and those around him in influential positions.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 28, 2009, 09:43:32 AM
A book by Douglas Preston (of Preston-Lincoln Child ) titled the MONSTER OF FLORENCE promises to be an interesting read.  A true story.  

Preston in 1969 spent a summer in Italy, became enchanted, later moving there with his family.  In a cafe he met an Italian journalist by the name of Mario Spezi who told him of a series of murders that had never been solved in the area.  WELL!  Do I need to go on????

He and Spezi set out to uncover the mysteries and attempt to solve the murders - pictures of it all included in the book

I think we should read it together, don't you?  All the nonfiction readers and mystery lovers together?  A noted author?  

It has the smell of success!

YOU CAN READ THE FIRST CHAPTER ONLINE HERE:

http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/LITTLems/monster_of_florence_chap_1.pdf



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on October 28, 2009, 04:19:25 PM
JoanK,  I have enjoyed all of the fiction books written by Douglas Preston so I do plan on reading this non-fiction book although it sounds like there are some gruesome details in the murders. Hopefully, the book doesn't dwell on the methods of murder and mutilation.

There is an article about the book at http://www.tribune.ie/article/2009/apr/12/hunt-for-the-monster-of-florence. It looks like Tom Cruise has acquired the rights to produce (and maybe star) in a movie based on the book, focused on Preston and Mario Spezi, the Italian journalist who helped him investigate the crimes.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on October 28, 2009, 08:15:32 PM
You've got me hooked. Let's read it, and see if we think it would make a good discussion.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 28, 2009, 09:52:16 PM
Good, MARCIE AND JOANK!

Hahaaa, Joan.   Let's do both at the same time, huh?  And..................

don't read it before we discuss it!

So, I'll try and get a Proposal up for ?????????????

I'll let you all know and meantime, spread the word - we'll have to post this in the Mystery folder and the Books around the World??

Should be a good crowd to discuss the book!

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 29, 2009, 11:27:18 AM
This book has not arrived at my library yet, but I do want to check it out.

http://www.amazon.com/Ayn-Rand-World-She-Made/dp/0385513992/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256829716&sr=8-1

It's just out, but if it is a good bio it will make the winter months go by smoothly, I hope, with no intervention of ice and snow outside.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on October 29, 2009, 11:30:24 AM
Ella, I just read a review of the Ayn Rand bio last night.   I remember reading "Atlas Shrugged" and thinking, "I don't blame him."  :)

Also read and saw "The Fountainhead". I liked the book better than the movie (Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper?).
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on October 29, 2009, 11:57:48 AM
Hello to all here!
Here's a link to one of our proposed discussions which is scheduled for February.

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?board=75.0

Entitled "America's Prophet-Moses and the American Story," our author, Bruce Feiler,  takes us on a tour of quotes and historical events referring to Moses who seems to be very important in the history of our country.

Do let us know if you will be joining us by posting at that site.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 29, 2009, 12:11:48 PM
Hi CALLIE:  I didn't see the movie you mentioned.  Truth be told, I never liked either Patricia Neal or Gary Cooper.  

I've read both of Ayn Rand's novels, but it was many, many years ago, and have vague memories of them.  I do remember she wrote a book, I believe, called WE, THE PEOPLE, or something like that, that I enjoyed very, very much, but it was never popular.  It was about Russia as I recall.

I'll have to look that last book up, I'm not sure of it.

ANN:  I have already posted in the American Prophet book.  I will be there.  We discussed an earlier book by Feiler and it was very good and this one looks as promising!

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on October 29, 2009, 01:14:47 PM
I'm mostly a fiction reader but Florence and Jack-the-ripper is too good to pass up. Sign me up.  Most nof the non-fiction I read is science related or has literary ties.  Right now I'm reading Red moon rising : Sputnik and the hidden rivalries that ignited the Space Age / Matthew Brzezinski. My son was born Oct. 3 1957 and I didn't hear about Sputnik until the ride home from the hospital.  This is a fascinatinbg account beginning with the development of the V2.  Brzezinski is a good writer and he has a real story ntotell.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ALF43 on October 29, 2009, 01:32:10 PM
hmmm Ella that book by Preston sounds interesting indeed!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction- Botony of Desire
Post by: HaroldArnold on October 29, 2009, 04:12:24 PM
Did any of you catch the PBS show 8:00 – 10:00 PM central last night.  This show was based on a book entitled “The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan.  Our Seniornet/books had an interesting discussion of this title in January 2002.  Click the following for the archive: http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/archives/nonfiction/BotanyofDesire.html 

This book PBS presented an interesting discussion of the social impact of four plants, the apple, the tulip, marianna, and the potato.   I have to admit I did not see the entire 2 hour show as I was constantly switching back and forth to and from the spurs opening night.  Also I have to admit that I was a late arrival to the discussion seven years ago..  As I remember I was a late arrival in the discussion after it got off to a rather slow start.  My contribution was principally my injection of the thought that the chocolate bean plant might have been a logical addition to the four that were included.  I saw enough of the program to find it both interesting and enjoyable, and the spurs beat New Orleans rather soundly. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on October 29, 2009, 04:47:24 PM
We watched the program, Harold - it was a good one.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on October 29, 2009, 07:34:54 PM
There are bits of chocolate history throughout my son-in-laws chocolate cookbook: "Chocolate on the Brain" by Kevin and Nancy Mills. Its history is fascinating.

I'm really sorry I missed the show -- was watching the Pheonix/Denver game and forgot.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on October 29, 2009, 08:49:12 PM
Harold, I didn't realize that the book, Botany of Desire, was discussed. I'll read the posts in the archives. Thank you for pointing that out.

I loved the program. It was interesting and thought-provoking. The full video might be available online at http://vodpod.com/watch/2421491-full-length-program-botany-of-desire-pbs-video
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on October 30, 2009, 09:19:07 AM
I would read The Monster of Florence, depending on the amount of gore and detail, that is in the murders.

I found the article cited here about Douglas Preston's adventures in trying to write it fascinating in itself, and printed IT out. I think I would be in for that one if somebody decides to offer it. I'm quite fond of Preston and Childs, normally.

I finished up You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again and have started the "riveting" and "spellbinding"  Mrs. Astor Regrets, about Brooke Astor and "the hidden betrayals of a family beyond reproach."

it's been in the news lately, how her son contrived to loot her estate and it's an incredible book, even Tom Brokaw says "it's all here."

Truth is so often stranger than fiction, and in this case apparently that was unhappily  so. i was hooked in Barnes and Noble just reading Barbara Walters' account of how Brooke Astor moved through her garden and around town. REALLY well written, it's hard to put down,  actually.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 30, 2009, 09:32:06 AM
I skimmed through and then read a couple of chapters, nay, more than a couple of the Preston book.  It's not my "cup of tea" - it's stronger than tea!

Ginny, I know that you are a Preston reader, and Marcie, also, so I suggest that you two do the "honors" of presenting this book for discussion when you get time.

Have you traveled in Florence, Ginny?  Have you, Marcie?

The book is divided into two parts, the first half written by Spezi.  The the second half, written by Preston, is more appealing - to me, that is!  And so much art history, it will be a delight!

However, the murders are gruesome and should be tackled lightly!

I think I am better off with biographies of people, rather than crime.

Back to finish Harding!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 30, 2009, 09:34:05 AM
Ginny, I have read the Brooke Astor book, interesting isn't it?  I think the title may have come from the song, Mrs. Astor Regrets.  Isn't there such a song?  I vaguely recall.  I'll go look it up! 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on October 30, 2009, 09:38:05 AM
hahaha Ella, have you noticed the number of posts under my name? If I did do the Preston I'd have to do it in August, 6 discussions/ classes per day is enough to occupy my time, but I could chirp along if Marcie would like to offer it.

Thank you for talking about what it's like. Yes I've been to Florence, several times.   Brunelleschi's  Dome is one of the best books on Florence I have read, now, with your comments, I am intrigued, I really do want to read the Preston.


IS Mrs. Astor Regrets  a song!!?? I have never heard it, if so. ISN'T it well written, I love it. Wasn't there something in the news just last week on the court case?

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on October 30, 2009, 10:02:21 AM
JoanG has also been to Florence many times.  She shared pictures with us when we discussed Bruneleschi's Dome back in the the olden days of SN.
I would think that this book you are talking about would get a good turnout.  I think there was a lot interest  in Florence then also.
I don't even remember your title but if I had time, I would join in also.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 30, 2009, 10:08:31 AM
Well, I had to look it up on some of my jazz CD's.  The song was MRS. OTIS REGRETS and it is hilarious.  I remember playing this for my daughter one time and she thought it was awful and then she smiled.

Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today, Madam,
Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today,
She's so sorry to be delayed,
But last evening down in Lover's Lane she strayed, Madam,
Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today, madam,

When she woke up and found that her dream of love had gone, Madam,
She ran to the man who led her so far astray,
And from under her velvet gown,
She drew a forty-four pistol,
And she shot that dirty rascal down, Madam,
Now, Old Lady Otis regrets she's disabled and she can't lunch today.

And the moment before she died,
She lifted her lovely head and cried, "Oh, Madam,
Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today."


There are more verses, but you get the idea
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on October 30, 2009, 11:24:01 AM
When sung by the right singer Miss Otis Regrets can be a wry blues ballad and very moving.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on October 30, 2009, 12:32:33 PM
Mrs. Otis Regrets... How fun, Ella. Cole Porter (and Noel Coward) could really write lyrics!

I think if you are turned off by the crime elements in The Monster of Florence, Ella, some others probably would be also. That would be a big consideration in offering a discussion of a book like that. I've never visited Florence.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on October 31, 2009, 08:44:34 AM
 I've never seen the lyrics to "Miss Otis Regrets" before.  I thought the lines were "Miss Otis regrets she's unable to rise today".  Now that I
think back, I believe that was a pun. It was a note posted on a non-operating Otis elevator. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on October 31, 2009, 10:47:42 AM
OH, BABI, THAT IS SO FUNNY!

Did you make that up or did you really see that in an Otis elevator?

Marcie, crime, true crime at that, is not for me.  I do like a good mystery now and then, but the Preston/Spezi book was too gory by far, although I did participate in THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY which was mild compared to this.  That book had historical interest.

There are some elements in the book, undoubtedly, that are interesting.  I briefly read about Preston moving his family there which included two children, ages 5 and 6 and he wrote about how easily they picked up the language.  Children could do that.  And I think the adjustment to a new culture for the whole family would be interesting.

Would you move halfway around the world and enroll two small children in a foreign school where English was not spoken?  Something to think about.

I was in Rome for two weeks with an Elderhostel group and we learned a bit (and a lot about art which I have forgotten) but I have remembered some of the culture, e.g. all members of a family must go to Mama's for Sunday dinner and if not the whole family, then the son - the son!  The sun rises and sets in the son!


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on October 31, 2009, 08:28:35 PM
The Story of Civilization has been active as a discussion group for eight years. We are now talking and reading about Italy during the Renaissance years.

Things happen in this period of history that change the way of the world forever. They are happening again in our discussion.

Come share with us this discussion of one of the most significant periods in the history of the world. You'll be glad you came and you will gain in understanding why we are where we are today.

On Sunday, we will have a celebration of eight years of discussion, and of making our way in only eight years from living in caves to the glories of the Renaissance.

For Seniorlearn members, go to http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=64.360

If you’re not a member, go to http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?action=help
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 01, 2009, 07:28:03 AM
 I read about it, ELLA, and just assumed the quote from 'Miss Otis Regrets' was verbatim. But somebody was clever, weren't they?

 It looks like the gory part that's putting people off was written by
that guy Spezi; the latter part of the book is Preston's, according to
one of the posts above. So I'll just avoid any Spezi books, and continue
to enjoy Preston.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on November 01, 2009, 08:51:05 AM
I've read The Monster of Florence - given to me because I love mysteries and I'm an artist.  The "gory parts" didn't bother me, I just didn't particularly care for the book - on any level. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on November 01, 2009, 12:00:51 PM
How about George Eliot's ROMOLA as an alternative ticket to revisit Florence. I remember having it recommended to me by a very knowledgable paricipant in Story of Civilization when we were reading BRUNELLESCHI'S DOME. Eliot thought it her most satisfactory piece of writing.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Brian on November 01, 2009, 12:12:03 PM
The Story of Civilization has been active as a discussion group for eight years. We are
now talking and reading about Italy during the Renaissance years.

 That period in history was launched by reports of the travels of Marco polo and the
reappearance of classical objects from antiquity. Early archeologists unearthed what once
was Rome and the Arabs of Spain brought Greek and Roman documents to 13th century
Italy. Genovese and Pisan trade with others around the Mediterranean basin brought new
Hellenic influences to the Italian peninsula.  Artists were ready to break out of the
idealistic constrictions of the past and to push into more realistic areas of art expression. 

Trade brought new wealth to Italian merchants and gave rise to a moneyed merchant
class. The new wealth found it's way to the Papacy and it encouraged dissipation among
the Popes of the period. This led to abuses and to conflict with European royalty and
dissension from within the Church.

Things happen in this period of history that change the way of the world forever. We can
never go back and it all happened here.

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=64.new;topicseen#new

Come share with us this discussion of one of the most significant periods in the history of
the world. You'll be glad you came and you will gain in understanding why we are where
we are today. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 01, 2009, 12:14:13 PM
Hello, JONATHAN!  I haven't heard from you in a long time.  What are you reading?  

Any good nonfiction, historical, biographical, anything like that?

I have made a vow to finish the Harding book although it is a tedious task at times.  The author just made a reference to Teddy Roosevelt's journey to the River of Doubt which greatly impaired his health.  

That was a recent book and a very good one - RIVER OF DOUBT!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 01, 2009, 12:57:51 PM
JONATHAN: we miss you in SOC.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 01, 2009, 01:19:45 PM
JOANK:  I've often thought of joining all of you in SOC, but think if I get involved in that it will deduct from other books and other pleasures in reading. 

The HARDING book can be very interesting at times, when the author forgets the love affairs; obviously he thinks that is why we want to read books and, also, he feels privileged to be the first person ever to have access to the love letters between Harding and his mistress. 

Little items of interest.  During the first World War the British blockaded shipments to Germany and Austria/Hungary which caused hundreds of thousands of civilians to die of starvation.  We later joined in this blockade.

To put pressure on America to stop the British, the Germans came up with the idea of completely embargoing dyes which would throw 4 million Americans out of work.  Our textile industry depended upon the dyes which German scientists, through advancement in chemistry, had invented.  From their laboratories and their experiments with coal tar came, not only the dyes, but explosives (TNT) which originally was a yellow dye, and another product which went into the manufacture of aspirin - Bayer Aspirin.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 01, 2009, 01:21:40 PM
I know all the textile mills of yesterday have disappeared and New England suffered greatly from their loss.

So the question is:  who, today, makes cloth?  Who makes the dyes?  I know the end process, the clothing, comes from all the world (look at labels), but who makes the cloth and the dyes. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on November 01, 2009, 04:29:29 PM
Ella, that's a great question. I tried to find information on what countries make textiles. A lot of the data I could find mixes textiles and finished clothing. Here is a website that shows the top 10 countries in 2007 in pictures. Click the right arrow above the photo to go to the next one: http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/28/style-clothes-foreign-forbeslife-cx_ls_outsourcing08_0529offshore_slide2_2.html?thisSpeed=15000
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on November 01, 2009, 04:29:58 PM
The 1930s is a decade that has a lot of similarities with today. On Monday, my local PBS station will be showing "The Civilian Conservation Corps" as part of The American Experience series. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/ccc. It looks very interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on November 01, 2009, 04:49:14 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)







.Thanks for reminding me about that one, Marcie.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 02, 2009, 10:00:06 AM
My PBS station is showing that program also, MARCIE.  We renewed our interest in FDR's programs of the Depression when we discussed Frances Perkins recently.

After that program, is one about the trial of Leo Frank which also looks interesting.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That was an interesting site, Marcie, about the clothing industry.  Here are two paragraphs of the article:

unless you're a 19-year-old with a closet full of American Apparel (amex: APP - news - people ) items, it's very rare to see the words "Made in the U.S.A." stamped on the tag of your shirt. Or "Made in Italy" sewn on the inside of your luxury handbag. Or "Made in France" imprinted on a perfume box, for that matter. It's all about quality and price, not where the product was made.

 
Why? For one, cheap labor doesn't always spawn cheap-looking clothes. "There are manufacturers in China that employ highly-skilled workers who can produce goods that measure up against what's made in the U.S. or Western Europe," says Josh Green, chief executive of Panjiva.com, a Web-based service with offices in New York and Shanghai. Panjiva provides detailed information on over 40,000 apparel and textile manufacturers in over 140 countries, as well as a ratings system that measures everything from efficiency to ethical codes

Many years ago (how often I have said those two words) Americans were urged to buy only clothing with the label "Made in America."  There was a labor union promoting either that or a similar slogan.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on November 02, 2009, 04:31:59 PM
'the mills of yesterday'...would that make a good title for something on the huge industry in the New England of a hundred years ago? They haven't all disappeared, Ella. Many are there still to be seen, some looking pretty desolate, others converted into condos or business sites.

Thanks for the PBS/CCC doc tonight, Marcie. I had it marked on my calendar, but I probably would have forgotten it, what with all the new reading I've acquired in the last week or two, at the annual bookfairs here in town. At least fifty new titles, all over the bibliomap. I've made a start on half of them.

I've just put down FREUD'S WIZARD, a biography of Ernest Jones, who did so much to make Freud acceptable to the English speaking world.

Two more biographies of fascinating characters, Dante and Savonarola, both of Florence fame. That's why the suggested Florence book mentioned here caught my eye. And wasn't Florence the U.S.A. of Europe five hundred years ago, providing capital and culture to all the world. Even provided someone like Machiavelli with plenty of material for a manual on politics.

How about something with the title, Captain Bigh's Portable Nightmare, with an account of his adventures after being thrown off his ship by those nasty mutineers? Naturally he saw them all hanged when he eventually got back to England.

Law and the courts always fascinate me so I got From the Diaries of Felix Frankfurter, as well as the The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection. These two kept showing up in Frances Perkins life, and they did pursue an active political life, exerting considerable influence in politcal affairs. I also got a bio of Learned Hand, such a prominent name in U.S. legal matters. And a recent book by Jeffrey Toobin, The Nine; Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. I should be able to practice law if I finish all these.

For distraction I got Ulysses S. Grant's Personal Memoirs, and Goethe: Die Reisen, to brush up on my German. I believe he takes his readers to Florence and Rome.

I'll be back with the other 37 titles another time. How about, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian? It's hilarious. The 80-something widower who is snared by a young golddigger, which really complicates the lives of his two daughters. Hey, you gotta have some light reading too.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on November 02, 2009, 09:10:06 PM
Jonathan! What an intriguing list of books. I'll be looking forward to seeing the other 37 titles you bought!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 02, 2009, 09:24:19 PM
Jonathan:  Some of us are having serious trouble with our compulsive book buying.  We'll be starting a twelth step program soon.  Care to join us?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 03, 2009, 09:50:40 AM
Compulsive book buying!  Yes, I need to stop that also.  When I decide that I have been exceptionally good (done a few things I don't want to do), I drive to B&N, look and buy, and have lunch at P.F.Chang's, sometimes with a glass of white wine. 

A few of those books were not worthy, sad to say. 

JONATHAN, let us know if you find one we could spend some time with.

The young men on the CCC program looked healthy and happy didn't they?  Food, shelter, clothing, cleaniness makes a whale of a difference; how degrading it must have been for many of them to hit the road, leaving their family behind.  ONe young man said his father had put him out of the house, sad.

The Hoover dam was built by CCC?  Why was it named for Hoover then?  Or was it?  My husband went to a convention in Las Vegas years ago and was awed by its size and splendor.

LIkewise I loved a swimming pool in one of W.Va. parks built by the CCC.  What could be different about a swimming pool?  This one was surrounded by a low stone wall with plantings all around, as I remember it, it was just lovely and I inquired about it.  Would like to go back soon and see it all again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oglebay_Park

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 03, 2009, 10:38:22 AM
Did you watch the Leo Frank documentary?  I had never heard of this case before and was horrified by it.  The racism, the southern attitude toward the north; perhaps left over from the Civil War?  The trial led to a re-emergence of the KKI, and the leading townsmen were in on the lynching?

Unbelievable!  Were they ever interviewed later I wonder to see if they had regrets over the hanging of this poor fellow?

Frank, it seemed to me, had very poor defense; the family and the Jewish community could have afforded the best but this Rosser fellow certainly was not in that league.

Has anyone read about the case in the book mentioned. I believe the title was AND THE DEAD SHALL RISE.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 03, 2009, 03:37:06 PM
Jonathan: that does sound like quite a haul. I'd love to read a biography of Dante: all those enemies of his that he's thinking up horrible punishments for in The Inferno. I always wondered what they did to HIM!

But we definitely need a book-buyers anonymous. It's too easy to click on Amazon. Worse, my local Barnes and Noble carries double chocolate cheesecake from The Cheesecake factory, so buying books is not only expensive, it's fattening!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on November 03, 2009, 04:39:06 PM
Jonathan, I'll be interested to hear what you think of the Bligh book.  We read his journal on the old site, and it was quite a remarkable feat sailing that little boat 3600 miles to safety.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 03, 2009, 08:36:56 PM
Ella,
I lived in the county and the town where the Leo Frank affair occurred and we have seen a few documentaries plus movies based on it over the years.  It was just a horrible thing to have happened and inexcusably defended by the KKK and many others when it happened.  I can't remember the names of the movies that I saw while living there.  But, it was all true.  They hung the man in the Marietta Square, where 50 or 60 yrs later,  we attended many festivals, on stage theatre offerings, music in the park, plus all of the restaurants.  

If you click on the link below and go to Page 37 (if it isn't what comes up) of that book of photos, I think that might be the swimming pool that you mentioned but I don't see any pictures or an island in the middle, (mentioned in another site else that I uncovered).  I must say that I was just pulled right in to this book of photos of Oglebey Park and spent a bit of time just perusing them.  And, I note that Dr Alan Fawcett was the first lifeguard.  Is that the Fawcett that the OSU Fawcett Center is named after?

http://books.google.com/books?id=Fho584EEKzYC&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=Oglebay+Park%27s+swimming+pool&source=bl&ots=ceSjOBplI7&sig=0Kws6WLdb4pQbbWOAGA-eYJ8N2c&hl=en&ei=GbPwSsTeEtG6lAenzMD6CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CBcQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Oglebay%20Park%27s%20swimming%20pool&f=false
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 04, 2009, 08:55:16 AM
 You remind me of old stories from my Dad, ELLA. He wasn't in the CCC, but he 'hit the road' as a teenager, following the harvests. He said things were too tight at home with four kids, and he wanted his twin brother to be able to finish high school, so he left. He had a few good stories to tell.

  As for the Southern attitude toward the North, no 'perhaps' about it.
The Northern carpetbaggers made things even worse after the end of the war, and the Southerners retreated into a bulwark of resentment that
lasted for a century or more. One can still find the remains of that
attitude toward a 'Yankee'. For a long time the word down South was
'damnyankee'. I remember hearing of a judge presiding over a divorce
trial who stated he had never known of a Southern woman marrying a Yankee who didn't live to regret it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 04, 2009, 10:08:17 AM
BABI, such attitude of southerners are understandable.  It was a dreadful war and I'm sure that each family has handed down stories of the northerners both during and after the Civil War.  A little similar to veterans of WWII hating the Japanese and the German, and the same with the Vietnam veterans.  Wars are not easily forgotten and, in fact, the shelves of any library or bookstore would look much emptier without books about them.

HELLO ANN!  Did you watch the program on PBS?   I was absolutely amazed by that site you gave us about OGLEBAY PARK and its history.  The pictures are not very good and you simply cannot get the beauty of that pool but the park is a lovely one and is famous for its Christmas lights.  I think I will just have to go down there soon!  Wanta come?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bellemere on November 05, 2009, 10:48:11 AM
My husband remembers his sister dating a CCC boy and having to meet him on the porch; he was not invited into the house. 
In Western Mass. the main CCC project was Quabbin Reservoir, for which 4 towns were leveled and "drowned" by a river diversion to form a water supply for Boston and environs.  The CCC boys worked demolihing the buildings, cutting down the trees and moving coffins from burialgrounds to new ones in another town.  The surrounding area is rapicly returning to wilderness but for years you could see, from a boat, the layout of the streets below the water.  You can still see some old cellar holes and the cement plinth that held the Civil War monumental cannon. 
On the last night in the old town, the day before everybody had to be out, there was a dance in the town hall; the band played "Home Sweet Home" ; lots of tears.
Once a year, descendants of the the town residents are allowed to drive through the grounds, otherwise, no cars are allowed.  Beautiful hiking, and wildlife photo ops ; some fishing from boats and a trout stream allowed; the whole area is a favorite outdoor spot. So thanks to the boys of the CCC. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on November 05, 2009, 11:00:16 AM
Bellemere, thanks for sharing that wonderful story of the good work done by the CCC. The idea of seeing the layout of the streets below the water is haunting. I'm sure some authors have used that image in their books.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 05, 2009, 12:16:45 PM
Another government dam project, not CCC, was the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) which displaced 15,000 families.  This was an extremely bold experiment by FDR creating an entity which encroached the states of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi. Kentcky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.  Historically its impact is stupendous; the Coen Brothers movie, Oh, Brother,Where Are Thou, uses the creation of a fictional dam as its foundation.  See more at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Valley_Authority
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on November 05, 2009, 12:20:44 PM
And most of the folks who live here in the Tennessee Valley are very glad that the TVA was created.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on November 05, 2009, 08:22:00 PM
And most of the folks who live here in the Tennessee Valley are very glad that the TVA was created.
All except the ones that were displaced.  I don't really mean that as a criticism, it was a tremendously good thing.  Another CCC project was Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive), which also displaced a few people.  But I've enjoyed it all my life.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on November 05, 2009, 10:36:42 PM
You're quite right, Pat.  :)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 06, 2009, 09:10:14 AM
Whole towns destroyed by the CCC?  Imminent Doman?  Is that how they did that?  It's understandable that sometimes it is necessary but think of the families being displaced.  Much legal work involved to obtain that land I would think.

Years ago, we had a slice of our acreage taken by the government for use as an exit ramp for a freeway.  My husband was furious!  We didn't want the freeway to begin with and then to take a bit of our land??  He fought it for months and got legal help over the whole incident.  Well do I remember that!  As many of those families did I am sure.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 06, 2009, 09:21:55 AM
Apparently the TVA lands were owned by what could be termed hard scrabble poor whose families had farmed there for generations.  What could those families do in the midst of the Great Depression without their farms to grow their food, scanty though it might have been.  Where could they have gone but to cities and towns where they became statistics of unemployed, homeless.  Tragic. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 06, 2009, 01:47:02 PM
The TVA has an interesting history, and apparently still is controversial.   Note at the bottom that Ronald Reagan's criticism helped propel him into politics and the governorship of California.

Read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_valley_authority



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 06, 2009, 03:00:27 PM
I am reading a very interesting bio of Marjorie Merriweather Post by Nancy Rubin. Their are many facets of interest in this book - the reason Post began the cereal business and how General Foods developed; Christian Science; Marjorie's husbands (the first one became the grandfather to Glenn Close, the second on was E.F. Hutton who was a great financier, but also uncle to Barbara Hutton, the third one was ambassador to Russia); the life of the VERY  rich - her houses, her yatchs, her philanthopy, etc.; her dgt Dina Merrill.

I reccommend it, altho it is stuffed full of detail and sometimes gets tedious..................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 06, 2009, 09:11:47 PM
I bookmarked the TVA for later reading. My husband and I had (and still have) a lot of our savings invested in TVA bonds. I don't know if it's a good idea, but it's been a good investment.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 06, 2009, 11:26:05 PM
JEAN, I read a book about her not too long ago, aren't those heiresses fascinating?  Ginny was reading about Mrs. Astor.

From a library visit yesterday, I brought home a bio of Henry Kissinger by Walter Isaacson (whoee!  a heavy book); Bruce Feiler's book AMERICA'S PROPHET, which we are discussing in February (looks very good); Homer and Longley by E.L.Doctorow, and What Else but Home by Michael Rosen (the story of a family who adopted five older children from urban homes (looks excellent).

What would you read first?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 07, 2009, 08:29:30 AM
 People are reimbursed in those 'imminent domain' takeovers. How fair the payments are I wouldn't know.  And of course, if it's land that's been in the family for generations, no payment would be enough to compensate for the loss of a beloved home.
  It's the old standard, I suppose. What is best for the majority? 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on November 07, 2009, 05:53:14 PM
Ella, read the Feiler book first. I'll be dying of curiousity waiting to hear what that's all about. Moses as the father of modern America? Absolutely unconstitutional. Moses was too undemocratic for that.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 07, 2009, 09:59:10 PM
Jonathan,
Why don't you join us in February when we read and discuss "America's Prophet"?  You would be a welcome addition to what promises to be an eye opening history of our country, our leaders and citizens who quoted much of the Moses' sections of the Bible.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 08, 2009, 08:21:31 AM
  I won't be at all surprised.  The Commandments and biblical teachings
are at the very root of much of America's laws.We forget how firmly
rooted in Christian beliefs and ethics that generation was.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 08, 2009, 12:14:55 PM
Can't wait to start this discussion and would really like to see people such as Jonathon in there with us.  I am really looking forward to your sharing your formidable knowledge concerning the Bible.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 09, 2009, 08:21:44 AM
  Talk about serendipity!  I turned on the TV yesterday morning and watched as Charles Stanley talked about the influence of the Bible and Christian beliefs in the formation of the Declaration of Independence.
There have been many claims in recent decades that the 'founding fathers' were Deists and that religion had no role in the formation of our
govenment. That, frankly, is a bunch of hooey.  About half of the men who assembled to write that Declaration had seminary degrees. Four of them,..or was it five?...wrote translations of the Bible for various purposes.  Some were active ministers.
The session opened with prayer...about three hours of it!...and Bible reading. Stanley quoted a letter from John Adams to Abigail on how strongly Psalm 35 had altered their approach to their issues with Britain.
  During the months of deliberation, days of prayer and fasting alternated with days of prayer and thanksgiving whenever those present felt the need of them.  About 15 times, according to Stanley. 
  Those writers who wished to downplay the role of faith in establishing our government concentrated on Franklin and Jefferson, ignoring the rest of the assembly. I won't even try to comment on all Stanley had to say
about the background and lives of some of those others, but their firm religious stance was unmistakable.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 10, 2009, 09:49:51 AM
YOu are so right, BABI.  Feiler gives us numerous examples of the influence of Moses on our founding fathers.   Forever on our Libery Bell there is this:  "Proclaim liberty thoughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."- Leviticus 25  

Recently, Hillary Clinton in a speech during the recent presidential campaign remarked:  "every bit progress you try to make there's always gonna be somebody to say 'You know, I think we should go back to Egypt.'"  President Obama, in 2007 in Selma Alabama, said "We are in the presence of a lot of Moseses.  I thank the Moses generation, but we've got to remember that Joshua still had a job to do.  As great as Moses was....he didn't cross over the river to see the Promised Land."  

The Pilgrims were searching for a promised land - the settlers at Jamestown likened themselves to Moses - for centuries European explorers had set out for new lands without using similar expression, but the founders did and, consequently, we can state that Moses became the story of America.

I'm learning much in Feiler's book; all of which will make for a good discussion in February.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 10, 2009, 10:08:05 AM
The Walter Isaacson book is difficult to put down - and hold up; all 900 pages of it.

Why is this brilliant writer not able to condense his books a little in order to make them manageable by readers?  I love his writing.  The KISSINGER biography is the book most of us would love to write if we could write.  Kissinger, a man who Isaacson states over and over is brilliant, conspiratorial, furtive, sensitive, prone to rivalries and power struggles, charming, deceitful, maneuvering, ambitious, secretive and on and on.  He did, indeed, pick a good subject; is this why no one has attempted a bio of the man before?

Have any of you read any of Isaacson's books before?  The Benjamin Franklin one, the Einstein?  All similar in weight!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 10, 2009, 03:01:19 PM
No, but both Benjamin franklin and Einstein were very interesting men. I can see why the Franklin biography would almost have to be long to be good: he was into so many things and did so much. (Did you know he discovered the Gulf Stream?)

Einstein, unless a lot of detail was given as to his phisics and math, would be shorter, I would think. Is Isaacson a physicist?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 10, 2009, 06:58:14 PM
No, JOAN, Isaacson is Assistant Managing Editor of TIME magazine (as of the printing of this book, 1992) and has written several books.  He writes very well!

Wait until you read AMERICA'S PROPHET and meet the Old Colony Club where the old and older men meet. 

http://oldcolonyclub.org/
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 10, 2009, 07:54:30 PM
I read the Einstein bio.  Isaacson is very good.  This was a different man than the one I thought I knew.  Einstein became someone I would like to meet rather than the god-like figure that is the popular conception of him.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 10, 2009, 09:34:17 PM
No godlike perception for me. Friends who were at Princeton when he as there told me he was so absentminded, when he would go out, he would forget which house was his. neighbors got tired of him showing up in their houses, thinking they were his. They got together and painted his door red, so he could remember it.

If he hadn't always had a woman devoted to taking care of him, I don't know if he would have survived. But he abandoned the one who took care of him when he was poor and struggling.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 11, 2009, 05:57:18 AM
Hmm, is that a person of interest here in non-fiction?  I have a book that Einstein himself wrote.  Can't remember the title.  Do you remember the movie that was made about his granddaughter and him plus his genius cohorts?  Quite funny and droll!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 11, 2009, 11:40:21 AM
Lest we forget:http://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/taps.html

We are getting ready to attend the Vets Day celebration at the elementary school where two of our grandchildren attend.  They have added a new feature, coffee and donuts before the ceremonies. Ralph didn't expect to be here this day so its a double celebration for him.  He's a Vet and he's alive!!  Thanks to many prayers from all of you and a heart pump.  Wow!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 11, 2009, 03:57:48 PM
Annie: I have that book, too. He wrote it to explain the theory of relativity to children, and adults gobbled it up. But I don't know the movie. Do you remember it's name?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 12, 2009, 06:56:54 AM
The movie was "IQ" with Walter Mathau, Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins and here is a link to a cheap copy of it, should your library not have it.
http://www.amazon.com/I-Q-Tim-Robbins/dp/B0000A2ZO0 (http://www.amazon.com/I-Q-Tim-Robbins/dp/B0000A2ZO0)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 12, 2009, 08:31:01 AM
 (http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



 I have heard that if you want to start studying a difficult subject it is
a good idea to begin with a children' book.  It gives you a base of some terminology and simple explanations that can be readily grasped. Then you can go on to more sophisticated texts and not be totally bewildered.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 13, 2009, 07:38:04 AM
This happened on Wednesday.

  You are not going to believe me when I tell you that Cindy Gibbons just called me from the hospital and Ella fell off a curb in a shopping center this afternoon, outside B&N, and broke one ankle and sprained the other.  Because she is on Plavix and has much swelling in both ankles, the drs can't operate on her broken ankle for a week.  She has to come off the Plavix. She can't walk with a walker either, so, they are talking of sending her to nursing home for the week because Cindy has a really bad back and can't even lift her mom. All this on the day after her 81st birthday.  Please keep them both in your prayers.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 13, 2009, 08:32:22 AM
 Been following Ella's mishap on some of the other sites. For those of you who may not know, ANNIE has been a great help and comfort for both Ella and Cindy.  Thank Heaven for friends and family.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 13, 2009, 05:11:15 PM
We're missing you Ella, hope you can be back w/ us soon...............thanks for the info Annie...............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on November 13, 2009, 05:15:58 PM
For Ella I'll say a prayer with all my heart. Does she have a favorite saint?

What dreadful news. Please, Annie, convey my sympathies and my wishes for a speedy recuperation. And isn't Ella lucky to have such a helpful friend like you.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on November 14, 2009, 03:46:12 PM
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Ella))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

I am so very sorry about your accident!  I hope that you will get some good rest.  This is a good time to get some more reading done.  I am praying for your successful recovery.

Love, Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 14, 2009, 06:34:13 PM
Ella:  It's not the same without your witty posts.  Hurry, get well, and come back.  We miss you.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on November 18, 2009, 09:30:20 PM
Has anyone had an update on Ella's situation?  I miss her.

I began a new, non fiction book, called: " The Worst Hard Time".  For much of my life, I have heard about the dust bowl.  This book is bringing it to life, for me.  I also saw a program about it, on either my PBS station, or the History channel.  The author, is weaving several stories about the people who survived it.  The author also writes that the dust storms came and went for over ten years.  I didn't know that.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on November 18, 2009, 10:34:10 PM
Serenesheila, I'm watching the PBS "American Experience: Surviving the Dustbowl" program on my cable On Demand programming. What a terrible experience. That books sounds very interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: pedln on November 18, 2009, 10:53:30 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/foodsbooks/christmasdivider9.jpg)
You are invited to a

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=978.0)  for Book and Food Lovers

December 1 - 20

Guests will be YOU and  authors of your favorite books that combine a good story with good tips on food.  Do drop in and tell us about your favorite foodies, real and otherwise, be it Rachel Ray or Kate Jacobs or Tyler Florence or Joanne Harris.  Who's your favorite cook?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on November 18, 2009, 11:30:00 PM
I read theWorst Hard Time  within the last couple of years and found it very interesting.  I also watched the PBS program this week and found it very similar to the book.  As usual the book gives more information but the TV program did a good job of portraying the problem.  Together they give a very good picture of the situation for those of us who were not around at that time.  I, for one, had not realized how the entire country was affected i.e.  that the dirt from the storms carried all the way to Atlantic Ocean.  I had read Grapes of Wrath  and was aware of those who had left the area but this book was the first time I read about those who stayed.  Since it is non fiction it carries an even greater wallop than Steinbeck's historical fiction.  In high school and college classes Worst Hard Time would be a good companion to Grapes of Wrath to give students an overall picture of the situation.

Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 19, 2009, 08:11:17 AM
SHE'S BAAAAAAACK!!

