Sally Lou's 2023 ROOT challenge

Keskustelu2023 ROOT CHALLENGE

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Sally Lou's 2023 ROOT challenge

Muokkaaja: Tänään, 8:02 pm

I am tentatively setting my goal at 40 this year. I plan to count as ROOTs anything we (my husband or I) owned prior to January 1, 2023 plus books which I read for assignments (book clubs, adult education class assignments, and LT ER).

1. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray -- Book group Selection -- finished reading Jan. 6th.
2. True to Form by Elizabeth Berg -- purchased fall of 2022 -- finished reading Jan. 8th.
3. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell -- purchased May 2021 -- finished reading Jan. 16th.
4. Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum -- purchased Oct. 2020 -- finished reading Jan. 24th.
5. Silver Alert by Lee Smith -- LT ER-- finished reading Jan. 26th
6. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro -- Colonnades book club selection -- finished reading Jan. 31st
7. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie -- Northside Library book club selection -- finished reading Feb. 10th.
8. Second Time Around by Melody Carlson -- LT ER -- finished reading Feb. 12th.
9. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman -- Colonnades Book Club -- finished reading Mar. 7th
10. Stories by Katherine Mansfield with Introduction by Jeffrey Meyers -- puchased in 2017 -- finished reading Mar. 28th.
11. The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz -- Colonnades book club book -- finished reading Apr. 6th.
12. Benjamin Banneker and Us: Eleven Generations of an American Family by Rachel Jameson Webster with Edith Lee Harris, Robert Lett, Gwen Marable, and Edwin Lee -- LT ER -- finished reading Apr. 9th
13. Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South by Chip Jones -- Northside Book Group -- finished reading Apr. 15th
14. My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson -- CFM meeting wide read -- finished reading Apr. 22nd
15. Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner -- Colonnades Book Club -- finished reading May 3rd
16. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery -- bought in August 2022 -- finished reading May 9th.
17. Eastern Shore Shorts by Gail Priest —bought in May 2022 —finished rereading May 16th
18. Little Lindy is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century by Thomas Doherty -- purchased March 2021 -- finished reading May 27th
19. The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs -- purchased May 2022 -- finished reading June 2nd
20. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, translated by Lucia Graves -- Northside book group -- finished reading June 10th.
21. Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa Genova -- saved from husband's recycling January 2022 -- finished reading June 26th
22. Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton -- acquired July 2021 -- finished reading June 29th
23. Horse by Geraldine Brooks -- reread for Colonnades book club -- finished reading July 6th.
24. Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini -- Colonnades Book club (August book) -- finished reading July 27th.
25. In Spite of the Consequences: Prison Letters on Exoneration, Abolition, and Freedom by Lacino Hamilton -- LT ER -- finished reading July 31st.
26. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood -- Northside Library Book Group -- finished reading Aug. 13th.
27. My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song by Emily Bingham -- received as birthday gift in November 2022 -- finished reading Aug. 23rd.
28. Cat Watching by Desmond Morris -- probably bought in mid or late 1980s -- (re)read Aug. 24th.
29. Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout -- book club selection -- finished reading Sept. 5th.
30. Holsinger's Charlottesville: A Collection of Photographs by Rufus W. Holsinger by Cecile Wendover Clover and F.T. Heblich, Jr. -- acquired prior to joining in 2007 -- read/examined Sept. 9th
31. Poetry Matters: For Better and For Verse: Essays on the Art and Craft of Writing Poetry by Sara M. Robinson -- bought in August 2022, finished reading September 12th.
32. Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls -- Colonnades Wednesday book club -- finished reading Sept. 23rd

joulukuu 31, 2022, 11:02 pm

Glad you're back!

tammikuu 1, 6:18 am

Welcome back, hope you have a good year!

tammikuu 1, 11:06 am

Happy ROOTing!

tammikuu 2, 4:11 pm

Welcome back - happy Rooting😀

tammikuu 5, 5:51 am

Have a great ROOTing Year!

tammikuu 5, 10:29 am

Happy New Year and happy ROOTing, Allison.

