Phinney Books, 7:30pm – Each person can talk about a book they have read during the past month and rate it from 0 to 5. Zero – “I really disliked it.” Five – “Best book I have recently read!”
Book Discussion: Discussed “Tyrant” by Stephen Greenblat – discussion lead by Tim. Tyrant Explored Through Film, Presented by Curiosity Stream – http://stephengreenblatt.com/news/tyrant-explored-through-film
Dave – Good Omens by Gaiman & Pratchett: Just started listening to it.
Mimi – City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, 3.0: Mildly diverting, quick read
Jon – My Losing Season by Pat Conroy, 4.0: A memoir which covers many aspects of his life – his senior college year, basketball, the father (who is even worse in real life than in the Great Santini). He writes very well, held his attention, and it helps if you know basketball.
Marla – The New York Detective by William Marshall, 3.5: It doesn’t fill any book bingo square and she doesn’t care! It was fun but not fabulous.
Kris – A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists and Other Adventurers in Early America by Tony Horwitz, 5.0: This is a combination of travel writing and history that is both entertaining and edifying. Really. Horwitz, who died in May 2019, was a historian by education. He visited Plymouth Rock, and in addition to being underwhelmed, he realized how little he knew about the first Europeans in North America. He set about to learn about the various groups of Europeans who visited America (named after a scoundrel) before the landing at Plymouth Rock. He starts with the Vikings and ends with the British in Jamestown, before he revisits Plymouth. He writes about the various explorations; his conversations with contemporary residents of the region; and his own foibles (like wearing a heavy suit of armor to be a conquistador re-enactor in Florida.)
Maribeth – Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles Shields, 5.0: She was in Alabama while reading it. A biography of Harper Lee – the relationship between her and Truman Capote – grew up next to each other – both misfits who formed an incredible bond. She cowrote a book with him, and he didn’t even mention her. Painted a very good picture of how she created Mockingbird – rewrote, rewrote and rewrote.
Sonya – Circle of Ceridwen, Book 1 by Octavia Randolph, 3.5: I hadn’t quite finished listening to the book in July, and then I gave it a 4.0 at least. It is a good story, and pretty well researched, but for a book that is set in the 9th century England, I thought she gave them too much of a modern twist – didn’t seem quite realistic enough. Ever since Kristin Lavransdatter, I have been searching for another good book – Longships was pretty good, but still haven’t found anything as good yet.
Tim – Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox 4.5/5 for each: Holmes’s creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, was to put himself in the same position as his celebrated detective in the real world, harrying the police, examining data and giving a specialist’s opinion to correct what he saw as travesties of justice. The true story about the Murder case and its aftermath are very well presented by this author.
Celtic Empire by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler 3.5/5: The murders of a team of United Nations scientists in El Salvador. . . A deadly collision in the waterways off the city of Detroit. . . An attack by tomb raiders on an archaeological site along the banks of the Nile. . . Is there a link between these violent events? The answer may lie in the tale of an Egyptian princess forced to flee the armies of her father three thousand years ago. This is an enjoyable quick read but not a great mystery,
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman 4.5 /5: The book takes place on a world that is part of a multiverse. In The Golden Compass (first book in a trilogy) story takes place in a world with some similarities to our own; dress-style resembles that of the UK's Victorian era, and technology has not evolved to include automobiles or fixed-wing aircraft, while zeppelins feature as a notable mode of transport. The Magisterium is trying to control knowledge of something called “Dust” which is somehow connected to the animal daemons that partner with humans and exist only until death takes the human. A much better story than the film version. I look forward to reading the next in the series; The Subtle Knife.
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan 3.7/5: The Eye of the World is a fantasy novel by American writer Robert Jordan, the first book of The Wheel of Time series. A long book which is similar to other Lord of the Rings type fantasy works.
The Magic Engineer and Natural Ordermage byL.E. Modesitt, Jr 4/5: These 2 books are part of the Saga of Recluse series. Very enjoyable and hard to put down. All take place in an alternative universe where magic is real and of two kinds Order magic and Chaos magic.