Ella called me last night and now she is moving to a different place which is brand new, with single rooms, dedicated to therapy for post acute care.  Annnnnnnnnd, they have WIFI!  So, we have talked her into buying a laptop!! Yaaaaay! 
She really sounded good.  Like her old self. She had been to see the surgeon who will operate on her right foot early next week and then it will be about 2 months before she can leave the post acute care place but when she does, the dr says she will be walking out the door!  "Its a 'murical', Clyde!!"
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on November 19, 2009, 01:56:28 PM
Wonderful news, Adoannie!  And, of course, she WILL love the laptop!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 20, 2009, 09:23:05 AM
Does anyone in here know why the Civil War was fought?  What issues caused us to go to war??
I just read a line in our February book,  "America's Prophet" and wondered if it was correct.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on November 20, 2009, 10:04:02 AM
I think the causes that were answers on history tests included:

The South:

economics - the tariff laws were hurting the Southern economy

statess rights - the South was upset with what they considered federal government interference in state matters

slavery - which was reflected in economics and states' rights

The North:

to preserve the country

because the North had been attack

and for some slavery issue - but in most instances the Northern soldiers did not consider themselves as fighting for the "Negro"

What did "America's Prophet" say?

Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on November 20, 2009, 10:10:57 AM
Here is what About.com has to say about the top five causes of the Civil War.

http://americanhistory.about.com/od/civilwarmenu/a/cause_civil_war.htm


By the way, when I read The Highland Clearances by John Peebles, he did not have nice things to say about Harriet Beecher Stowe and her book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. He claimed that is was not well researched (that Stowe only spent one weekend in the South), and it was highly inaccurate. It's popularity on an emotional level, however, is undeniable. The book, among other things, helped rally the anti-slavery movement here and abroad. Stowe was quite popular in England.

CubFan, I see you beat me to it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 20, 2009, 12:45:44 PM
 Just finished  American Empress: Marjorie Merriwether Post, by Nancy Rubin. It would be a good book for a book discussion. She's involved in so many pieces of the history of the first half of the 20th century. And there is the Christian Science aspect, her beautiful houses, her Russian arts collection, (her homes and collectioins can be seen on the web), her marriages, her massive wealth and what she does w/ it, etc.

When i hear of people w/ money spending millions on houses and yatchs and collections i fine them interesting to see and think how beautiful they are, but then my brain goes to " How many people could have been fed, housed or educated with that money?" How many houses does one family need? That's a constant ambivalence in my head. MMP did give money for many projects including the C.W. Post College in Long Island and a hospital in France after WWI for vets, and started a program for young people to be exposed to the Washington Symphony and classical music. But 110 rooms in Mar A Lago? What do you do w/ 110 rooms? And that's just in ONE of her houses, I wondered if she actually went into each of rooms in each of her houses in a year.
Her family relationships also are an interesting example that being wealthy does not necessarily equate to happiness.

Anyway, i found it a book worth reading and enjoyed it and it gave me a lot to think about.......................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 21, 2009, 08:34:35 AM
JEAN
Quote
When i hear of people w/ money spending millions on houses and yachts and collections i fine them interesting to see and think how beautiful are, but then my brain goes to "How many people could have been fed housed or educated with that money?" How many houses does one family need?"
 

  That's pretty much my own reaction, JEAN. I guess we all hope that
we would have done more good with that kind of money.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 21, 2009, 11:13:54 AM
Thank you Cubfan and Frybabe for those answers to the Civil War cause.  I have downloaded them to my workroom and will probably put them up on our awaiting discussion "America's Prophet" IF that is all right with you.  
The book's initial mention of the cause was the State's Rights question.  I had always heard also that when the buyers from other countries stopped or were advised to stop buying cotton from the South that that was one of the causes also.  And, of course, there were always the Northern manufacturers of dry goods who lost their direct line to cotton when the South seceded, and who signed up with the Union's retaliation.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" had quite an effect on the war also.  Lincoln lightly accused Harriet Beecher Stowe for causing the war.  Well researched or not, that book did have a huge impact on decision to go to war.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JimNT on November 21, 2009, 12:59:21 PM
I'm reading What it Takes by Richard Ben Cramer, and why I've allowed it to remain unread on my bookshelves this long is a tragic mistake.  The book was copywrited in 1989 and concerns the presidential aspirations and campaigns of six political figures:  Geo H W Bush, Robert Dole, Richard Gephart, Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart, and Joe Biden.  It is a well written, thoroughly researched, page turner.  I'm probably one of only a few who haven't read it many yrs ago, but on the off chance you haven't, please give it a try. You won't regret it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on November 21, 2009, 08:08:51 PM
Welcome, JimNT, I hope you'll share lots of your reading with us.

Cubfan, we spent a lot of time in the "Team of Rivals" discussion on the causes of the Civil War, but I don't think I could have summarized it so neatly.  Frybabe, your link filled in some gaps, especially the economic causes, which were crucial.  Ann, if you want to comb through our discussion, it's archived here:

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=271.0 (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=271.0)

There are some useful links, as well as, on later pages, some questions that point the way.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 22, 2009, 08:11:29 AM
 Greetings, JimNT.  I fear it would be all to easy for me to let a book
slip out of mind once it is shelved.  My to-be-read stack remains in a
piile on the counter until read.  No telling what my happen to them otherwise.   ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JimNT on November 22, 2009, 10:32:43 AM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it.  

Let's talk books!






Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 22, 2009, 11:49:34 AM
Just starting Gail Colins' book When Everything Changed, a women's history from the 1960's to the present. Gail was/is a editor/writer for the NYT and is a close friend of a close friend of mine. She included an event where our mutural friend Janet and i met Alice Paul on her 92nd birthday in 1977. GC wrote a previous book on women's history, America's Women: 400 YEars of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines. She uses ordinary women's stories to illustrate what was happening in many areas since 1960. It brings back so many memories - probably similar to what people say about Mad Men i.e. skirts only! wearing girdles even when we weighed 100 lbs, suburbia in the 60's, The Feminine Mystique, women becoming the majority voters in 1960, Jackie Kennedy's transition of the "first lady" job, no women varsity sports in high schools, having to quit job when four months pregnant,  and more and more and that's just the first 100 pgs  I can't wait to get to the later decades...................................I think it would be a fun book to discuss.............it might motivate me to have a women's gathering at my house after the holidays. ......................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 22, 2009, 01:29:39 PM
Mabel:  I have that book waiting for me at the library.  I'm eager to read it and to me it seems like the basis for a good discussion.   I'll pick it up on Tuesday; it's supposed to rain buckets today but Tuesday may be better and the library is closed on Mondays.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 22, 2009, 07:50:12 PM
It sounds really good.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on November 22, 2009, 09:00:03 PM
Welcome, JimNT, and thank you for the recommendation of "WHAT IT TAKES." It sounds like a very informative and interesting book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 23, 2009, 01:36:32 PM
I've been "reading along" in Salt by Kurlansky for about 2 months. It's one of those books you can read a bit and put down for something else and then come back to it. I should have realized, but didn't have in my conscious mind how important salt has been to human beings over the centuries. Of COURSE our bodies have to have it and i never tho't about whether every person, every where would have access to it. I was well aware of the need to have it to preserve food and i knew that it was valued and bartered. 

The variety of ways that have been used to extract salt from the earth are very interesting and did you know that any European town whose name ends in "wich" was probably a salt producing town?

I had tried to read his book Cod, but i didn't get all the way thru it. A little of it was more than enough, but Salt is more interesting, to me...............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: evergreen on November 23, 2009, 01:59:08 PM

I'm a new poster, but a longtime evesdropper.  There are so many different kinds of non-fiction.

I've just finished Lords of Finance by Ahmed, which is the story of the various economies and the central bankers of England, France, Germany, and the US following WW1 leading up to the turmoil of the late 20's.  He writes so clearly and concisely he had even me understanding Keynes' economic theories.  This is a fairly new book, and of course, he drew parallels to today's problems. Definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in this subject.
In contrast, and also in the non-fiction category, I've recently read Julia Child's My Life in France in which she describes her experiences in France beginning in 1948.  One interesting tidbit was that Hemingway's first wife, Hadley, was one of her friends.  According to Julia, the Hemingway's son was a member of the OSS during WW2  (I think they called him Mr. Bumby or something like that for a nickname) and was a WW2 hero, aiding American GI's who went down behind enemy lines to safety.
I couldn't recommend this book unless you want to know in great detail what Julia had for lunch 50 or 60 years ago. I know I can't remember what I had for lunch last week.  LOL.


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 23, 2009, 02:05:35 PM
I often wonder about the descendants of famous names in history and what are they doing now? Are there descendants of Lincoln? What are the Hemmingway progeny doing besides acting? How about the Vanderbilts - of course there's Anderson Cooper - the Fords, the Roosevelts, the Stowes, did Frederick Douglas have children, now great-grandchildren? ..............................etc, etc, ..................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 23, 2009, 03:53:22 PM
One of the premier foodies writing about France in her early years is M F K Fisher.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._F._K._Fisher

I was reading her when Julia Child was a new TV personality.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._F._K._Fisher

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Eating-M-F-Fisher/dp/0020322208

While she talks about recipes she is talking about living and eating and loving. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 23, 2009, 09:54:33 PM
The Julia Child book sounds good-- others have told me they liked it. Hers was an interesting story.

The book on the economy sounds good, too.  I have heard that the banks are still doing what they were doing before, just slightly restrained by the new restrictions. I wish I understood more about it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on November 24, 2009, 12:53:05 AM
Mabel I read Salt a few years ago. I don't think the author left a salt grain unsifted. Fascinating. Everything you ever wanted to know about salt and lot more. I was especially interested in the different mineral impurities and how people used the different salts for medicine, etc., the bit about Avery Island and the McIlhennys, and salt mines being of strategic importance during the Civil War.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 24, 2009, 05:58:44 AM
Our f2f group at the senior center has been engrossed in "Outliers" by Gladwell.  I became so engrossed in his ideas that I have read it twice.  Fascinating!  Now, I am finally interested in reading his book, "Blink".

  Evergreen, what a nice user name!  So good to have you join us.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 24, 2009, 08:45:44 AM
 Thanks for the 'wich' bit, JEAN. I love bits of trivia. I recently saw a
bit on TV..I think it was actually an ad.....that explained that salt is
found in many different colors, depending on where it is found. I had no
idea. Green salt, pink salt, orange salt, etc., etc. I wonder if they are
all edible, and if the flavor is affected. Does your book comment on that?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ALF43 on November 24, 2009, 12:12:40 PM
Hey, I just saw that book Salt yesterday in a book store that I spent the afternoon in.  It looked very interesting.
Mabel, do you think we might find any answer to that in S of C?  Posted on: November 23, 2009, 02:05:35 PMPosted by: mabel1015j 
Quote
I often wonder about the descendants of famous names in history and what are they doing now?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ALF43 on November 24, 2009, 12:14:02 PM
Annie, what is Outliers about, pray tell!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: evergreen on November 24, 2009, 02:12:06 PM
I'm intrigued by Outliers too.  I saw Gladwell discuss his book with Charlie Rose one evening, and one of the thoughts was that people are not necessarily born gifted in one area or another.  If someone spends huge chunks of his life practicing the piano, or working on gymnastics, etc. he will excell in that area.  Wonder how he'd apply that to Mozart.

I'm going to add his book to my list............
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 25, 2009, 08:56:36 AM
 Well, EVERGREEN, apparently he did say "not necessarily".  I'm
sure lifelong practice and development of skills will go far, tho' not to
the point of genius, IMO

 If you are interested in descendents of the famous, you might find this link interesting.
 http://photography-thedarkart.blogspot.com/2009/05/descendants.html
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 25, 2009, 09:28:37 AM
"Outlier:The Story of Success:" is about one man's putting together many statistics of his own selection to point out why some people make it to the top and some do not.  His premise about practicing 10,000 hours will make you an Ace in your sphere of knowledge is just his conclusion.  He makes a lot of sense sometimes and sometimes, IMHO, he's really reaching far.  But the book is fascinating and well worth the read.

I now have  Gladwell's "'Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" where "he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within." Book cover.

His first book was "Tipping Point" where Gladwell "redefined how we understand the world around us."Book cover.

Our f2f group read "Salt" quite a while ago and really enjoyed it.

Mabel asks an interesting question about descendents of famous people.  One could make a hobby of 'googling' them.  And Babi  found a link to that info.  I must go see it. ::)


Happy Thanksgiving to all!! :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 25, 2009, 09:39:05 AM
 (http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



Babi,
That link is really fascinating.

 Mabel, don't miss it!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 25, 2009, 01:42:49 PM
Thank you Babi for that site and Harold for encouraging me to check it out. I looked at it briefly and will look at it in-depth after tomorrow. Today is cleaning day and tomrrow is cooking and eating day........yum, yum, yum........Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year and my favorite foods come to my table.

I'm very thankful for all who orginated the idea of, first, SeniorNet, and now, SeniorLearn and Seniors and Friends. I have had so many good moments and motivations from all the suggestions of all of you for reading, eating, movies, music, seeing your pictures, and just plain new information. I'm an addictive learner and all of these sites have fed my addiction.    :-* :-* :-*  to all the originators and all of you contributors. I'm thankful that you are here everyday.........................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 25, 2009, 02:34:52 PM
I will second that, Jean.  Hope your Thanksgiving is a very successful feast.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ALF43 on November 25, 2009, 02:57:55 PM
What a wonderful tribute to SeniorLearn Mabel.  We are all fortunate to have this site.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JimNT on November 27, 2009, 01:22:52 PM
Has anyone read What it Takes by Richard Ben Cramer?  This book traces the lives and presidential campaigns of six political aspirants; G H W Bush, R Gephart, M Dukakis, R Dole, G Hart and J Biden.  It's a bit dated, copywritten 1989, and why I allowed it to remain on my bookshelves unread these many years is an inexplicable mystery.  I'm not even sure why I bought it.  It qualifies as a tome and is a very readable page turner.  In my opinion, it confirms the notion that there is, in fact, a special class of people who recognize their purpose early on and shape their lives toward accomplishing this purpose.  This will sound naive to many, that no such class exists or everyone has known this from birth.  I would dearly love to hear some comments on either the book or the idea of "class".     
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 27, 2009, 01:47:26 PM
JimNT,
Your book sort of sounds like the one I recommended earlier.  Its entitled  "Outliers" by Gladwell.  Have you read it yet? The author confirms your book plus much more.  It is non-fiction. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JimNT on November 27, 2009, 01:52:16 PM
No, I haven't read Outliers but thanks you for the info.  Is it of recent vintage?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 27, 2009, 01:58:06 PM
Oh yes, JimNT, it is newly published and he has two others: "Blink" How we think without thinking and another "Tipping Point" which is about "How We Think About the World Around Us".  My f2f group has read and liked "Blink" and I have a friend who has also read and liked "Tipping Point".  Since I use the library a lot, I was glad to find that they have all three books.  Hope you find it to your liking.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 28, 2009, 01:00:26 AM
I read Tipping POint, must look for the other two and What It Takes.............ooooohhhh, the TBR list is much tooooooo long and the holidays are upon us with all the activity they entail.............Maybe i should hope for a really bad winter when i can only stay inside and read! ....................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 28, 2009, 10:40:35 AM
  Only if you can get your groceries delivered, JEAN.  :-\
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 28, 2009, 03:13:01 PM
When I was unexpectedly carless for a few days I had groceries delivered.  There were two negatives:  first, it cost $12 extra and two, it was so easy to impulse shop that I bought nonessentials, not only that but I'd order two of them!  It is a treat to have the van pull up and deliver things to your door.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 28, 2009, 03:30:11 PM
Mrssherlock,
I love your story about having your groceries delivered.  Just too funny! :D :D

Jean
I was obsessed with "Outliers" and read it twice just to make sure that I understood the author.  The guy spins a great yarn, doesn't he??  I can't wait to read "Blink".

After I get done with my first run-thru of "America's Prophet".There is a great deal of meaningful history in that book.  Lots of things that I was unaware of that pertain to American history.  Two of the chapters had me all misty eyed.   Its an eye opener too.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on November 29, 2009, 08:23:48 AM
 I guess I'm going to have to take a look at Gladwell.  Can't afford to
pass up a guy to can 'spin a great yarn'.   :)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on November 29, 2009, 08:57:54 AM
Well, maybe not a yarn but a thought provoking idea, Babi.  Try it, you might like it.  It is intriguing. ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JimNT on November 29, 2009, 01:43:13 PM
AdoAnnie:  Thanks for the response and book recs.  I've read The Tipping Point and will look into the other recs.  Incidentally, my college friend from the early sixties, William V. Muse, recently published his book titled The Seventh Muse about his growing up in Alabama and Mississippi.  I bought a copy and sent it to him for his autograph which he returned a couple days ago.  Haven't read it yet, however, as I'm deeply engrossed in What it Takes but I was pleased that Amazon lists it for sale.  Among other accomplishments, Bill was President of Auburn Univ, Dean of Bus School at Texas A&M, etcetra.  You might access Amazon and read his sole review.  Well, it's beginning to rain as a cold front is moving in.  Perfect for resuming my tome.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on November 29, 2009, 02:46:49 PM
HELLO ALL!  Am in rehab for awhile after a surgery, after a fall.  And very new to a laptop but I love it all so much that I will learn! 

I echo what JEAN said above about being thankful for this site, a place to discuss books and ideas with friends who love the same!  It fills the  hours pleasurably.

Am trying to read - slowly as I am doing everything these days!  The book -Eiffel's Tower, by Jill Jonnes, looks very good, historic about the tower and the Paris Exposition of 1888, I think!

Ella-in RehaB  (later, love reading your post)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on November 29, 2009, 02:55:52 PM
Ella, delighted to see you back on your laptop.  Good luck with your rehab!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on November 29, 2009, 03:05:08 PM
Hi Ella - welcome back to the non-fiction world..............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Jonathan on November 29, 2009, 04:42:27 PM
Ella, how good to hear from you. Your post sounds like you're in good spirits. And why not.  With a new laptop, and your books around you, you could make your rehab a memorable time for yourself and for us with many posts on what you're reading.

Jim, I'm looking around for a copy of  WHAT IT TAKES. I'm trying to imagine why you consider it a 'tragic mistake' (post 659), not having read it 20 years ago. How could it have made a difference in your life? Might you have been posting to us from the oval office? Or someone you helped put there?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on November 29, 2009, 11:01:00 PM
Ella, it warms my heart to see you back with us!  I am sorry you took a fall.  I hope that your recovery goes smoothly.  I have missed you.  Please take good care of yourself.

Love, Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on November 30, 2009, 12:03:55 AM
Ella:  I knew nothing could keep you down for long.  Welcome back. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JimNT on November 30, 2009, 09:48:30 AM
No, Ella.  I've overstated my dissappointment in my overlooking such a readable book about some interesting politicians.  The book is not a literary giant; simply, a gossipy fun read about some newsmakers I thought I knew.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on November 30, 2009, 09:48:51 PM
(http://www.christmasgifts.com/clipart/christmasholly7.jpg)
We're looking forward to seeing you at the

Holiday Open House (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?board=76.0)


December 1 - 20


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 01, 2009, 01:26:19 PM
THANK YOU ALL FOR THE WELCOME BACK!

This wondrous little computer is hard to handle at times.  It's a learning process. 

I keep doing things wrong, so..................... I will post this before I lose it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 01, 2009, 01:30:46 PM
I think we should all suggest a book about our political climate, recent presidents, and how the Internet is impacting it all.

How the Internet is influencing our lives and the WORLD!  

Don't you think the Internet has changed our lives?  

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 01, 2009, 01:35:14 PM
Gustave Eiffel was a fascinating fellow and the book about his Tower amazing  I highly recommend it.  I was in Paris for just one day several years ago (with our own Ginny) and I was disappointed in my reaction to this very famous landmark.  I had supposed I would be in such awe, but................

later, ella
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on December 01, 2009, 03:10:18 PM
Welcome back, Ella!

I've put Eiffel's book about the tower on my TBR list.  We were really impressed when we drove by by the tower at night when it was beautifully lit with blazing lights.  Amazing sight!  I can still picture it.

I liked Southern France best, especiall Provence.  We spent a week in Aix and loved it.  Drove all over looking at everything.  The people there were so nice.  I'd go back there in a minute.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on December 01, 2009, 03:59:40 PM
Am anxious to read those books by Gladwell.  I've been reading a lot of fiction (mysteries) and am ready for something different.  Don't post often but I enjoy this forum!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on December 01, 2009, 06:51:36 PM
someone tell me how you pronouce Aix................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 01, 2009, 07:00:32 PM
Bellmere,
Was it you in here looking for Tracy Kidder titles?? I have read three of his books and enjoyed each of them.  His first big one was entitled "The Soul of a New Machine" and then "House" and then "Hometown" plus I own two more which await me in my TBR pile.   One is "Among School Children".

Another book your friend might enjoy is "The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage" by Clifford Stoll. Captivating!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on December 01, 2009, 07:10:37 PM
I love "The Cuckoo's Egg"! All the technology it describes is now outdated, but it's still a fascinating real-life detective story.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on December 01, 2009, 08:57:36 PM
Jean, I believe its pronounced eks.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on December 01, 2009, 09:09:37 PM
I too read "The Cuckoo's Egg" some years ago and remember that I was fascinated.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 02, 2009, 05:56:31 AM
Marifay,
EKS?? What does that mean??  Never heard, even the author, pronounce EGGS as EKS??
Yes, the two computer oriented books are outdated but a kick to read.  House is about building your own house or doing your own contracting.  And Hometown is just what the title says.
I thought of another one as I went to sleep last night but it escapes me now.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on December 02, 2009, 08:40:31 AM
Not 'eggs', ANNIE.  MARJ was answering Jean's question about the
pronunciation of 'Aix'.  ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 02, 2009, 10:58:58 AM
HAHAHAHA!  I must pay better attention!![/size][/color]
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: evergreen on December 02, 2009, 02:24:59 PM
ELLA  In reply to your question:  Yes, the internet has totally changed how I spend my time.  And it continues to change.

Yesterday, I visited a friend who can now download the books on his Kindle to his television screen, and he reads the books in huge letters on his television.  Harumphhh.  I didn't even know we could do this.  His computer is hooked up to his TV screen, so he can do everything on his TV that he does on his computer........e-mail, reading newspapers and magazines, surfing. 

Just about the time I think I'm getting up to date, they throw in some new technology! LOL
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: evergreen on December 02, 2009, 02:32:55 PM
I am reading The First Tycoon:  the epic life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T. J. Stiles.  It recently won one the the National Book awards.

Am enjoying it very much.  Good writing.  Heavily footnoted.......really heavily footnoted (sigh).
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on December 02, 2009, 03:16:04 PM
Sigh is right. I vary a lot in how much I feel compelled to read footnotes. For one thing, they're always in tiny print. Sigh.

But I don't trust a book that doesn't have a lot of footnotes. Can't win for losing.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on December 02, 2009, 03:45:30 PM
C Vamderbilt was an interesting - some might say, nasty/mean - fellow, wasn't he? ...........probably two decades ago i read a hefty book that was about all the Vanderbilts, can't remember who wrote. The new one probably has even better info in it......................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: evergreen on December 02, 2009, 05:22:56 PM
 (http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it.  

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)


Jean It seems CV was a man of his times.  Many were mean/nasty, and NY harbor was a wild and wooly place.

One sidenote..some monopolies were legal (steam/paddleboat ferries), and it was one of CV's goals to break the monopoly.  And some of them used to pay CV not to compete with them. Interesting way to increase his income.

JoanK  I agree with your comments on footnotes. But (and don't tell anyone)  I'm not reading all of them anymore.  Otherwise, I'll never get through this 700+ page book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on December 02, 2009, 05:39:45 PM
Talk about a mean/nasty man - The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York - biography by Robert Caro.   After 600 pages I jumped to the final 100 of  the 1200+  to see him removed from power. 

Each January I start 3 or 4 nonfiction books that I want to read that lend themselves to being read and thought about in small doses.   I place them where I can pick them up and read them bit by bit over the year (i.e. kitchen table, bathroom, car etc) and then after Thanksgiving I do a major push to finish each one so I can start a new set January 1.  This year I read 600 pages of the Moses bio and have decided I had enough of his meanness. I understand what he did for and to New York City.  I also just finished the Frances Perkins bio, and  will finish The American Sphinx (Thomas Jefferson).  I also read several other non fiction this year but they were more the "I can't put them down" type. 

Now, I'm making my selections for next year from my TBR shelves.

Too many books - too little time.

Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on December 02, 2009, 08:45:21 PM
Cubfan, I'd love to know what you pick for this year.  We read the Frances Perkins with Ella's excellent leadership, and I bet you liked it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 03, 2009, 06:00:32 AM
When I was in the library yesterday looking for audio books for Ella, I almost chose a long one about Jay Gould who is said to have been the meanest of them all and to have been the cause of the 1869 bank failure and depression. But instead I got one that I know she didn't get to read before her accident.  "The Man Who Loved China".  That also looks quite good.
There is a new book out but not in our library,  "In The Shadow of My Father" by Chris Welles/????? who is Orson Welles daughter.  Guess I will have to look in our other library system to see if they have it.  I listened to an interview of her last week and the book sounds worth a looksee.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on December 03, 2009, 01:31:10 PM
I'm reading - as one of those pick-up-put-down books - Gail Collins "When Everything Changed." A history of women since 1960, altho she goes back a little further than '60 to give background. I've just read chapter six which is about the women in the civil rights movement. She does a lovely job of telling the real story of how the women were often more activist then the men whose names we know. I was aware that besides Rosa Parks' obvious refusal to give up her seat in Montgomery that there was a whole cadre of women who mobilized the boycott by immediately running off 35,000 flyers (imagine how blue their hands were from mimeo graph ink!...........remember those days?)     and distributing them to schools for the students to take to their parents the next day............wasn't that a smart organizing technique? What could have been a faster way to get out the word. Collins gives us a strong picture of the patriarchal actions of the men, particularly the male ministers. Rosa Parks was not allowed to speak at the mtg encouraging the boycotters......she was told she "had said enough." Only one woman was one the committee to organize the March on WAshington and only Josephine Baker was given a few minutes to speak. The men said "well, Marian Anderson is singing!"

What i didn't know was how many women in the southern states risked their lives and properties to house young people who came to register people to vote, housed people who had lost their lands, registered to vote themselves, had their homes attacked, etc. It's an inspiring chapter. I know there is a book titled Freedom's Dgts, but i can't remember the author..........i'll look for it...................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on December 03, 2009, 01:51:07 PM
Thank you, mabel1015j, for letting us know about that interesting book you're reading about the recent history of women. I'll look for WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED in my public library.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 04, 2009, 06:03:21 AM
Good ideas for books to read.  Plenty on my shelf here in the Rehab Center at the moment, but learning this llittle laptop takes time and I have precious minutes between the tough therapy for my broken ankle and all else one is required to do. 

I am still in Eiffel's Tower, which has now been built in 1888 in Paris - the world's tallest building.  Before that, the Washington Monument was the tallest; however it took 40 years to build whereas the Eiffel took two.  Fasciinating characters exhibited at the fair and the book goes into their lives - Gauguin, the Van Goughs, Whistler, Edison, and many more.  Unbelievable work on the Tower and there are great pictures.  Am enjoying it when I can read.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 04, 2009, 07:41:42 AM
Can't wait to put "When Everything Changed" on my TBR shelf.  Sound fascinating, Mabel.
And about your tag and women holding up half the sky??  Sometimes we hold up the whole sky while the men debate their responsibilities.   ;) ;)
We visited Ella yesterday and took her some audio books and paperbacks.  Hope she finds something there to enjoy!  She has a nice single room but says the outside world doesn't exist for most who are there.  So, we will visit her often and take her the chatty news from 'Downtown Gahanna"  :D
She seems to be doing well but knows this will take some time and lots of excercise and other therapies. 
I am getting ready to read "Blink" by Gladwell.
Also, I off to Cincy to visit with my sister, Mary, for the weekend.  She will be coming from Indianapolis and me from Columbus.  We always enjoy our brief respites together.
Have a great weekend!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on December 04, 2009, 08:13:15 AM
Quote
"Rosa Parks was not allowed to speak at the mtg encouraging the boycotters......she was told she "had said enough."

GRRR! Doesn't that just make you want to smack someone's smug, patronizing face, JEAN? I take satisfaction in knowing that Rosa Parks is still honored, and nobody knows who that guy was.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on December 04, 2009, 01:28:48 PM
AMEN, Babi.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on December 04, 2009, 01:29:41 PM
OK, it's not Non-Fiction, but you might enjoy this:

(http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/kim/kimcvrsm.jpg)
Coming Soon...KIM by Kipling ~ our January Book Club Online.
Let us know you'll be joining us in our discussion (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=997.msg49658#msg49658).
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on December 04, 2009, 01:41:19 PM
In preparation for leading "Kim" I got a book that was mentioned on SeniorNet a few years ago: Peter Hopkirk's "The Great Game--The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia".  It describes the British efforts to stave off Russia from the boundary of India.  Some of the spy work going on then is part of the story of "Kim".  SeniorNetters liked it; I'll report on it here after I read it.
Title: ow
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 05, 2009, 01:32:45 PM
PAT, can you give us a little background on the book discussion of KIM?  Russia, India, G.Britain in a struggle?  I can probably go to a site to find some information myself.  I know India was part of the British Empire and only got their independence after WWII. 

How and when did India become a colony of G.Britain?  What year about?  I always think some background helps to understand a novel, don't you?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on December 05, 2009, 05:31:16 PM
PatH, let me know how you liked Hopkirk's book. I still have it in one of my TBR piles (for at least 5 months). Maybe I will dig into it before we start on Kim. Good suggestion.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 07, 2009, 07:06:50 AM
Regarding another read concerning "Kim", I just finished "The Game" by Laurie King and it also pertains to India's occupation by GB plus Sherlock Homes search for Kim as an adult.  Yes, its fiction, but a fun read with lots of history concerning Russia, India and GB.  King does stick to truth when it comes to history but adds the hero's story to enhance the reading of history.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on December 07, 2009, 08:30:53 AM
 I'll be watching for "The Game", ANNIE.  I do like Laurie King, and I'm
interested in finding out what sort of future she imagined for Kim.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on December 07, 2009, 01:25:00 PM
Last night I watched an interview on C-Span between Brian Lamb and Gladwell (author of Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and one other which I can't recall).  Brian Lamb's program is called "Q & A" and is on every Sunday night.  It was an interesting interview.  Gladwell writes for the New York Magazine and said it might be years before he writes another book--maybe never.  Depends entirely on whether he wants/needs to try answering a particular idea/question relating to humans and our environment.  I must get to the library and check out one of his books.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 09, 2009, 01:00:05 PM
Jean,
Our f2f group was informed about Gladwell's interview with Rose.  His newest book is titled, "What the Dog Saw" and its on the NYT best seller list along with "Outliers".  I will be requesting that new book.
Everyone in our group, except Ella who is in hospital, was very entertained by "Outliers".  Now we have been handed the book, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  Were you in on the discussion that in here?  The book was historical fiction and there were a lot of online pictures and links about the island where it is set. You might enjoy it.  It should be in the Archives.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on December 09, 2009, 01:32:48 PM
I've put myself in a bind! While "just returning" books to the library yesterday, i glanced at the new book biographies - BIG mistake. I picked up Craig Fergueson's memoir American on Purpose - i just love CF - and I saw a bio about a woman i hadn't heard about before, Mary Austin....................do any of you from the West know of her? She was a writer in the early half of the 20th century, writing a lot about the West and Southwest. She apparently knew ALL the progressives of the time........having .lived in the artists' colony at Carmel and in Paris, at various times. I had not know of her, but she sounds interesting............................Since they are "new books" to the library, i only have 2 weeks to read them! Plus, i'm working on knitting a Christmas wall-hanging and I have Gail Collins' women's history book to read and to get back to my friend................Life is just a bowl of cheeries! and books and knitting! and a grandson is coming tomorrow afternoon, so most of that time will be occupied..........arrrgghhh - when it rains it pours..............O.K. that's enough cliches - on to reading and knitting......................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 10, 2009, 07:54:27 AM
You are a busy lady, Jean.  I may have something about Jane Austin in my book about women writers in the West.  I will look today oooooooooor tomorrow!
Knit away, I can hear the needles clicking!

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on December 10, 2009, 09:06:27 AM
Bear in mind, JEAN....IF it's in the library, you don't have to check
it out right now.  It will still be there after the Christmas rush is
over, and January is always a good month to spend indoors reading.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 10, 2009, 01:27:03 PM
Ahhhh, common sense prevails, right??
Jean,
I didn't find your author in my book but maybe you would enjoy it anyway.
Titled "The Women Who Made The West" by the the Western Writers of America, its a pleasure to read.  In it are short bios of women that most of us have never heard of.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on December 10, 2009, 03:06:57 PM
Annie: That was Mary Austin, not Jane. Don't know if that makes a difference.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 10, 2009, 06:06:45 PM
Yeah, I know, Joan, but I checked on both.  Neither was in the book that I recommended to Jean.  Thanks for your concern.
How's Torrance doing without my bright and cheerful self??
I did love the weather there.
Its 21 degrees out right now at 6:05pm and promises are that it will be single digit tomorrow.  Brrrrrr!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on December 10, 2009, 06:25:40 PM
Torrance is doing great! But there's a little hole, somewhere on Sepulveda with a sign "Annie was here!"
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 11, 2009, 06:10:16 AM
Hohoho!  That must be the pothole that talks on TV for an ad of something or other.  I think she is funny.  Have you seen her??
I forgot to let you all know that Ella's dr may send her home for awhile until her ankle is ready for weight on it and then he will re-admit her.  Her sister, Jeannie, will come from MA to be with her.  I think the dr decides on the 14th or the 21st of Dec. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on December 12, 2009, 12:34:33 AM
Ahh Babi, why didn't i think of that!?!  :P I'm so impulsive sometimes.....especially at the LIBRARY.......as i've told you all many times before............it's an addiction..........I probably will be able to renew the Austin book, i'm sure not MANY people will be on a waiting list for it  :D. The Ferguson book i am scurrying thru. It is pretty good, as w/ any good author who writes their own book, i can hear his voice as i read. The middle section did get a little monotonous as he relayed over and over again how many beers/scotch/cocaine he had before going on stage, or how it effected him. But of course he's making his point - he was an alcoholic and drug addict and it controlled him.................i've just gotten to the place where he has come out of rehab........should get more interesting now...........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: winsummm on December 12, 2009, 02:21:44 AM
hello. I read mostly fiction, but sometimes it is based upon what is really happening in the world and some of that reads like a novel. I've read a couple of the financial mess books that are like that one,  House of Cards, and the other which I'm still picking at FOOLS GOLD.  and then there is one on ROBATICS called WIRED FOR WAR which addresses the developement of robots especially in the military.  but  it's not the kind of thing I see here.
seeya all later
claire
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 12, 2009, 10:23:55 AM
Yes, we need to remember that the library has often got many copies and can get to us pretty quick, Jean.  I had to return America's Prophet, both my copy and Ella's but I am back on the request list so I hope to see it again in January.
ClaireHave you read any of the political books or opinion books that the talking heads are alway advertising??  I can't remember any titles at this time as I haven't had my morning tea.  But there look to be a plethora of them available.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 12, 2009, 02:04:04 PM
JEAN, WHAT A NICE BIND TO BE IN

Ann brought me a number of audio books to listen to and am enjoying the MAN WHO LOVED CHINA by Simon Winchester.  But how I miss my weekly visit to the library. 

I just might have to resort to an online bookseller and choose a good biography.  I finished the one about Eiffel of the Eiffel Tower.  He was in a terrible scandal before he died and almost was jailed but managed to eventually out live most of the great inventors and exhibitors of the Paris Exposition.  It was a good book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 12, 2009, 02:09:07 PM
ANN mentioned the pothole ad on TV, I think it's so funny, I love those voices.  I've watched more TV in this rehab facility than I have watched for 10 years at home.  MERCY!

I don't have any favorites except the news, I skip around; but they don't have BookTV on weekends, darn!

Love reading your posts - keep posting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on December 12, 2009, 02:11:53 PM
Gee, Ella - in our system, BookTV is on ONLY on weekends.  I wish it were during the week. :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on December 13, 2009, 11:04:06 PM
Same here Mary.....booktv only on week-ends..............

HI  ELLA...........GLAD TO SEE YOU POSTING AGAIN..... How are you feeling?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 14, 2009, 02:39:07 PM
Better every day, JEAN.  Thanks for asking.  It's my darn foot that is broken and taking time to heal.  Time, time.....................

My daughter went to the Libray and brought some books; among them a biography of Bonnie and Clyde.  Goodness, the poverty of his home llife, which certainly reinforces the fact that poverty breeds crime.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on December 29, 2009, 02:40:12 PM
Since I rarely read anything other than fiction I drop in here on occasion to see what's what and to share when I find something I like which has  Dewey Decimal Number on the spine instead of the author's surname.  Mostly it is science or technology.  The one I'm reading now, The Cuckoo's Egg (by Cliff Stoll), is a who dunnit about the early days of the internet and computer hacking, the bad kind, the breading and entering hacking, not the creative hacking where  someone devises a new use for old software.  Cliff is an astronomer at Lawrence Berkeley Lab who is transfered to the computer department when his grant runs out.  He's handed  problem the first day: there is an unidentified charge of 75 cents and he must track it down to its source to balance the books.  He tries to track this glitch and the quest leaves him unsatisfied as he learns that someone is able to bypass  what we now call firewalls and traipse through the files of computer systems such as NSA, CIA, White Sands Missile Range, etc., etc.  This takes place in historical times, 1985, when the internet had maybe 100,000 users.  Although there's lots of explanations about computer systems on the administrator level, I find myself captivated.  I may not understand what he's writing but he makes it interesting.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cuckoo%27s_Egg_(book)

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on December 29, 2009, 11:36:23 PM
I enjoyed The Cuckoo's Egg too, mrssherlock. Thanks for mentioning it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on December 30, 2009, 10:06:04 AM
Yes, "The Cuckoo's Egg" was a delight and eye opener to read.  I wonder if Stoll has another book out?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on December 30, 2009, 09:21:59 PM
I have "The Cuckoo's Egg" and have read it several times. I have also seen the TV program based on it (done by PBS, I think). Cliff is as wacky and charming on TV as in the book.

In the book, he talks about the time a college computer-hacker accidently shut down allmost all computer systems. I remember it well -- I was working on one of the systems that got shut down.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on December 31, 2009, 10:38:38 AM
There are three books reserved at my Library:  one about Bernie Madoff (need I tell anyone who he is?);  a biography of Ayn Rand by Ann C. Heller (featured in my paper); and a Clarence Darrow book, which my sister wants to read.  As I am housebound and in a wheelchair for the time being, I am hoping that the Library will get them to my branch for pickup on Saturday as a home health aide is coming then to help us (my sister who is staying with me until I can walk).  Neither my 84 year old sister or myself ever expected to be in this position or this age, for that matter.  Life can be very interesting, can it not?

So what are you reading over the holidays?  DO TELL!

AND HAVE A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Any New Year's resolutions floating around?  Any that you expect to keep?