tammikuu 6, 7:02 pm

ROOT 1 for January (and the entire year obviously): The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.
This is a book club read for our meeting next Monday. It is the story of Belle da Costa Greene, a very light skinned black woman who passes as white, who is hired by J. P. Morgan as his personal librarian. Her duties include procuring rare manuscripts, books, and art work and managing this private collection without her true background being discovered. It involves many travels to Europe where she meets auctioneers, sellers, and collectors and their agents.

tammikuu 8, 8:11 pm

ROOT 2 for January: True to Form by Elizabeth Berg.
The third and last novel in the Katie Nash saga about a young teenager who lives with her father (and in this book, stepmother). Although the family moves frequently since her father is in the military, this is the second book where they live in the St. Louis vicinity. Katie learns a lot about life in this book, especially pertaining to friendships and dying.

tammikuu 17, 9:03 pm

ROOT 3 for January: Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrwell -- book club book.
Very little is known about the family life of William Shakespeare. This is an historical novel imaging what it would have been like for William Shakespeare, his wife, and two surviving daughters following the death of their only son/brother. Although the cause of the death is not really known, Ms. O'Farrell imagines it must have been caused by the plague. Prior to the death, the story describes what Shakespeare's and his wife's upbringing, courtship, and marriage might have been like. Shakespeare is never mentioned by name in the novel, which felt awkward to me. The story keeps skipping around in time, something which a lot of novels seem to do now, but which I do not particularly like.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 24, 3:38 pm

ROOT 4 for January: Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum.
I have loved the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, and really enjoyed reading about their careers creating this music, especially the lyrics (and earlier drafts of some of them). As I read the examples of lyrics, I could hear them being sung in my mind. In addition to Rodgers and Hammerstein's challenges of working together, Mr. Purdum writes about the workings of the theatre including the challenges with various people such as actors and actresses, producers, etc.

tammikuu 25, 4:50 am

>11 sallylou61: I really enjoy Rodgers and Hammerstein - especially the quirky wordplay they build in to the lyrics. I'm often pleasantly surprised at how relevant a lot of the underlying messages remain (especially since they're often couched wittily).

tammikuu 27, 4:58 pm

>12 Caramellunacy: I think that you would enjoy Something Wonderful. It was recommended to me by an adult education teacher who taught a brief course on these musicians.

tammikuu 27, 5:01 pm

ROOT 5 for January: Silver Alert by Lee Smith, one of my favorite authors, is a novel both about aging and about finding a home and family. It features Herb Atlas and his third wife Susan, who has dementia, as an older couple and Renee (Dee Dee), a young woman who uses different names, lives various places different times with different people some of whom are abusive. Renee comes to give Susan a pedicure and ends up often coming to help Herb take care of Susan. Renee has a special way of understanding Susan and what she wants. However, the adult children of Herb and Susan think they should be moved into an institution where they can get the care they both need.

At the beginning of the story, it can be hard to keep all the various people, especially the former spouses, adult children and their families straight. However, the story is very compelling. Dee Dee is an uneducated young woman who is continually learning new vocabulary words (after which "word" appears) and about things she should have learned in school. We learn more about the backgrounds of the characters Herb and Dee Dee through unstated thoughts, especially when they are taking a final ride in Herb's car, which he is not supposed to be driving. The "silver alert" from the title of the book refers to this drive when a large silver alert message giving a description of Herb's car appears on highway signs in Florida.

helmikuu 1, 4:36 pm

ROOT 6 for January: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro.
If it wasn't a bookclub pick, I would not have read Klara and the Sun since I read no more science fiction than necessary. This is the story of Klara, a very intelligent artificial friend (AF) whose role is to be a friend to and help Josie, her human friend who is very ill, get well. Klara depends upon the son to help her accomplish this.
I was favorably impressed with how this story featured female characters in most of the important roles (i.e. longest appearing roles).

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 10, 4:00 pm

ROOT 1 for February and 7th overall. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, book club reading for next week.

