“Travel brings power and love back into your life.”
― Rumi Jalalud-Din
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― St. Augustine
The group was a little smaller this month due to traveling. Last year at this time we were locked in our houses and the furthest we got to travel was our own backyard. But now that more and more people are getting vaccinated and many state and local governments are lifting Covid restrictions people are getting out like never before. Biking, camping, driving, flying, visiting family or being visited. And that is good. Good to get back to normal, good to see family, good to celebrate holidays. Yes, a new virus variant is sneaking its way into some areas but being aware, being cautious, being vaccinated, can still allow you to travel. I won’t be doing my traveling till September but I do have a short getaway planned to take a 4-day art workshop. Maybe your away is just a nice dinner at a restaurant or a beach or a campsite with a lot of books. However you want to get refreshed, do it.
Now only nine people attended the meeting but three of our travelers emailed their titles. Ok, we like to talk about what we read no matter where we happen to be. Feel free to tell us what you’ve been reading.
- Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor by James M. Scott (2015) 648p. Even before rescuers could remove all the dead from the oily Hawaiian waters following Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, American war planners started work on an ambitious counter assault, a strike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo. This raid, led by Army Forces Lt. Col. and famous stunt and racing pilot Jimmy Doolittle, tested American ingenuity and gambled the precious few warships in the Pacific Fleet’s battered arsenal, but also boosted American morale and jolted the Japanese out of the mistaken belief they were immune to attacks on their home soil.
- Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of a New Hollywood by Mark Harris (2008) 490p. Explores the epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967-Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Doolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde-and through them, the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood, and America.
- April 1865: The Month that Saved America by Jay Winik (2001) 461p. If the American Civil War ended the way most civil wars end General Robert E. Lee and other high-ranking Confederate officers would have been hanged for treason, other lower level members of Confederate army sent to prison, and the residents of the Confederacy supporting states would have lost their rights indefinitely. This book is an exploration into why the American Civil War did not end in this way.
- The Forgotten Daughter by Joanna Goodman (2020) 416p. This is a sequel to the author’s book, Home for Unwanted Girls, about the injustices done to the Duplessis orphans in Quebec, but it is also a love story involving two people on opposite sides of the Quebec separatist movement. Well written, with interesting characters and tough issues of political violence and morality, but maybe too much detail if you are unaware of Quebec’s political history.
- Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse (2021) 390p. At an isolated hotel high in the Swiss Alps, cut off by bad weather and avalanches, a woman is murdered in a bizarre manner and another woman is missing. Sounds great, then, just like an avalanche, the story goes downhill from there. Our reviewer says,”Skip this one.”
- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (2019) 320p. Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, this novel combines the unique tale of the Packhorse Librarians with a story of fierce strength and determination of one woman trying to overcome some strong obstacles.
- WIN by Harlan Coben (2021) 375p. Windsor Horne Lockwood III — or Win, as his few friends call him — doesn’t know how his suitcase and his family’s stolen painting ended up with a dead man. But his interest is piqued, especially when the FBI tells him that this man is the one who kidnapped his cousin twenty years ago and was also behind an act of domestic terrorism — and that the conspirators may still be at large. Win is a regular character in Coben’s Myron Bolitar novels, but this is the first novel dedicated solely to him.
- The Real James Bond: A True Story of Identity Theft, Avian Intrigue and Ian Fleming by Jim Wright (2020) 144p. When James Bond (marksman, author, ornithologist) published his landmark book, Birds of the West Indies, he had no idea it would set in motion events that would link him to the most iconic spy in the Western world and turn his life upside down.
- Red Book ( Black Book series #2) by James Paterson & David Ellis (2021) 400p. Detective Billy Harney of Chicago PD gets a surprise posting to the Special Operations Section and is assigned a new partner, Detective Carla Griffin. Their first investigation is a drive by shooting which appears to be gang related. However, delving deeper reveals links to Harney’s past in more ways than one.
- Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene (2002) 272p. This is the true story of North Platte, Nebraska during World War II. Troop trains on route to their ultimate destinations in Europe and the Pacific passed through this small community daily. Every day of the year, every day of the war, the people who lived there banned together to form the North Platte Canteen where homemade food, entertainment, and recognition was given to soldiers during their brief stop.
- Bitter Harvest by Ann Rule (1998) 352p. This is the true story of Dr. Debora Green, a very bright Kansas physician whose life unraveled into a nightmare of murder and virtual insanity. After her trial for the murder of two of her children and the attempted murder of her husband, psychiatrists attempted to answer why something like this could have happened.
- A Time for Mercy (Jake Brigance #3) by John Grisham (2020) 464p. Jake Brigance returns, five years after he dramatically got Carl Lee off on a murder charge in A Time to Kill, Grisham’s first novel. Now, he is asked to represent sixteen year old Drew Gamble, accused of murdering his mother’s boyfriend Stuart Kofer, a cop on the local police force who Drew and his sister claimed was abusing their mother.