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on December 31, 2009, 01:15:59 PM
in parallel with reading Kipling's  Kim which we will begin discussing tomorrow, I've been reading about the Great Game, the confrontation between Russia and Britain over the frontier which includes Afghanistan, Tibet, the Punjab.  Alternating between two books, Hopkirk's The Great Game and Maer's Tournament of Shadows.  As I'm reading I'm wondering what they study in the war college and West Point about Afghanistan.  While there is incredible prejudice on the part of the Brits, Afghan politics is like a Hydra, multiplied many time over. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on December 31, 2009, 02:32:10 PM
 (http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



I have been on the library list FOREVER for Shanghai Girls and was notified today that my name
has made it to the top.  I will pick it up after New Years Day. Oops.just realized this might have
been put in Fiction.  Sorry-----
JOY
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on December 31, 2009, 04:12:47 PM
I am also reading Hopkirk's The Great Game and finding it quite interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: nlhome on December 31, 2009, 06:49:25 PM
I got a copy of You Have Seen Their Faces from our library. It's an old book, practically falling apart. My children have found it interesting to look at - they were born long after the 60's Civil Rights movement, so the comments really caught their attention.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on December 31, 2009, 07:23:21 PM
ELLA: glad you're up to reading again. Keep us up to date on how your rehab is going.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 01, 2010, 10:46:10 AM
JACKIE, can you tell us a little about Britain's prejudice against Afghanistan, that you mentioned in a prior post.  I am very ignorant of the history of that country other than Russia lost a war there.  What was Russia attempting to do?  Colonize the country, what?  And isn't it amazing that those guerillas from the mountains could fight a powerful enemy such as Russia and win?  What did we learn from that?

Your question about what West Point students are learning is a good one.

Several of you have mentioned THE GREAT GAME.  I am sorry I couldn't get the book and read it before the discussion of KIM, and even sorrier that I was in rehab as the result of a broken ankle and surgery, OH, DEAR!

But the discussion of KIM starts today, so I will see some of you there, ALL OF YOU THERE!
'
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on January 01, 2010, 02:36:25 PM
Ella:  Mayer, in Tournament of Shadows, points out that Britain's possession of India meant that there was a long, precarious supply chain of men and materials to maintain.  Russia's Tsars had been expanding for the preceding fourcenturies at a pace of 55 miles per day or 20,000 miles per year.  (Emphasis mine.)  Literally a game of King of the Hill whose playing field was the majestic Himalayas.  It doesn't take much imagination to understand the attitude of the Raj towards their obviously (in their eyes) inferior lackeys.  This polyglot society had developed subtle protocols of interaction that completely confounded the arrogant and unaware White Men. There were enough attrocities on each side in the conflicts which erupted to keep the flames fanned.  Reading Hopkirk's The Great Game and Mayer in tandem can be emotionally draining but at the same time it is fascinating and compelling.  These are the major elements and completely overshadow the onset of iorganized intelligence gathering which is the theme of Kim but it helps me to understand the political and geographic context before focusing on the human components.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on January 01, 2010, 03:03:03 PM
JACKIE: that's so interesting. Could you post it in "Kim"?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 02, 2010, 09:58:29 AM
 I don't know a great deal about Afghanistan, ELLA, but I do know the
Afghans have a reputation as extremely fierce fighters.  They have been
embroiled in fighting for one reason or another for generations, and boys
begin training as warriors at a very young age.
  Add to that the fact that Afghanistan is an exremely mountainous country and the Afghans know it intimately.  There is no space for the
conventional field battles; guerrilla warfare predominates. Invasion there
is not a really good idea.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on January 02, 2010, 12:16:40 PM
Quote
Invasion there is not a really good idea.

And yet,Babi, there is always some idiotic bunch or another that does.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 02, 2010, 09:30:44 PM
I believe that I mentioned this earlier but since Ella wasn't here, I will reiterate.  The title, "The Game" by Laurie King takes place in the time of Kim and then later.  Its fictional and its detective is Sherlock Holmes but Kim is there and all of the policital and warring parties.  Very good book with much historical involved there plus a nice mystery inside.   It gives a good background on Kim and on the warring parties plus their fears of each other.
Look at "A Thousand Splendid Suns" which covers not only the Russian occupation of Afghanistan but tells much about the mindset of the Afghanistans concerning being occupied year after year after year.  Then add to the mix, the Muslimness!  Mind boggling!  The women accept abuse as though that's just the way it is!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 03, 2010, 09:00:56 AM
Alas, FRYBABE, so true!  :(

 Thanks for the mention of the Laurie King book, ANNIE.  I like that series,
and it would be interesting to read it in conjunction with the Kim discussion. (Have to keep them separated mentally, tho'.  :-\)  Now
to see if my library has it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 03, 2010, 11:41:30 AM
Sounds like a book I would enjoy, ANN, bring it over when you can.  AS you know, I can't get to the library.

there is always some idiotic bunch or another that does. -   we hear you!!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 08, 2010, 12:43:02 PM
GOSH, it's been a long time since anyone posted a book here.  I KNOW SOME OF YOU ARE READING SOMETHING GOOD, PLEASE LET US KNOW!

My book club at our senior center is reading THE MEASURE OF A MAN by Sidney Poitier.

Has anyone read it?  I would love another opinion.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 08, 2010, 12:59:04 PM
Hey, Ella.  I will send you a comment on the book as soon as I take a quick perusal.

Ralph and I have just read "Fly By Wire" by Wm Langewiesche.  Its a super little book about the landing on the Hudson by Sully and his crew.  Very good book. This author has tackled many other flying topics.  We are going to see how they read later at the library.
The author's father was also a good writer and he was well known for his books about flying.  One of his first was about learning how to fly and was entitled "Stick & Rudder" which came out in 1944. Its in its 44th printing as of this year.  We have a copy of it.  Our grandson has it and I want to see when it was published.  Maybe its one of the first.  Ralph's Dad was on of the first pilots in Ohio and he purchased the book.
Ralph also finished "Highest Duty" which is also about Sullenberger and how he feels that he grew up to land that plane on the Hudson.  Interesting story!!

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on January 08, 2010, 01:44:27 PM
This one is a novel about a real person, by the author of The Girl with the Pearl Earring.  Tracy Chevalier takes us back to the early 19th century when Mary Anning discovers the fossils of Remarkable Creatures in the cliffs near her home on the English Coast.  This is many years in advance of Darwin's cruise on the Beagle, let alone his publication of The Origin of the Species.  Anning's discoveries  astound scientists.  Read more about her here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Anning
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on January 08, 2010, 08:13:24 PM
JACKIE: did I understand that the woman was eal, but this is a fictionalized account? Obviously, the girl with the pearl earring was real, too, although I don't remember if we know anything about her. I was disappointed in Earring. but this one sounds very interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 09, 2010, 11:49:16 AM
ELLA, I have wanted to read "The Measure of a Man", but it was published
years ago and my library doesn't have it.  I may have to go on-line into
used books and buy it. What do you say? Is it worth adding to my permanent library?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 09, 2010, 12:11:43 PM
Babi,
"The Measure of a Man" is a 2000 book.  Not so long ago.  Ella and I are discussing whether its worth one's time as Ella says,  "its very preachy."  And contains no new info concerning the life of Poitier and what he saw growing up.  We all saw it or heard it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on January 09, 2010, 12:59:51 PM
Joan:  Yes, it is a novel about real people and real events.  Since I eagerly watch and read any news about paleontology, this one is quite enticing.  Also, women who follow their own interests, in spite of the expectations of their peers, attract my interest.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on January 09, 2010, 01:14:53 PM
Recently finished From Rage to Reason:my life in two Americas by Janet Langhart Cohen. If you live in the Chicago/Boston/NY areas, you may remember her on tv in the 60/70/80's. I heard of her when her husband Bill Cohen became Sec of Defense under Bill Clinton. They were the first prominent interracial couple in the country other than performers.

For those of you who have read "The Help," this gives a real person account of about the same time. Even tho Janet grew up in Indiana, she had some of the same experiences as the "maids" in The Help. But it's also interesting because of the people she encountered thruout her life: MLKing, Marian Andersen, Muhummad Ali, Colin Powell, HIllary Clinton, etc. A driven, independent woman. ................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 09, 2010, 06:39:25 PM
Oh, how nice it is to come in here and read suggestions about books and what you thought of them. 

As I can't get to a library at the present time, I need suggestions.  On BookTV today, interestingly, there was an hour program on two new books out concerning FDR.  The subject of his administration and the New Deal is an unending subject for authors.  One of the books, by Adam Cohen, entitled NOTHING TO FEAR: HIS INNER CIRCLE, is about 5 of his close advisors, three of whom stuck by him until the end. 

One of them was FRANCES PERKINS, and I could swear the author took his material about the woman from Kirsten Downey's book which we discussed here on SeniorLearn not too long ago. 

The author must have written quite a bit about her accomplishments which, of course, included the minimum wage, unemployment compensation, social security, etc.  as he mentioned her in the course of the conversation for quite a long time.

The other book by Julie Fenster concerns Louis Howe and is titled FDR'S SHADOW.  Anyone familiar with FDR would know of this man who is directly responsible for FDR's presidency.  He wrote a few of his speeches and is the author of the line "We Have nothing to fear but fear itself."  I didn't know that, never thought of the author of the line actually.

Keep your suggestions coming.  I have reserved a number of books at the library which my home health aide will pick up for me next week.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 10, 2010, 09:21:11 AM
Quote
We all saw it or heard it.

  Actually, ANNIE, since I've never been one to consider a celebrity's
private life any of my business, I know virtually nothing about Poitier
other than that he is an excellent actor and has the reputation of a fine
man.
  I've never really understood the interest in who marries whom, or is
sleeping with, or has checked into rehab.  If the papparazzi had to depend on my interest, they'd all have to find other work.  :P

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on January 10, 2010, 03:01:34 PM
Babi:  If only that could come true.  When I'm standi ng in the checkout line and see the covers of the tabloids I feel dirty and then shamed that I stooped to looking.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on January 10, 2010, 04:48:32 PM
I'm with you Babi.

MrsSherlock, in all the years I've stood in line at the checkout, I don't believe I have ever actually seen anyone buy a tabloid.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on January 10, 2010, 05:29:29 PM
FRYBABE: "in all the years I've stood in line at the checkout, I don't believe I have ever actually seen anyone buy a tabloid." good point. Someone must buy them, or they wouldn't still be around. Perhaps people sneak in at odd deserted hours so their neighbors won't see them buying. Maybe there are even "Tabloids Anonomous" groups out there, as people fight to control this habit. Or maybe their are "friends of tabloids" groups, where people meet and compare the latest juicy bits. Or maybe it's a solitary sin, like solitary drunkenness. But somewhere, somehow, people must be reading them.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on January 10, 2010, 06:24:12 PM
What was it  T barnum said about the ibtelligence of the Americans?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 10, 2010, 09:32:14 PM
To be fair to Poitier's book, and to try to explain what Ann meant by "we all saw and heard it" the actor writes of the segregated south and his experiences in his youth, the Civil Rights Movement, etc. etc.  Nothing that one of a certain age has not "heard or seen."

As most of us know, he is credited with "breaking the color barrier" when he won an Oscar for his role in the film LILLIES OF THE FIELD in 1963.  And, no doubt, has been a role model for other young black actors.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 11, 2010, 07:43:46 AM
I'm with you, Babi.  Its hard enough keeping up with neighbors!  Tee hee!  This book is more a history of Poitier's life of being black and trying to get into Hollywood successfully and the desegregation of the country plus his many awards for his movies.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 11, 2010, 09:44:20 AM
 Unfortunately, FRYBABE, I have. What's worse, they look at some
outrageously silly cover story, complete with photo 'proof', and
actually believe it!
   JACKIE, I assume you're thinking of "You can fool
all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time,
but you can't fool all the people all the time."  Which no doubt is the
key to making our survival possible.  ;)

 Ah, yes, ELLA and ANNIE. I see what you're saying now. Heaven knows we've all been right in the middle of those times.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on January 11, 2010, 01:11:10 PM
Babi:  I misspoke, it was H L Mencken who said it:
Quote
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on January 11, 2010, 02:59:06 PM
Mrssherlock, you were probably thinking of "There's a sucker born every minute." which was attributed to P.T. Barnum. According to several sources though, he didn't say it a rival of his did.  Well that was news to me. See link:

http://www.historybuff.com/library/refbarnum.html
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on January 11, 2010, 04:00:40 PM
Fry:  What a hoot!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on January 11, 2010, 08:08:17 PM
That's incredible. I had seen mentions of the Cardiff Giant, but never knew what it was. I wonder if Hull was prosecuted.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 12, 2010, 08:24:54 AM
Ah, the lengths to which some people will go to perpetrate a hoax,
especially if it illustrates the ignorance of some other party.   8)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 12, 2010, 06:07:56 PM
Speaking of hoaxes, BABI, I just got the book BETRAYAL about Bernie Madoff.  INCREDIBLE, that the man was able to perpetrate his scheme for so many years and to defraud all those people!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on January 12, 2010, 08:10:04 PM
Madoff was instrumental in the development of the NASDQ. Maybe that lent credence to his claims.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 13, 2010, 07:36:29 AM
Jackie,
I didn't know Madoff was involved in the founding of NASDAQ but I seem to remember that it is the only stock exchange that was founded to run on the promise of no debts??  Is that right?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 13, 2010, 10:43:04 AM
A paragraph from Wikipedia on the history of NASDAQ"

"When the NASDAQ stock exchange began trading on February 8, 1971, the NASDAQ was the world's first electronic stock market. At first, it was merely a computer bulletin board system and did not actually connect buyers and sellers. The NASDAQ helped lower the spread (the difference between the bid price and the ask price of the stock) but somewhat paradoxically was unpopular among brokerages because they made much of their money on the spread.

NASDAQ was the successor to the over-the-counter (OTC) and the "Curb Exchange" systems of trading. As late as 1987, the NASDAQ exchange was still commonly referred to as the OTC in media and also in the monthly Stock Guides issued by Standard & Poor's Corporation."


An over-the-counter penny stock trade market. 

Madoff did have a license qualifying him as a stockbroker; also he passed the exam to not just to work for a brokerage firm, but to run one.

Apparently, he couldn't make enough money the legitimate way????

The Jewish connection!  Had he not had that connection, he could not been so successful in his POnzi scheme.

Does anyone remember having a KAY WINDSOR DRESS?

Apparently Carl Shapiro, a billionnaire and one of the earliest investors in Madoff's funds, made his money from the Kay Windsor dresses in the '50's and 60's.

http://www.shapirofamilyfdn.org/matriarch/MultiPiecePage.asp_Q_PageID_E_1_A_PageName_E_AboutTheFoundation





Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 13, 2010, 11:19:28 AM
Madoff Securities leased the 17th, 18th and 19th floors of this building (dubbed the Lipstick Building for its shape).  A lovely building isn't it?

http://www.hines.com/property/detail.aspx?id=249

"Not surprisingly, a large number of the company's 150 employees worked for Madoff Securities for years....The employees grew up together, spent time with each other outside work, knew each other's wives and kids, lived through one another's weddings, divorces, and illnesses.  It was the kind of company you knew you could work at for the rest of your life.  No one ever got laid off.  It was like a government job.  You knew you could work here forever."

Isn't that an interesting paragraph?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 13, 2010, 07:59:48 PM
Interesting article and I like the "lipstick building".  Something that Wright might design??  Maybe, maybe not!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 20, 2010, 09:35:18 AM
 (http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



What a subject FDR is and has been for authors and it continues!  Not long ago we finished a month-long discussion of his Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, and now I have just read a very good book about Louis Howe, his life, his genius for strategic pollitical thinking; credited with putting FDR in the White House for which he has received little acclaim over the years.  Anyone who has read of FDR has seen his name in print, but to read of his life was very interesting. 

The author was Julie Fenster, who has written a book titled THE CASE OF ABRAHAN LINCOLN, which I think I will get at the library.  Another endless subject for authors.

Whatcha' all reading?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 23, 2010, 02:48:07 PM
Babi,
On finishing Poitier's book, I changed my opinion of this book.  I found him trying to maintain the moral lessons and wonderful upbringing that he had on Cat Island plus let us know his parents and their decision to send him to Nassau and then up to NYC.  He feels that this is the story of his spiritual journey thru life.  My mom always quoted Shakespeare's line to us as we grew up:  "To thy own self, be true."  I feel that this man was trying to do just that.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 24, 2010, 08:44:45 AM
 Thank you, ANNIE.  That has always been my impression of the manl
I'm glad to hear that has come through in the book. I will search for a
copy of "Stand As A Man".
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 24, 2010, 10:55:07 AM
Babi
The title is "The Measure of a Man".  I think you will enjoy it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 25, 2010, 09:37:35 AM
Oh, thanks, ANNIE.  I'd have had a hard time finding it under the wrong
title, wouldn't I.  ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction; My Recent Nonfiction Reading
Post by: HaroldArnold on January 25, 2010, 05:19:30 PM
Does anyone here read E books?  I have never been keen about reading from a computer screen.  I have frequently printed hard copies of 20 to 30 pages Adobe Reader reports that I frequently receive by E-mail from my broker to avoid reading them from the screne. None the less Books for reading on-line have been available for purchase from both Amazon.com and the B&N on line book store.  Now there will soon be another on-line bookstore resulting from today’s announcement by Apple of the soon to be Apple’s I-Bookstore and I-Pad Tablet.  Actually the I-Pad Tablet will do much more than just read books purchased from the I-Bookstore.  (See the 10 things to do with my Apple I pad link below)  The cost of the 10in screen instrument begins at $499.  Click the following links for more information on this new Apple product
Apple Launches iPad Tablet, iBooks Bookstore    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358480,00.asp
10 things to do with my Apple I pad   http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358187,00.asp

Yesterday I downloaded the B&N reader available free from B&N from http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks/index.asp .  You can download the reader for your I-Phone, Blackberry, Dos PC or Mac PC.  I downloaded it for my Dos PC.  Included were three free books Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and a Merriam Webster Pocket Dictionary.  I found reading from the books on my 22” Monitor using my single vision computer glasses easier than I had thought it would be.  Also the software allows the user to easily highlight key sentences or paragraphs for future study.  I just might try an E-book read of my next Seniorlearn discussion.  I don’t think I would find reading a book from the little I-Phone or Blackberry screens either practable or enjoyable.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on January 25, 2010, 07:13:14 PM
Thanks for the synopsis, Harold. I vaguely remember reading an article, years ago, that sounds very much like this expedition.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 26, 2010, 08:29:16 AM
That's fascinating, HAROLD. As a Texan, you would think I knew about the French expedition to the Texas Coast. I don't remember that from my Texas history schoolbooks.  I have always associated the French explorations with Louisiana and the Mississippi. I suppose Fort Louis had to brief a life to get much attention in the history books. Sadly, the
Karankawas did not survive European settlement.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 26, 2010, 08:35:58 AM
I have just watched a program about Winston Churchill and a new book about him.  The title escapes me but the author said that Churchill main talents were his writings plus his painting.  He was a born writer and much the interview took place in his library where the first book that he wrote is ensconced in a place of honor.  This might be something that the non fiction DL's would be interested in for this spring.  Looking up the title, I found, :
"Churchill" by Paul Johnson, only 192 pages..  I think I will try for a library copy and see what its all about.
If anyone is interested, here's a link to Churchill's writings:
http://www.churchillbooks.com/guide.cfm

I did not know that Churchill wrote a novel,too.  "Savorala" circa 1900.

I was lucky enough to tour where he was born while in England and there found a room dedicated to his letters to his parents from his boarding school.  He was nine years old and already writing prolifically!  Amazing to read and I was so engrossed by his words that I almost missed the bus to return to our hotel.  Our day was dedicated to Churchill so we toured the cemetery where he was interned before touring the mansion where he was born.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 26, 2010, 08:53:11 AM
Just a small addition here.  When I searched for this book at my library and found it, there was already a waiting line of 3 people.  And there are nine copies at the library. Maybe the fact that it is short, I can look forward to reading it in February.  Well, that won't do as we are discussing "America's Prophet" starting on Monday.  Well, do join us then.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction: Wionston Churchill
Post by: HaroldArnold on January 26, 2010, 09:42:32 AM
I remember Winston Churchill particularly from his WW II speeches.  He was the last of the old school orators.  Yet his speeches were always concise and to the point delivered in a clear well articulated voice that blended well with the occasional burst of static coming from my shortwave radio on which I sometimes first hear them.  One of his biographies would make a good discussion..    
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 26, 2010, 11:43:57 AM
Well, there we have it!

Several nonfiction books to look up at the library.  Churchill and what a subject he is!  We have, no doubt, discussed WWII in length in other books, but not on Churchill's life.  And Clementine, I wonder if there is a book about her life?  Did they have a happy marriage? 

The French and the Spanish in Texas, HAROLD!  And the LaSalle book sounds great!  I must look it up in the Library when I get there. 

Do you have a copy Harold?  Do you think it would make a good discussion? 

I was just reading in TIME about the Spanish and the French in Haiti.  The Spanish held the island utnil 1697 when they ceded it to France.  It wasn't until 1804 that Haiti became independent; although the U.S. under Woodrow Wilson tried to unite the forces in Haiti (1915-1934)

Those early French and Spanish explorers attempted to gain land everywhere.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 26, 2010, 12:33:53 PM
I've heard this is a very good book.  Has anyone read it?

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Lone-Survivor/Marcus-Luttrell/e/9780316007559/?itm=1&USRI=lone+survivor
Title: Re: Non-Fiction-Churchil in the U.S.
Post by: HaroldArnold on January 26, 2010, 04:27:20 PM
I must mention than one of our North San Antonio local high schools built in the 1960's is named after Winston Churchill.  He was well liked in the United States and I am sure other local schools etc carry his name today.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 27, 2010, 06:34:39 AM
Even if we don't discuss "Lone Survivor", I would think it most interesting.  The synopsis is well done.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on January 27, 2010, 11:24:39 AM
Ella in Message #811 wrote:

> I was just reading in TIME about the Spanish and the French in Haiti.  The Spanish held the island until 1697 when they    ceded it to France.  It wasn't until 1804 that Haiti became independent; although the U.S. under Woodrow Wilson tried to unite the forces in Haiti (1915-1934)


In September 1684 the La Salle Expedition made its first new world land fall on Hispaniola (Saint Dominguez).  At that time the island was already French.   Today the country of Haiti shares this island with the Dominican Republic (See map at http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/caribbean/haiti/  ).  At that time there was a French colonial administration but it was very weak and assorted pirates pretty well controlled the eastern part of the Island.    One of La Salle’s 4 ships had been separated from the fleet.  As it approached the Haitian port, it was captured by pirates and lost.  The Spanish got their first information on the pending French colony a few months later from prisoners capture after a pirate raid on the coast of Mexico.
 
At the time health condition on the Island were deplorable.  Many of French crew and would be settlers became ill with various diseases; many died.  La Salle came down with a fever and for many days lingered on the verge of death.  He recovered but the illness may have been a factor effecting his later decisions.  The effect of other linger diseases such as syphilis most certainly affected the ability of the colonists to function in the wilderness environment.  The fleet departed Haiti heading North on Nov 30, 1684
Title: Re: Non-Fiction-E-Book Reading on line
Post by: HaroldArnold on January 27, 2010, 04:40:17 PM
Does anyone here read E books?  I have never been keen about reading from a computer screen.  I have frequently printed hard copies of 20 to 30 pages Adobe Reader reports that I frequently receive by E-mail from my broker to avoid reading them from the screne. None the less Books for reading on-line have been available for purchase from both Amazon.com and the B&N on line book store.  Now there will soon be another on-line bookstore resulting from today’s announcement by Apple of the soon to be Apple’s I-Bookstore and I-Pad Tablet.  Actually the I-Pad Tablet will do much more than just read books purchased from the I-Bookstore.  (See the 10 things to do with my Apple I pad link below)  The cost of the 10in screen instrument begins at $499.  Click the following links for more information on this new Apple product
Apple Launches iPad Tablet, iBooks Bookstore    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358480,00.asp     
10 things to do with my Apple I pad   http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358187,00.asp

Yesterday I downloaded the B&N reader available free from B&N from http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks/index.asp.  You can download the reader for your I-Phone, Blackberry, Dos PC or Mac PC.  I downloaded it for my Dos PC.  Included were three free books Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and a Merriam Webster Pocket Dictionary.  I found reading from the books on my 22” Monitor using my single vision computer glasses easier than I had thought it would be.  Also the software allows the user to easily highlight key sentences or paragraphs for future study.  I just might try an E-book read of my next Seniorlearn discussion.  I don’t think I would find reading a book from the little I-Phone or Blackberry screens either practical or enjoyable.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 27, 2010, 06:13:25 PM
HAROLD, my daughter has a Kindle which she uses when she travels; easier to pack than 2-3 books.  I have looked at it and although it would be easier to read in bed (which I do), still I prefer the printed page.  She tells me that many books are free but they are ones that most of us have read before, etc., etc.

What you are saying (????) and what I read from that site you posted from B&N is that one can read a book from your computer screen? 

Is that correct?  What do you pay for the privilege of reading a book of your choice? 

I don't think I want to sit in front of my computer screen to read a book if that is what is offered?

I did get the book LONE SURVIVOR at the library, but my daughter stopped in and took it right away - she promises to bring it back.  It does look good, ANN.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 27, 2010, 06:16:04 PM
HAROLD AND OTHERS?

I am looking for a good book on China, yesterday and today, tomorrow?

I brought home one from the library, but it is more like a textbook.

Don't you think it would make an excellent subject to discuss, explore?  Need I say how much the country is topical?

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on January 27, 2010, 06:59:26 PM
Ella, I would recommend "China Road" by Rob Gifford.  Here's a link to NPR that says something about it.  We loved it - and learned a lot.  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10474172

Harold, I have a Kindle and love it.  My prime reason for getting it is that it allows me to read larger books without the weight.  My hands just won't let me hold regular books comfortably.  There are a number of others on SeniorLearn who have Kindles, too.  I don't know if anybody has one of the other e-readers.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 27, 2010, 08:42:46 PM
I agree with MaryZ that CHINA ROAD by Bob Gifford is a great read, one of my best of 2009.  Gifford, a PBS Correspondent, decided to travel on China's new highway from Shanhai, 3000 miles across China, along their old Silk Road, and through the Gobi Desert, to the border of one of the "-stan" countries.  He speaks good Chinese, and talked with people in all the towns where he stopped, and told some of the history of the different areas.  Very interesting to hear the people's comments on their country.  Some of the Muslim/Chinese people in the west and the Tibetan people are sad to see their way of life gradually disappearing, as their children are being taught the Chinese language and culture.  Fascinating book.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 27, 2010, 09:02:44 PM
Ella, a couple of other books on China on my TBR list that look interesting to me and have gotten very good reviews:

RIVER TOWN; TWO YEARS ON THE YANGTZE by Peter Hessler

ORACLE BONES; A JOURNEY BETWEEN CHINA'S PAST AND PRESENT by
Peter Hessler

POSTCARDS FROM TOMORROW SQUARE; REPORTS FROM CHINA by James M. Fallows

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on January 28, 2010, 01:19:26 AM
Going back to Haiti for a minute.. there is a book
named Toussaint of Haiti which looks very interesting.  It is about Toussaint L'Ouverture.  It is available at Amazon and is available on Kindle.

Joan Grimes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Emily on January 28, 2010, 11:22:39 PM
The library in the small town near me has e-book and audio-book for download on the computer or other devices. It is called R.E.A.D.S. (Regional Ebook & Audiobook Download System).

Each ebook can be downloaded for fourteen days, and fifteen items can be selected at one time.

All the local libraries have the ebook and audiobook available for download to one's computer or other device in this area which is rural with small towns. Since I regularly order books from other libraries, this will mean, 'no waiting'.

I prefer a book in my hands, and do not read too much online, but the audiobooks on the small netbook by the bed is a winner.

The R.E.A.D.S. program has been available for a few months, and when I went in to pick up a book I had ordered recently, I saw their brochure and the rest is history.

Check your local library, the speed of technology changing daily is amazing.

Emily
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: winsummm on January 29, 2010, 01:12:35 AM
THE CUKOOES EGG  me too.  it seems a long time ago though. the cyber world has grown since.
Claire
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on January 29, 2010, 08:21:03 AM
Ella,
Didn't I bring you a audio book titled "The Man Who Loved China"?  Did you get a chance to listen to it?  

The Cuckoo's Egg was just a really good book.  There is another old book about computers titled "The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder.   I read that one in 1982, I think.  Was hooked immediately.

I watched Stephen Jobs present his "magical" new iPad.  Its got everything but a camera.  Sort of a combination of an iPhone and the iPod plus many other things.  Amazing!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: winsummm on January 29, 2010, 02:32:13 PM
the ipod is really redundant. my sansum celll phone which came at a huge discount from my provider has all that and a camera as well. no touch screen but I like to feel the buttons and can text ffast as needed. upgrade HELL as I think of it.  I do love this new cyber world as a setting for thrillers and mysteries.

claire
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 29, 2010, 06:00:17 PM
Thanks, Adoannie, for the link to the Chartwell Book Store's list of Churchill's books.  I can remember hearing him speak -- such a wonderful speaker.

Ella, I found a biography of Churchill's wife in my library:  MY DARLING CLEMENTINE; THE STORY OF LADY CHURCHILL by Jack Fishman (481 pp, 1963).  I have not read it.

There is a book about Churchill I've had on my TBR list for some time that sounds interesting:  TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN; THE REBELS WHO BROUGHT CHURCHILL TO POWER AND HELPED SAVE ENGLAND by Lynn Olson (448 pp, 2007)

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 30, 2010, 09:32:01 AM
THANK YOU ALL FOR THOSE SUGGESTIONS.  Now to get to the library.  I reserved Oracle Bones and Troublesome Young Men (2007).  The first paragraph of the Churchill book reads as follows:

"They were schooled at Eton and Harrow, Cambridge and Oxford. They lived in Belgravia and Mayfair and spent their weekends at sprawling country houses in Kent, Sussex, and Oxfordshire. They were part of the small, clubby network that dominated English society. And now, in May 1940, these Tory members of Parliament were doing the unthinkable: trying to topple Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, the leader of their own party, from power."

Meanwhile I just finished a wonderful book titled THE BOOKSELLER OF KABUL by Anne Seierstad, a book that has been translated into 13 languages.  It is the story of one family in Afghanistan and after reading it, one wonders how the country can ever be brought into the 21st century.  They seem to be stuck in the 18th!  

A few unexpected insights in the book:

"The Russian troops withdrew in 1989.  A few months later the Berlin Wall fell, an event for which Rabbani (ex president of the country) takes credit, in addition to the breakup of the Soviet Union.  Had it not been for jihad, the whole world would still be in the Communist grip.  The Berlin Wall fell because of the wounds that we inflicted on the Soviet Union and the inspiration we gave all oppressed people.  We broke the Soviet Union up into fifteen parts.  We liberated people from Communism.  Jihad led to a freer world.  We saved the world because Communism met its grave here in Afghanistan."

There may be a grain of truth in that???

What do you think?

I'll look up that war and see how many Russian troops died there and a few more facts about it.



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 30, 2010, 09:38:31 AM
One paragraph of interest:

"The Soviet war in Afghanistan badly affected the rule of Communist Party. Many thought that the war was against Islam. This created strong feelings among the Muslim population of Central Asian Soviet Republics. The Soviet army was really in very low spirits or "morale" because they were unable to control the people and were treated only as invaders everywhere they went. Andrei Sakharov openly said the action of Soviet Army in Afghanistan was wrong.

Over 15,000 Soviet troops got killed in Afghanistan from 1979 until 1989. In the war, the Soviet Army also lost hundreds of aircraft, and billions worth of other military machines. Around a million Afghan men, women and children died in the war."

from:   http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 30, 2010, 03:25:03 PM
What book are you quoting from, Ella?

(A few unexpected insights in the book:

"The Russian troops withdrew in 1989.  A rew months later the Berlin Wall fell, an event for which Rabbani (ex president of the country) takes credit, in addition to the breakup of the Soviet Union.  Had it not been for jihad, the whole world would still be in the Communist grip.  The Berlin Wall fell because of the wounds that we inflicted on the Soviet Union and the inspiration we gave all oppressed people.  We broke the Soviet Union up into fifteen parts.  We liberated people from Communism.  Jihad led to a freer world.  We saved the world because Communism met its grave here in Afghanistan.")

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 31, 2010, 08:28:14 AM
I was rambling, MARJ!

That paragraph was from the THE BOOKSELLER OF KABUL by Anne Seierstad,

A very good book, translated into 15 languages.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on January 31, 2010, 09:44:47 AM
I agree with Ella, The Bookseller of Kabul is very good. My copy has since disappeared. I have a sneaky suspicion I lent it to someone and it never came back. Don't remember who.
Oh, well.

Another one you might consider is The Places In Between by Rory Stewart. Mr. Stewart walked, yes walked, from Iran to Kabul shortly after the Russians left Afghanistan.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on January 31, 2010, 10:27:17 AM
 I read "The Bookseller of Kabul", ELLA, and found the family interaction
so upsetting it spoiled my enjoyment of the book. The treatment of the
women was infuriating, yet the women contributed to it by the way they
raised their sons. I had similar reactions to other books set in that
milieu. I suspect it will take a very special book to seduce me to read
another of that genre.
 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on January 31, 2010, 05:29:39 PM
BABI, I agree with you, the book was upsetting and I don't think I want to read another that deals with families or women in the Muslim world. 

There but for the grace of God, go I.

I think the same thoughts when I see the terrible TV pics of Haiti.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on January 31, 2010, 08:17:51 PM
I'm reading a fascinating book that delves into the fundamentalist Islamic culture and has my eyes popping out -- A GOD WHO HATES by Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Muslim female physician who grew up in Syria, but now lives in the U.S.  She tells some very surprising and devastating stories of how these people think and act, but most interesting is her explanation of how Islam came into being and why it continues to be so harmful.  A very revealing book.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on February 01, 2010, 11:00:25 AM
Greetings -

A new biography I just heard about on C-SPAN last night

Pops: A life of Louis Armstrong  by Terry Teachout

from a review:
Wall Street Journal arts columnist Terry Teachout has drawn on a cache of important new sources unavailable to previous Armstrong biographers, including hundreds of private recordings of backstage and after-hours conversations that Armstrong made throughout the second half of his life, to craft a sweeping new narrative biography of this towering figure that shares full, accurate versions of such storied events as Armstrong's decision to break up his big band and his quarrel with President Eisenhower for the first time. Certain to be the definitive word on Armstrong for our generation.

I will place on my TBR shelf.  Looks like a good one.

Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on February 01, 2010, 12:46:29 PM
I read "The Bookseller of Kabul" and was very glad I did.  It was well written and apparently an honest depiction of most family life in Afghanistan.  However, in "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson, which many of you have read, the author tells of one of the tribesmen and his wife and the strong bond between them.  So, as in any culture, everyone is not identical in their actions.  If everyone was the same, Mortenson would not receive so much help from the Afghanistan men in building his schools for girls.

Mary, I heard Brian Lamb's Q & A with the author of "Pops: A life of Louis Armstrong" last night and it sure was interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 02, 2010, 08:56:57 AM
 I found "Three Cups of Tea" a very welcome alternative picture of Afghanistan.  Where the "Bookseller of Kabul" left a bad taste in my
mouth, the "Three Cups of Tea" was a refreshing restorative.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 02, 2010, 09:06:06 AM
I watched Booknotes with Thomas Fleming and all about his new title  "The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers" and it also looks quite good.  The interviewer was a college history professor who really asked some interesting questions as did the audience participators.  Fleming gives top honors to Dolly Madison and Abigail Adams for helping to save the country, each in their own way.

I have reserved a copy of "The God Who Hates".

We covered Afghanistan and the treatment of women in "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by the same author of "The Kite Runner".  What always amazes me is the women's seemingly acceptance of their treatment.  As if that's just the way it is.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on February 02, 2010, 11:07:57 AM
 (http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)




---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


As I was heading for the checkout line I saw a book dispkayed in my library for impulse shoppers.  The Lost Paintingby Jonathan Harr caufght my eye because it referred to Caravaggio, of whom I am enamored.  I thought the book was fiction, it was told in a narrative style, interminging the painter's life with the tale of some researchers studying the provenance of some of his reputed paintings.  Each "actor" is finely delineated and one feels as if one could immediately start a conversation with/about them.  Caravaggio is sort of a cult idol, to my surprise, and there are rabid feuds among the scholars; I always love to read about adacemics' feuds.  I heartily recommend this look at the hidden wsorld of art history research for its szubject, its suspense and its humanizing of the Ivory Tower's real life residents.  http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/13/books/review/13handy.html
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on February 02, 2010, 12:26:15 PM
Did Irving Stone, or some such author of that age, write a novel about Caravaggio? I vaguely remember reading a really good fiction account about him many, many yrs ago............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on February 02, 2010, 03:01:42 PM
He certainly had a life that would make good fiction.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on February 02, 2010, 03:26:59 PM
My little library (Salem's population = 125,000 or so) has 30 listings under the keyword "Caravaggio"  http://catalog.ccrls.org/search/?searchtype=X&SORT=D&searcharg=caravaggio&searchscope=1&submit.x=35&submit.y=20&submit=Submit
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 02, 2010, 04:08:43 PM

Mabel,
This might be a good read about the artist, Carravaggio, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/98374.M_The_Man_Who_Became_Caravaggio (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/98374.M_The_Man_Who_Became_Caravaggio)
Jackie,
Funny, you should remember that book title, Jackie.  I brought home the audio of the book but didn't like the reader.  I have just reserved it again to give it a better chance.  I love art history books and must have read everything that Irving Stone wrote, long ago and far away.  ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 03, 2010, 08:53:16 AM
At the moment, and in some places, ANNIE, I suppose the is 'the way it
it'. We live with what we must and cope as best we can. But where possible women do fight against such treatment and live better and richer lives. Mahlia could give you loads of information about that.

 I have an autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, read years ago, that
certainly raised my eyebrows. Don't you find that journals, diaries and
autobiographies give much better insights into the character and
personality of the famous?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on February 03, 2010, 10:04:44 AM
Babi:  Cellini's bio was on my liast of TBR but somehoiw it slipped through the cracks.  Thanks for the reminder.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on February 03, 2010, 06:48:15 PM
I read Cellini's autobiography 50 years ago (Yikes!  Where has the time gone?) and thought it was a hoot.  I wouldn't trust it for accuracy, though.  He's full of the politicking, intrigue, infighting and angling for patronage, always telling his side of the story.  There are many stories of someone being against him until they saw his work and were overwhelmed by its quality.  (Of course, his work really was that good, but I doubt it worked that way.)