This is a beautifully written novel about the Nigeria-Biafra War (1967-70) and the time immediately preceding it (the earlier 60s). It features two families: Odenigbo who is a revolutionary for the Biafran cause, his wife Olanna, daughter Baby and servant Ugwu; and Olanna's twin sister, Kainene and her husband Richard. The book describes wartime living in an impoverished area and the actions of people in such a situation.

helmikuu 11, 11:55 am

>15 sallylou61: I loved Klara and the Sun when I read it last year. Glad you were somewhat surprised by it.

helmikuu 13, 2:28 pm

ROOT 2 for February and 8th overall: Second Time Around by Melody Carlson

Second Time Around is an appropriate title for this light read book since several people/places are having a second chance: the main characters (who are in their late forties) knew each other as teenagers, a contractor is given a second chance, and the small coastal town in which the story is set is deteriorating, especially in comparison to nearby towns. This book describes life in a small town in which residents appear to know what their neighbors are doing; there is contention about how to renovate the town. The story features the romance of Mallory and Grayson, the two main characters, with other romances suggested. Jealousy around Grayson and jealousy about who should have inherited the rundown tourist shop which Mallory inherited from grandmother and changed into a home decoration shop is also featured. Although there are no sexual scenes, the author does emphasize praying about which I felt uncomfortable.

maaliskuu 13, 2:12 pm

ROOT 1 for March and 9th (of 40) overall: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.
I would not have read this whole book if it had not been a book club book. I did not like the book; there were too many marginal characters and too many deaths at the end.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 28, 10:09 pm

ROOT 2 for March and 10th (of 40) overall: Stories by Katherine Mansfield with Introduction by Jeffrey Meyers.
Although I have The Complete Stories of Katherine Mansfield, I enjoy reading from this much shorter volume. This volume was a the text we used in 3 adult short story classes on Katherine Mansfield. I just finished reading the stories I had not read for the courses. I particularly enjoyed "The Voyage" about a young girl going with her grandmother on an overnight trip on a picton boat (a kind of boat used in New Zealand) from her father's house to her grandmother's. She does not know how long she will be staying with her grandparents.

huhtikuu 7, 4:29 pm

ROOT 1 for April and 11th (of 40) overall: The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz
For the bookclub at our retirement community I've finished reading The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz, a book about a dysfunctional family. The triplet children of the family were created by artificial insemination to a mother who really wanted children, and a father who did not seem to care. I could not like the mother, who tried to force the triplets to be "best friends" and want to do things together regardless of their personalities. This led to the triplets being as far removed from each other as possible. Although two of the triplets, Lewyn and Sally, both went to Cornell and lived their first year in neighboring dorms, they did not acknowledge each other. Sally's roommate fell in love with Lewyn, and was not told they were siblings, which caused problems. When the triplets were about to leave home for college, the mother decided she wanted another child, and to have the fourth egg, which had been frozen, inserted into a surrogate mother; this child became the "newcomer" who was not acknowledged as a sister by the triplets. The father was unfaithful to his wife, and had a son with another woman; that was why he stayed away from home many evenings. This overly long book is a story of the family, and the outcome when all five of the children became adults.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 9, 3:18 pm

ROOT 2 for April and 12th (of 40) overall: Benjamin Banneker and Us: Eleven Generations of an American Family by Rachel Jameson Webster with Edith Lee Harris, Robert Lett, Gwen Marable, and Edwin Lee -- LT ER -- finished reading Apr. 9th

Rachel Jamison Webster, a white woman, learned from a cousin at a family reunion, that she was a distant relative to Benjamin Banneker, a Black mathematician and astronomer who helped survey Washington, DC, at the request of Thomas Jefferson. Black relatives of Banneker, some of whom had been doing genealogical work for years, helped her with research on the book, and told her stories they had heard. The title page reads Rachel Jamison Webster with Edith Lee Harris, Robert Lett, Gwen Marable, and Edwin Lee.

This book is both the story of Benjamin Banneker, beginning with his grandparents, and of the cooperation of the present day cousins and their search for his story. It begins with his grandparents, particularly his white grandmother who came as an indentured servant, and his grandfather who came to America as a slave. Especially in this early part of the story, the author uses conjecture such as what the trip to America in the slave quarters on the ship might have been like if the grandfather had had special privileges, but then says he might not have had the privileges. I much preferred the text when the authors had more information and did not do as much guessing.