If nothing else, it's worth reading the story of casting his statue of Perseus.  The shape was supposed to be impossible for techniques of the time, he was sick with a raging fever, and his assistants had deserted him.  So this semi-delirious man is dealing with a furnace full of molten metal, a mold that won't fill properly, throwing in the silverware because the consistency isn't right, and eventually producing this:

http://www.italian-renaissance-art.com/images/Perseus-With-the-Head-Medusa-cellini.jpg (http://www.italian-renaissance-art.com/images/Perseus-With-the-Head-Medusa-cellini.jpg)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on February 03, 2010, 08:05:53 PM
Truely awesome.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 04, 2010, 08:12:46 AM
 Marvelous, isn't it, PatH?  Do you remember all that from 50 years ago?
I can barely remember having read it and that it was 'a hoot', as you
call it.  Cellini was very full of himself, but that seemed to be much
the norm among these competitive,  patron-dependent artists.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on February 04, 2010, 02:40:03 PM
I read it when I was a kid -- my parents had it. I suspect I didn't understand some of it. But I remember him throwing in the teaspoons, now that Pat has reminded me.

It can be hard having a sis like Pat who remembers everything! She'll say "Do you remember when we were 10 and went to ---- movie, the scene where ------.

Sure I do!!?!#!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on February 04, 2010, 11:05:45 PM
Well guess what Folks...I went looking for the Cellini  book on Kindle and it is now on Kindle.  I ordered it. Since Art is one of my main interests I am sure that I will like the book ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 05, 2010, 08:40:58 AM
To Joang...Enjoy!    To JoanK... ;D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: EdithAnne on February 11, 2010, 10:16:57 PM
I just finished reading Too Close to the Sun by Curtis Roosevelt, grandson of FDR.  He was intervijewed on the radio one night and thus I was  motivated to buy it.  It is a peek intothe lives of the rich, the Roosevelts living in the White House.  He reveals what life was like living there and portrays the president and his wife as being warm and friendly.  He also said, FDR's mother, Granny, always got a bad rap from the tabloids, but he saw her in a very different light.  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on February 12, 2010, 12:11:10 AM
Oh that sounds really good
I will have to check and see if I can get it on Kindle .
 Thanks for telling us about
Too Close to the Sun EdithAnne.

Joan Grimes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 12, 2010, 08:46:35 AM
I suppose it's natural that he would, EdithAnne.  A grandmother with
her grandson may be a very different person than the one most of the
world sees.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 12, 2010, 09:20:48 AM
Thanks, EdithAnne, for the suggestion.  Curtis Roosevelt.  Is it this grandson who headed a Social Security, or was it AARP, commission for many years.  I used to get letters - printed pamphlets -  from a Roosevelt who was doing it to honor his father who pioneered the Social Security program.

When was this book published, EdithAnne?  I think I may have read it; there are so many books about FDR and Eleanor and I have read many of them.  What a pair, they will never be equalled in the White House.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 13, 2010, 09:25:48 AM
  Eleanor and FDR were an impressive pair, but I always thought them a
sad couple.  I cannot help but think they would have been happier had
they not married.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 13, 2010, 11:10:13 AM
A sad couple, BABI?  Never thought of them in that way; perhaps you are right.  But Eleanor (with Louie Howe) was the one to persuade FDR to get back into politics, after polio, and, had she not been on the scene, the country might have come out of the depression and WWII differentlly.  What do you think?

And, of course, FDR found many pleasures (ahem!) in his female staff and friends.  Eleanor was the sad one I think, and her last years alone were the worst.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on February 13, 2010, 02:26:44 PM
 Ella -  i tho't of ER's yrs after FDR died as her good yrs. She got jobs and a reputation in her own right and could spend time w/ her friends w/out denying time to FDR..............Allida Black (Project Director and Editor, The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers & GWU Research Professor of History and International Affairs) says in the introduction of her book Casting Her Own Shadow: ER and the Shaping of Postwar Liberalism,  "ER....was the consummate liberal power broker.........ER grew into power.....her life before 1945 was marked by intensely private and public challenges. Some demands threatened ER's self-confidence, while others pushed her into unfamiliar arenas which demanded skills she never knew she possessed. The more she confronted the disappointments and set her own expectations, the more independent she became, the more she trusted her own abilitities and the more she wanted to achieve............When confronted w/ this huge change in her life, when she no longer had to defer to her husband's office and priorities, she could rise to the challenge. She had now not only the opporutnity "to start again," but the expertise necessary to build a legcy of her own.  

 Truman appointed her a delegate to the organizing of the United Nations, basically to get her out of WAshington and away from interfering in his domestic policies, because he knew he would have to have her support to hold the New Deal coalition together. Of course, she made her mark on the Declaration of Human Rights making sure the statement said "rights for men and women," and including statements giving religious and education freedom to everyone. She had quite a fight w/ the Soviet delegation over the religious issue.

I think she really enjoyed that position. She was a consummate politician and enjoyed the give and take, particularly w/ the Soviets, and understood the importance of her accomplishments of getting so many rights written into the Declaration, some of which are still being worked on today thruout the world.

In her conclusion, Black says "As she aged, she saw democracy in broader terms and used a variety of tactics to implement her vision. As a politician, she tirelessly campaigned for local, state, and nat'l leaders; raised money for political and social reform organizations; and mediated fractious internal disputes which threatened to divide coalitions she worked to build. As a journalist, she dedicated her work to explaining controversial issues, mobilizing grassroots support for political and economic reform, and holding politicians accountable for their actions. As an activist, she chaired investigative committees, embraced confrontation and raised money for legal challenges. And finally, as both a mother confessor and political sage to liberal leaders and party officials, she provided the perfect example of politics and honor................ER was a woman, not a saint. She was a power broker, not an elected official. Nevertheless she cast a long shadow across the nation.

http://www.amazon.com/Casting-Her-Own-Shadow-Liberalism/dp/0231104049

The review on this site addressed in a better way the issue of her life after FDR - at both sites scroll down to read the reviews.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Casting-Her-Own-Shadow-Eleanor-Roosevelt-and-the-Shapi_W0QQitemZ290373601348QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Texbook_Education?hash=item439b9d8844
Jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 13, 2010, 06:54:19 PM
OH, YOU ARE SO RIGHT, JEAN.  Those were good years for her; I was thinking of when she was old and of the book we discussed in 2002 entitled KINDRED SOULS.  Here it is in our Archives:

http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/archives/nonfiction/KindredSouls.html

It was such a sad book in so many ways that I have never forgotten it.  But you are right in that Eleanor blossomed after FDR's death, without the constraints of being his wife and all that the position of First Lady entailed.  She was so admirable.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 14, 2010, 09:37:39 AM
 I think you are probably right, ELLA.  Eleanor was the sad one. Despite
her many accomplishments, her private life could not have brought her
much happiness. One reason, no doubt, that she treasured her friends so
highly. I agree, JEAN has it right.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 14, 2010, 11:06:39 AM
I remember in one of the books that I read Eleanor complained of her children always asking her for money and she was not a wealthy person.  FDR had put his own trust money in buying and restoring Warm Springs, GA.  Of course, both made money in their lifetimes but they were not wealthy people.  She was not close to her children at all and, in fact, the one she counted on the most, her daughter, Anna, betrayed her (so she thought) by bringing FDR and his mistress together.  It would have happened with or without Anna, but it hurt Eleanor, so I read.

Her marriage and her children did not bring her happiness; perhaps that is why she so diligently sought the limelight in her other pursuits.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on February 14, 2010, 08:04:52 PM
Ella, I think you are right about ER.  She was unhappy at times.  However, I do believe that she enjoyed her travels during WWII.  She saw the world, and gave to our service personnel.  It seems to me that one of the joys of her life was doing for others.

I also think that as her mother died when she was young, she was not nurtured as much as she needed.  She apparently never was close to her mother, and her father was an alcoholic.  So, from what I have read, she didn't have good role models for healthy parenting.

Some people should never be parents.  Perhaps she was one of those.  She was ahead of her time.  She was an indepedent woman.  Even though she was married and a mother, she would have preferred being an executive woman, with another title, rather than "just" a mother and a wife.  At least those are the impressions I have of her, from all I have read.

Personally, I wish there were more biographies of first ladies.  I would love to read an accurate bio of Pat Nixon.  But, the only one I could find was written by her daughter.  I think discovering how she lived with Richard Nixon, would be an inteeresting read.  How Ike's carreer affected his wife, would also be interesting.  How did Herbert Hoover's life choices impact his wife? 

We know a lot about our President's, but I for one, want to know more about their wifes.  Isn't it time for we women to see more bios of women?

Back to bed now.  I have intestinal flu, and have been spending all of my time, either in bed, or the bathroom.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 14, 2010, 09:38:22 PM
A biography of Pat Nixon or Mamie!  

We would all like to know more about those two; most of us of a certain age remember them as silent shadows when their husbands were in the White House.  What of their youth, their courtships, their marriage, their political views?  Pat Nixon, of the red coat in China, and Mamie, with those "awful" bangs (my opinion of course).  

Certainly they had friendships and I think a good author could write a biography that many women would love to read.

Speaking of good authors, I just saw David McCullough on BookTV and he's aged.  He was stumbling and rambling.   What did I expect -  it happens, but I do so hate to see it of my favorite people.

Sheila, I hope you get better soon.  That's no fun.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on February 19, 2010, 10:38:28 AM
If I may skip to more recent politics, I've just finished
Mark Halperin's  Game Change, about most of the people involved in the presidential election and what went on behind the scenes.
Highly recommended!
 
Here's the Amazon link, which gives many reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Game-Change-Clintons-McCain-Lifetime/dp/0061733636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266593927&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Game-Change-Clintons-McCain-Lifetime/dp/0061733636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266593927&sr=8-1)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on February 19, 2010, 05:19:03 PM
Ella - one of the best books i've ever read is Carl Anthony's First Ladies: the Saga of President's Wives and Their Power, 1960 - 1990, vol 2 . He has a first vol up to 1960 which is on my TBR list- my library didn't have the first vol until this yr. Even tho i read  vol 2  10 or more yrs ago,  i remember getting a very different picture of Pat Nixon than i had had before reading. I also got a more favorable impression of Nancy Reagan than i had had. You might want to check out those two volumes to get a idea about Mamie and Pat.

My library has NO books just about Pat Nixon - interesting, there must not be any very good ones, or perhaps objective ones, since this is a hightly Republican town. I was surprised when i looked for one and there was none.

They do have 2 books the you might look for Mamie.  Ike and the story of the GEneral and his Lady by Lester and Irene David. I know nothing about it other than it was published in 1981 or 82 - both dates were listed. Another later one, 1996, was written by Susan Eisenhower Mrs Ike: Memories and Reflexations on Mamie Eisenhower. You might think that it would not be objective or even very biased,  but i have always been impressed w/ SE's moderate opinions when i've heard her speak. I may have to put that one on my tbr list also.............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 21, 2010, 11:19:17 AM
Well!  Has anyone heard about this book THE DEATH OF AMERICAN VIRTUE: Clinton vs. Starr by Gormley.  The author , a professor of law, was interviewed on BookTV last night by a lawyer who represented Clinton during his impeachment trial, and the author promises that his book will be readable by layman. 

A remarkable interview, which will be repeated tonight (Sunday).  I went to the computer to reserve the book and discovered that my library has bought 12 copies of it (very unusual for nonfiction) and I reserved it only to discover that there is a waiting list and I am 16th and that was at 11 p.m. that night

What a title, what interviews with all the major players.  Paula Jones, Monica, Whitewater, travelgate.  How I remember it all and what assertions the author makes.  Of course, they are his opinion, but remarkable opinions.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 21, 2010, 11:31:52 AM
Who was involved in our discussion of PARIS 1919?  I'll look in our archives but I heard part of a discussion of this new book YALTA, THE PRICE OF PEACE by Plokhy and it sounds very good.  I also reserved that at my library:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Yalta/S-M-Plokhy/e/9781101189924/?itm=1&USRI=yalta%2c+the+price+of+peace

Hereis a synopsis at that site:

A major new history of the eight days in February 1945 when FDR, Churchill, and Stalin decided the fate of the world

Imagine you could eavesdrop on a dinner party with three of the most fascinating historical figures of all time. In this landmark book, a gifted Harvard historian puts you in the room with Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt as they meet at a climactic turning point in the war to hash out the terms of the peace.

The ink wasn't dry when the recriminations began. The conservatives who hated Roosevelt's New Deal accused him of selling out. Was he too sick? Did he give too much in exchange for Stalin's promise to join the war against Japan? Could he have done better in Eastern Europe? Both Left and Right would blame Yalta for beginning the Cold War.

Plokhy's conclusions, based on unprecedented archival research, are surprising. He goes against conventional wisdom-cemented during the Cold War- and argues that an ailing Roosevelt did better than we think. Much has been made of FDR's handling of the Depression; here we see him as wartime chief. Yalta is authoritative, original, vividly- written narrative history, and is sure to appeal to fans of Margaret MacMillan's bestseller Paris 1919.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 21, 2010, 11:34:14 AM
We had a good group for that discussion:  http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/archives/nonfiction/Paris1919.html
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on February 21, 2010, 11:23:24 PM
Ella, thanks for the reminder about "The Death of American Virtue".  It will run again, on Book TV, at 8:00 p.m. tonight, and at midnight.  So, I have set it up to record.  It sounds interesting.

Recently, I watched an interview with the author of the book on the Yalta conference.  I found it extremely interesting.  I also recently saw some program, about all of the health problems FDR had at that time of his life.  Made me think that we may be kept in the dark about a number of Presidential health problems.  Kennedy was in extremely poor health, too.  I think that Nixon, had mental and emotional problems.   I am coming to the conclusion that Presidential health problems should be a public record.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on February 21, 2010, 11:39:45 PM
I have often heard it said that FDR would never be elected president today because he really could not stand.Polio had left him him completely crippled.  I remember when he ran against Windell Wilkie  that one of the ugly taunts that were aimed at Wilkie was, " Wilkie is crippled upstairs and crutches won't help".  I was a child at the time and that one appealed to me.  I have always enjoyed reading about the lives of presidents.

Joan Grimes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 22, 2010, 08:32:56 AM
Much as we might like to know, SHEILA, revealing our leaders' illness
and vulneribility would most certainly be like blood to sharks. The
President would lose much of his credibility in negotiations with other
powers, since the possiblity would rise that he might not be around long
enough to make good his promises.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 22, 2010, 09:01:01 AM
Good point, Babi.  I do like the idea of getting this book though.  We have always heard about FDR's illness at that conference and how he might have made some wrong decisions or gave away the farm.

I am starting "Churchill" by Paul Johnson and I like this quote of the author's from the inside flap:

"OF ALL THE TOWERING FIGURES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, BOTH GOOD AND EVIL, WINSTON CHURCHILL WAS THE MOST VALUABLE TO HUMANITY,  AND ALSO THE THE MOST LIKABLE.......NO MAN DID MORE TO PRESERVE FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY AND THE VALUES WE HOLD DEAR IN THE WEST........HOW DID ONE MAN DO SO MUCH, FOR SO LONG, AND SO EFFECTIVELY?"

Not a long book, 166 pgs, but promises to be concise and  most interesting.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 22, 2010, 09:11:55 AM
 I am interested in reading the book about Churchill and the 'troublesome
young men' around him that Ella will be featuring in a non-fiction discussion.  But your shorter biography sounds like an excellent appetizer,
ANNIE. I have always admired and liked what I knew about Churchill. His
sharp tongue got him into trouble more than once, but it also gave me
some good laughs.  The man was eloquent, in more ways than one!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 22, 2010, 09:46:04 AM
Do you suppose, Babi, that Churchill was another Moses for our generation?  Tee hee.   I will comment on the book as soon as I get into it.

A non-fiction title suggestion from Bruce Feiler:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/books/03book.html?hpw
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 22, 2010, 09:54:49 AM
SHEILA, what did you think of the interview on BookTV regarding the book THE DEATH OF AMERICAN VIRTUE?  It might be a popular book except for the fact that it is almost 800 pages long!

ANN: IN APRIL we will begin discussing the book - TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN:  The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power by Lynne Olson.  Remember what you read about Churchill and bring it to the discussion.  We will be putting a Proposal for the book in public very soon.  Please sign up!  Here is a quote from the Intro to the book:

At England's elite public schools they were drilled in the vital importance of "playing the game" and "never batting against your own side."  In the years preceding WWII, a small, tight-knit and insular old boy network dominated the British government and society, as it had for generations; the members lived in the same London neighborhoods, belonged to the same clubs, went to the same parties, spoke with the same accent, used the same slang, married one another's sisters and conformed.

So what happened when their authoritarian prime minister, one of their own, appeased the world's worst dictator, had no interest in fighting, no interest in preparing England for the shock that was to come from one of the world's worst dictators who was spreading his evil, his forces, across Europe.

The story of a few disloyal rebels, who in the end saved England,  is a fascinating read, a fascinating and untold story of the years before disaster struck England. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 23, 2010, 08:14:32 AM
I suppose that when we think of Moses we think of him first of all as
a great leader. I guess any prominent leader might find himself compared
to Moses. (Or have his PR staff do it.   :-\)  Aren't prominent generals
compared to Alexander the Great?  I suppose there might be other good
examples, but it's too early in the morning.

 I'm not sure if the description of Rebecca Skloot's book excites me or
scares me, ANNIE. If you read it, let me know your opinion of it.

 Ella, I'm looking forward to it. The subject fascinates me; I do hope
the author does it justice. I've never read anything by Lynne Olson.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 23, 2010, 09:01:53 AM
BABI, Lynne Olson, former White House correspondent for THE BALTIMORE SUN is the author of FREEDOM'S DAUGHTERS and coauthor with her husband, Stanley Cloud, of A QUESTION OF HONOR and THE MURROW BOYS. 

I've never read any of those; I can't remember where I heard of this book (memory is a problem) but I think it was on a table where our librarian places good nonfiction books.  I brought it home and read half of it, then bought the book.  It is well written; I think journalists write well.  Well, of course, that's much too general a statement.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 23, 2010, 09:57:03 AM
Ella,
I will try to get a copy from the library and peruse it to see if I want to read it.  I am still involved in America's Prophet so haven't had much time to read anything else.
And, while I was looking for the book below, I asked to reserve Troublesome Young Men.  I am 1st on the list.  What's going on here?  Is the book about one woman's cells being used all over the world for cancer research and other medical research more interesting or what??

Babi
I will let you know if I can check out the Rebecca Skloot's book from my library. What a curious story that must be.
Well, I placed a reserve on it, but I am #259 in line for the book, and #22 in line for the CD.  Now I need to buy a new CD player since mine crashed last month.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on February 23, 2010, 01:03:10 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it.  

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)




------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Regarding our proposed April discussion mentioned by Ella in Message #876 above of Troublesome Young Men The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power by Lynne Olson click the following links for detailed reviews published in leading periodicals

From the Guardian by Tristram Hunt http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/apr/28/featuresreviews.guardianreview4

And/or from the MY Times review by Jon Mecham   Click http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/29/books/review/Meacham.t.html

A heading formally announcing this discussion and soliciting the sign-up of participants will soon appear.  All of you are invited to join this discussion.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on February 24, 2010, 07:00:26 AM
Ella, I was captivated by the program about the death of virtue.  I am so glad that I got it recorded.  Think I will order it for my kindle.  However, 800 pages is daunting.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 24, 2010, 09:19:40 AM
Wow!, ANNIE. Is the book that popular? #259?? I need to find out more
about it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 24, 2010, 12:04:22 PM

Babi,
A friend of mine said she saw the author interviewed on TV but didn't know if it was on network TV or CSPAN's Book TV. You might look it up on CSPAN's net site and see if its there.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bookad on February 24, 2010, 12:40:58 PM
hello there
thank you to JoanK for introducing me to this site. 
I am an avid nonfiction reader presently in Brownsville, Texas where they have 2 great lending libraries, though a handicap is they allow only 7 books out per cardholder at a time.  Being Canadian we summer at home in central-Ontario where the libraries have no restrictions on the amount of books one can take home.
Have been keeping track of the books I have read since 1980; and since 2001 keeping track of them in an online database 'readersopinions.com'.  Have read a number of books about WW2 and periphery circumstances, but 2 books about the actual work of sabotage during the war particularly captivated me; 'Bodyguard of Lies' by Anthony Cave Brown & 'Intrepid' by William Stevenson.  The first book was very lengthy & detailed amazing undercover workings of the war.
Hoping to acquire a copy of the April group read, though we will be in transit homeward bound & may not be able to access the internet.
Looking forward to the group discussions.

Take care
Deb
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on February 24, 2010, 12:56:04 PM
HELLO DEB!

We are so happy to welcome a nonfiction reader and thanks for telling us of two WWII books you have read.  Books about sabotage.  Sound fascinating.

I hope you get back to Canada in time to join us in April!  When do you leave Texas? 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on February 24, 2010, 07:25:02 PM
Hi Deb!

Very nice to have another reader of nonfiction aboard.  The two books on WW2 you mentioned sound very interesting.  Have you read THE BITTER ROAD TO FREEDOM by William I. Hitchcock?  Very interesting book that tells the story of the DDay invasion from the point of view of those French people and other Europeans who were liberated and how they were dealt with by the allies after the Germans were defeated.

Marj

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on February 25, 2010, 01:30:14 PM
I'm not sure if we get CSPan, ANNIE. I rather think we don't, but I'll
check.

 Welcome, DEB! Since my library checks out books for only two weeks at
a time, I couldn't handle seven books at a time, anyway. And since I'm
there once a week as a volunteer, I can always pick up another one or two if I need them.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on February 28, 2010, 05:18:19 PM
If you were in America's Prophet discussion, please go in and say goodbye and read the message from our author, Bruce Feiler.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 01, 2010, 08:26:52 PM
Two authors on BookTV were remarkable to listen to this weekend.  James M. Morris has written PULITZER: A Life in Politics and Michael Wolff's book is THE MAN WHO OWNS THE NEWS and is about Rupert Mudoch, a man we are all familar with who controls an empire. 

The press, in many diverse ways, plays such an important role in our lives.

An unbelievably biased press is described in our PROPOSED DISCUSSION - TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN, by Lynne Olson - a book about the decade of English life before WWII developed.   I hope you will join us; just post here:

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=1187.0
Title: nice to be here
Post by: bookad on March 02, 2010, 07:21:21 AM
Hello there

Thanks for the warm welcome
I quite enjoy reading books that encompass the periphery of an event i.e. an Englishwoman who just prior to WW2, married a German  and in  doing so was required to give up her English citizenship…and therefore spent the war in Germany ….how she lived in Germany, coped with shortages, meshed with those around her …fascinating read

Another book about a German family & their life in Germany prior & during the war…the book is written by the granddaughter.  Her Grandfather was involved in the military plot to assassinate Hitler,  & consequently hung. … I found this book particularly interesting with how families raised their children prior to the war, and their deep deep patriotism displays

I have been keeping track of the books I have read since 1980, and from 2002 have been entering them into an online database at www.readersopinions.com

We do not leave Texas till April.  I was able to get a copy of ‘The Book Thief’ from the Brownsville library.  

Looks like a  good read.

Deb
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on March 02, 2010, 01:13:35 PM
Well, that's interesting link.  Since 1980?? Oh, you have put all your books that you have read on that link.  I wish I had known about it long ago.  So many books that I have forgotten. I do have a list of books that my f2f group has read for the last 2 or 3 yrs. but that's my only list.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on March 02, 2010, 02:44:15 PM
BOOKAD: WELCOME, WELCOME!

Those two books you mentioned sound fascinating. Could you give us their names?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: bookad on March 03, 2010, 06:38:15 AM

for some reason can't seem to find the book about the Englishwoman who spent the war years in Germany married to a German--at home in Ontario I have a hard copy with my notes and possibly can access the title there

'My Father's Country' by Wibke Bruhns--a German family aristocracy & involvement in the failed plot to overthrow Hitler

'The Bielski Brothers' by Peter Duffy--another interesting read of a group of people who were able to remain hidden in a German forest during the war years(an ever expanding group) and the brothers who were responsible for their safety

unfortunately for me the Brownsville library does not seem to have a copy of the April read, Barrie library in Ontario seems to have a copy but we don't arrive home till May
{computers & the internet are so wonderful!}--if the book is not too current a publishing-- hope to be able to get a reasonably priced copy on Amazon or someplace
 
must have surfed into the fiction seniorslearn booksite with my last post listing 'The Book Thief'--hopefully will get the hang of posting appropriately ...so exciting to find people with mutual interests in reading

Deb
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on March 03, 2010, 07:06:47 AM
The titles and subject matter sound tempting.  Especially "The Bielski Brothers" by Peter Duffy. That one looks like it has a Polish title name, an Irish author and its written about Germans during WWII. Hahaha!  I will look at my library in downtown Gahanna!  Thanks, Deb.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 03, 2010, 08:47:50 AM
OH, YOU WILL GET THE HANG OF IT, DEB!

Click on DISCUSSION INDEX in blue at the top of the page and you will see our full menu.  

Then cllick on what you want - read, post, enjoy, we are so happy to have you!

And I do hope you can find a copy of TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN by Lynne Olson.  Let me do some scouring around online to see what I can find.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 03, 2010, 08:54:17 AM
DEB, go to Amazon.com, you will find plenty of copies for sale there and in paperback!  I was surprised and there are a few copies starting at $3.08 I think it said, although I might suggest you go for the $10 copy!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on March 03, 2010, 10:20:27 AM
Yes, I got a lovely hardback used, but like new, copy of TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN at Amazon from Hamilton Books in CT. for $1.95.   I see they still have one (or more) at the same price.  Must have bought up a bunch.  Mine arrived in very good time -- about 4 days.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on March 03, 2010, 11:32:45 AM
Deb:  Thanks for The Bielski Brothers.  Sounds like a good read.  When you open the SL site look for the "Show new replies to your posts" then look for the little blue "New" flag - that'll take you to the exact location where you were last.  When you find a discussion you want to return to simply post "Mark" in the reply window.  That ensures you can return when you look for new replies to your last post.
Title: thanks for the info
Post by: bookad on March 04, 2010, 09:58:52 PM
thank you for the info

finally found the button for alerting me to the unread posts
I have been using my fav & rebookmarking each time & each group with a page ref noted
will try the system with seniorlearn

I am now off to 'amazon' to get a copy of the book ...we will be in transit the month of April arriving home the first of May, but I anticipate having use of internet off & on thru our trip

take care
Deb
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on March 05, 2010, 05:46:21 AM
Deb,
The reserve of "The Belski Brothers" has arrived at my library.  That was fast!  Glad you are learning your way around on this site.  It just takes getting used to it.
Title: Belinski Brothers
Post by: bookad on March 08, 2010, 06:11:56 AM
glad were able to get the book
real life within historic times & events can be just as interesting or more interesting than fiction I find
It is so interesting to come across situations describing people living during a well known time & their lives parallel to the event

thou I recently read a book (fiction) about an island off the coast of France that belongs to England &  it had Germans holding it for the duration of the second world war
'The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer'
the book is fiction, written in letter format, & a wonderful read
Deb


 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on March 08, 2010, 08:15:22 AM
Good Morning Deb.
Yes the Geurnsey book was read and discussed on this board.  Everyone who read it seemed to really enjoy it.  I did not ever read it though. That Island is a place that I always wanted to visit.
Joan Grimes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on March 08, 2010, 11:44:53 AM
We now appear to have about 10 readers plus Ella and I signed up for participation in our  discussion of Lynne Olson’s” Troublesome Young Men” beginning April 1st.  This is a decent number but there is certainly room for more.  Any additional readers are  welcome.  Just go http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=1187.0 for details

 The book should be available at most large and many middle sized library.  Also there is still time to order it paperback or hard cover from your favorite book store.  The Amazon and Barnes and Noble purchase links are given below.

Barnes & Noble:  http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Troublesome-Young-Men/Lynne-Olson/e/9780374531331/?itm=1

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Troublesome-Young-Men-Brought-Churchill/dp/0374531331/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268064135&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on March 08, 2010, 12:04:10 PM

The Bielski Brothers is being transferred from one local library branch to mine at the present
time.
JOY
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on March 09, 2010, 06:03:22 AM
Harold,
Looks like you have a very good number for discussing the April offering.  I have my book ready but haven't read it yet.  Got it at the library.[/color]
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on March 10, 2010, 03:21:46 PM
On which site was there the talk about the Guinevere book? I tho't it was here, but no, and it wasn't on The Library. Anyway, it's non-fiction, so i'll comment here.

I just started the first chapter last night. Two people  had mentioned that it was hard going, but they loved the 2nd chapter. I actually enjoyed the first chapter - but, it is another book w/out footnotes, which frustrates me, as i said in the Am'n Prophet discussion. At one point she makes a statement something to the effect that Arthur has more literary references, or issuings than any one else. It's not clear as to what time period she is speaking for, but i tho't "REally? More than Lincoln or Napoleon?"

I remember sometime ago reading/seeing something that was deciding if Arthur was a real person, or how many persons might have been culled together to make the fictional Arthur. She appears to be sure that there was an Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot as they stand. She mentions gravesites, etc. Huuuummmm. Looking forward to reading some more of the book............................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 11, 2010, 08:05:12 AM
 One does tend to lift an eyebrow at broad claims, ELLA.  Still, there is no doubt in my mind that
there have been many more movies about Arthur, et al, than about Lincoln or Napoleon.
Arthur, after all, is much more romantic and was personally involved in any 'daring-do'.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on March 11, 2010, 01:18:16 PM
Maybe movies, because of Camelot,  but not literature or non-fiction was my thinking......jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on March 11, 2010, 10:02:30 PM
Mabel, the Guinevere discussion is going on in Fiction.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on March 12, 2010, 12:23:17 AM
Just ordered THE BITTER ROAD TO FREEDOM by William I. Hitchcock to read on my Kindle.  It sounds fascinating.
Joag Grimes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on March 12, 2010, 02:47:11 AM
Hi, Joan G.  Congratulations, on your granddaughter's admission to med school!  That is a wonderful accomplishment.

What is the theme of the book you just mentioned?

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on March 12, 2010, 08:08:26 AM
I was quite taken with the Arthur myths and have a few books of fiction and claimed non fiction about that time in England.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: donnamo on March 15, 2010, 11:42:37 PM
I think I will be visiting the non-fiction room quite often, as that is mainly what I read.  I only began reading novels a few years ago; I guess I was a bit prejudiced thinking that fiction could never be as valuable as something that was true.  Yeah, well don't I feel silly now, haha. 

Biographies, memoirs, travel essays, and Christian theology are some of my favorites to read.  Some that I have read and really enjoyed in the recent past are:

The Invisible Wall
Jesus Land
Martha's Place
Kabul 24
Here If You Need Me
What Else But Home
The Soloist
The Book That Changed My Life
Heart in the Right Place
Into The Wild
Into Thin Air
'Tis


Just to name a few!  I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel to The Invisible Wall - The Dream - and also Troublesome Young Men.  My college library actually has it, so I put a request in for it. 

Is anyone else here a slow reader?  I have many friends that go through books so fast and it just amazes me.  I read the same pace silently as I do out loud.  I've tried reading faster, but when I do I am not able to paint the mental pictures in my head as I always do when I read.  I'm convinced that is the reason I can remember books in such vivid detail long after I have read them.  I may not remember the character's names, but I sure can recall most everything else.  It's not beyond me to sit at the bookstore or in a coffee shop and watch someone read, then ask them how they read.  I've gotten some very interesting answers! 

 


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on March 16, 2010, 01:10:28 AM
Donnamo, you are not alone. Why back in high school I took a remedial reading class. In reading comprehension I was ahead of my class by several years, however, I was reading at about half the national average. I doubt that that has changed much. I am especially slow with my Latin studies.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 16, 2010, 08:30:23 AM
 Glad to meet you, DONNAMO.  On thinking about it, I believe you are right about reading and
remembering.  When I read, I am very much 'in the moment'.  Which means much of it does
not stick with me for very long.  :-\
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on March 16, 2010, 09:48:23 AM
Donnamo,
Another slow reader has joined us.  I don't just read, I chew up and digest every word and therefore, I am a slow reader.  I remember lots of interesting books that I have read over the years just because I read slow.  Like you, I don't read any faster than if I was reading out loud.
Your list of non-fiction looks quite interesting.  I think we read and discussed "Into Thin Air" or another of your titles and I know that I have also read "'Tis"and maybe "Into the Wild". 
I wish you had been here last month when we read "America's Prophet" by Bruce Feiler. We have discussed three of his books and truly enjoyed each one.  "Abraham" and "Walking the Bible" were others.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on March 16, 2010, 03:18:28 PM
I'm reading "Troublesome Young Men".  An interesting book.  Just finished "imperial Life in the Emerald City (Inside Iraq's Green Zone)".  Very interesting but also kind of disheartening.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on March 16, 2010, 05:10:05 PM
Why disheartening, FLAJEAN?

I've heard of that book, shall I read it?

And keep TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN ON HAND, we will be discussing it starting April lst and need your input.  We'll take just a few chapters a week.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on March 17, 2010, 11:42:04 AM
Disheartening because of all the unnecessary (some just plain stupid) mistakes that were made during the first few years of the war.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on March 18, 2010, 08:41:57 AM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



_____________________________________________________________________________________________




 I think "Where God Was Born" is the only Feiler book we didn't discuss, and I found it endlessly
fascinating.  It traced the geographical and historical origins and development of many of the beliefs and traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on March 18, 2010, 08:38:28 PM
An interesting list of books, DONNAMO. I've read the last three (have an autographed copy of "Tis", but not the others.

If you read "Tis", you might like his first, "Angela's Ashes" about his boyhood in Ireland. I found it even better.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on March 19, 2010, 02:31:49 PM
And then, Joan and Donna, there's "Teacher Man" which is about his many years at a popular high school in Manhattan.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on March 23, 2010, 12:31:52 PM
I'm excited by a new book about Jane Austen, Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World., by Claire Harman.  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125015157
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on March 30, 2010, 08:04:26 PM
Jackie, I hope you'll give us your review of the Austen book when you've read it.  I'm a real Austen nut.  My TBR pile includes "Jane Austen and the Navy" by Brian Southam, which I suspect is of interest only to fans of seafaring conventions of 200 years ago (I'm one).
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on March 31, 2010, 03:51:43 PM

IMO, Angela's Ashes is by far McCourt's best book.  It so happens that the movie  was on last night on WGN-A here and I  loved it all over again.
JOY
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on April 01, 2010, 07:58:40 AM
We came upon the movie last week but it had already started so decided to await a repeat.  Have never seen it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 07, 2010, 05:25:46 PM
I'm just 40 pages into a book titled The Stranger and the Statesman: James Smithson and John Quincy Adams and the making of America's Greatest Museum by Nina Burleigh

I don't know how it will play out, but the beginning has been interesting. Smithson had never been to the U.S. or known anyone from the U.S. when he willed what would be $50 million dollars today to fund at Washington D.C., an institution "for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men."

It starts out telling how Alexander and Mabel Bell traveled to Italy to save Smithson's grave from tumbling into the Mediterranean, to bring the body back to the U.S. I have learned a lot of interesting tidbits. I didn't know that A.G. Bell not only invented the telephone, but he was responsible for a variety of "firsts," including the first hydrofoil, the first respirator, the first practical phonograph and the first metal detector (designed in frantic haste to locate the assassin's bullet in Pres Garfield) and he was involved w/ early experiments in flight.

Apparently there was some major battles about whether to accept the bequest and whether to accept Smithson's body and where to put it, what kind of a facility would hold it, from something bigger than the Jefferson Memorial to a recycled Syrian sarcophagus, that became the final resting place to the left of the entrance to the "Castle" at the Smithsonian.

The first half of the book is about how Smithson - a bastard son of Lord Northumberland - got his money, and the second half about how JQAdams championed the Institution.  

Chapter 2 begins on July 2, 1761 when the Earl and countess of Northumberland arrive in Bath. Now, we've seen some very pretty pictures of Bath in the Austen movies, but the description in the book, makes one pause. It does say "the city was beautiful and sophisticated.....graceful sandstone buildings.....curving streets....Bath waters had been considered curative since Roman times.....in the 18th century science still had not yet recognized the importance of sanitatioin. ....the truly ill, especially people w/ virulent skin diseases, floated and defoliated alongside the well. ....liable to share pool space w/ dead animals and even human feces. The ladies who sipped the supposedly curative water....were essentially drinking the same fluid in which the bathers relieved themselves."!!!!

Sorry if that sickens you, but we see these beautiful movie scenes and forget what real live ws like......I would start my history classes by saying to the students "you live in the best of times,"  and asked if any disagreed w/ me. They would, of course, but when i asked them again at the end of the semester, more agreed w/ me...............i'll bring you more of the book later.................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on April 07, 2010, 06:24:20 PM
Having been to the Castle in the Smithsonian many times, I never noticed a grave near the entrance. That's fascinating!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on April 07, 2010, 06:54:47 PM
Thanks, jean - I've just ordered that from Amazon.  It wasn't on Kindle, but I bought a used hardback for something less than $6.00 (including shipping).  :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on April 08, 2010, 10:25:54 PM
Well, blessings on Mr. Smithson (or Lord S, as the case may be.). The Smithsonian introduced me to many of the wonders of the world when I was a child, and did the same, I hope, for my children.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 09, 2010, 02:24:43 PM
Apparently, England before Victoria was much less staid and virtuous than we think of in the Victoria era. James mother's experience - being a young widow, having an affair w/ the Duke of Northumberland, being enceinte and going off to Paris to deliver the child was not so uncommon. The French were comfortable w/ these pregnant English women according to Burleigh.

 Much of what she writes and describes are generalizations about the people and the time since she has little about the Percys and Smithsons in particular, but i find it very interesting. She describes Paris as filled w/ cafes, where London has only men's clubs, and selective men's clubs, while women are relegated to parlors of there own and not involved in the public discourse as they are in France. However, Paris is VERY smelly having only one sewer system which flowed into the SEine. Most sewage was put into the streets.

Smithson's mother was very independent, strong and knowledgable about the law. She fought her second husband who was trying to get all of her property - 1000 acres in England. He died fortuitously before he accomplished his mission. She was an astute business woman and increased the bounty she inherited from her family and her first husband and apparently there are many lawsuits to come - i'm not sure about what....................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 09, 2010, 09:13:19 PM
Maryz - have you read Vivian Stringer's auto bio? I'm just about finished w/ it and i think you might enjoy it, being a women's basketball fan......there's a lot about her philosophy of life and coaching in it. I'm going to give it to my son, the coach, when i finish........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on April 09, 2010, 11:44:58 PM
Haven't seen that, jean - thanks.  I'll check our library.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JimNT on April 10, 2010, 01:15:57 PM
Ella, Babi asked that I mention an autobiography I recently read titled The Seventh Muse regarding the rise of a young man from near poverty conditions to president of Auburn University.  The book is rated five stars on Amazon and I think it's one of the most compelling accounts of what a person can do if reared in a supportive environment and sufficiently motivated, regardless of one's financial means.  It's also current in that the author resides in retirement in Cincinnati.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 12, 2010, 02:39:16 PM
The book about James Smithson has led me to Goggle sev'l things. Here is some interesting pics of the Alnwick Castle in northern England which was the home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, James paternal family.

http://www.alnwickcastle.com/media/photo-gallery

If you goggle Alnwick  you see other info about it including that it was used for some of the Harry Potter movies. It is still a residential castle after 700 yrs.  You can stay in an Alnwick Castle cottage and recently the Duchess of N renovated the gardens which look like they are beautiful.
And you can get married there, apparently that has become a trend at English castles ..........

http://www.alnwickcastle.com/visiting-us/the-alnwick-garden

Here is a link to his mother's family's castle, Hungerford Castle. This is a reconstruction drawing, but you can click on the other pics to see the real thing.
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.16178/chosenImageId/9

This book is interesting. I haven't gotten to the JQAdams story yet, altho JS just died, so i should "hear" of JQ soon. If anyone is at all interested in science history of the late 18th century, especially of chemistry and geology, you will probably find it fascinating. James was a strange character, not much into human relationships -TIC- but i'm learning a lot about the period and the scienctific community of the period. .................... jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 12, 2010, 02:45:42 PM
This is interesting............one of the places that James Smithson explored in his mineral/geological quest was the island of Staffa off the coast of Scotland where there are colossal vertical green-gray and black basalt columns - cooled lava from an ancient undersea volcano - which form the island's base. I couldn't picture in my mind what that would look like so i goggled and here is a picture.

http://www.salenpierhouse.co.uk/Staffa.jpg

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on April 12, 2010, 02:49:31 PM
Thanks for sharing that amazing photo, mabel. Those structures are fantastic and the green color is wonderful.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on April 12, 2010, 03:19:17 PM
Jean, the photo reminded me of Mendessohn's Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave). So when I looked it up? Guess what! Same place. I am listening to it now on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0jxiUq9c4k&feature=related
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on April 12, 2010, 09:04:00 PM
Steffa is amazing! I goggled, too. ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on April 13, 2010, 07:15:09 AM
JoanK,
Did you wear your goggles to google or was that goggle??  LOL!  Just kidding!

I am loving those links that Mable placed here.  Love the library in the Alnwick Castle and the garden.
And, the inside of Hungerford Castle.!

The book about the rise of one young man to the top sounds very interesting and timely, Jim.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on April 13, 2010, 08:38:11 AM
ELLA, did you see JimNT's post (#934, I think)?  That book looks interesting, about a young
man's struggles from poverty to President of Auburn University.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on April 13, 2010, 04:27:23 PM
Annie: "Did you wear your goggles to google or was that goggle?? " No, but I giggled. ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on April 14, 2010, 07:19:37 AM
JoanK,
Tee hee!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on April 25, 2010, 11:28:45 AM
JIMNT and BABI.  That book sounds very interesting.   My library does not have a copy of it, but next visit to a bookstore I will look it up.

Fantastic, Jean, just fantastic photos!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 26, 2010, 12:41:33 PM
I haven't seen Harold in here recently, but i tho't about him when i picked up a book at the library earlier in the week. It is a fiction book, but it's about his neck of the woods - Texas!

Janice Woods Windle wrote a great historical novel about Texas pioneers in the 19th century called True Women, so when i was this book by her, i checked it out. It's titled Will's War. Both books are based on her ancestors stories. This one was inspired by a court transcript she found about her grandfather's (?) trial during WWI. He was a German-Texan who supported a farmers and workers union and 50-some of them were accused of threatening to kill Woodrow Wilson and other officials. It sounds as tho it may be a trumped up charge based on the anger against Germans and populists - fear of socialism - the more things change..........amazing isn't it?

I've just gotten into the trial, but it sounds like 2 very good attorneys facing off against each other and she's using the very words from the court transcript.......................sounds like something Harold might know about, or enjoy, as well as the rest of you............jean

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on April 27, 2010, 08:45:31 AM
 Harold is spending much of his time now as co-leader in "Troublesome
Young Men", JEAN. Very thorough and conscientious, our Harold. When I'm in
there today, I'll tell him you're looking for him in Non-Fiction.
  My great grand-father was Austrian-American.  I don't know whether he immigrated or
was born here.   I do know he dropped the 'Von' from his name.  My grandmother had a sort
of journal/scrapbook of his which included a song,  apparently to be sung to the tune of "The
Battle Hymn of the Republic".   Not a great song, mind you,..more like a patriotic effort. All I can remember of it is some of the opening:  "Our Uncle Sammy told us we must go and fight the Hun,  (da-da-da-da) and put him on the run."  Sadly, that journal was lost after my mother
died, when Dad was clearing out the house to move. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on April 29, 2010, 05:16:45 AM


Thanks for that info Babi.

I have some GErman ancestors who came in the last half of the 19th century, but i never heard any stories about how they were treated during WWI. Of course, they were living in Pa close to where the Pa "Dutch" were, so maybe people were more tolerant there......oh, another one of those things i wish i had asked the previous generation before they were all gone...........sigh...............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on April 29, 2010, 09:53:33 AM
Me,too, Jean.
Mine started arriving in 1850's.  They were from Wurthenberg and Badin which are near or in the Black Forest.
I did find out where they landed when they arrived by boat.   In New Orleans, of all places.  Seems that they wanted to travel up the Mississippi River to the Cinncinati area.  They first settled in Hamilton, OH, but soon moved on to a farm near Union City, IN, in Randolph county. I have even been able to have a copy of the marriage and who performed it sent to me from a county historical area.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on April 29, 2010, 01:07:00 PM
Ado, my husband was surprised to discover from his then-90-year-old grandfather that the family had emigrated to the US from Germany via New Orleans (not Ellis Island) about that same time.  He said that the ships carried cotton from New Orleans to Germany and Germans to the US.  The newcomers took the riverboats up the Mississippi - the easiest way to travel - before transcontinental trains), and settled the fertile farmland along the river.  Every city of any size along the Mississippi and its tributaries has an area called "Germantown".  In my state, Memphis and Nashville have "Germantowns".  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on April 29, 2010, 05:44:50 PM
Well, MaryZ,
Thanks for the update on our German relatives and their traveling.  I knew some of the info but had not heard about the ships taking cotton to Germany and then Germans to New Orleans.  I do think that maybe part of my family was already in Union City, IN.  My ggrandfather fought in the Civil War,too, as a Yankee.  He has a grave marker from the VFWs.   His name was Fidel or Fidelus or Fedelis Higi.   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 02, 2010, 09:44:28 PM
I went shopping for other things yesterday. One of my stops was Ollie's ("Good Stuff Cheap") and ended up digging in their pile of books  :o. And I do mean pile. Books stacked up or piled with not much category sorting. I came out with a resource book on Ubuntu/Linux and Roger Knight's  The Pursuit of Victory. The life and achievement of Horatio Nelson. What a tome. Roger Knight is known for his expertise on naval history and especially renowned as a Nelson scholar. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on May 03, 2010, 02:47:09 PM
I just bought a new, non fiction book called:  "George, Nicholas and Wilkhelm".  By  Miranda Carter.  It begins in 1859, up to the beginning of WWI.  Each of the main players is the grandson of Queen Victoria.  I just finished the introduction, and it grabbed me!  So, I am looking forward to reading the rest of it.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 04, 2010, 10:49:12 AM
Sheila, my library does not have that book yet.  I have an idea it is too new, but they will. I have read about those cousins before; how they fought among themselves and left Nicholas alone in his hour of need. 

While looking up that book I noticed Miranda Carter got a couple of awards for writing the book Anthony Blunt, so I reserved that at the library.  It starts as follows:

"From the moment of his exposure as a former Russian spy by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, in November 1979, Anthony Blunt became a man about whom anything could be said."
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on May 04, 2010, 11:25:03 AM
Sheila - after you read Geo et al, you might be interested in reading Grandmama of Europe; the crowned descendants of Queen Victoria / Theo Aronson. I read it decades ago and was surprised at how many European royalty were descendants of Q Victoria. As i recall it was an interesting read also................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on May 04, 2010, 04:22:20 PM
ELLA,and JEAN, thank you for your book, reccomendations.  I will check them out on my Kindle.  They both sound very interesting. 

I just ordered a book, called:  "The Duchess of Windsor", by Charles Higham.  I have always wondered about her.  Why did she appeal so much to the King?  Why was he willing to abdicate for her?  Were they happy living in exile?  I wonder if she felt it was worth it?

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 05, 2010, 08:13:04 AM
  According to the rumor and gossip....and it must have been rife for me to have picked up on
it...the Duchess had looked forward to being Queen and pretty much made life hell for Edward.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 05, 2010, 11:40:59 AM
Donnamo asked:
Is anyone else here a slow reader?  I have many friends that go through books so fast and it just amazes me.  I read the same pace silently as I do out loud.  I've tried reading faster, but when I do I am not able to paint the mental pictures in my head as I always do when I read.

I think I read at an average pace.  Nonfiction books take much longer for me to read because I take more notes.  And one subject leads me to another, and I'm always looking things up that are referred to in the book.  So I can probably read three fiction books to one nonfiction (especially when it involves history.)

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 05, 2010, 12:03:15 PM
That book, GEORGE, NICHOLAS AND WILHELM sounds very interesting Sheila.  I've put it on hold at my library.  The book Jean mentioned about Queen Victoria also sounded interesting, but I couldn't find at Amazon or the library.  Is it a new one?

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 05, 2010, 12:14:54 PM
I just finished an interesting book: 
BAD BOY; THE LIFE AND POLITICS OF LEE ATWATER by John Brady.  Very good. Atwater was notorious back in the 1980s for turning national politics into blood sport, not only using nasty attacks but reveling in his image as the bad boy of Washington.  He was Bush Sr.'s campaign adviser and is credited with helping Bush beat Dukakis with the Willie Horton issue.

Atwater was also a bit of a hell raiser in high school.  In his English class he did a book report on the telephone directory.  He said "It jumped around too much from character to character without sustaining any of them" and predicted "it would have to be revised next year."  He got a D for content, an A for originality.  On another occasion, he gave an oral report on The Hunchback of Notre Dame -- as a football saga.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on May 05, 2010, 01:35:48 PM





(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


marj - Grandmama of Europe was publ'd in 1973, it very well may be out of print. i found it at my library.
donna - i think i probably read at an average pace and not quickly, i frequently renew a book from my library and we get a month at a time, altho i get 4 - 6 books at a time, partly because i'm assuming that i'm not going to read 1 or 2 of them...........but i don't worry about what my pace is, it suits me, so what does it matter how fast others read? .............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 05, 2010, 06:42:36 PM
I found the book, Jean.  I had missed one of the ma's in grandmama.
Thanks.  Sounds good.

I just watched the movie, YOUNG VICTORIA.  Had been afraid it would be just a boring romance, but it was very interesting.  Even my son liked it.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 06, 2010, 08:31:58 AM
I do that, too, MARJ....go look up something I run across in my reading.
Of course, that's much more likely to happen with a non-fiction book but
I've also done it with historical fiction. I'm as pleased to learn somethng
new as a kid with a new toy.
  I don't enjoy politics, esp. 'nasty' politics, but Atwater does at least
appear to have had an original outlook and sense of humor.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 06, 2010, 02:08:57 PM
Yes, Babi, I feel that way too about learning something new from reading a book.  I love history and some historical fiction.  WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel was one that kept me looking up characters and events.  Thank goodness for Wikipedia, even though it's said to not be error-proof by a long shot, but at least it points you in the right direction.

As for the Lee Atwater book, Bad Boy, it probably is more for someone interested in politics.  But I was fascinated by him, he had an awesome mind.  Was an intellectual, but played up his image of Southern old-boy
regular guy.  He really enjoyed the game of politics more than the party issues.  He also loved to sing and play rhythm and blues songs on his guitar and made a record that I just ordered, "Red Hot and Blue," with B.B. King and others. He was working on his PhD, and wanted to eventually teach, but sadly died in his early 40s from a brain tumor.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 06, 2010, 07:30:24 PM
I guess I have a one track mind of a sort.  That’s not exactly true, but while doing “Troublesome Young Men” I do seem to have ignored the activities here.   In any case I'm, back and will add a comment or two  concerning recent posts.

First "GEORGE, NICHOLAS AND WILHELM" raises an interesting question.  It seems to me that there should another Monarch added to make it "GEORGE, NICHOLAS.WILHELM and CHARLES".  The added name being the Austrian Emperor, Charles I.  It would seem appropriate in as much as the assassination of the Austrian heir was the immediate cause of WWI and that monarchy too did not survive the War.  

Also regarding the Comment regarding the English Queen Victoria who was maybe not the best example of a Victorian.  In her younger days she was quite a party person.  Truly she loved her husband Prince Albert.  Also as a middle age widow she shocked Victorians by taking long country carriage rides alone with her carriage driver.  Also is it not true that the only real Victorians were Americans?  English society in the early 20th century society of the  ”Troublesome Young Men” was hardly Victorian.  

Several years ago I posted here a rather long comment on how Victoria came to be in line for the Crown when her Uncle William IV died in 1837.  Does anyone remember the story in that post?

In closing Click the following link for photos from my Chandler House Players', current Reader’s Theater Project that currently includes 2 short plays, “Frosting” and “Almost Murder.” http://www.morningsidemin.org/Chandler/chandler-players.html
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on May 06, 2010, 07:53:16 PM
I"ve just begun reading a book called:  "The Duchess of Windsor", by Charles Higham.  It is surprising me to learn that Wallis, had a cruch on the Duke of Windsor, when she was 17 years old.  She had relatives who were socially and financially upper class.  Her uncle financed her education, and her debut.  In her early 20s she and the Duke were at several social events.

I am finding this book interesting.  I look forward to learning how they met, and more about their courtship.  I also want to know more about their German support.  I am wondering how things would have turned out if they had never met.  If he had remained King of England, would he have negotiated a peace with Hitler?  Since reading "Troublesome Yound Men", I have become fascinated with this time period.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on May 06, 2010, 09:46:07 PM
I see Harold's back - this is a post i made on April 26 - any comment?

I haven't seen Harold in here recently, but i tho't about him when i picked up a book at the library earlier in the week. It is a fiction book, but it's about his neck of the woods - Texas!

Janice Woods Windle wrote a great historical novel about Texas pioneers in the 19th century called True Women, so when i was this book by her, i checked it out. It's titled Will's War. Both books are based on her ancestors stories. This one was inspired by a court transcript she found about her grandfather's (?) trial during WWI. He was a German-Texan who supported a farmers and workers union and 50-some of them were accused of threatening to kill Woodrow Wilson and other officials. It sounds as tho it may be a trumped up charge based on the anger against Germans and populists - fear of socialism - the more things change..........amazing isn't it?

I've just gotten into the trial, but it sounds like 2 very good attorneys facing off against each other and she's using the very words from the court transcript.......................sounds like something Harold might know about, or enjoy, as well as the rest of you............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 07, 2010, 08:59:04 AM
  HAROLD, I see the Chandler House Players are quite popular.  You have
a busy performance schedule lined up, and I see you are co-starring in
the first play.  Congratulations.

  JEAN, back in my college days I managed to find a transcript of the trial of William Penn in
London, back before his move to America.  I'd been considering writing a play about it, but after
reading the fascinating transcript, I couldn't figure out what I could add of  any significance. The
transcript pretty much covered it all. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 07, 2010, 10:16:00 AM
Y es, I see Harold's post and he is busy and having fun!  Here is a website of a retirement village I am considering in my near future with a good array of activities.  Am not sure yet that I am mentally ready for it, but my body is saying let's go:

http://www.oprs.org/westminster_thurber/

I just finished Carol Burnett's book THIS TIME TOGETHER.  I loved her show but I should have skipped her book, she's not a writer and is not funny.

Am starting GAME CHANGE, which seems to be a popular book, and it is starting off well.

I have the book FORDLANDIA about Henry Ford's jungle city in Brazil and it looks good.

I am well prepared for spring - flowers to plant and books to read. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 07, 2010, 05:19:25 PM
Jean, I have read , “Texas” by James Michener?   It is one of several novels of a style that I think are styled  geographical novels in which a geographical area is written into the plot.  Others by Michener include Alaska and Hawaii. I thought Michener did a good job in his inclusion of Texas history episodes that became a part of his story.  Others including the Northrop & Hall Bounty Trilogy distort history to the point of rewriting it leaving me with an underlying suspicion of historical novels . 

I have not read the Novel you mentioned by Janice Woods Windle, but I remember some 15 years ago a CBS TV mini-series also called “True Woman.  This was the story of a young woman who heroically organized a group of Settlers and successfully led them to escape the advancing Mexican Army after the fall of the Alamo in 1836.  The story supposedly based on a family tradition has no support that I know of from actual history and in fact seems to conflict with history since it failed mentioned the role of Juan Seguin who was active in the area at the time and is credited with the same activities as the woman in the story.  I enjoyed the TV mini-series but I find it hard to accept as history.  Others I agree might view it otherwise. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 07, 2010, 05:53:49 PM
Ella, another thing I like about living at Chandler is the activity schedule here.  We have each month several area day trips.  Last week for example we went to Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch about 70 miles north of San Antonio.  There we visited LBJ Texas White House and had an Excellent lunch at a fine hill country eatery in Jonson City.  In June or July we will go to Fredericksburg to pick peaches from the orchard trees.  We always have 1 or 2 such road trips each month.  Also we go as a group in the Chandler mini bus to local museums or events such as the Fiesta river parade, or Folklife Festival.  Maybe even a Spurs game.  This morning we toured San Fernando Cathedral and the old 18th Century Spanish Governors Palace with lunch at El Marcado. This morning we had a professional tour Guide.  I sometimes lead the tours at the Institute of Texan Cultures and the National Historical Park sites.  We also have in-house lectures particularly a series by a local astronomer. Even though individuals pay the cost of admissions and outside dinners are dutch treat, it is the availability of activities like these that make the rather sizable rents worthwhile.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on May 08, 2010, 11:24:51 AM
Harold - the tv series was based on Windle's book and Juan Sequin is mentioned in Will's Trial. He may an ancestor of Windle's, i'll have to recheck that...................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 08, 2010, 02:04:58 PM
HAROLD, all of those day trips sound great.  I know Thurber Village has similar trips which is one of thre reasons I am thinking of going there, but leaving my condo is leaving independence in many ways and, even at 82 years of age, it is such a big decision.

LYNDON JOHNSON, what a big character he was, both in size and personality.  What did you learn about him by touring his ranch that you didn't know before?

If we have not discussed a book about him before, we should do it don't you think?

JEAN, your book sounds good, whether true in fact or not.  We missed you in our discussion of TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 08, 2010, 02:39:42 PM
Robert Caro has written three books of a projected 4-volume biography of LBJ, Ella:  THE PATH TO POWER, MEANS OF ASCENT (which won the 1980 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography), and MASTER OF THE SENATE.  I keep meaning to read these (along with a kagillion other books).

Marj

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 08, 2010, 08:15:00 PM
MARJ!  No way, can't even think of four volumes of one man!  I know he was a powerful man, but really, who is going to be reading that much, except for researchers??  I would love to read one book.

Did you listen to THE BRIDGE by Dave Remnick about Obama?  We seem to be watching BookTV together today.  I would like to have heard more about Obama's mother; perhaps I'll have to read the book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on May 08, 2010, 10:36:57 PM
John's read Caro's Master of the Senate.  He said it's not only a great look at LBJ, but an incredible overview of how the Senate works.  I'm waiting for them to be available on Kindle - they're too big for me to hold to read.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on May 09, 2010, 07:21:58 AM
I own the 2nd and 3rd volumes of Robert Caro's bio of LJB, so I'll eventually read them.  I want to read the first volume, Path to Power. Just finished a very interesting biography of Lee Atwater (BAD BOY; THE LIFE AND POLITICS OF LEE ATWATER) and that first LJB volume was Atwater's "bible."  He kept one copy at home, one in his car (he had a driver), and one at his office.  (There is a hilarious quote at the beginning of the 4th chapter of Atwater's bio, about what LJB said he expected in the way of loyalty from someone.  I'd quote it, except some people might be offended by the language he used.)

As to the Obama biography, Ella, I didn't listen to the author on BookTV. It can be watched on the CSpan channel, so maybe I'll give it a listen.  I read Obama's autobiography, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, one of my best reads of last year.  He talked about his mother's having doubts about the education he was receiving in Indonesia, so she bought a good educational program somewhere, and made Obama get up early every morning to study from it.  He would complain, and she'd say "Listen, Buster, this is no picnic for me either, but it's important!"

Marj

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 09, 2010, 08:55:39 AM
 I really liked 'Dreams of My Father", too, MARJ.  It seems to me Obama inherited his father's intelligence and charm, while managing to avoid the arrogance and impatience that led to his downfall.  I have been invariably impressed by Obama's ability to remain cool, courteous and
firm under verbal attack.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on May 09, 2010, 09:29:08 AM
I also read Dreams of My Father and enjoyed it.  It's been a while since I read and enjoyed his Audacity of Hope which is more of a policy book, but the last chapter was personal about family.   When he met Michelle and her family, it seems he found not only a person but a family that he had been longing for.  If you aren't interested in policy ideas, it is worth checking out the book for that last chapter.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on May 09, 2010, 09:54:57 AM
Master of the Senate is now available on Kindle, and I got it last night.  (Plus one of our daughters and family gave me a nice Kindle gift certificate.)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 09, 2010, 06:56:05 PM
Regarding "Master of the Senate" by Robert A Caro it is Vol 3 of a 4 volume comprehensive Biography of Lindon B. Johnson, of 37th President.  This is the only volume I have.  Though I have never read it through, I have found it a great research source particularly in connection with other book discussions. Click the following for more on Master of the Senate.  http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Master-of-the-Senate/Robert-A-Caro/e/9780394720951/?itm=1&USRI=Master+of+the+Senate

Several weeks ago my Chandler House group visited the LBJ Ranch .  The old ranch house now known as the Texas White House is now open for visitors and we took the tour.  The house is not large enough to be considered a mansion but it is a decent size comfortable Texas ranch house with I suppose 8 to 10 rooms.  At the time the Front Lawn was covered wit a carpet of Blue Bonnets  The national Park service now operates the site that is open daily for visitors.  I had been there before but the House was off limits for visitors while Lady Bird was alive and living there.  There are many fine restaurants in the adjoining towns of Johnson City and Fredrickdburg.





http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Master-of-the-Senate/Robert-A-Caro/e/9780394720951/?itm=1&USRI=Master+of+the+Senate
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on May 10, 2010, 09:23:44 AM
Our F2F group at the senior center is now reading "My Life in France" by Julia Child.  Also authored and edited by Alex Prud'homme who is her grandnephew.  That would be one of her sister's children or grandchildren?  I was unaware of the family connection.  What a surprise.  And that's not Paul Prud'home, the chef!

"With Julia Child's death in 2004 at age 91, her grandnephew Prud'homme (The Cell Game) completed this playful memoir of the famous chef's first, formative sojourn in France with her new husband, Paul Child, in 1949." Amazon
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Tomereader1 on May 11, 2010, 01:39:25 PM
I just finished reading "Return to Joy" by Charlotte and Virginia Parker.
(It is listed on Amazon, should anyone be interested).  If you have a friend, loved one or relative with dementia, this is an excellent telling of how these sisters dealt with their mother's decline.  We had the pleasure of having the author address our Library Friends group, and others who wanted to attend.  I could have used a lot of this information about 4 yrs ago w/MIL.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Annie on May 11, 2010, 04:59:15 PM
Sounds very interesting and timely, Tomereader!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 12, 2010, 12:19:31 PM
TOMEREADER:  What did you do with your MIL?  I've been fortunate that none of my family or friends have had this problem; although they have had many more.  Years ago, a friend's mother had dementia, it was difficult.  The mother accused her daughter of stealing and breaking in her house and she got so very angry.  And also she started wandering out of the house and losing her way.  My friend then had to place her mother in a nursing home where they can care for her. 

As you said, any information would be helpful.  Thanks for the post about the book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 13, 2010, 03:14:53 PM
MYSTERIES.  I cannot read them anymore before I go to sleep; they are agitating.  That's not to say I have given up on them.

But I finally found a good nonfiction book to read at bedtime; a chapter an evening is good.

"COMMANDER IN CHIEF"  How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America's Future.

To paraphrase, and I shouldn't because GEOFFREY PERRET, the author of several books, documentaries, has done an excellent job of writing.  WWII, and preceding wars,  had a beginning and an end.  Three wars since have not, they are wars that we crept into, mismanaged, and withdrew without honor.

Truman, Johnson and Bush all  confronted wars that no amount of American power or prestige could win, and each reacted similarly.

Perret states that the presidency has become too powerful, it undermines the checks and balances built into the Constitution; thereby creating a permanent threat to the Constitution itself.

Further -   "There is a limit to the number of people that the United States can kill, capature, or incapacitate...... There are limits to what even a superpower can do without turning the entire civilized world against it."

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 13, 2010, 04:11:14 PM
Regarding Seniors and dementia, My grandmother had the problem.  She had no trouble remembering her life back to the 19th century, but she couldn't remember back to yesterday.  She died in the 1950's.  Neither of my parents was affected.   Here at Chandler I have observed some with symptoms.  One was a 97 year old lady who when she first arrived had initial trouble finding her way around the campus.  After several months, the layout seemed to register in her mind and actually today she is very adequately sharp.  She certainly appeared to comprehend our docent led tour of the Museum of art the other day.  Another somewhat more serious case involved a long term resident in our independent living apartments who last year had to move the assisted living apartment.  A few weeks ago while he was visiting his wife in the nursing home he became confused and could not find his way back to his apartment in the assisted living wing.

 Here in our independent living apartment we have an interesting compute machine that is supposed to keep our minds sharp and active with 4 to 6 half hour sessions per week.  I am finding it hard to make two or three such sessions, but I do find them interesting and stimulating.  I frequently score in the 90’s.  I am particularly good at questions involving numbers and fairly good at questions requiring memory, both short term and long term.   I am less good on questions involving recognizing faces.  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on May 14, 2010, 08:06:14 AM
Harold, what's the name of that computer program to keep one's mind sharp?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 14, 2010, 11:28:59 AM
Ginny and all: for more information on the Dakin Brain Fitness Machine, Click the following http://www.dakim.com
  Probably about 25% of the 45 residents living here at the independent living apartments are taking advantage of this machine.  A minimum of three or four a week half hour programmed sessions are recommended.   I am finding it hard to make that schedule but I am making two to three times a week.  I generally do well on questions involving numbers or words.  I tend to do less well in memory recognition involving artistic figures or human faces.  I just went up to check the spelling of the machine’s name and did a secession in which I did my highest score, 98.   My last previous secession was my lowest 78.  Of my six completed session four scored in the 90’s and two slipped to the 70’s.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 15, 2010, 10:07:17 AM
Both days this weekend my Time Warner on screen TV Guide for C-SPAN 2 shows almost continual  “Nonfiction Books and Authors” all week end.  Also Click the following C-SPAN 2 site for more information and also a number of past interviews are available for on line watching.  http://www.booktv.org

In the past I have watched C-Span TV Book reviews.  In recent years however I have not been able to watch since I do volunteer work on Saturday at the Institute of Texan Cultures and on Sunday at the National Park’s Mission San Francisco de la Espada site. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on May 15, 2010, 11:30:22 AM
CSpan2 is always all non-fiction books and authors all weekend.  Check their web site (booktv.org) for specific listings.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 15, 2010, 06:33:34 PM
“Revolutionaries:  A New History of the Invention of America, By Jack Rakove.” Publication date May 2010.

Ella: The ink is scarcely dry on this one, but is sure appears the kind of book we like to discuss.  I heard a radio interview with the author on my way home from the Institute.  Perhaps you might find an early copy in your library and comment on it.  I’ll check for it at the local B & N store. 
Click the following for a synopsis, publishers review and information about the arthor.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Revolutionaries/Jack-Rakove/e/9780618267460/?itm=1&USRI=Revolutionaries
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 16, 2010, 11:52:45 AM
HAROLD, looks very interesting.  My library bought 12 copies of it (always an indication of how popular they think the book will be).  I reserved a copy and I am 17th on the list.  If I get to B&N soon, which I doubt, I'll take a look.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on May 17, 2010, 08:14:31 AM
That's very interesting, Harold. I watched several videos of it, it would be a great thing, I think. I wish we could have something like it here, I'll scout around and see what I can find out.

Thank you Mary on the non fiction, do you know why they confine themselves to non fiction authors on Book TV?

I am enjoying so far the Men Who Would be King,  already it has some surprising facts in it, it's Spielberg, Katzenberg and not Ovitz at all but rather  David Geffen,  a man I know nothing about, so it's going to be interesting,  and already we can see Eisner's name popping up  in the book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on May 17, 2010, 12:08:39 PM
I don't know, ginny - just the way it is.  :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on May 17, 2010, 12:23:23 PM
Greetings -

I remember Brian Lamb explaining his policy for C-SPAN books several (20 or so) years ago so I may not have this exact - but it seems to me that he felt that fiction writers received attention throughout all forms of media and he wanted nonfiction to have a platform.  Initially I think he also expected to limit them to biographies, history, politics and government - the issues dealt with by C-SPAN. The format was expanded to include most non fiction (science, religion, human relations) topics because they are all part of culture, laws, and life in general and are reflected in government actions and policy. When they do the In Depth programs the first weekend of each month, if the author has written fiction as well as nonfiction, I think they have discussed both. I know that Booknotes was more restrictive than Book TV in that he also only allowed an author to appear on Booknotes once.

Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 18, 2010, 07:46:34 AM
 FYI, as a little side note...remember Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea", about the building of schools in Afghanistan?  He and a co-author have also written a children's version of that book.
My initial surprise quickly turned into 'Of course,  children would like such a story'. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction-The Supreme Court
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 21, 2010, 11:19:48 AM
The following new book was just released by the publisher:  The Supreme Court: A C-SPAN Book Featuring the Justices in Their Own Words,  http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Supreme-Court/C-SPAN/e/9781586488352/?itm=2&USRI=The+Supreme+Court

It will be the subject of a C-span panel discussion this week end.  Saturday, I plan to leave the ITC early to catch the 4:30 PM broadcast.

Panel Discussion: Coinciding with the May 2010 release of the book "The Supreme Court: A C-SPAN Book Featuring the Justices In Their Own Words", C-SPAN and the Library of Congress are sponsoring a panel discussion that takes a look at the current Court.  Participants include Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, journalists Joan Biskupic of USA Today and Lyle Denniston of SCOTUS Blog, and attorney and former Rehnquist Law Clerk Maureen Mahoney.

•   Saturday, May 22nd at 4:30pm (ET)
•   Sunday, May 23rd at 2:30am (ET)
•   Sunday, May 23rd at 9am (ET)
•   Sunday, May 23rd at 10pm (ET)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on May 21, 2010, 11:27:28 AM
Thanks for the information, Harold. That should be an interesting discussion.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on May 21, 2010, 11:37:22 AM
Thanks for the heads up, Harold. I have in my library The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. I will be sure to tune in. The book could be an interesting addition.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 21, 2010, 05:36:10 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



Click the following for an interesting article on book selling in the future: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704448304575196172206855634.html?ru=yahoo&mod=yahoo_hs    

I suspect that we are poised to see major changes in the way we buy and read books as this year and next year unfold.  This article gives us a preview.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on May 22, 2010, 02:55:38 PM
FYI, as a little side note...remember Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea", about the building of schools in Afghanistan?  He and a co-author have also written a children's version of that book.
My initial surprise quickly turned into 'Of course,  children would like such a story'. 

I looked at that book, meaning to buy it for my grandchildren. Unfortunately, it was badly written -- I didn't buy it in the end.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 23, 2010, 08:41:35 AM
Oh, that's too bad, JOANK.  Thanks for the tip; I won't recommend it to
friends with children in that case.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on May 25, 2010, 11:18:37 AM
Just jumping in with a book suggestion, although did not carefully read the past weeks, so hope it's not a duplicate.

Last week, I finished a very fine book:

The Bridge by David Remnick, a bio. of Obama but much more!   Excellent writing!  Link is:

http://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Life-Rise-Barack-Obama/dp/1400043603/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274802428&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 25, 2010, 05:29:19 PM
Yesterday while doing some house cleaning I ran across. a particular book title stored in a box in the back of a closet.  The title is the “The Diary of Samuel Pepys.”  I have Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the 11 volume complete set edited by Robert Latham and William Mathews.  The complete edition was released volume by volume beginning with Vol 1 in 1960 with the rest following during the 1960’s.  The publisher was the University of California Press. 

At the time my bookseller was Rosengrin’s Bookstore, an old  style family book store on Bowie street behind the Alamo in downtown San Antonio.  It is the complete text of this diary beginning in 1660 and ending in 1669 when Pepys’ failing vision forced him to discontinue it.  I purchased the first three volumes as they came out and am not sure why I stopped acquiring the later volumes.  I do not recall ever setting down and reading these volumes and their pristine new condition certainly confirms their previous un-read state.  At the time I had read a much shorter Modern Library condensation.  I’ll see how far I get, but it is the type of personal history writing that I find good bedtime reading.   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on May 26, 2010, 08:34:56 AM
 Howard, I had no idea "The Diary of Samuel Pepys" ran to 11 volumes. I
read one volume and thought that was it! I wonder if I have/had the
condensed version. I'm not even sure I still have it, but I remember it
as quaint and entertaining. I remember that gifts were exchanged
with friends on Valentine's Day back then, and a proper gift for a lady
friend was a pair of gloves...lavender, as I recall.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on May 26, 2010, 09:50:27 AM
MIPPY, thanks for the suggestion.  I just finished reading GAME CHANGE by Heileman and Halperin which was about the candidates and their campaigns for the 2008 presidential election.  I've had my fill of political realities for awhile.

Harold, I explored this briefly, you might be interested:

http://www.pepysdiary.com/about/history/

Ginny mentioned this book in the Library; it's a new book and I am jusst into it and it's good reading also:  THE MEN WHO WOULD BE KING by Nicole Laporte: An almost epic tale of moguls, movies, and a company called DREAMWORKS.  Three huge egos forming a company?  

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 28, 2010, 11:41:25 AM
Jean I note the  "True Women", Janice Wood Windle Tv series is still around.  Yesterday between 9:00 Pm and 1:00AM this morning the Hallmark HD Movie channel ran 4:hours of it.  I did not watch it, but happened to run across it on my Time Warner on-screen TV guide.  This channel runs movies generally 10 years or older.

   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 28, 2010, 12:10:20 PM
This morning's Wall street Journal in the Week End journal section has its Summer Book Review.

Also last night the PBS 6:09 PM News Hour had 15 minutes devoted to pending changes in book publishing resulting from digital books.  Included were interviews with  a N.Y. book store owner, Cathy Lanager, a publishing executive, Jonathan Galassi and a prominent Author whose name I did not recognize .  Of the three the book store owner was quite optimistic that her business of selling paper bound books would remain relatively secure.  The other two were much less optimistic about the future off bound paper editions. seemingly feeling that in the future most books would be digital for screen device reading. with the role of printed paper bound books significantly reduced.  The Author whose name I did not recognize was much concern about the maintaining the current high author royalty payments.  

In my opinion it is the bookstore owner that has the most to worry about as I fear even a 25% reduction in the number of a paper edition printing would bring hard times for conventional book stores.  Also I think it is the authors that have the least to worry about.  They should be able to maintain or even increase the size of their royalty checks.    
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on May 28, 2010, 01:06:34 PM
I finished Janice Woods Windle's "Will's War" yesterday. As i said before it is a fiction book, but Windles has based her three novels on her ancestors in Texas and in this one she uses the transcripts of her grandfather's trial for treason during WWI. It is very well written and a great look at how German-Americans were persecuted. Some of it is almost too eerily close to today's headlines:

".....Arthur recognized Rudolph Tschoepe. Until recent weeks he had been a highly respected member of the State Legislature. He had come to American from Germany w/ his parents when he was 4 yrs old. Now, half a century later, he was ousted from the Legislature because he couldn not prove he was an American citizen. Yet, no man Arthur knew was more loyal to American than Rep. Tschoepe. The faceless enemy was on the march. "

Other German-Americans had much more serious actions taken against them, including torching of their houses and businesses and being assaulted and sometimes killed.

The closing argument by the defensive atty for Will Bergfeld, the protagonist and Windle's grandfather, is one of the most compelling statements about protecting the right of free speech and association, etc. that i have ever read in literature. Since Windle had 1000,s of pages of trial transcript, my perception is that it was exactly as William Atwell, the defense atty,  stated it at the time. He, later, had a distinguished career as a U.S. District Judge in Dallas and wrote in his autobiography that "In many respects, this was one of the most remarkable trials ever held in America."

I tho't the book was well-written, compelling, and gave us an important piece of Amer'n history that is often overlooked....................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on May 28, 2010, 03:23:14 PM
All four of my paternal great grand parents had migrated from Germany during the 1850’s.  At the time of WW I the extended family was living in San Antonio TX.  The family then consisted of 3 of the 4 original immigrant ancestors, at least 6 or 7 first generation descendant families born in the U.S. , and well over a dozen 2nd generation  U.S. born  grand children.  My father and his cousins comprised the latter group.  All the living immigrant ancestors had become fluent in English and all their first Generation off spring was fluent in both English and German.  The second native born generation had some knowledge of German but based on my father, it was definitely a second language. 

Emphatically, there is absolutely no tradition of discrimination against them because of their Germanic roots.   I think this fact is illustrated by some 1918 family pictures taken of my father and 3 of his cousins in “the new dodge” in San Pedro Park.  Three of the four are in their khaki U.S.  Army uniforms home on leave prior to assignment in France.  Only my father was in civilian dress.  He was 4-F for some reason.  Whatever it was it must not have been much as he lived a rather healthy life dying at 90 in 1986. 