The book is written with alternating chapters discussing the story of Benjamin Banneker, an amazing person, and the story of Ms. Webster and her newly found cousins in writing the book. I found the current story particularly interesting; one female cousin who was not involved in the writing did not want a white woman to write the book, and for a while the relationship of Ms. Webster and Robert Lett, the first black relative she had encountered, was strained. However, Ms. Webster and Mr. Lett worked out this situation.

huhtikuu 16, 3:37 pm

ROOT 3 for April and 13th (of 40) overall: The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South by Chip Jones.

This is a story of a heart transplant which occurred in Richmond, Virginia, at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in which the heart of Bruce Tucker, a black man, was secretly transplanted into a seriously ill white man. Many MCV staff members and a few other people were involved, but the chief surgeons were Dr. Richard Lower and Dr. David Hume. The surgery was done at night in a guarded room. Although the doctors wanted the donor's family to be notified, and even had the police engaged in the search, the searchers came up empty. However, during this time, a handicapped cobbler, William Tucker, tried valiantly to find his brother; he went to the hospital where he was sent on a wild goose chase and unable to find Bruce until after the transplant had been completed. All this time, William's business card was among the possessions that Bruce had had when he appeared at the hospital with a bad head injury.

Several years later L. Douglas Wilder, a young black lawyer who later became the governor of Virginia, sued MCV and a number of people, especially Drs. Lower and Hume, on behalf of William and the Tucker family in a civil trial. William Tucker was the plaintiff. The trial itself became stacked against the plaintiffs, with rules changing, etc. MVC was an important organization in Richmond and was doing important research into medicine.

The beginning of the book traces the early history of body snatching from graves to be used in for experimenting and teaching at MVC (before it became MVC). The end of the book tells what happened to some of the main characters including the judge at the trial.

I think the trial description got tedious. It was based around the definition of death, and whether Bruce Tucker was actually dead when the surgery began.

huhtikuu 24, 9:46 pm

ROOT 4 for April and 14th (of 40 overall): I read My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson, a local author.

This book is a collection of five short stories followed by a novella, My Monticello. As a whole, I did not care much for the short stories but found the novella page-turning. It is narrated by Da'Naisha Love, a black female college student at the university. White people are chasing black people out of their homes and burning the houses down. Da'Naisha and seven other people including her elderly grandmother and two boyfriends (one black and one white) escape to Jefferson's home on a mountain. Later other people join them including some students from the local community college. These people take refuge in the mansion, Monticello, which Da'Naisha claims as her house (My Monticello) since she is descended from Jefferson and Sally Hemings. After they have been there over a week, a white man appears and tells them they have 48 hours to leave before they will be forced out. The refugees decide that they will stay and fight. The story ends at that point; we are not told what happens. Although a number of events, especially since August 11-12, 2017, are mentioned, the story takes place in the future.

The story contains a lot of violence, but also shows how people can cooperate and live together if forced by circumstances to do so.

The unnamed university is the University of Virginia and the community college is Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC).

toukokuu 10, 9:33 pm

1st ROOT for May and 15th (of 40) overall: Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner, who was a Lady in Waiting for Princess Margaret.
The title is a little misleading; although Ms. Glenconner tells about he friendship with Princess Margaret from her childhood through the rest of Margaret's life and a bit about being her lady in waiting, most of the book is devoted to Ms. Glenconner's life with her family. In her early 20s Ms. Glenconner married a man who was probably mentally ill, and who treated her poorly often making scenes in public. Following the practice of the wealthy in her time, Ms. Glenconner's first priority was taking care of her husband; she had nannies take care of her children, sometimes with disastrous results. Ms. Glenconner's first two sons died as young men, and her third son was in a serious accident after which she devotedly took care of him. Ms. Glenconner endured other setbacks; her long life (she is still living) is full of highs and lows.

toukokuu 11, 9:28 pm

2nd ROOT for May and 16th (out of 40) overall: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.
Although I had heard of the book for many years, this is the first time I read it. It is a charming story of an 11-year-old redheaded girl who is adopted from an orphanage by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, an elderly brother and sister who asked to adopt a boy to help on their farm. As she became more comfortable with the Cuthberts, Anne, who is a very imaginative girl, becomes very talkative. She tries to do the tasks she is asked to do, but often gets waylaid by her imagination. She has a close friend, a neighbor, Diana. In school she meets several other girls who become her friends and Gilbert, a boy with whom she is very competitive but does not view as a friend since he teased her about her hair. This story covers Anne's life through her going to Queen's Academy (along with some of her friends) to earn a teaching license. However, she wins a scholarship to college which she plans to use until her family situation with the Cuthberts changes, and she ends up teaching after all.