I don’t doubt that there was some isolated discrimination against German citizens during WWI.  but I don’t think it was at all widespread, like it had been during the Civil War when there were instances of lynching of German residents opposing succession.  At the time only one of my Great grandparent families were in Texas.  Again there is no family record of harassment.  This Great Grandfather and his family (Last name Schlick) lived in Texas throughout the Civil War without harassment or military service.  He died in 1874 so he was not around during WW I.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on May 28, 2010, 05:59:44 PM
Harold - this story was in Seguin, (pronounced Sea-geen), Texas and Weinert, Texas. She mentions in her end notes that Will Bergfeld never spoke German again after the trial. I suppose the yrs from 1914 - 1946 could have been sketchy for some G-Amer'ns in some places. Many of my ancestors were from Germany, but they had come in the late 1700's or early 1800's, and lived in Pa where there were many of German ancestry, so i doubt they had much trouble.....................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 01, 2010, 10:25:47 AM
It's been awhile since I have read a good nonfiction book.  I've tried several but they didn't hold my interest very long.  Any suggestions?  A good biography or autobiography?  History?

Oh, certainly some of you have read a good one!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on June 01, 2010, 10:30:31 AM
Ella, how about the biography of Frances Perkins (FDR's Sect'y of Labor); The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot; The Race Beat (about the role of the media in the Civil Rights Movement).  I've read these this year, and liked all of them.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 01, 2010, 10:55:51 AM
Thanks, Mary.  I'll look them up in my library, I'm going today if I ever get started here!

We discussed Frances Perkins in this book by Kirsten Downey.  Weren't you with us?  LOok:

http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=587.0

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on June 01, 2010, 11:49:22 AM
Ella, I'm sure this is where I originally heard about the book, but I didn't participate in the discussion - I think I read the book later. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on June 02, 2010, 11:21:31 AM
I read "Troublesome Young Men" by Lynne Olson and enjoyed it so much.  Just picked up her latest "Citizens of London, The Americans Who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour" and am looking forward to some interesting reading.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 02, 2010, 03:18:03 PM
Let us know, FLAJEAN!  That book was on the display table at my Library not long ago and I almost brought it home, but I had my book bag full by the time I saw it.  She writes well; holds your interest.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 02, 2010, 03:25:15 PM
I’ve been evaluating Book readers.  Do any of you here use one of these devises that seem to becoming increasingly popular?   I think my options are narrowing down between the Apples I-Pad and the Kindle DX, since I really want the larger 9.5 inch diagonal screen that both of these provide.  Both the I-Pad and Kindle DX offer this larger screen and both offer much more than simple book reading.  Right now I am leaning for the Apple since it seems to offer much more browsing resources then the DX whose $489.00 price tag approaches the cost of the I-Pad.  Also with the use of downloadable App software both can read books from the Apple, B&N and Amazon.com stores.   

Any comment from users or want to be users of any of these products are appropriate.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on June 02, 2010, 04:22:53 PM
Harold, I have a Kindle 2.  I got it because I have trouble holding large books - or even paperbacks for any length of time.  I really like mine - and don't care about doing anything with it other than reading.  It's great for travel - I only have to take it, and don't have to worry about running out of something read.  I don't feel the need for a larger screen - maybe if I read newspapers or magazines on it, I would - but that's not an issue for me, either.

My only complaints would be that I can only buy from Amazon, and that I can't easily share books.  One of our daughters and I share an Amazon account, so we can read each other's books.  But I can't just pass it on to a friend - even one who has a Kindle.

Good luck with your research.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on June 02, 2010, 10:48:47 PM
I think I mentioned in a different forum that I have an iPad and love it.  You do have to download iTunes (which is free) to your computer.  You "sinc" the iPad to your computer through iTunes.  Since it was a gift from my husband, he bought me the one that is capable of 3G cellular.  However, I haven't subscribed yet as so many places now have wifi.  I also have the cover and am very pleased with it.  It's nice having access to email, Internet and the MAPs app when we travel.  If we take a long trip, I plan on subscribing to 3G with ATT.

I downloaded "Persuasion" (free) as well as several other books.  It is so easy to make the print larger or smaller by simply using your thumb and finger.  You just have to touch the page to turn it--amazing.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on June 03, 2010, 07:41:33 AM
of course I have talked at length about my Kindle...It is the first one out though, Harold.  I can also read anything that I have on it on my computer too.   It saves my place on the kindle and on the computer.   I can read for many long hours now on my computer.  I hreally enjoy the Kindle and haven't found anything that I want to purchase that I cannot obtain from Amazon....If it is not on Kindle at Amazon then other place sees to have for their electronic reader.  Of course each person must decide what is right for their needs.So I will only say that the Kindle has been such a huge blessing to me.  Joan Grimes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on June 03, 2010, 07:57:36 PM
I have a Kindle 2, and love it!  Especially the fact that if a good book is reccomended, I can "buy" and download a book in about 1 minute. My hands both have arthritis, and my K is much easier for me to hold.  Finally, I have around 100 books available in my "home" catagory.  At this point in life, I may well die, before I have read all of them.

At Christmas time last year, I bought the K-2, and gave my K-1 to my dil who is a reader, too.  She ended up getting my book list at the time.  At the same time, all of my books on the K-1, were transfered from the K-1, to the K-2.

The thing I miss the most, is being able to pass a book on to one of my children, or a friend.  Another feature thing that I like is I can get a sample, of a book, free, to see if I like the writing style.

Harold, I am curious about the IPad.  After buying my first Kindle, I swore that I would not buy anymore, new technology. What features do you like about the ipad?  Can you give me a breakdown of what it will do?  I would appreciate knowing more.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 04, 2010, 11:48:58 AM
>Harold, I am curious about the IPad.  After buying my first Kindle, I swore that I would not buy anymore, new technology. What features do you like about the ipad?  Can you give me a breakdown of what it will do?  I would appreciate knowing more.

Shelia:  Principally I want the larger 9.5 diagonal screen and would value the added capability to do more than just read books as a small note book computer.  Of the best known readers from Amazon.com, B&N and Apple, the two models that appear to qualify are the I-Pad, and Kindle DX.  Bothe of these appear capable with the aid of free App (Software) of reading books purchased from the major on line book stores, Amazon.com, B&N, and the Apple store.  Both of these also appear capable of reading E-mail and general Web browsing either through Wi-Fi and 3G model.  The Apple I-Pad has been widely accepted by the Market since its release earlier this year.  In comparison there is not much actual reporting concerning the Kindle DX.  Both of the products are pricy but the $489 DX Base Price tag is just a few dollars less than the I-Pad making a decision to go with the popular choice seem the wise one.
 
The following is a recent Walt Mossberg, WSJ column concerning the I-Pad.
 http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100331/apple-ipad-review/
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on June 05, 2010, 12:23:01 PM
Harold, thank you for the information.  Here is something which I plan to watch on TV, which might interest you, and others.  Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m., CSPAN 2 will be showing a panel discussion on the next decade in book culture; the effects if electronic reading devices.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on June 05, 2010, 12:55:01 PM
thanks, Sheila -I checked the booktv web site - that program will be on at 4 p.m. ET today, followed by an interview with Pat Conroy.  :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 05, 2010, 02:20:46 PM
The program, BOOK EXPO AMERICA, I think it was called, a panel discussion concerning ebooks and how they will affect the future, was just on my C-Span.  Scott Turow, the incoming president of Authors Guild, was on it, plus 4 or 5 representatives from booksellers, publishers and the like.  Most of them agreed it is an evolving strategy of getting readership and no one knows how it will play out in 5-10 years.  The whole thing - libraries, bookstores, warehousing, and on and on, jobs, librarians - all in a flux.

Turow, particularly, was very concerned about author's profits; certainly we want them to continue, otherwise we would not get the quality of books we have today.

Gosh, it's been a long while since I've read a Turow book.  I think I picked one up a year or so ago and it seemed too long to read or something.

  HAROLD, what did you end up getting?

It does seem a little silly to pay $500 for a gadget in order to pay just $9 for a book, hahahahaa!   Of course, that is not the idea.  

I think I would like one eventually because you can change the text to a larger print and maybe you can change the text to a bolder one?

There are books I will not read because the print is too fine.  Of course, it is an age thing; one I live with.  I will probably end up buying one in the near future.

Then there is GOOGLE who is doing something, I didn't understand it exactly, but the fellow said Google will be coming out with their own ebook reader in the future!

WOW, competition will help, don't you think?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 06, 2010, 08:21:57 AM
 Oh, yeah, competition always helps, ELLA.   So, I think, does time.  You know,  things always
cost more when they are still a novelty and 'the latest thing'.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 07, 2010, 12:39:18 PM
I have not made a decision on a book reader.  I have been reading several rather comprehensive reviews on the Apple I-pad and the Kindle DX an find both have their short comings.  For example with the I pad there is no way for the reader to highlight or otherwise note important excerpts of text for future reference.  Also Apple could have done much better in providing for user connectivity to other computer components.  One obvious inclusion would be one or more USB access plugs on the chassis.  As a book reader the I-Pad seems to have other short comings. It strong points seem centered on its use as a sofa toy for general web browsing, E-mail music and movies.

As a Book reader the Kindle DX might be the best, but it too certainly has its shortcomings .  To me the ability to highlight and make notes on important points is essential for both Dl’s and discussion Participants.  The DX appears to have this capability; however, the small screen keyboard would make extensive text inclusions tedious.  Another principal problem with this Kindle noted in the reviews is the absence of quick and easy navigation to another chapter or another page in the book.

So I am still looking but a decision to make a purchase is still at least several weeks away.

Read the Following Reviews:
I Pad: http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/03/apple-ipad-review/  If this is not clickable copy this addres and past it in your browser to open.

Kindle Dx: http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/19/kindle-dx-review/  

 http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/2010/02/21/amazon-kindle-dx-review.html/  
If this is not clickable copy this address and past it in your browser to open.

And longer and more Comprehensive:  http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/19/kindle-dx-review/
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on June 07, 2010, 06:57:56 PM
I've been wanting to read Robert Caro's Master of the Senate, about LBJ's years in the US Senate.  I've always heard that it was also a great history of the institution of the Senate and the way it works.  It finally became available on Kindle, and I got it last week.  I've only gotten through the Introduction and am into Chapter One.  The history is fascinating!  But I'm not sure I'm going to be able to read this book.  

Does this man not have an editor???!!!?!?!  I've just come across this ONE sentence!!!!  Don't feel obligated to read the whole thing.

With the dawn of the new century, the public’s demand for an end to trusts and to the high protective tariff that was “the mother of trusts,” the tariff that robbed farmers and gouged consumers, and that had now been in place for almost fifty years - the demand, for legislation to ameliorate the injustices of the Industrial Revolution, that had begun to rise during the Gilded Age, only to be thwarted in part by the Senate - began to rise faster, fed by the books of Jacob Riis and Lincoln Steffens and Theodore Dreiser and a hundred other authors; by the new mass-circulation magazines, which, in the very first years of the twentieth century, educated America about the manipulations of Standard Oil and stirred its conscience to the horrors of sweatshops and child labor (in 1900, almost two million boys and girls were working, often alongside their mothers, all the daylight hours seven days a week in rooms in which there might not be a single window); and by the Populist and Grange movements, which gave farmers insight into the power that railroads and banks had over their lives, and into their helplessness against them.

A
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on June 07, 2010, 06:59:37 PM
Sorry, I meant to add this, but couldn't get it into the "reply" window.

This sentence isn't even the only one in the paragraph!  If this whole book is filled with these, there's no way I'll be able to wade through the convoluted prose.  @#$%#%@
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 08, 2010, 08:17:06 AM
 That's too bad, MARYZ.  It sounds like this could have been an interesting
book, with reasonable control.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on June 08, 2010, 08:46:20 AM
George got after me long, long ago about my long sentences (never THAT long). He of the PhD in Reading Ed. told me that more than 15 words in a sentence and people start to lose track of what is being said. Seems a little low, but if you are writing for a high school level or below, maybe.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 08, 2010, 09:28:24 AM
That's ridiculous, MARYZ.  I agree, I couldn't sustain interest in a book that read like that.  I know LBJ was a powerhouse in the Senate.  There must be other biographies that, while not as good as Caro, would satisfy?

HAROLD, I never thought of highlighting on a Kindle.  I would need to do that in a book discussion.  Can you cut/paste possibly into another document that might hold your notes?  As you can see, I know nothing about them!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on June 08, 2010, 09:46:38 AM
Ella, the Kindle is not a computer - you don't have a cursor.  You can make a note that will record in another section, which you can change to, but not at the same time you have the text showing.  At least that's the case with the Kindle 2.  I don't know about the Kindle DX.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on June 08, 2010, 03:03:54 PM
MaryZ: Proust got away with sentances like that, but no one since should be able too. In graduate school, to earn some money, I once took a job with a German professor who couldn'tunderstand why no one was reading his papers. He thought I could make them "more American. His sentances were even longer and more conveluted than yours. My editing consisted mainly in breaking each sentance into 5 or 6 short ones. I kept telling him "one idea, one sentance, Dr. Muller"! but he never "got it".
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 08, 2010, 03:49:56 PM
Maryz & all- regarding Robert Caro's Master of the Senate, I also have a copy.  Though I have never read it in its entirety, I have used it many times as a research source mostly in connection with our book discussions.  I had never before realized that Robert Caro was prone to writing extremely long sentences like the one in the illustration.  True sentences that long are often incomprehensible.  However, for me when reading it, it’s use of colons and other punctuation marks seemed to break it up in understandable segments.  In any case I remember in college reading writings by John Mansard Keynes .  He seemed to use extremely long sentences in long paragraphs requiring great effort for an understanding.   

Also Maryz, the Kindle DX is in many ways a computer.  It and the Apple I-Pad constitute the first commercial offerings of a new type of computer termed “Tablet Computers.”  This new technology is being discussed at the All things Digital Conference currently in progress in San Francisco.  Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal included an entire section concerning the agenda of this conference.  It included the text of an interview with Steve Jobs on this tablet Computer’s “Past, Present, and Future.”  Steve Job argues that the convenience of the wireless hand held 10 inch screened wireless powered by its 10 hour battery made powerful by a multitude of free or cheap software products (Apps) will in time make the home desk top computer and even note book computers obsolete.   Walt Mossberg, the WSJ Technical editor in his March 31, column pretty much agreed that the current Apple I pad comes close to achieving this end.    Click the following for the Mossberg, March 31, 2010 article:
http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100331/apple-ipad-review/
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 09, 2010, 08:01:48 AM
 One of the nice things about waiting for a year or two for the later models is that they've had time to work out the bugs and respond to customer complaints.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on June 09, 2010, 02:33:13 PM
Good Lord, Mary you're right "get that man an editor!" ..........when i worked for Dept of Army, in the early 90's they were training their officers in writing w/ clarity. The rule was 10 sentences to a paragraph and 15 words to a sentence. Maybe Caro should take that training..... :D............. I do love to hear him talk about LBJ and his work on tv.  He is enthralled w/ his subject, which makes him interesting to listen to, but apparently is too much for his writing skills. .............. jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on June 09, 2010, 04:03:57 PM
Harold, the last of this month, Apple is going to add notes (using the keyboard which is very easy to use) and bookmarks to the iPad iBook app.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 10, 2010, 11:47:11 AM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by HAROLD:


Regarding the Book readers I expect I will purchase one before the end of the summer.  It will probably be the I-Pad.  For now yesterday I purchased a digital book from B&N for reading on my desktop.  I downloaded the no cost APP software that enables me to read the Kindle coding on my desktop PC.  I set the font size at 14 point making it quite easy to read from about 2 feet from the screen using my computer glasses.

The book is one Ella has mentioned before, “The big burn” by Timothy Egan.  Its cost was $10.99.  Yesterday I Read in an hour some 75 pages of the almost 1200 total pages.  I was quite comfortable sitting relaxed in my office style swizzle chair.  I even highlighted pages with discussion points should we ever do a discussion.  So we don’t really need to buy an additional hardware reader to read books on line.  Amazon too and probably the Apple store too can provide the APP software necessary to read books on the PC that are purchased from them.

Click the following for the B&N E-book Page.  There are 3 free titles available:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks/index.asp
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 10, 2010, 12:47:51 PM
That's great Harold.  Let me know how you like the book; the first half of the book was very interesting, but it bogged down toward the latter half.  Maybe it's just me?

I just posted a nonfiction book I finished in the Library, a really good book,  by Harvey Bernstein.  Titled A DREAM, it's nonfiction and if you think you know anything about poverty, you don't until you read this!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 10, 2010, 12:58:16 PM
This is the article ADOANNIE mentioned in her last post here, proudly we hail:

http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/883793-264/2010_library_of_the_year.html.csp

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on June 10, 2010, 05:33:25 PM
 I have a copy of "The Big Burn", on my K2.  I really like the way Timothy Egan writes.  I have read, enjoyed and learned a lot from his book:  "The Worst Hard Time".  It is about life during the dust bowl, and the depression.  IMO, it is an excellent book.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 11, 2010, 01:00:22 PM
Sheila, I read that book also.  It was very good.

I think it's okay to put this here.  It's not a book, but there have been books written about it!  This is the way it was:  Click here:

http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=S4KrIMZpwCY

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 11, 2010, 01:07:31 PM
I've watched that video (above) of Henry Ford's cars for the third time now and see something new every time.  Notice tht all the men are wearing hats  - while working!  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on June 11, 2010, 01:16:42 PM
That's such an interesting video, Ella. You got me interested more in the clothing than the cars! Only a small handful of the men did not have hats on. The others wore all kinds of hats and caps. Some of the guys wore what looked like regular working clothes but quite a few were wearing vests and even suits and ties as they worked on various aspects of building the cars. I wonder if the manner of dress was part of a feeling of what was "proper."
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 11, 2010, 05:09:33 PM
Thank you Ella for the Henry Ford Film.  It was most interesting particularly the shots of the model T production line.  A couple of months back I saw an hour long TV biography of Henry Ford.  I think it was a late night of week endshowing on the CNBC business network.  

I will probably out or touch during the weekend as I will be working both Saturday and Sunday at the Texas Folklife Festival.  I'll be at the Texas Indian Exhibit on Saturday and at the chuck wagon Sunday.  Ill check in again on Monday.  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 11, 2010, 07:25:40 PM
I did get the book FORDLANDIA from the Library some time ago, but didn't read it and I can't remember why I didn't; perhaps the print was too fine.  That does happen.  Has anyone read it?  My copy/paste is not working, darn!

"The stunning, never before told story of the quixotic attempt to recreate small-town America in the heart of the Amazon In 1927, Henry Ford, the richest man in the world, bought a tract of land twice the size of Delaware in the Brazilian Amazon."

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on June 12, 2010, 11:47:45 PM
I liked Lynne Olson's Throublesome Young Men, but I'm finding Citizens of London by Olson very interesting and am learning history that was never covered in my high school or college history classes.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on June 14, 2010, 09:29:13 AM
FlaJean, I am glad to read that you are enjoying "Citizens of London".  I have a copy, but have not yet started it.  Earlier today, I was wondering what to read next, as soon as I finish one of the books that I am now reading.  Your message points me to CoL, next.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 15, 2010, 09:40:34 AM
I brought home several good books, nonfiction, from the Library but they all have fine print and that is getting distressingly difficult for me.  I'm going to get stronger lens (at the drugstore) and if that doesn't work for these eyes I am forced to use then it will be large print books only.

My book club is reading MAYFLOWER by Nathaniel Philbrick and, perhaps, I can get a large print of that, or read a chapter or two a night.

STARBUCKED by Taylor Clark about that company, its past and future.  Looks very good.

HEART LIKE WATER: Surviving Katrina and life in its disaster zone, a memoir by Joshua Clark also looks great.  The print in this one is a bit bolder so maybe I can read it.  This author is a key correspondent for National Public RAdio and stayed in New Orleans during the disaster recording hundreds of hours of conversations.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 15, 2010, 11:24:01 AM
This is hard to believe and I'm not sure I am reading this correctly.

http://www.amazon.com/Starbucked-Double-Caffeine-Commerce-Culture/dp/B003H4RECS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276615190&sr=1-1

Can it be true that a Kindle costs over $9; a hardcover .50 and a paperback $5?

That's unbelieveable.   What is happening in the book world?

You can read quite a lot of the book onlline. 

Have you ever bought one of those expensive drinks at Starbucks?  Why?  Somewhere in this book it explains that they are no better than their inexpensive coffees.  Just coffee with a college education, hahahaa
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 15, 2010, 12:19:23 PM
Ella order the book from Amazon.com or B&N online and download the free APP software and read them in any size font on"your PC screen.  I am finding the reading of the "Big Burn" rather easy. Though I have not read since Friday.  Its really quite good maybe easier on the PC if large fonts are necessary than on the dedicate reader appliances.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on June 16, 2010, 08:19:39 AM
It must be a misprint, ELLA. If you 'save' $9.71, then the correct price
must be $35.28. The three got lost.
  I don't like coffee, so naturally I've never been in a Starbucks. I still
wondered why people were paying such high prices for a cup of coffee. The company obviously has a marketing director who understands how to catch the public fancy.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 17, 2010, 10:05:39 AM
Babi, Starbucks also happens to make very good coffee, a commodity not always available elsewhere.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on June 17, 2010, 11:51:22 AM
joyous, have you gotten a new email address? We tried to send our Books newsletter to your aol address but we got a "no such email account" message. When you see this message would you please email webmaster@seniorlearn.org with your email address (please mention your old joynclarence address too so that we make the change for the right person)? Thanks!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 17, 2010, 01:20:18 PM
I hope JOYOUS sees the message, Marcie!

From not having any nonfiction to read I have a surplus and I may have to take a couple back to the library unread, but I shall get them again.

The STARBUCKED book is more than just the history of company; it goes into the culture of chains and their inflluence on our habits, etc. 

Starbucks is another mammoth chain - an international chain.  JUST HUGE.  And it has happened so quickly!  They must have copied McDonalds' successful strategies.  In my area they have stuck to just the coffees and a few pastries, not many, but who knows when they will introduce sandwiches, blah, blah!

Today I picked up P.D.James A FRAGMENT OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY, after reading one of her mysteries which I enjoy.  It also looks very good.

Forget the KATRINA book, I am sure there are better books on the subject.

BABI, I looked again at that clickable to Amazon books in my post above and that book is a Bargain Book and the prices quoted are correct, $9 approx. for a Kindle book, $1.50 for a hardcover. 

HAROLD, I don't want to sit in front of my computer to read a book, NO, NO, NO.  But thanks for the suggestion!  (My chair is not as comfy as your own, apparently!)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on June 18, 2010, 01:03:34 PM

Marcie: Thanks for thinking of me.
Previously, I was joynclarence@aol.com------now I am joynclarence@att.net. I am also joyous, as you already know.
Anything else??????I am now reading Bernstein's Dream book and
liking it!
JOY(ous)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 18, 2010, 03:04:22 PM
Is that the name of the book, JOY?    The author?

Is it a biography of Leonard Bernstein?

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on June 18, 2010, 03:10:17 PM
I've never gotten comfortable with reading a book online. Part is the chair: part something about the experience that is so different from a book. It's a shame: there is so much available online.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on June 18, 2010, 03:13:50 PM
Well for some people there is not much choice .  Either read  a  book online or give up reading books... I am one of those...I have the kindle and the Kindle on my pc...The kindle on my pc is really wonderful to me... I love reading a book that way now...You get used to what you have to when you have eye problems...Joan Grimes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on June 18, 2010, 03:19:47 PM
Thank you very much for the information about your email, Joyous. We appreciate that.

It sounds like you are likely reading The Dream: A Memoir (http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Memoir-Random-Readers-Circle/dp/0345503899/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276888574&sr=1-1) by Harry Bernstein. He was 98 when the book was published!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joyous on June 18, 2010, 04:40:43 PM

Ella: Marcie answered correctly (for me). It is: The Dream, by Harry
Bernstein. He also wrote The Living Wall (I think that is the title).
Thanks, Marcie ;)
JOY
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on June 18, 2010, 04:54:05 PM
Thanks for suggesting those books, Joy.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on June 18, 2010, 06:16:43 PM
I just finished watching the "Founding Fathers Friday" on Glen Beck show. Oh yeah, I know some of you will boo and hiss. Every Friday Beck does a history of the Founding Fathers which usually includes discussing with their authors books about the Founding Fathers and or the events surrounding the Revolution. Occasionally, he includes Lincoln in the discussion. No he doesn't beat up on the Dems or Obama on Fridays.

Today he had Bruce Feiler on his show. They primarily discussed Feiler's new book is called The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me (Father's Day is Sunday). http://www.amazon.com/Council-Dads-Daughters-Illness-Could/dp/0061778761/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276898938&sr=1-1 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: joangrimes on June 18, 2010, 06:37:49 PM
Did you know that Glenn  Beck has now written a novel.. It is on Kindle...I have not bought it as I am not a fan of his...but who knows it could be good I guess.  After all it is fiction...He should be good at that...you can find it on Amazon if you are interested.  I was not interested but to each his own...Joan Grimes
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on June 18, 2010, 07:33:35 PM
Yes, I heard Joan. I haven't checked into it yet. It doesn't sound that appealling to me.  Here is the Wikipedia link to what an Overton Window is (a part of political theory).  It was a little easier to understand when Beck described it this week on one of his shows because he used a blackboard diagram.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

Link to the book description:
http://www.amazon.com/Overton-Window-Glenn-Beck/dp/1439184305/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276904158&sr=1-2



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 19, 2010, 11:52:06 AM
I might try Glenn Beck's OVERTON WINDOW, just out of curiosity, altho' I can't stand that man's politics.

A conservative right-winger's book I did really like was Newt Gingrich's PEARL HARBOR; A NOVEL OF DECEMBER 8.  No politics in it.  Tells the story of the Pearl Harbor invasion from the Japanese point of view.  Very interesting.

Marj

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 21, 2010, 11:59:38 AM
I want to read MATTERHORN; A NOVEL OF THE VIETNAM WAR by Karl Mariantes.  Altho' it's fiction, it was reviewed very glowingly at BookTV and will be repeated next Sunday, June 27.  The author was a Vietnam veteran, and apparently many who served there have very much liked the book.  It has gotten good reviews at Amazon also.  During the interview, the author talked about how much the army has changed, for the better,  since that war.  Has anyone read it?

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: HaroldArnold on June 22, 2010, 04:40:43 PM
Book Readers New Price Announced Today

Amazon.com
Kindle 2:  $189.00  (Reduced about $50.00)
Kindle DX:  $489.00  (No Change)

B &N
Nook, Wi-Fi only)  $149.00 (Reduced about $50.00
Nook, 3 g & Wi-Fi $199.00 Reduced about $50.00

There is a good article in the Wall Street Journal this morning analyzing the possible effect on book reading and on the industry resulting from these price decreases.  Obviously the lower cost of the reader coupled with the lower cost of digital books has the potential to accelerate the reading of books, news papers and magazines with these new devices.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 23, 2010, 12:12:22 PM
People still read newspapers; in Columbus, Ohio apparently.  Yesterday there was an article on our op-ed page by Cal Thomas, who writes for Tribune Media Services concerning a book he considers a must-read.  DIETRICH BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, a brilliant biography, according to Thomas, about the man who gave his life in a failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  Bonhoeffer came from a family of inellectuals, held in high regard in Germany, and I was surprised to learn that he twice visited the United States, studying at one time at the liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York.

I am 53rd on the list for the book at my library; I may purchase a copy.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on June 23, 2010, 04:01:29 PM
The book sounds interesting, Ella.  I never heard of Cal Thomas or Bonhoeffer.  One of my libraries has it on order, though.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 26, 2010, 02:01:45 PM
Those of you who participated in our discussion of TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN by Lynn Olson may be interested in the following paragraph from the book THE SISTERS: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell.  It is an observation that I have never heard before and it follows from an incident in 1936 wherein Winston Churchill and his family, upon hearing of Diana Mitford's friendship with Adolf Hitler, invited her to dinner and she made the suggestion that Winston and Adolf,  having much in common in her opinion, should meet.  (She may be the only person in history to know both men well).  There follows this paragraph:

"It is tempting to wonder what might have happened had Diana been able to arrange a meeting.  Might the war, which tore Europe part, have been prevented?  Hitler was pro-England, and had made a stufy of its culture and history.  He was especially fascinated by the ability of such a small nation to control and apparently subjugate a vast empire containing millions of people.  He regarded this as evidence of the superiority of Aryan race and it is widely considered that this was what saved the United Kingdom from invasion.  When Nazi chiefs of staff were poised and ready to strike, at a time when Britain was at its most vulnerable, Hitler hesitated to give the order until the moment was lost."

We discussed various reasons why Hitler did not cross the England Channel when he had the opportunity to do so; it's always remained a mystery to me. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on June 26, 2010, 04:28:32 PM
Ella, interesting paragraph. Was there any more information or incite to that event? I sure would like to know what Churchill said at her suggestion.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on June 26, 2010, 05:58:10 PM
Quoting from the book:  Churchill said - "Oh, no.  NO."   That last "no" all in caps seems to say that he was thinking and then he emphatically blurted out out his No.  Churchill was not the man at the time that he later became.  He had made a few diastrous mistakes in WWI and was retired from public life.  His family and the Mitfords were related somehow, there is a family tree in the book but I can't figure it out, don't care to.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on June 26, 2010, 07:44:25 PM
Thanks, Ella.

BTW, sorry for the misspelling of insight (incite) - two different things entirely.  :-[
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 01, 2010, 05:09:17 PM
I think we can forgive you Frybabe, haha.  I have two fingers on my left hand which are numb and my rheumatologist says the nerves leading to them are dying, isn't that a nice thing to hear, my nerves are dying!  But it plays havoc with my typing at times!

THOSE MITFORD SISTERS!  One of them, Jessica, lived in America for years, was a communist and was very active in the CRC, the Civil Rights Congress, which paid for the defense of a black man ( Willie McGhee) accused of raping a white woman (a decade later the book TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was published).  Reading that chapter in the book was reminiscent of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunt for all those suspected communists that seemed to go on forever years ago. 

The McGee case, which resulted in his electrocution, might have turned out differently if the NAACP had come to his defense, but at the time these two groups were in contention. 

While at the book store the other day, I had to buy the book THE EYES OF WILLIE MCGEE by Alex Heard who has worked as an editor and writer at the New York Times Magazine and other publications.

And one book leads to another.....
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 01, 2010, 08:52:31 PM
Didn't Jessica Mitford write The Amer'n Way of Death? I didn't know seh was a communist and a muckraker, etc. I only knew about the book, was that in the 70's?........i'll have to google her, or wikidpedia (is that the term?  ;D) her................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 02, 2010, 01:31:21 PM
Hello Jean!  Yes, she did.  This site tells you much about Jessica Mitford (called Decca by her family).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Mitford
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on July 02, 2010, 03:58:41 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





I stopped into the used bookstore this morning hoping to find an interesting biography to read. I only came out with Micheal Grant's Readings in the Classical Historians. I did look at a bio of Adrienne de Lafayette, wife of the Marquis de Lafayette that looked interesting, but I didn't pick it up. I wanted to look her up first. I think I will go back for it tomorrow.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: ginny on July 03, 2010, 08:03:36 AM
I picked up Anthony Bourdain's new book Medium  Raw at Barnes and Noble yesterday, made the mistake of looking at the first page and was hooked, actually sat down and read a couple of chapters:  he's SUCH a good writer and takes you right into the world of haute cuisine,  and a professional chef in a heartbeat. This one apparently also hits on the celebrity TV chefs and tells us more than we want to know about  why not to get the waiter or chef angry at you: squeamish alert.


USA  Today says: "The kind of book you read in one sitting, then rush about annoying your co workers by declaiming whole passages. Bourdain captures the world of restaurants and professionally cooked food in all its theatrical, demented glory."

I actually don't like the man, nor his TV program, nor his first book but apparently he's mellowed with age and a family: you can't stop reading his book,  it's really quite good, so far.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 03, 2010, 08:50:23 AM
 I'd like to hear more about the "Readings in the Classical Historians", FRYBABE.  Is it a collection
of excerpts?  Which classical historians?  Please let me know what you think of it...interesting or
dry?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on July 03, 2010, 11:35:43 AM
Babi, Readings is a selection of translated writings from 22 classical historians (I counted them) up through the late Roman Empire. Grant made the selections and wrote introductions. A few are from his own translations. The list: Hecataeus and Hellanicus, Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, Julius Caesar, Nepos, Diodorus Siculus, Sallust, Livy, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Velleius Paterculus, Josephus, St. Luke, Plutarch, Tacitus, Seutonius, Appian, Arrian, Dio Cassius, Eusebius, and Ammianus Marcellinus. No doubt some of these we have run across in Latin lessons. As for Livy, Caesar, and Tacitus, I have them, and had read Plutarch's Lives long ago. I won't know until I get into it if any of those are new material to me.

Michael Grant wrote a tremendous number of books covering, it looks like, the span of ancient Greek history up to the beginnings of the Middle Ages. He also, like this one, edited or revised about a half dozen books and  translated about the same number of books. It is a real wonder to me how I never managed to acquire any of his books, except for this and his translation of Tacitus: The Annals of Rome. Anyone interested in his titles, Wikipedia has a large list, but very little on the man himself. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grant_%28author%29
I really need to check into his title Sick Caesars and his autobiography.

 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 03, 2010, 03:21:11 PM
I'm in my glory! I've just contracted to present six 90min presentations on history of women in the U.S. It will be at a Quaker sponsored senior community nearby. A retired num who went to live at the community 13 yrs ago felt they needed more intellectual stimulation so she suggested that they start a "university" and she organized  - w/ a committe, of course, it is Quaker-based after all........ ;) - a full year of schedule of programs, lectures, seminars etc. for the residents of the community and it continues today.

I had gone to an Elderhostel/Expoitas/Road Scholars (i understand that's their new name) program in Apr at their facility and thru the weeks i heard sevl of the attendees say they didn't know much women's history, so I gave the organizer a proposal for the presentations, just for the community, not for Elderhostel. That's when i learned about their local "university."

It's not  until next April, but my favorite part of teaching is researching, so i've already begun to research my sources. So far i know i will be using History of Women in America by Hymowitz and Weissman. It's a wonderful survey history which was published in 1978, but stilll holds up. I'm also rereading Cokie Roberts Founding Mothers and I'm using The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History which was publsd in 1998 and has 100's of contributors about every aspect of women's history. My children gave it to me on Mother's Day and i've just begun to ease my way into its 650 pages. I will be trying to include much about NJ and Quaker women since i think many of the participants will enjoy that, so i have to go back in my files and dig out some speeches/lectures i have given in the past..................can you tell i am in high clover??? (good ole farmer's term from my Father's lips) .................. i'm sure you will hear more about it from me come next April...............lol ..........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on July 03, 2010, 05:14:33 PM
Congratulations, Jean.   Sounds like a busy, fun year ahead - just the sort of thing I'd love to do ('specially the research) but I don't know if I could manage an entire series.

I was recently asked to do my "Land Run Lady" Historical Interpretation character at a local Book Club next May.  The program chairman is a good friend and I told her I'd love to - assuming I'm still buying green bananas by then.  :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on July 03, 2010, 07:07:41 PM
mabel1015j, how exciting that you will be offering a series of lectures on the history of women. If you want to try out any of your material, I'm sure that some of us would love to be your "test subjects."  ;) I, for one, would love to learn more about this topic. Quite a few people like to research topics on the web and I'll bet some of us would help you if you want any help with that too.

Callie, I'd love to see your "Land Run Lady"!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on July 03, 2010, 09:34:46 PM
Good suggestion, Marcie.  I'd be willing to be a "test subject" and/or try to do some research.

I enjoyed writing the fictional "Miz Callie Johnston".  For some of the stories she tells I used information from letters and diaries of real "89'ers", as we call people who settled in this area in the Land Run of 1889.  I discovered that one of my references was an ancestor of a neighbor!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on July 03, 2010, 11:37:42 PM
jean, where is your program, and what dates?  I'd love to come!!!!  Is it going to be listed in the Roads Scholar program?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on July 04, 2010, 12:02:03 AM
Callie, do you read the Miz Callie stories that you wrote from your research and/ or perform them?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 04, 2010, 09:05:42 AM
Oh, my, FRYBABE, I didn't mean to put you to all that trouble. But having seen your list of
historians I am very interested in reading the book. There is nothing like reading the words
of the people who were there! Thank you so much.

 JEAN, how exciting! 90-min. presentations?! You have a lot of serious work ahead of you.
Don't forget to include break time.   ;)  I wonder whether our senior center would get a good
response to a program of lectures and seminars. We seem to run more to games and crafts. The Quakers have always been a very socially responsible group, haven't they? Enjoy!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on July 04, 2010, 09:49:58 AM
Marcie, I "perform" Miz Callie in first person from a script that I wrote and I wear a pioneer dress and sunbonnet.   The beginning and the ending are the same.  In between, there are various "stories" I can either use or omit - depending on the age of the group to whom I'm talking and the time limitation for the performance.
 
This type of performance is considered a Living History Interpretation instead of a Living History Reenactment because my character is fictional.  I made her up and wrote the script years ago when I was a volunteer for the local historical society/museum and did classroom presentations.

I must admit that doing the research and writing the script was as much - maybe more - fun than "performing". I am NOT a professional - or an actress - by any stretch of the imagination and Miz Callie is just something I occasionally do for fun - mostly for local clubs needing a program and, sometimes, for a classroom presentation. 
I have to watch carefully so I don't slip out of first person - 'specially when I'm talking to kids and they ask questions that have to be answered as if it's 1889 and I obviously wouldn't know about modern things - like cars.  I had to think fast when a boy asked, "How did you get here (the school) today?"  :D
 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 04, 2010, 05:16:28 PM
Thanks for all the offers to help w/ the women's history program. I'd love to "test" it on here, but am not sure how that would work. In terms of helping w/ research, my problem is not going to be finding material, i have most of the material i need for content, in fact, the problem is going to be deciding what to eliminate. 540 minutes sounds like a lot of time, but it really isn't when you think about all the possible events and women through U.S. history - 3 centuries!!! I've already decided i can't do much more than a superficial skim about Native American women and will concentrate on the social and political power they had in the tribes, as opposed to the legal non-entity that was European women's plight. The Clan Mothers of the Iroquois Confederacy had much to say about who would be chief, when they would go to war, imput into peace treaties, etc. In fact, women were a part of the Confederacy discussion about which side they would fight for in the American Revolution!!! ..............And the Europeans considered them "uncivilized"??? .............. What would you like to know about Native American and colonial women? Maybe that's a way you can help me decide what to put in and what to leave out............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on July 04, 2010, 06:04:44 PM
Callie, how interesting. I haven't witnessed a living history interpretation before. It's wonderful that you've been able to create and perform that character for various audiences.

Mabel1015j, you're right that there must be a great deal of material that could be included in your presentation. I don't envy you the task of deciding what you'll include. I'll think about it a bit to see what I would like to learn about Native American and Colonial women.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on July 04, 2010, 06:56:40 PM
Jean - where are you going to give this program?  Aren't you in North Carolina?  Is it going to be in the fall? 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 04, 2010, 06:56:57 PM
JEAN, THAT SOUNDS WONDERFUL FOR YOU!   I know how much you like the subject and I know you will do well!  For some odd reason that I can't explain to myself, native Americans and their history, women, men, chiefs, wars, etc.  have never been of interest to me.   I know the tribes fought each other long before the Europeans came and, like all humans that live together, they had communities in which children and women were taken care of which has always been true, don't you think?  It only stands to reason that women were respected as we are the future, the mothers of all who come after. 

CALLIE
, that's very interesting to hear about also!  What talents we have on our site, hidden talents, and all because we love learning, we love books.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 04, 2010, 07:11:17 PM
Mary - not NC, but NJ, just outside of Philadelphia. It won't be a Roads Scholar course, but any one who's interested can come. However, it's one day a week for 6 wks, a different kind of schedule than a Roads Scholar course usually is. .............

Callie - i'm sure you've had a good time doing interpretation. Is the character a frontier woman?...............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on July 04, 2010, 09:23:29 PM
Well, phooey, jean - I surely would love to sit in on your program.  Oh, well.....   :'(
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on July 04, 2010, 10:57:05 PM
Jean, I would love to be there for each one of your presentations.  I've been to 9 Elderhostels (including a different intergenerational one with each of my three grandchildren) and I enjoyed each one so much. 
However, I'm not at all familiar with the new name/program.  Is it like the former Elderhostel?

I consider "Miz Callie" a Pioneer Woman but I suppose you could call her "Frontier" - although that makes me think of someone who wore buckskin and went hunting with a rifle.  She and her family participated in the Land Run that settled part of Oklahoma Territory in 1889 and became Homesteaders by staking a claim to and settling 160 acres of land.  The movie "Far and Away" with Tom Cruise was about the 1889 Run - as was the Edna Ferber novel,  "Cimarron".

You mentioned Native American women.  Will you be researching women from Eastern USA tribes or would you be interested in some from the so-called Five Civilized Tribes who were "removed" from their homes in the southeast to what became eastern Oklahoma? 

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 05, 2010, 11:10:54 AM
CALLIE AND JEAN;   I've been going to Elderhostels for years, up until my husband died.  I tried one after that but it was too lonely and so I have given it up.  They changed the name to some awful thing like EXPOSITAS, but I notice that it is called - look:

Road Scholar is the new
program name for Elderhostel, Inc.

and here is the site:

http://www.roadscholar.org/programs/usa.asp

JEAN, when I read your post about a Road Scholar course I had no idea what you were talking about until I looked at the Elderhostel site.  THOSE FOLKS SHOULD NOT HAVE TRIED TO FOOL AROUND WITH SOMETHING WE ALL KNEW VERY WELL.  Of course, they were trying to interest younger folk who did not want to be associated with "elders" - I learned that when my daughter (who probably was in her late 30's at the time) went with me to Rome on an Elderhostel trip.  She said don't ask me to go again, hahahaaa    But when we went off by ourselves for a few days to Venice what a fun time we had.

ROAD SCHOLAR is better than Espositas was!

 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on July 05, 2010, 11:45:12 AM
Ella, thanks for the information about Elderhostel/Roads Scholar.  Because I must now wear ankle braces for a condition that surgery will not help, my travel days are over.
 
I regret this but I think tours and programs of this sort no longer consider those of us who are unable to "keep up" (by their definition).
 
Not being able to do Everything (like walk for hours and hours) does NOT mean we can't do Anything.

Oh...don't get me started on THIS soapbox!!!!  >:(

OMT (One More Thing):  I just checked the Roads Scholar "Programs For Women Only".  Out of 14 different choices,  6 mentioned Trekking, Hiking, Canoeing, Golfing, Rock and Roll or By Foot in the title and one was in Africa, which would probably be more of the same.  
Point made!  :(

OMT OMT  :D  In all fairness, I checked out the "Activity Level One" offerings.  There are quite a few in Baltimore Maryland that do look interesting.   ...now if something could be done about difficulties with flying.
 
Callie Curmudgeonette is off to find something useful to do  ;D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 07, 2010, 10:27:53 AM
I'll step up on the soapbox a moment also, Callie.  I am limited as to what I can do; mine is due to arthritis, age, etc. etc.  I had surgery on an ankle last winter but fortunately it is functioning well, although on certain days I still have pain in it.   I haven't even looked at the Road Scholar programs for a couple of years but they have my email and I just got one from them yesterday about a tall ship adventure to Costa Rica.

Adventures!  Some of those are not doable, but we can read about them!  We are starting a f2f book club in my condo neighborhood, I don't know whether it will take off or not.  But I saw WEST WITH THE NIGHT, Beryl Markham's wonderful book at the Library and thought I would take it with me to suggest we discuss it sometime soon.  One of those best books.......

 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on July 07, 2010, 11:32:20 AM
Ella,  I suspect there are many of us in the same situation.
I enjoy reading about places I've been - and would have loved going.  I also enjoy seeing a location in a movie or on t v for which I can say, "I've been there!".

I have just joined an informal book club that exchanges books monthly and meets just once a year.  A small committee takes suggestions and purchases 11 books (no exchange in December), then divides the total cost among the members.  There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction.
 Between the first and 5th of each month, we are responsible for passing the book we've had to the next member on the list.  I have no idea how the rotation schedule was devised but it looks simple to follow.
I just received the first book - "The Postmistress" by Sara Blake. 
I'm looking forward to a year of interesting reading.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on July 07, 2010, 04:18:12 PM
The Postmistress by Sara Blake was quite an interesting book, too much sadness to say it was enjoyable, but definitely worthwhile!   I finished it last week.

I won't go into details, since the reviews on Amazon are better than what I could write.
By the way, I thought it was fiction; should we be discussing it in the Library?

Do post, if you want to, after you read it, Callie!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on July 07, 2010, 05:03:06 PM
Callie and Jean: how wonderful your programs sound. I do hope you can share some of your material with us!

Jean: I have the first two sources you mentioned, but am not familiar with the third. Perhaps you can continue to share your bibliography with us. I did my dissertation on the effect of new technology on women in the workplace, and am still interested in thetopic, although I have not kept up with research since I retired.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on July 07, 2010, 06:22:06 PM
Mippy - yes, indeed, fiction should be discussed elsewhere.  I just mentioned "The Postmistress" in connection with my "tale" of the book club.

I haven't read any non-fiction in a while.  May look for a good Biography soon.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 08, 2010, 07:57:25 AM
 That's an interesting idea, CALLIE.  An opportunity to share 11 books for the price of one
and be sure of having something coming in to read at least once a month.  Of course, there's
likely to be one or two you don't care for, but also a chance of finding a new author you love.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 13, 2010, 03:57:49 PM
Joan - your dissertation sounds interesting, what was the time frame you were writing about?

For my w's history presentation, I'm also using a little book that the Alice Paul Institute helped to put together and publish ( I was a founding board mbr of API) titled New Jersey Women's Heritage Trail which gives a page to each women's history site in NJ. I mention it because many states have done this and there may be such a book available in your state. We did it in conjuction w/ the NJ Historic Preservation Office.

Our library has an exhibit of books that are related to Independence Day and i saw David McCullough's book 1776 which i had never read, so i got it. I'm now into the revolutionary period in compiling my women's history presentation and knowing DMc I'm sure he has things to add about women of the time. This is going to be the section that will be most difficult to pare down. There are so many wonderful sources and so many wonderful women of the time.

Just in case you are interested, the "cast of characters" for the colonial period are Margaret Brent: a plantation owner in Maryland who acted as business agent for her brothers, going to court to collect payments on average of 17x a yr between 1642 & 1650 and usually winning. She was also the executor for Lord Calvert's will and had power of atty for Lord Baltimore who was in London. The lack of bar associations and medical associations, etc. allowed people who were capable to act in those professions regardless of gender. Women had quite a lot of independence during the colonial period which got restricted when we move into the 19th century.

Deborah Franklin, Ben's lonely wife who ran his businesses for the decades he was in England and France doing the country's business - and some of his own. She ran the printing shop, the sundries shop and the colony's postal service, expanding it w/ sev'l franchises, as well as hosting visitors who came by to talk about BF.

Elizabeth Haddon Estuagh, whose Quaker father, living in England,  bought a lrg piece of land in South Jersey in 1700, but became ill and couldn't come to develop it himself, so he sent Eliz who celebrated her 20th b-day on the ship. She and a servant came alone to the wilderness. Can you imagine sending your 20 yr old dgt, today, to a place where there have been stories of Indian massacres, people living in caves, having no clue of what it is really like in "new Jersey"? He gave her power of atty. Quakers believed that all should be able to read and interpret the Bible, so they educated both boys and girls, therefore she had the capability to act in her father's place. She established a homestead in Haddon's Field, which became Haddonfield, NJ, gave land for the Friend's Mtg House and School, was expert at herbs and healing, some of it learned from the Lenni Lenape Indians of the area, was the "women's clerk" of the Meeting for 50 yrs and proposed to a Quaker minister who seemed too shy to propose to her. She was also alone often when he went off on missionary trips and managed the family businesses quite well.

Patience Lovell Wrightwas the first professional sculptor in the colonies. She and her sisters made wax figures and busts. They had lrg exhibits. After a fire in her studio in Bordentown, NJ, she took her 5 children (she was widowed) and moved to London where she did wax sculptures of the king and queen. She became a self-apptd spy, listening to conversations of Londoners and sending info to Geo Washington.

That's my first group of characters and of course i add a lot of gen'l info about women of the time......most of which is about ENDLESS work, producing things: bread, cloth, candles, butter, clothing, diapers, preserving foodstuffs, etc. .....thank goodness i was born in 1941....jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on July 13, 2010, 11:34:05 PM
Thanks very much, Jean, for keeping us informed about your project. Those highlights about independent women in the colonial period are very interesting.

Are you familiar with the writing of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurel_Thatcher_Ulrich and http://dohistory.org/
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 14, 2010, 09:22:10 AM
 I now have a copy of Michael Grant's "Readings From Classical Historians", which someone here recommended.  My thanks. I did a
quick scan when it arrived yesterday and found it will be most readable.
In addition, the author has provided a time-line for reference, as well
as a map of the Graeco-Roman world in the classical period.  This is
a book I will be reading slowly, historian by historian.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 14, 2010, 01:47:04 PM
Yes, Marcie, i do know Ulrich's books, thanks for mentioning them and providing the link.

I met Ulrich about 2 yrs ago when she spoke at a Women's Way (Phila's fund-raising organization for women's org's - similar to United Way) honoring her for the best book written on women's history that year. We had a nice chat and she signed my copy of "Well-Behaved Women..." She was an excellent speaker.

I don't think i knew she was a Mormon. It sounds as tho she has been shunned by them recently. It reminds me of Sonia Johnson of the 70's and 80's. She was an active Mormon who was excommunicated for her work on the ERA. The Alice Paul foundation honored her at our first dinner giving the Alice Paul Equality Awards, in 1985, along w/ Sally Ride and Judge Lisa Richette, who made the descision  that "stewardesses"  did not have to resign at age 35, or have weight requirements - remember those days? .............well, at least most of the country has come into the 21st century!?! ...........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on July 14, 2010, 02:23:10 PM
I watched C-Span 2's book notes over last weekend.  I was especially impressed with the interviews with both Robert Dallek, and Michael Beschloss.  They impressed me enough to buy each of the books featured.  Dallek's is:  "Nixon and Kissinger".  I have begun reading it, and am finding it very interesting.

Beschloss's book is:  "Truman and McArthur".  The interviews with these two historians were most interesting.  I was a young teenager when Truman fired McArthur.  I enjoy reading both of these authors. 

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on July 15, 2010, 01:40:37 PM
Jean, it sounds like you are really keeping up in the field of women's history and have met some influential people. Your course should be very enlightening for those lucky enough to enroll.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 16, 2010, 09:43:36 AM
Thanks, Shelia, for mentioning the books by Dallek and Beschloss.  BookTV is one of my favorite programs, but I missed
that one.  Truman is one of my favorite presidents.  I'm planning to visit the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, with a friend at the end of this month.  Neither of us have been there, even tho' I live very close to it.  I disliked Nixon so much I could never manage to go there.  But I've mellowed over the years, and decided I really should see it.  I've often thought it would be interesting to visit all or a good many of the presidential libraries across the U.S.  A most beautiful one here in Southern California is the Reagan Library which I've visited several times. 

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 16, 2010, 07:08:51 PM
Our first bookclub meeting (in our condo neighborhood) was held yesterday; eight of us.  A good number as it gave everyone a chance to talk.  Our book was LA'S ORCHESTRA SAVES THE WORLD by Alexander McCall Smith, a WWII fiction, and I won't know if it was a success until next month when someone - hopefully the same eight people- come again.  I suggested the book for next month.  Summary:

"When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four, chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared. Eggers’s riveting nonfiction book, three years in the making, explores Zeitoun’s roots in Syria, his marriage to Kathy — an American who converted to Islam — and their children, and the surreal atmosphere (in New Orleans and the United States generally) in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun was possible. Like What Is the What, Zeitoun was written in close collaboration with its subjects and involved vast research — in this case, in the United States, Spain, and Syria." - Synopsis, B&N

The title is the name of an Arab male who has lived in NEw Orleans for several years, ha a family, and a successful business, and, yet, when the hurricane strikes it is every man/woman for themselves when the U.S. Government finally comes into the city.

It's a very good book, but I think the author should have come up with a better name.  There were such blank expressions on my neighbors/friends when I proposed the book. 

Has anyone read it?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 16, 2010, 07:46:54 PM
Ella asked, "Has anyone read it?"

Has anyone read what, Ella?  I'm confused.  The book your F2F group read by Alexander McCall Smith has nothing to
do with Hurrican Katrina, at least according to Amazon.com's review??

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 17, 2010, 05:09:43 PM
Oh, Gosh, MARJ!

That last post that I made was very bewildering.  Sorry!

The proposed book for next month is ZEITOUN by Timothy Eggers.  I did quote the summary correctly, just left out the title!  Good book!

Here it is:

  http://www.amazon.com/Zeitoun-Vintage-Dave-Eggers/dp/0307387941/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1279400556&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 17, 2010, 05:29:40 PM
Aha, Ella, now that makes sense (LOL).  No, I haven't read it, but it sounds interesting.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on July 19, 2010, 04:44:18 PM
Jean: don't forget one of my favorite women of the Colonial period (or rather, just after the revolution), Elizabeth Freeman. She was a slave in Massachusetts, who had been mistreated by her mistress. After the Revolution, before the national constitution was written, each state had to write its own constitution. John Adams helped write the Massachusetts constitution, which started "All Men are Born free." Freeman heard the white people talking about this while waiting at table, and asked a lawyer to file a suit for her (and another slave) claiming that if she was born free, it was illegal to hold her as a slave.
 
The court agreed, and this secured not only her freedom, but the making of slavery unconstitutional in Massachusetts, the first state to do so.

References :"Founding Mothers, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2p39.html
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 19, 2010, 06:04:59 PM
Thanks for that reminder Joan, i'll mention her in the "Federalist period". And thanks for the link........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 20, 2010, 08:25:39 AM
 (http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JOANK, that is really neat!  I hadn't heard of Elizabeth Freeman before
and I loved reading that. It occurs to me she must have chosen her surname.....what more appropriate than 'Freeman'!  
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 20, 2010, 01:47:35 PM
There is an interesting article in today's online NY Times' Book Section which those of you who have read Greg Mortenson's book, Three Cups of Tea, might be interested in reading.  Here is a part of the article:

“Will move through this and if I’m not involved in the years ahead, will take tremendous comfort in knowing people like you are helping Afghans build a future,” General McChrystal wrote to Mr. Mortenson in an e-mail message, as he traveled from Kabul to Washington. The note landed in Mr. Mortenson’s inbox shortly after 1 a.m. Eastern time on June 23. Nine hours later, the general walked into the Oval Office to be fired by President Obama.

The e-mail message was in response to a note of support from Mr. Mortenson. It reflected his broad and deepening relationship with the United States military, whose leaders have increasingly turned to Mr. Mortenson, once a shaggy mountaineer, to help translate the theory of counterinsurgency into tribal realities on the ground.

In the past year, Mr. Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute, responsible for the construction of more than 130 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, mostly for girls, have set up some three dozen meetings between General McChrystal or his senior staff members and village elders across Afghanistan.

The collaboration, which grew in part out of the popularity of “Three Cups of Tea” among military wives who told their husbands to read it, extends to the office of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Last summer, Admiral Mullen attended the opening of one of Mr. Mortenson’s schools in Pushghar, a remote village in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush mountains.

Mr. Mortenson — who for a time lived out of his car in Berkeley, Calif. — has also spoken at dozens of military bases, seen his book go on required reading lists for senior American military commanders and had lunch with Gen. David H. Petraeus, General McChrystal’s replacement. On Friday he was in Tampa to meet with Adm. Eric T. Olson, the officer in charge of the United States Special Operations Command.

Mr. Mortenson, 52, thinks there is no military solution in Afghanistan — he says the education of girls is the real long-term fix — so he has been startled by the Defense Department’s embrace."

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 20, 2010, 02:40:15 PM
I forgot to say the name of the above article in the NY Times book section.  It's "Unlikely Tutor Giving Military Afghan Advice" by Elizabeth Bumiller.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on July 20, 2010, 06:50:19 PM
Wonderful! Bravo! It is so heartening to hear that Mr. Mortenson has gained such an audience.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 20, 2010, 08:22:29 PM
Yes, Frybabe, it is heartening.  And good for the military wives for pushing their husband's to read the book.  (I guess I will have to read it now, not that I have any influence with them (LOL).

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on July 20, 2010, 10:13:35 PM
MARJ: it's well worth reading, influence or no.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on July 21, 2010, 08:51:28 AM
 Indeed, and Mr. Mortenson's influence continues to spread.  A children's version of "Three Cups
of Tea" is now available; I saw a copy in my own library.  Catch them while they're young!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 21, 2010, 01:54:48 PM
http://forum-network.org/series/summer-reading-series

This is one of the sites on forum-network.org that offers live  and on-demand lectures and readings by some of the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, policy makers and comunity leaders sourced from public tv and radio stations. Vidoes can be selected by individual lectures or series. The "summer reading series" is about adozen authors, many of them non-fiction, but not all, talking about their works. .................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on July 21, 2010, 04:05:55 PM
Thanks for the link, Jean.  I've bookmarked it. A long while back I used to read lectures from something called Fathom.  You've encouraged me to look it up again - and here it is.
For Agatha Christie fans there is a free lecture titled  "Agatha Christie and Archaeology" in there.

http://www.fathom.com/products/course_directory.html
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on July 21, 2010, 06:15:25 PM
Thank you for that link, i've put it in my favorites and have sent it on to friends. I think i've got a couple of years of viewing now from all those sites........... ;D .............but this is what i was excited about when i first heard them talk about the "web." That we would be able to access all knowledge from everywhere!! and now it's happening!..............love it! .............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 21, 2010, 11:46:01 PM
Thanks Jean and Frybabe.  I've bookmarked both of them.  Sound very interesting.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanP on July 23, 2010, 07:26:50 PM
Sorry to interrupt, but I need to make sure everyone sees this -


We've just now opened the vote for fall book discussions.  You can vote for your top choice in Part I of the poll and then in Part II click on ALL of those you would be interested in discussing at some time.  Some great choices - note that there are reviews linked to the book titles in the header in the Suggestion Box   (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=309.msg78842#msg78842) if you are not familiar with some of them. 

Are you ready? -
   Click Here to Cast your Vote!  (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3GVFW3V) -
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on July 28, 2010, 06:06:12 PM
Alan Brinkley, son of David (remember him?), was on Book TV one weekend and I reserved his book THE PUBLISHER: Heny Luce and his American Century.  I'm afraid his TIME magazine has seen its best decades and will soon be extinct, but it was a good magazine, along with his other publications FORTUNE and LIFE. 

A very good book.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on July 28, 2010, 09:28:01 PM
Glad to hear you liked the book about Henry Luce, Ella.  I also heard about it on BookTV and want to read it.
Sounds so interesting and talks about Wendell Wilkie, Chiang Kai--Shek, Whitaker Chambers and others, people I
recall hearing about (I had a Wendell Wilkie button as a kid), but whom few younger people today know about.  

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 06, 2010, 09:05:58 AM
I jotted a note to myself that I have near my computer to look at a book by Sam Tannehaus - a biography of Whittaker Chambers, which must have been commented on in the LUCE book.

 For some reason, I have never forgotten Chambers own book; I believe the name of it was WITNESS.  I must look it up.  Perhaps because of the pumpkin papers?  What a clever place to hide secrets, who would ever think of looking in a pumpkin patch. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 07, 2010, 08:28:00 AM
  I believe it was "Witness", ELLA.  I remember it made quite an impression on me.
   I'm greatly enjoying slowly reading and savoring "Readings From The Classical Historians".
 The earliest ones were far from what we would consider a reliable historian today, but they
were the first to even attempt to document the events of their times.  The only cues they had to the past were the word of mouth stories, myths and legends. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 07, 2010, 11:14:48 AM
That does look interesting, BABI.  Yes, someone had to start the process of recording history.  What year about did it all start?  B.C. what??  The Greeks?  Before then?  

Somewhere I read that it is no longer appropriate to use B.C. as it denotes "Christ" and two of our three great religions do not believe in such a one.  Strange, then, how that became a tool of historians.  Does the book talk about that?

I have a World History book here that describes the Paleolithic Era which lasted over a million years, down to 12,000-10,000 B.C. in which no more than half a million humans were alive at any one time.  It was during this era that language developed so there must be a fragment of history from this era?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on August 07, 2010, 01:35:10 PM
Babi, what I liked about Livy when I read his history was that he would comment from time to time that he had no direct knowledge of whether or not an account was accurate. He relied on oral traditions and once or twice told more than one version of an event because he had no reliable way of telling which was closer to the truth.

Ella, Herodotus (484 – c. 420 BC) and Thucydides (460 – c. 400 BC) were both considered the Fathers of History because they were the first to systematically collect and test materials for accuracy.

While Herodotus is considered the father of Western culture, Thucydides is considered the father of scientific history. Thucydides used strict evidence gathering and analysis to find cause and effect. He was interested in group behavior, studying the relations between nations and how people reacted to crisis situations such as the plague and war.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Gumtree on August 07, 2010, 01:44:40 PM
Beautifully put Frybabe
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 07, 2010, 01:51:11 PM
Exactly what I love about this site, the books, the readers who comment, the knowledge. Thanks FRYBABE AND GUMTREE.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on August 07, 2010, 01:53:27 PM
Thanks Gum,Ella. I believe Thucydides is still read in military schools. I don't know if it is required reading, but it is apparently still useful today. How about that. Wonder what he would say to that.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 07, 2010, 02:08:15 PM
Think it might wake him up from the dead, Frybabe!

I turned on BookTV and listened to the last half of what was a very good panel program of historians and their newest books - Hampton Sides, James Donovan and Jeff Guinn.

I've never read any of their books, but will look them up in the library.

Then on came Lynne Olson, author of our book discussion - TROUBLESOME YOUNG MEN.  She's talking about her new book CITIZENS OF LONDON.  I'll wait a few months to read that one, but after throoughly discussing the period of WWII and America's involvement (well, maybe not thoroughly as that book was just about the young parliamentarians of London) I need a rest from war.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanP on August 07, 2010, 04:55:01 PM
The Results are just in -  you all have selected quite an interesting group of THREE for  the Fall line-up:
 
ZEITOUN (Eggers)- An American epic. Fifty years from now, when people want to know what happened to the once great city of New Orleans during a shameful episode of our history, they will still be talking about a family named Zeitoun
We will read and discuss David Egger's  Zeitoun in September with Ella and JoanK.  This is a true story, but as gripping as Fiction.   Just  opened today -  Zeitoun (http://seniorlearn.org/forum/index.php?topic=1585.0) .  Please drop in now and let them know whether you will be part of the discussion.

LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS (Le Guin) - Story of a lone human emissary's mission to an alien world. Groundbreaking science fiction hat leaves you thinking about gender issues, "nature vs nurture," nationalism and more.  Proposed for October


 EXCELLENT WOMEN
(Pym) - High comedy about a never-married woman in her 30s, which in 1950s England makes her a nearly confirmed spinster.Often compared to Jane Austen  Proposed for November


.  

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 08, 2010, 08:35:07 AM
 Yes, ELLA, the earliest 'historians' were Greeks. People were talking long before they developed writing, and it was much longer before anyone thought it might be a good idea to write down what was happening for the instruction of future generations.
 I believe the 'correct' designation now is B.C.E., meaning 'before the common era'. I don't think the other two great religions you refer to 'do not believe in such a one'; they simply don't consider him divine.

FRYBABE,Thucydides also explained in his history that he could not repeat a speech verbatim (no shorthand back then), so he would write it in his own words as closely to the original intent as he could. I was reading his report of a speech by a Corinthian about the Athenians and had to grin. They sounded a lot like today's modern America workaholic.
  Actually, there were two earlier 'historians'. Hecateus might be considered the 'grandfather' of history, and Hellanicus is described as more of a chronicler. Little of their works remain, and they did not, as you mention, test their information for accuracy or analyze for cause and effect.  The human interest element was definitely there, though.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on August 08, 2010, 09:03:53 AM
Babi, thanks for the update. I knew there had to be others, but I rarely see any mention of earlier Greek histories than Herodotus.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Gumtree on August 08, 2010, 12:26:20 PM
There were plenty of early Greek historians but most of their work is only known from fragments or where it is mentioned in other works - Heracleides of Cyme was one such historian whose fragments were recorded by Athenaeus. Fragments of Antiochus of Syracuse's History of Sicily date from 5th Century BC. And then there's Xenophon who was a friend of Socrates.... but of course Thucydides and Herodutus reign supreme.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 08, 2010, 06:00:45 PM
"Thucydides and Herodutus reign supreme."

I have a friend who claims that you haven't read history until you've read Herodutus. Do you agree?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on August 08, 2010, 11:34:15 PM
Thucydides and Herodotus are so completely different in their method of relating history.  Thucydides, although technically more acceptable to scholars, is quite dry compared to Herodotus.  "The Peloponnesian War" is not a book to be read for pleasure.  I remember groaning in Ancient History classes when the time came to study it.  Herodotus, conversely, is great fun to read.  Although academics compare Herodotus unfavourably to Thucydides, I love him.  He is a great storyteller.  It could have something to do with the fact that Thucydides concentrated on just one place/episode in history, whereas Herodotus takes us too so many different places,  peoples and cultures, right down to customs.  The academics also say that Herodotus "The Histories" doesn't handle the truth so well.  But, hey, who cares!  He is such a great read. 

While on the topic in the 70s feminists were unhappy that history was written as "his- story"and railed at the fact that men had chosen this chauvinist title which indicated that only men were a part of history.   In Greek (ancient and modern) the word is istoria
with an unaspirated "h".   Nothing to do with men, as the Greek word for "his" is "tou" pronounced as "too". 

Even if you just dip into Herodotus he is very entertaining.  On the other hand, I doubt if I could read "The Pelopponesian War" again except for academic reference.   
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 09, 2010, 09:28:52 AM
 It seemed to me, from the fragments I read, that Herodotus sounded more like gossip than factual history.  Which, of course, is what made
it more entertaining. 
  The book I'm reading consists of 'selected' readings from the classical
historians, ROSE, which I am assuming means I'll be getting the best parts and not the 'dry' parts.  ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on August 09, 2010, 10:07:17 PM
Babi - Please remind me of the title of the book you are reading. 

I think, although I am an Hellenophile to my chin whiskers, that my favourite historian is Suetonius.  His "The Twelve Caesars" is a masterpiece imho.  Babi is he in your book?

Yes.  Herodotus is a great gossip, who wouldn't be with such topics?  Suetonius is gossipy too, who wouldn't be with all those naughty Julio-Claudians? :o

From Wiki re "The Twelve Caesars "The work tells the tale of each Caesar's life according to a set formula: the descriptions of appearance, omens, family history, quotes, and then a history are given in a consistent order for each Caesar."  Good stuff!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 10, 2010, 08:39:38 AM
 The book is "Readings in The Classical Historians", ROSE, by Michael Grant. The book
was recommended by a poster here in SeniorNet, but I've forgotten who. Whoever it was,
take a bow, please.
  I checked the index, and Suetonius will be awaiting me when I get to the 2nd centuryAD
historians.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on August 10, 2010, 09:23:28 AM
Taking a bow!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on August 10, 2010, 12:46:05 PM
Thank you, Frybabe.  I just brought "Readings In The Classical Historians" home from the library.  Need to bake cookies this afternoon for two upcoming functions - but am looking forward to dipping into a subject I love (history) but have never read at this level (classical).
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on August 10, 2010, 11:29:12 PM
 :)@ Frybabe and babi.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 11, 2010, 09:11:39 AM
 My posts continue to go into disarray sometimes.  They are straight and even when I check them after posting, but when I come back in they are jumbled.  I've seen the same thing happen to Marjifay's posts,
too.  MARJ,  I guess we need to put our heads together and figure out
what we have in common in our posting.  What on earth could cause a
post to go haywire after it's posted?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 11, 2010, 03:28:32 PM
A gremlin?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 12, 2010, 08:38:50 AM
 Got any remedies for gremlins, JOAN?  No harm, of course, ..it just
offends my sense of order and precision.  Which is adjustable in any case.   ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 12, 2010, 03:09:05 PM
Sorry, my anti-gremlin charms don't work in the new millenium.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on August 12, 2010, 06:14:55 PM
Babi, Are you pressing the return key at any time other than a paragraph break?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 13, 2010, 05:40:45 PM
 
 I don't think so, MARCIE.  What really throws me is that I can
go through my note and straighten all the lines before I post,  see that
the post is in order after I post, move on to my next site, and
still may find my post in disorder the next time I come in. 
  I think a connection somewhere is hiccuping.  ???
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on August 15, 2010, 03:59:33 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on August 15, 2010, 04:01:05 PM
Babi are you typing your message in the posting box or typing elsewhere and pasting it in?

If you are  using an 800x600 screen resolution, you may be pressing returns to adjust for that size display. Try typing one word over and over and don't press the return key on your keyboard and see what happens.

marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie marcie
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on August 15, 2010, 04:02:07 PM
I just typed the above using the QUICK REPLY and the following using the REPLY box.

When I posted in either box, the number of words that went to the second line after I clicked POST was different than the number of words that displayed in the Quick Reply and Reply boxes so you shouldn't try to adjust what shows. Just don't use the return key at all except to create new paragraphs.

good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 16, 2010, 08:42:17 AM
 I do type my messages on the notepad as I go along, MARCIE. It makes it easier to keep track of posts I want to answer. On the notepad I do have to press return as it is not automatic there.
  After I make adjustments in the in post itself, tho', it sometimes remains in that order and sometimes goes haywire. I believe you are right that the problem lies in the notepad-to-online routine, but I can't figure out what makes the difference between those that stay 'adjusted' and those that  don't.  I am willing to live with it to keep the convenience of the notepad. I'd never keep track of all the posts I wanted to respond to without it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on August 16, 2010, 11:35:10 AM
Babi, if you don't press the Return/Enter key on your keyboard in Notepad, won't the text wrap anyway?

You're text above looks fine!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 17, 2010, 08:15:06 AM
 No, in my notepad the text line just goes on and on if I don't press
return, MARCIE.  And yes, the posts don't mess up all the time, just
often enough to be aggracating and perplexing.  C'est la vie.  (No, I don't speak French, but we all pick up some phrases.   :) )
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on August 17, 2010, 10:37:56 AM
I'm sorry for the problem with alignment, Babi. :-(
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 17, 2010, 04:02:09 PM
It's a livable trade-off, MARCIE.  Convenience vs. occasional aggravation.   ;D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 18, 2010, 06:53:17 PM
CERTAINLY, CERTAINLY, someone is reading nonfiction these days!  I keep hoping to find a good book, a history, a biography at my library but the search is in vain most visits.  So I must take myself on a trip to a B&N soon and search their shelves.

Meanwhile, doesn't anyone have any suggestions?

And don't forget that on Sept lst we are beginning our discussion of ZEITOUN by Dave Eggers.  The title is the name of a man, a Muslim and his family, who survived Hurricane Katrina and I think a quote from Mark Twain that Eggers put in the front of his book is apt:

"To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail." - Mark Twain

JOIN US!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on August 18, 2010, 10:27:49 PM
Hi Ella - First time I have"spoken" to you.  If you enjoy historical biography borrow anything by Alison Weir.  She is an excellent writer/historian.  Tell me what you think?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on August 18, 2010, 10:37:06 PM
Ella - I just received in my latest book order     The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America     by Timothy Egan, 2009 copyright.  It looks to be very good.  It's supposed to in the same vein as his The Worst Hard Time about the 1930 dust stoms which I found very interesting. I have a couple other nonfiction to finish before I start this one.    Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on August 19, 2010, 01:48:22 PM
"The Fire that Saved America?"???? Tell us more Mary.............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 19, 2010, 02:16:06 PM
Is it the triangle shirtwaist fire?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CubFan on August 19, 2010, 04:19:00 PM
The Big Burn:

Synopsis  (from dust jacket)
On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men  —  college boys, day workers, immigrants from mining camps  —  to fight the fire. But no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them.

Egan narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force. Equally dramatic is the larger story he tells of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by and preserved for every citizen. The robber barons fought Roosevelt and Pinchot’s rangers, but the Big Burn saved the forests even as it destroyed them: the heroism shown by the rangers turned public opinion permanently in their favor and became the creation myth that drove the Forest Service, with consequences still felt in the way our national lands are protected  —  or not —  today.

I also have on my TBR pile Last Call: The Rise & Fall of Prohibition  by Daniel Okrent.  This received good reviews in Bookmarks  July/August 2010

From a synopsis:
Writing with both wit and historical acuity, Okrent reveals how Prohibition marked a confluence of diverse forces: the growing political power of the women’s suffrage movement, which allied itself with the antiliquor campaign; the fear of small-town, native-stock Protestants that they were losing control of their country to the immigrants of the large cities; the anti-German sentiment stoked by World War I; and a variety of other unlikely factors, ranging from the rise of the automobile to the advent of the income tax.

If I could just give up genealogy & needlework I would be able to get more reading done. The three are not conducive to multi tasking.

Mary
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: FlaJean on August 19, 2010, 09:27:35 PM
I have had "Game Change" on reserve for weeks and finally my number came up.  :D

It is very good.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on August 19, 2010, 11:44:48 PM
ELLA, I am still reading "Freedom's Daughters", by Lynn Olson.  It is about both civil rights women, and women's sufferage. I really like the way this author writes.

I also have "The Big Burn" on my Kindle.  Timothy Egan is another writer whom I enjoy.  "Last Call" is also on my Kindle.

Sheila

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Gumtree on August 20, 2010, 05:05:11 AM
CubFan The Big Burn synopsis could almost be describing the horrific bushfires we experience here in Australia - in particular the one which raged across the state of  Victoria on 9 February 2009 which is known as 'Black Saturday' - 173 people lost their lives, more than 400 were injured -some seriously - hundreds of homes burnt to the ground, an immense area of land was burnt out and of course livestock and crops lost. 400 individual fires were burning in the area that day of extreme temperatures and scorching high winds. Australia  has also had other major fires through the years such as the  devastating 'Ash Wednesday'  - we learn from each experience but somehow not enough to stop them occurring. It is a quirk of nature that our bushland is rejuvenated by fire - the smoke will cause seedhusks to open and the seed then germinates. - The trick is to cause the germination by controlled burning.

Sorry to be on a hobby horse.

BTW - I'm also into needlework, art and genealogy and agree that at times they do interfere with my reading.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 20, 2010, 08:57:01 AM
GUM, we have pines here that also need the heat of fire to open their seed pods. I've wondered how that works now that we work so hard to put out fires as quickly as possible.  'Controlled burning' must be the answer.
  My only successful 'needlework' was counted cross-stitch, but that no
longer works for me.  My eyes start 'cross'-ing instead of my stitches!
 ::)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 20, 2010, 01:20:37 PM
Hey, I used to do needlework too, BABI, but I have the same problems with my eyes!   Thank goodness we can all still read.

THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SUGGESTIONS.  I am going to the Library tomorrow I think. 

My branch of the library has a book by Alison Weir titled MISTRESS OF THE MONARCHY, and the fact that our library bought 33 copies of the book is an indication that it is good and will be enjoyed.

I want to read THE LAST CALL also, by Daniel Okrent.  Yes, I have read that fires are good, in the long run, for forests or wherever.  Strange what nature provides.

I have read THE BIG BURN; it was a good book, and I bought the book GAME CHANGE.  A good book, also!

Keep the recommendations coming when you read a good nonfiction!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on August 25, 2010, 10:58:01 AM
Over on the fiction side, where I hang out, there are several of us who read historical novels and the most popular period is the early Tudors,specifically Henry VIII and his wives, his court, etc.  Richard III, the last Plantagenet, preceded Henry.  Thomas P Costain,  historical novelist from Canada, has written a non-fiction four-part series on the Plantagenets which we have been discussing lately.  http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/thomas-b-costain/conquering-family.htm
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 25, 2010, 03:22:56 PM
What do you non-fiction readers think of historical novels. They are a good way of learning history, but authors vary a lot in how careful they are to be accurate, and that bothers me.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on August 25, 2010, 10:05:14 PM
JoanK - Now I DO sound like I am harping.  Alison Weir is now writing novels based on her research as a historical biographer.  I used one of her novels "Innocent Traitor" as a challenge in "Author, Author".  The innocent traitor is Lady Jane Grey, a young woman who was Queen for just nine days.  Not much has been written about Lady Jane.  I think you will enjoy reading the novel and anything else by Alison Weir.  Let me know. 

I think I should write a letter to Alison Weir asking for commission! :D
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 26, 2010, 02:51:33 PM
If any of you are thinking of joining the discussion of "Zeitoun", an account of one families experiences in Hurricane Katrina, the Zeitoun family is due to be interviewed tomorrow (Friday) on the PBS show Tavis Smiley.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on August 26, 2010, 02:53:48 PM
I am not a fan of historical fiction.  Prefer good nonfiction history.  But, then, I've never read anything by Alison Weir.  Will give one of her books a try.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on August 26, 2010, 02:57:25 PM
I like both non-fiction and historical fiction, but as I mentioned in "fiction" i'm reading Dana Fuller Ross's first in a long (19) series about the way west, Wagons West: Indenpendence. I just finished it and have started the second one Nebraska. I have enjoyed them, but since history is my field, i do get too picky about the historical "facts." They are fiction afterall. But i have felt in reading good hist-fic writers that i have learned some history from them. ...........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 26, 2010, 03:00:52 PM
I say I'm not a fan of historicalfiction, but I love detective stories with historic characters as detectives. But they are terrible as far as sorting out fact from fiction. I'm reading one now with Oscar Wilde as the detective, and I cant tell at all what really happened, or which characters (other than the famous ones) are real people. It was written by a man who wrote a biography of Wilde so he knows.

I have read a biography of Wilde some years ago (by Richard Ellman) but don't remember enough detail. That was an interesting biography, somewhat dragged down by the biographer's need to mention everyone that Wilde knew, and Wilde knew EVERYONE! The detective story (by a different author, whose name I don't have with me, has the same fault.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on August 27, 2010, 06:53:22 AM
Allison Weir and Antonia Frazer are both excellent writers, as I enjoy both straight history ... if it is well written, a big IF ... and historical fiction if it does not inject too much romance.   I've also read at least five different authors on the Tudors.  

There is also a long list of historical fiction writers on ancient Rome, with Steven Saylor, John Maddox Roberts and Colleen McCullough among the best.  A warning, however:  McCullough also covers other cultures and countries with mixed success, so do read the Amazon reviews carefully.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on August 27, 2010, 02:13:41 PM
Someone had suggested you all might want to hear what i'm preparing for the women's history course, so i'll throw a little in every once in a while. If you'd rather i didn't just say so, my feelings won't be hurt, my ego isn't that fragile and i know not every one is as enthusiastic as i am about spreading the word about women in history............. :)

Since it's a survey of American women's history and is just 9 hrs long, i'm skimming and not hitting every nook and cranny. I'm sort of focusing on NJ and on Quakers because many of the people in the community are from that background, but also because they are important in the first half of our history. ......I tho't you might like to see the cast of characters i've got in the first half, and maybe test yourselves about what you know of them.
Colonial history: Margaret Brant of Maryland, Deborah Franklin - Ben's wife, Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh for whom Haddonfield, NJ was named, Patricia Lowell Wright - first known woman sculptor in America.

From the revolutionary period: Daughters of Liberty, Mercy Otis Warren, "Molly Pitcher," Deborah Sampson Ganett - dressed as a man fought in the war, Eliza Lucas Pickney - made indigo a cash crop in SC and raised 2 important sons of the time, Abigail Adams, Martha WAshington, Betsey Ross.  

All of these women have very interesting stories. If you are looking for some good biography, many of them have been written about these women in the last couple of decades. Of course, some of you have read Cokie Roberts' Founding Mothers or Remember the Ladies, so you probably do know about the second group........................jean



Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 28, 2010, 09:15:23 AM
 JEAN, I'm embarrassed to admit I don't know most of those ladies.  Back when we were being
educated, history focused on the men, with a few stores about women thrown in for human interest.  Like Molly Pitcher.  We heard all about Washington, Franklin, and Adams, but very little
about their wives.  In fact, I don't recall anything at all about Ben Franklin's wife.  I have read a biography since about Abigail Adams.  The other names are all new to me.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 28, 2010, 02:08:11 PM
That sounds very interesting. I know some of those names, but not most. Wish I could take your course.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on August 28, 2010, 06:28:18 PM
WOW.  Thanks for your comments about the women's history, JEAN.  I do not remember hearing anything about any of the first group.  Not much, either, about the second group.  That is sad!  I do remember reading about Dolly Madison, saving paintings from the White House.  Also, some information about Abagail Adams, Florence Nigfhtingale, the women of Hull House, and Mary Lincoln.

I have just started reading "Freedom's Daughters".  Lynne Olson is the author.  It covers both the struggle for women's rights, and the fight for equality for black women.  I am so very glad that my daughter, and granddaughter have many more opportunities, than we did.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 30, 2010, 09:56:14 AM
I have two books on my bedside table that I am reading and enjoying.  They are GEORGE WASHINGTON, THE UNEXPECTED.  His Private Llife by Harlow Giles Unger.  And TWILIGHT AT THE WORLD OF TOMORROW: Genius, Madness Murder and the 1939 World's Fair on the Brink of War by James Mauro.

The latter book reminds me a bit too much of the book we discussed a few years ago titled THE DEVIL AND THE WHITE CITY. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on August 30, 2010, 01:43:09 PM
Well, it would have helped if i had spelled Margaret BRENT's name correctly...lol. She is rather obscure if you haven't studied women's history, but very important to know about. We tend to think that women have always had a FAR backseat in public life until the recent decades. Actually women in colonial America had many fewer obstacles to public life than women had as they moved thru the 19th century and into the 20th.

Margaret Brent, her sister Mary and 2 brothers emigrated to Maryland from Grt Brit in 1638. The Brent sisters established their own plantantions, which they ran w/out their brothers' help. In fact, Margaret Brent often acted as her brothers' representative and business adviser. Collecting payment in those days often involved suing in court. Records show "Mistress Brent" participating in 134 separate court actions in 8 yrs and she usually won.

Brent was a close friend of Lord Calvert, MA's gov'nor and he called her to his bedside, giving the "briefest will in the history of law": "I make you my sole executrix. Take all and pay all." As executrix, Brent assumed responsibility for Clavert's estates and became the power of atty for Lord Baltimore, C's brother, then in London.

Brent had established herself a a major political figure and many believed she should be governor. She didn't seek that post, but in 1648, she appeared before the MA Assembly and asked for 2 votes in the assembly: 1 as C's executrix, the other as Lord B's "attorney." It was the 1st time in parliamentary history that a woman had sought political recognition in a governing body and had attached to her the title of "atty." She was denied the votes in the assembly and protested against any proceedings that effected her "jobs" if she did not have a say in the proceedings. As could be expected, the story heard by Lord Baltimore in England, led him to believe she was opposing him, so he turned against her.

See more at  http://www.aboutfamouspeople.com/article1014.html

or at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brent

Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh is of more local interest, but represents the equality that Quakers bestowed on the girls and women. EHE's father had bought 600 acres in "West" Jersey (now known as "South" Jersey) in what is now Camden Co. He became ill and in 1701 sent his 20 yr old dgt, w/ his power of atty to settle the land. Because Quakers believed that everyone should be able to read the Bible for themselves, they educated boys and girls, so her father felt she was prepared to handle the task before her. Can you imagine a 20 yr old, leaving a comfortable home, getting on a small sailing ship, crossing a "dangerous" ocean, going to a place of which she had very little information but of which there were rumors of "savages" and wild animals, a place w/ few towns, let alone cities, w/ only a servant as a companion?

EHE stayed for a night w/ Quaker acquaintances who were still living in a cave along the Deleware River, having not build a home for themselves. She hired people to clear some of her land and set to establishing a "plantation." (large farms were called p's even in the north at that point.) W/in a year she had a small house, some crops planted, met w/ the Lenni Lenape Indians in the area and proposed to John Estaugh, a Quaker minister that she had met briefly some yrs before in England. She managed the farm, became known for her herbs, medicines and healing - some of which she learned from the LL and eventually gave the property for the Quaker Meeting House in what is now Haddonfield, NJ. She served as clerk to the women's meeting for 50 yrs and died at 82 yrs old, being rather famous for her charity to the poor and the sick.

She had proved to be extraordinary in a number of ways, including her fierce sense of personal independence, in an era when women had few rights, and in her zealous dedication to Quaker beliefs. She retained to the last, control of her affairs.

More at http://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2008/08/elizabeth-haddon-estaugh.html

Patience Lovell Wright is considered the first woman sculptor in America, but she also acted as a "spy" in London, having gone there after the was a fire in her studio in Bordentown, NJ.

See more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patience_Wright

You probably know more about the women at  the founding of the country, i'll get back to them at a later time.................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 30, 2010, 03:20:01 PM
Those are wonderful stories. Thank you, Jean.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on August 30, 2010, 08:29:04 PM
Jean, I hope you continue to feed in these women's history facts.  Although I'm a longtime Maryland resident, I'd never heard of Margaret Brent.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on August 30, 2010, 09:19:48 PM
Some of you may have read "The Man Who Never Was" by Ewen Montagu.  Written in 1953, it tells the story of a magnificent scam perpetrated on the Nazis in WWII, Montagu the main architect.  When the Allies were about to invade Sicily, the British managed to float a body ashore in Spain (neutral, but Axis sympathetic) which seemed to be a naval officer, presumably a passenger in a shot-down aircraft, bearing letters from one general to another suggesting that the invasion would take place in Sardinia and Greece, with Sicily being only a fake target.  This was swallowed whole, with a resulting saving of a huge number of lives because Sicily was so lightly defended.  The book is engaging and charming and has never been out of print since.  It was made into a movie starring Clifton Webb.

Montagu had a lot of trouble getting permission to publish anything about the affair, and his book was heavily censored by authorities.  Now, a lot of material has been declassified, and a lot has been learned about how the Nazis actually reacted to the false information, and classified documents held by Montagu (now dead) have been found.

Ben Macintyre has put all this together into a retelling of the story--"Operation Mincemeat" (the code name for the operation).  It's fascinating.  There are all sorts of twists and turns on the original story, including people who weren't what they seemed, and exactly what did and didn't work to make the scam believed, what happened to all the characters later, etc.

If you read "The Man Who Never Was", you definitely want to read this book.  If you didn't, you still would enjoy it immensely.  It's full of the personalities of the time that we enjoyed so much in "Troublesome Young Men", though not so many politicians, more minor characters.

One warning: the part which deals with getting and using the body is a bit gruesome, more than one would like about it's state, etc.  This can be skipped, but it's hard to filter out all of it.  (The way they got the body was pretty illegal, and Montagu had to keep quiet about it.  Macintyre did some detective work to discover the real story.)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on August 31, 2010, 08:30:41 AM
 I especially liked he story about Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh, JEAN.  Is
there a biography of her I could look for?   I'd like to learn more about her.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on August 31, 2010, 11:56:12 AM
THANK YOU, JEAN, AND PATH!

So good to share our books and knowledge on this site, isn't it!  I must stop now and then and thank JOANP and GINNY for establishing SeniorLearn; we benefit from it so very much.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on August 31, 2010, 12:29:19 PM
Pat - that sounds like a great story. I'd not heard it before, altho i'd heard sev'l different stories about the ruses of a European invasion.

I've just seen two good, new programs on the History Channel. They are going to be repeated today...........Who Really Discovered America? will be on at 4 o'clock EST. Becuase of DNA and new archeological studies we have information that suggests that MANY people were here before Columbus besides the Asians who came some 20,000 yrs ago across the Bering Straits. The program was very interesting to me.

Showing right now - 12:18 EST - and being repeated at 6 o'clock EST is a new program on Thomas Jefferson................."new" history - an oxymoron??............one of the reasons i love history.

Babi - i haven't seen any books about EHE, but if you goggle her you get sev'l sites to read about her..............this one is perhaps the longest. It was written in 1913 for the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Haddonfield. I didn't mention before that she and John's romance are said to be the subject of Longfellow's poem "The Theologician's Tale." You can read it at this site also.................

http://home.comcast.net/~adhopkins/elizabeth-est.htm

Pat - the same is true about Margaret Brent, no book yet that i've seen, altho i wouldn't be surprised if one is in the works, but if you google her you will find some additional info about her.........i love her story. I have to wonder what her biological family was like for she, her sister and her brothers to grow up believing that woman were so capable. She was the first woman to ask for a vote/representation in a governmental body - long before Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the other suffragists..............jean

Enjoy..........thanks for all your kind words...........i'll be back to talk about the other women i mentioned..............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on August 31, 2010, 02:52:55 PM
...........i'll be back to talk about the other women i mentioned..............jean

Great!! We love to hear these stories!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 01, 2010, 08:39:38 AM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



Thank you, JEAN.  I very much enjoyed reading that link. I was
surprised to find so much authority and responsibility placed in
the hands of a young woman of 20. Clearly, she was well able to to
handle it.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 04, 2010, 10:45:33 AM
Who was it?  Was it PATH who recommended the book, OPERATION MINCEMEAT by Ben Macintyre?  I just finished it and it's very good.  I want to get another book by him; his book AGENT ZIGZAG sounds like a good read.

Our f2f book club, which is new and just going into its third month, will be discussing a novel, JIMMY by Robert Whitlow.  Anyone read it?  This is not the proper place to ask, I know, but...................I'm typing away here.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 04, 2010, 02:07:11 PM
The Dgts of Liberty, unlike their male counterparts, were formed not to engage in sabotage or violence, but to participate in boycotts. of British products. Women patriots refused to buy  - paper, sugar glass, silk, linen, madeira wine and tea. The boycotts generated new styles. Homespun cloth, made by women patriots, was worn on all occasions by all social classes. Spinning bees became patriotic events and coffee became the national pick me up.

In Edenton, North Carolina, a group of 51 women announced it's intention to boycott British tea and cloth in the Edenton Proclamation. The women stated that they had a right and a duty to participate in the political events of their time. W/out any precedents these women stated that they had political rts and intended to exercise them.

Like other woman of the time Deborah Franklin ran the family businesses,  during her husband Benjamin’s long absences, she started w/ her special responsibility being the book and stationery shop in the front of their house. Cokie Robts talks abt F in a section in her book called Phila Business Woman.  DF's 1st husband spent her dowry, ran up debts & took off for the W Indies, where he ws rumored to have died. That rumor was never confirmed, but BF was said to have “took to wife” Deborah, meaning that they couldn’t legally marry because there was no proof that he was dead. But the marriage was accepted by all. Over the yrs she took on more duties including helping run the printing shop & postal service when B was made postmaster for all the colonies, kept the books, helped invest in real estate & expanded the business into what were essentially print shop franchises up and down the Atlantic coast and back into the frontier. They did so well in their busness’s that B was able to retire at 42 to devote himself to his real loves – scientific experiments & public affairs. Of course, DF didn't retire, she continued running the busnesses and hosting people who came to talk to her about Ben, and, of course, running the household.

 When B was in Eng & than France,  she heard from him very seldom and when she did he was often instructing her how to construct the addition to their house & what colors to use in the rooms & what to do w/ the china & silverware that he sent – you can see these instructions engraved on the  paving stones in the center of F courtyrd btwn 3rd & 4th sts on Market in Phila. She did refuse to go w/ him to Europe, so we can’t lay all the blame for their long separations on B. He first left in 1757 to go to London and returned 5 yrs later. He set sail again in 3 yrs, 1765 & did not return for more than a decade and D died in 1774. before he returned. Abigail Adams is given much credit for keeping things runnng for John, who was away 14 of the first 20 yrs of their marriage, but Deborah Franklin deserves as much credit, if not more for keeping the home fires/businesses burning while Ben was about the country's business.

Here is a piece from Time Mag about B and D, see a picture of D,  ignore the subtitle about Ben, lol, and scroll down a bit to read about Deborah.

http://www.time.com/time/2003/franklin/bfwomen.html

Here is another site about her:
http://marriage.about.com/od/historical/a/benfranklin.htm

If you are interested in women's history that site, about.com has a treasure trove of history of all kinds, but is one of the best, quick sources for w's history. Actually it is a treasure trove for all kinds of things including knitting and crocheting stitches. It's one of my favorite spots, as you can probably tell.

I have't read the latest bio of BF - by Issacson. I'll be curious to see how much credit he gives to DF. There are 21 hits of her in the index of his book, but except for 2 they mention only single pages..................more later............jean 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 05, 2010, 10:07:41 AM
 That site does sound intriguing, JEAN.  I'll have to check into about.com
and see what all they do talk 'about'. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 06, 2010, 05:23:04 PM
JEAN,, I have always (although cannot quote what source) believed that Franklin had many mistresses, here and definitely overseas and I knew he became wealthy.  Probably I am remembering The Adams book by David McCullough, which we discussed in some length a number of years ago.  If I remember correctly, John and Benjamin, never got along at all, being very different in their morals and values.

All those early men were great in their vision of what a country should be, however, and their attempt at liberty and justice for all (who am I quoting here, Lincoln?).

I just finished a good book about George Washington: His Private Life by Harlow Giles Unger, and there is just as much information about Martha, all their numerous friends and relations; all the children, whether related or not, that the two of them invited to live at Mt. Vernon.  I'm rather proud of him, and our country for being wise enough at its birth to do what they all did.  We should probably all read and remember from time to time; I'm apt to forget it all.  And some details I don't think I ever knew.  What a shame that Martha burned all their private letters, what was she thinking??  A few have surivived and fragments are quoted.

Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 06, 2010, 08:59:37 PM
Yes. Martha burning her letters is probably one of the all time great losses in American history.............wouldn't you love to have known her tho'ts about everything she was going thru?

I think Ben may have been more flirt than lover. Now, i haven't read the most recent bio - I must - but other than the woman he had William with before he married Deborah, I haven't read of actual affairs. I may have missed them, but the ones i've read about have been more flirtations, according to the authors.........I just read an interesting article about his sister Jane. Another one of those women  w/ 12 children, 4 died before she was 30, by the time she was in her 60's only one dgt remained alive and she was ill. At 70, a granddgt died and left 4 children, who Jane than took into her household to raise. She was pregnant 21 yrs of her life and had children to care for even into her 70's!! The author did a take-off on Virginia Wolff's "If Shakespeare had a sister".........only she compared Ben and Jane, who was apparently healthy, smart, persevering, etc. and what might she have done if she was not getting pregnant when Ben was arriving in Phila??? ................jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on September 06, 2010, 09:59:40 PM
I had a dream last night about Barack Obama.  It was very nice.  He had two mistresses, and I was one of them.  Ahhhh....dreams.....
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 07, 2010, 08:11:35 AM
 :o Analyzing that dream could be very interesting, ROSE.  ;)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 07, 2010, 10:00:36 AM
Is that why Obama travels so much, ROSE!  And what city do you live in?

Yes, flirtations, probably best describes Franklin's relations with women.  I like flirtations, they are fun.  What you see on TV these days goes far beyond and is disgusting.

Tuberculosis killed so many!  Yellow fever prevented a war with France (as I remember) - all fled the city of New York where the capital was for a time.  John Adams was president then. 

They all had to have big families to assure that a couple of them might survive to adulthood.  And then, of course, they had no birth control methods.

Bleeding!   Who came up with that primitive method to cure illness.  It helped kill many, including George Washington.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on September 08, 2010, 12:06:24 AM
babi and ella - as you must know discretion is of the essence in these matters.  I wish!!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 08, 2010, 08:28:51 AM
 I can see where bleeding might be useful in cases of high blood pressure; might prevent a stroke.  Other than that, it seems the worst possible thing to do, weakening the body when
people most need their strength.
 I decided to do a quick check. The practice of bloodletting seemed logical when the foundation of all medical treatment was based on the four body humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Health was thought to be restored by purging, starving, vomiting or bloodletting.
The art of bloodletting was flourishing well before Hippocrates in the fifth century B.C

   And they were still doing it well into the 19th century.  Aren't you sorry you asked, ELLA?
 :)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 08, 2010, 09:11:21 AM
OH, ROSE!  I need you every morning, your comment produced a smile, a chuckle! 

Hi BABI, one is never to old learn new things even if they are old things.  Thank goodness, we live in the age we do and medicine has progressed; nowadays we just swallow everything.

I think I'll start that book about the 1939 Worlds Fair that was built in Flushing Meadows in New Jersey; built on a dump. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: serenesheila on September 08, 2010, 04:57:45 PM
Yesterday, I began reading "Last Call".  It is the story of prohibition in America.  It is very interesting!  Did any of you know that George Washington had a still on his farm?  I didn't.  By 1830 American adults were drinking, per capita, 7 gallons of pure alcohol a year.

Sheila
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 08, 2010, 11:25:31 PM
Yes, those founders were NOT tea drinkers! 

I'mm typing this on my new iPad!!!  An early birthday present from my whole family! Yaaaaaa!
I know I'm in for days of fun, fun, fun!
 

Jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on September 09, 2010, 10:50:09 AM
How fortunate you are, Jean. Congratulations on your new iPad!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 09, 2010, 02:37:22 PM
Jean: let us know how it goes!!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on September 09, 2010, 03:18:28 PM
I saw a program about Mt. Vernon and G.W.'s still oh, maybe last year. They were doing archeology with the hopes of resurrecting the still using his original formula. Well, I just looked it up on Google and discovered that the Grand Opening was in 2007. Here is the article from the Mt. Vernon website. http://www.mountvernon.org/pressroom/index.cfm/fuseaction/view/pid/1119/

I've only been to Mt. Vernon once, long, long ago. I have no recollection of who I was with, but it was a bus trip which included Madison's home and Monticello. I only remember the outside of the Washington's mansion. Madison's home was dark and like a regular house. Monticello was spectacular. I was quite taken by his inventiveness.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: jeannettl on September 10, 2010, 07:00:47 PM
I just finished The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel. Excellent, very readable and a whole different perspective on WWII and the stolen art in Northern Europe. I am also reading the Foxfire books, Volumes 10 thru 1; I'm going backwards through them. My current love, though is What Should I Do With The Rest of My Life? by Bruce Frankel. The people he has featured are amazing! I am an artist, a retired Special Education teacher. I have been slowly getting reinvolved in my art work over the past 10 years. I feel a new focus and dedication, a new inspiration, from reading about these people and their successes. Until now I had been interested only in finishing a few long-term projects, but now I have plans to go beyond that and find a new way of working. Mainly, I know I need to work smaller. I had always worked very big, but am ready to explore the world of small sculpture and painting. Fun!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 10, 2010, 08:50:33 PM
WELCOME JEANNETTI!! Did reading about our Robby in "What Should I Do..." bring you here? We just finished a discussion with the author, Bruce Frankel, and we are all inspired!

You're art work sounds very interesting! Tell us more.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marcie on September 10, 2010, 08:53:42 PM
Welcome, Jeannettl. It's wonderful to have visual artists participate on our site. I think those of you who work in the visual arts bring different perspectives to our book discussions. That's interesting that you are contemplating a change in your artwork. I too will be interested to hear more.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 11, 2010, 02:54:20 PM
Welcome Jeannettl- what is your all-time favorite non- fiction book? How about the rest of you? I don't remember us having that discussion in here, but knowing Ella's questioning spirit, you must have.........lol.....Jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on September 11, 2010, 08:42:58 PM
Quote
what is your all-time favorite non- fiction book?

While there are so many good ones Jean, I would have to say T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom. When I brought the oversized volume home from the library, Dad said I would never get through it - history was so "dry". Much to his surprise, I couldn't put it down, read the whole thing. Not only that, but I ended up reading his book The Mint and a another which was a volume of his correspondence with Robert Graves. I eventually traded those for a book called Arabia Deserta whose author I don't recall. This is the travelogue Lawrence read and valued prior to his stint in the Middle East. It was a bit boring or tedious so I never finished it. At any rate, Seven Pillars is the book I always think of first. It fired up my imagination and inspired my interest in international history. Surprisingly, given my interest in Roman history, I can't think of any book on that subject that comes near to how I feel about Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on September 12, 2010, 09:13:34 AM
Hard to pick just one favorite isn't it, Frybabe?  I've added your favorite, SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM, to my TBR List.  Always meant to read this after seeing the movie made from it.

My two authors (tied for favorites) are Alan Watts' books, beginning with his ON THE TABOO AGAINST KNOWING WHO YOU ARE, and Joseph Campbell's THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES and THE MASKS OF GOD.  Both these authors gave me a lot of insight and challenged my thinking about religion.

Another book that changed my life was Betty Friedan's THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE.  It led me to get out of a marriage with a controlling husband, go to college and find a career of my own.

As a child my favorite books were those by Sir Richard F. Burton, the explorer, recommended by my grade school libarian.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 12, 2010, 11:08:02 AM
Excluding biographies, which I guess we should, maybe that's a question for another time, I think my favorite is "No OrdinaryTime" about ER & FDR during the war years. First, Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of my favorite historians and this book is particularly readable. It was almost like reading a novel. I also learned a lot about WWII on the " home front" .

The book that I also learned a lot from was by another woman historian, Mary Beard, "On  Understanding Woman ." It is a survey history of western civ from a woman's perspective written in the 1930,s. Again a very readable book.

Marjifay- that 's a wonderful " book" story about FM. I'll bet that BF heard that often and each time it must have made her proud that she wrote the book. That book didn't change my lfe as dramatically as yours, but certainly did influence how I thought and lived, also.

Iread "7 pillars" in college, probably need to take another look at it.

Jean


Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on September 12, 2010, 01:26:58 PM
Jean, your mention of No Ordinary Time clicked something in my head.  Looked at my list of books I own and sure enough I own this.  Haven't read it, however, probably because it's such a long book--over 700 pages.  But I loved Goodwin's Team of Rivals, also a biggie, so I should read this other, especially since I so admired Eleanor Roosevelt (and also Franklin).

One of my favorite biographies was Yankee from Olympus, the bio of Oliver Wendell Holmes by Catherine Drinker Bowen.

Another nonfiction book I really liked was The Tao of Physics; An Explanation of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism by Fritjof Capra (from my Eastern Mysticism period in the 1970s (LOL), but it is an interesting book).  

Yes I'd thought of writing to thank Friedan, but never did.  I figured she'd gotten many many letters of thanks, bless her heart.

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 12, 2010, 02:53:49 PM
Just an FYI - the History Channel is reshowing " America, the Story of Us"  They are at the turn into the 20 th century.........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 12, 2010, 03:51:29 PM
Marj: I still have the Tao of Physics, but it's been decades since I read it. Maybe it's time to reread.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on September 12, 2010, 09:43:32 PM
Boy, I sure couldn't pick an all-time favorite non-fiction.  But I agree with marjifay about "The Hero With a Thousand Faces".  It's relevant to all sorts of stuff.

I very much like the books by Stephen Jay Gould, most of them collections of short articles, ranging all over the place from how people mis-used science for racist purposes, to how the extra bone in the panda's thumb is evidence for evolution, to a statistical analysis of the shrinking size and increasing cost of the Hershey Bar. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 12, 2010, 09:58:09 PM
For those of you who were in the Audubon discussion, I just saw on the news tonight that JA's " Birds of North America" is the most expensive book in the world  - $9,000,000!!! Wouldn't James be pleased and his poor long- suffering wife, who was always begging him for money? What would she say?

Jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 13, 2010, 12:07:43 PM
What wonderful ideas for books to read.  I've written them down!  If you were to ask me "right now and with little thought" about nonfiction I remember having read  I would say WEST WITH THE WIND by Beryl Markham (don't know why); Aryn Rand's The FOUNTAINHEAD; the playwright and memoirist Neil Simon (never have forgotten he wrote his first play over 28 times never using the same word twice - imagine); JOHN ADAMS by McCullough, because it took us six weeks to discuss on Seniornet (our former home); all of Doris Kearns Goodwins (she writes so well) - there are so many more if I had time to think.  I've also read all of David McCullough's books.

Books about FDR, Abraham Lincoln, the founding fathers.  I simply cannot remember their titles.

At the moment I am listening to REVOLUTIONARY CHARACTERS by Gordon Wood.  It's very good, and even though you have read about most of them, there are always little new things you learn.

NEwspapers proliferated and doubled in size throughout the colonies in one year from 1799 to 1800 and now ordinary people (not the wealthy - particularly the influential planters of VA) could read and discuss national issues.  It made a huge difference in politics as you can imagine.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 13, 2010, 12:11:23 PM
9 million dollars, JEAN!  Wow!  I know Harold led a discussion on Audobon's life some time (years) ago.  Where is Harold?  We haven't heard from him in a long time!!!!
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Mippy on September 15, 2010, 09:39:44 AM
Life is full of surprises.   Yesterday I found out that my friend and painter/carpenter, Mark Adams, has traced his ancestry to THE  John Adams!   We are on Cape Cod, not very far from Quincy and other nearby towns where the family lived.   We have eaten at a restaurant across the road from the Barnstable County Courthouse, where John Adams worked when he rode on the circuit court, prior to serving in the Continental Congress.
                                    
That inspires me to re-read the wonderful biography of John Adams by David McCullough.  I also enjoy all the books, especially Albion's Ways, the Four Folkways,  by the historian David Hackett Fischer.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 15, 2010, 12:13:41 PM
I love hearing David McCoullough talk about history. I always feel like I'm in my living room talking with a friend and I loved the JA book, but I gave up on the Brooklyn Bridge book about 3/4' s of the way thru. It just seemed to be dragging and repetitive. Which may have been the way it was, but I didn't feel the need to slog along with them....... :)......Jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: kiwilady on September 15, 2010, 05:27:22 PM
For those dog lovers! I picked up a delightful book ( its an old one) about unconditional love between a stray and very ill beagle pup and a journalist. Its mostly set in Paris but the journalist was American. It is called "Laurens story" An American Dog in Paris. The author is Kay Pfaltz. If you love dogs and want to know more about the REAL Paris this book is truly a delightful light read. I got my copy in large print. I borrowed the copy I read from one of our smaller branch libraries in a semi rural area.

Carolyn
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mrssherlock on September 15, 2010, 06:35:29 PM
I'm just dropping in to talk of two NF books on my list.  Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition on Saturday mornings, has written about his adoption of two Chinese orphans.  Describing the other parents-to-be he and his wife were traveling to the orphanage with: 
Quote
Most of us had probably tried to start families in the traditional manner.  For one reason or another, the traditional result was not achieved.
  Baby We Were Meant For Each Other is the title. 

Let me quote NPR: 
Quote
John Vaillant's The Tiger is part natural history, part Russian history and part thriller; it tells a gripping and gory story of what it's like to stalk — and be stalked by — the largest species of cat still walking the Earth.

Not your usual history and biography but I thought you may be interested in them.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on September 16, 2010, 09:04:41 AM
My latest acquisitions from the used book store:
Of Making Many Books by Roger Burlingame
Lafayette, A Life by Andreas Latzko (translated from German by E. W. Dickes)
Adrienne, The Life of the Marquise De La Fayette by Andre Maurois (translated by Gerard
      Hopkins)

This week my PBS station had a program on about Lafayette. It reminded me of the two books I had seen last time I was in the book store. Of course I had to stop in and pick them up. It helped that there is a 50% sale on non-fiction this week.

I was excited to find Burlingame's book. It is printed on heavy stock with watermarking like the Eaton stationary I loved as a teenager. It's about the Charles Scribner and Sons publishing empire and their stable of authors. My book was published in 1946 and I paid $4 for it. I Googled and discovered that Penn State University has published a 1996 edition. Of course it is very expensive.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 16, 2010, 11:34:59 AM
Carolyn - i sent your comment along to a friend who loves dog stories. She's going to check out her library for it. ........jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 16, 2010, 03:46:54 PM
I saw the program on Lafayette. He had a very interesting life. Let us know if the biography is good.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on September 17, 2010, 09:59:26 AM
In case anyone might be interested, I just joied a Yahoo group that is going to read the Koran in November -- The Quran Reading Group.  They are an offshoot of Yahoo's Great Conversation group.  To start things off, in October they will read the book, Muhammad; His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Ling. 

It sounds like a group really interested in learning about Islam.  The promotion for their group reads: "The Qur'an reading forum is a group dedicated to reading and discussing translations of the Qur'an from a non-religious perspective. The goal of the group is to critically explore the Qur'an, and Islam, and the history of the Islamic world, while attempting to always be respectful of the traditions of Islam. We will strive to always remain open to the beauty of the Qur'an and the historical and religious perspectives that the Qur'ran can offer us. However, we will at the same time remain open to respectful criticism of the Qur'an and the traditions of Islam, even criticism which might call into question some of the traditional views of the Qur'an."

Marj
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 17, 2010, 02:46:04 PM
Marj: that sounds really good. How do I get into it?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: marjifay on September 17, 2010, 09:31:31 PM
(http://seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/graphics/welcome_2.jpg)

TO NONFICTION BOOK TALK

What are you reading?  Autobiographies, biographies, history, politics?

Tell us about the book; the good and the bad of it. 

Let's talk books!


Discussion Leader: HaroldArnold (hhullar5@yahoo.com)



JoanK:  To find the Koran reading group, try this:

Go to Yahoo and type in "Find a yahoo group"

Click on "Yahoo! Groups -- join or create groups"

Type in "quranreadingforum"

(I'm terrible with computers -- but this worked for me)
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 20, 2010, 04:14:13 PM
I found a new site for history resources and while reading a link came across this paragraph
 
"Not since 1820 has feminine apparel been so frankly abbreviated as at present; and never, on this side of the Atlantic, until you go back to the little summer frocks of Pocahontas. This year's styles have gone quite a long step toward genuine nudity. Nor is this merely the sensible half of the population dressing as everyone ought to, in hot weather. Last winter's styles weren't so dissimilar, except that they were covered up by fur coats and you got the full effect only indoors. And improper costumes never have their full force unless worn on the street ."

Wanna guess what period of time he was talking about?.........Jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on September 20, 2010, 05:35:08 PM
no guesses, jean - but probably well before the 21st Century.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 20, 2010, 07:54:06 PM
It's from a New Republic article from 1921, could have been written in the1970's or in the 1990's.   history does repeat itself, uh? see it here,
O
http://faculty.pittstate.edu/~knichols/flapperjane.html

It's a fun read.......read or scroll to the bottom for other interesting articles around the same time. Wait till you see what can happen to if you listen to jazz.........you're going straight to hell! ........Jean 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 21, 2010, 03:16:07 PM
I could have sworn that vwas written today. I'm embarrassed to look at some of the people I see on the street.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on September 21, 2010, 09:39:29 PM
I just pretend I am not seeing "Muffin top" and "Money Box" jeans on the street.  Oooooh not a good look.  But I do love thongs.  Dialect alert:  thongs in Australia are not the same as they are in US.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: PatH on September 21, 2010, 09:41:34 PM
OK, roshanarose, what are thongs for you?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on September 21, 2010, 09:49:07 PM
I was hoping you'd bite, PatH.  Thongs are footwear here.  You may call them flip flops.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 21, 2010, 10:00:34 PM
Joan - it certainly could have been written today. We seem to be getting closer and closer to nudity. Some of the clothes are so tight, they might as well not be wearing them. Did anybody see the woman m.c. on Dancing W/ the Stars last night? Holy Smokes!

But i tho't it was cute to see how these issues just keep recurring over and over.......the kids are worse then ever, what will become of them, the hair is "wrong" whatever wrong happened to be at the time, the music!!!! Oh, has every generation of parents tho't their childrens' music was horrific? I had to laugh at the next article that talked about how "sinful" sycopation was. The article said that one dance hall would only allow the waltz and the one-step.......when only a generation or two before that tho't the waltz was sooooo risque..............that's part of the great fun of reading history............jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: kiwilady on September 24, 2010, 05:09:30 AM
What gets me is that you see bare midriffs and cleavages all on show in the coldest winter weather! Wonder if these girls are constantly coming down with colds.

Carolyn
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 24, 2010, 08:43:26 AM
 Ah, women...of all ages...are too often the slaves of fashion...or at least the latest fad.  Even
in the days when skirts were down to the ankles, the necklines were cut most revealingly low. 
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 24, 2010, 01:05:53 PM
I understand being fashionable and I have always been. But, I never understood uncomfortable. The only thing I ever wore that was uncomfortable was a girdle in the 50's and  early 60's when I weighed all of 110 lbs.  ??? ;D But, you know we weren't allowed to jinkle the least little bit!

Some of the young woman today look so uncomfortable in these HIGH heels and short, tight skirts. I remember in the 70's being in a mtg where someone made a remark that clogs - a fashion trend at the time - were designed by men who hate women. :)

I did have a pair AND twisted my ankle in them!

The gist of that 70's discussion was that women needed to be wearing shoes they could run in - for safety. Many of the outfits worn by women on tv today wouldn't pass that test! .....jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: JoanK on September 24, 2010, 03:31:50 PM
On bare midriffs -- I'll never forget going to a concert with friends. As people were filing in, a friend said "I've just seen my first sSenior bellybutton". Of couse, we couldn't wait for intermission to see this phenomenon, but it was never seen again (perhaps he was hallucinating."
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: CallieinOK on September 24, 2010, 06:20:54 PM
As teens today would say,  "Ewwwww"!  :o
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Frybabe on September 24, 2010, 07:54:42 PM
Not to forget the fashion among the guys. How about the pants that are look almost like skirts. Then there are the pants that are worn sooooo low that you see half their underpants. How do some of them stay up?
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 25, 2010, 09:19:25 AM
 JEAN, I'll never forget the day I was shopping for a new bra, and explained to the saleslady that I didn't want an underwire bra because they hurt. The woman looked at me and, so help me, said "Bras are supposed to hurt". I stared speechless and hurried away as though escaping a madwoman.
  I don't know if some of those male designers hated women, but I have thought they wanted women to look sexy for men, and didn't care how uncomfortable the women were.

  FRYBABE, on 'Who Wants to Be A Millionaire' yesterday, celebrity contestant Jean Smart said "There's a whole generation of young men with bad backs out there from trying to hold up those pants".
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 25, 2010, 09:56:30 AM
That's a priceless but believable story, Babi.......I think many young women would say that about many fashions- bikini waxes? Hair in eyes? 5 inch heels? Worrying about whether people can see paradise when they sit in those short, tight skirts? ........one day on the Wendy Williams Show, Wendy introduced Patty Labelle. They both had on 5 in heels and very tight skirts. Wendy walked to the edge of a 6 inch step up to the set to help Patty make the step and they both waddled across the stage laughing about how they couldn't walk....Talk about sore backs.......Jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Ella Gibbons on September 25, 2010, 10:04:28 AM
THE NATIONAL BOOKFEST WILL BE ON BOOKTV ALL DAY.  The first guest is Ken Follett which is surprising to me as I always considered him as a fiction writer.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: mabel1015j on September 25, 2010, 10:50:38 AM
Yes, Laura Bush has me in tears reading a section of her book about Sept 11......Ken Follet has a new novel which he is touting.......Jean
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: maryz on September 25, 2010, 11:07:18 AM
I just looked up Ken Follett's new book (the first of a trilogy) on amazon - they want $19.99 for the Kindle edition.   :o   I think I can wait a while for that one.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: roshanarose on September 26, 2010, 12:41:19 AM
Babi and Mabel : My favourite story about the much ridiculed Paris Hilton (sorry Paris) is that when she was told that she had been accepted to star in the movie "House of Wax", she was delighted and gushed "ooooohhhh do they do Brazilian?"  You had to be there.
Title: Re: Non-Fiction
Post by: Babi on September 26, 2010, 09:34:41 AM
I really ignore all the hype about 'celebrities'.  I really can't see why
people are interested.