toukokuu 27, 1:30 pm

3rd ROOT for May and 17 (out of 40) overall: Eastern Shore Shorts by Gail Priest

Before our vacation to Chincoteague island last week, I reread one of my favorite short story collections, Eastern Shore Shorts: Stories Set in Berlin, Cambridge, Chestertown, Chincoteague, Easton, Rock Hall, Salisbury, St. Michaels, and Tilghman Island by Gail Priest. Only Chincoteague is in Virginia; the rest are in Maryland. These stories, each of which could stand by itself, are related to each other since many characters appear in several stories -- as a main character in one, but mentioned in others. My favorite stories are "Homeward Migration" set in Chincoteague and "Peacemaker Puppy" set in Salisbury which are connected since Ben Cooper, the father in "Peacemaker Puppy," is the son of Jim and Lisa Cooper, important characters in "Homeward Migration."

toukokuu 28, 12:46 pm

4th ROOT for May and 18 (out of 40) overall: Little Lindy is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century by Thomas Doherty.
As the subtitle states, this book is primarily about the news coverage of the case rather than solving the crime. Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh were a very popular couple, and the public followed the news closely. The different media -- newspaper, radio, and news reels at theaters -- raced to cover the case. It's amazing to think that in the 1930s, only around 90 years ago, radio was the new technology.

toukokuu 30, 2:27 pm

This kidnapping is one of the most complex cases I've come across because, even decades later, more information and clues have come out.

kesäkuu 2, 12:17 pm

>29 mstrust: Also, many people's opinions of Charles Lindbergh have changed from adoring him to becoming disenchanted with him because of his later life, particularly his political views and having three families -- his official one with Anne Morrow Lindbergh and two German families.

kesäkuu 2, 12:22 pm

1st ROOT for June and 19th (out of 40) overall: The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs.
I think the subtitle is a bit of an exaggeration. However, Alberta Williams King, Louise Little, and Emma Berdis Jones Baldwin were all very close to their famous sons, and greatly influenced them. Although these three women were all born around the turn of the 20th century, they lived very different lives and just as their sons did. This book is more than the story of these three women; it tells a story of black history.

kesäkuu 17, 2:53 pm

2nd ROOT for June and 20th (out of 40) overall: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, translated by Lucia Graves.

This was a very long book for me (486 p.), and something I would not have read on my own. One of the problems for me with the book was that there are many references to streets in Barcolona, and I'm not familiar with that city. There are "red herrings" in the story, and the solving of the mystery does not turn out the way I expected. The main character, Daniel Sempere as a child, is taken by his father to the "Cemetery of Forgotten Books," a hidden library. Daniel takes a book, The Shadow of the Wind, back home with him, and having read the book, becomes enthralled with the mystery of the missing author, Julian Carax, and discovering that all the other copies of that The Shadow of the Wind and Carax's other books are missing. The story is basically his search in which he becomes involved with many other people, and their stories. The section which I enjoyed most was the story from the female, Nuria Monfort's point of view. The book contains a villain, Francisco Javier Fumero, a corrupt policeman who becomes involved in murdering people. Especially near the end of the story, there is a lot of violence. However, I liked the very end of the story.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 26, 11:40 am

3rd ROOT for June and 21st (out of 40) overall: Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa Genova.
Ms. Genova is well known for her fiction, particularly Still Alice about a woman with Alzheimer's, which we learn in Remember is based on her grandmother's experience. Remember is nonfiction. Ms. Genova explains the science of remembering -- which part of the brain is involved with remembering and what people can and should do to remember better. She also points out that forgetting is also important; one does not remember routine things such as eating a meal (unless it is a special meal), brushing one's teeth, etc. She shows what kind of forgetting is normal and what is not. She often uses some of the same vivid examples over and over since repetition is important. Sometimes I found the book too repetitious. Her discussion of Alzheimer's is useful.

heinäkuu 7, 2:50 pm

4th ROOT for June and 22nd (out of 40) overall: Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton

I read Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton to read a novel featuring Quakers. Lilli is a young Quaker woman who has just lost her mother to death. Her father marries his cousin shortly after his wife's death, and is disowned by (kicked out of) the Quaker meeting. Lilli is no longer allowed to teach in a Quaker school, is no longer welcome in the Meeting, and is thrown out of her home by her stepmother after she finds out that Lilli is pregnant. Lilli's lover and her brother have left to work in a factory in Pittsburgh without knowing about her pregnancy. The book vividly tells the conditions of poor pregnant women and their babies in late 19th century Philadelphia. The women were frequently used as wet nurses for wealthy women, and those women's babies had priority to the milk over the women's own children. These babies could end up in institutions which did not provide the proper nourishment; many of the babies died. After much struggle, Lilli's story has a happy ending.

I feel that Ms. Benton did a disservice to Quakers by portraying Lilli's family and Meeting members in such a poor light. Quakers were disowned for various reasons, but I think that usually the family members were not. Lilli's father and stepmother were very cruel people.

heinäkuu 7, 2:54 pm

1st ROOT for July and 23rd (out of 40) overall: Horse by Geraldine Brooks.

This is a skillfully written historical fiction book about Lexington (formerly Darley) a famous 19th century racehorse who had a relatively brief career racing before he became blind, and then became a breeder of many horses, including many racehorses. The story describes life, particularly in the pre-Civil War South, in which Negroes (the term at that time) could not own horses or be jockeys in races but were depended upon to take care of the horses. It describes the bond between Jarret, the horse's enslaved groom and the horse; Jarret was the person Lexington trusted. Both Jarret and Lexington are sold from the farm where they lived to another slaveowner who took them to another trainer who treated Jarret particularly cruelly and would not let him take care of. the horse. This was before the owner brought both Jarret and Lexington from Kentucky to Louisiana to run on a racetrack he owned. Jarret also helped Thomas J. Scott, a painter, by preparing his palette, holding the horse still, etc.

The story of the living horse is interspersed with the 20th/21st story of discovering the history of the horse. Its skeleton was given to the Smithsonian as well as two of Scott's paintings (one of which became missing). Researchers including skeleton specialists and an art history doctoral student are trying to find out how the skeleton should be pieced together, why the horse became blind, etc. through the use of pictures. Theo, the doctoral student, wants to write his dissertation on Scott's paintings.

Throughout the book, racial relations play an important part. In addition to Jarret's relation with the horse, a young white girl/woman from his first plantation tries to have unapproved relations with him. Theo, the 21st century graduate student is black and works with/has relations with a white professional at the Smithsonian.

heinäkuu 28, 3:45 pm

2nd ROOT for July and 24th (out of 40) overall: Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini.
This is a novel about the resistance to Hitler and the Nazis in Germany beginning prior to World War II through the war. The novel particularly features four women, three of whom were real people: Mildred Fish Harnack, Greta Kuckhoff, and Martha Dodd plus the fictional Sara Weitz. However, men also played important roles in the novel, particularly the husbands of Mildred and Greta and the brother of Sara. The novel describes the harrowing conditions under which the people of Germany and conquered areas lived, but also the popularity of Hitler, and the support he had of numerous people who cheered Nazi parades and speeches. All the resistance participants had to be extremely careful not to be discovered. The novel realistically describes how the Harnacks and other resistance workers in the story were probably eventually discovered, and the sentences they were dealt.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 31, 7:54 pm

3rd ROOT for July and 25th (out of 40) overall: In Spite of the Consequences: Prison Letters on Exoneration, Abolition, and Freedom by Lacino Hamilton

Mr. Hamilton spent approximately 27 years in prison in Michigan for a crime which he did not commit before finally being freed. This book is a small selection of the over 10,000 letters which he wrote while imprisoned. Through these letters he shows how brutal the prison system actually is -- much more brutal than outsiders think. For example, when families visit, they do not see the conditions under which their loved ones live; immediately after the visit the prisoner needs to undress in front of the guard to show that he is not concealing anything.

Mr. Hamilton appears to be a very intelligent man. During his time in prison, he became self educated primarily by reading numerous books. He corresponded with friends, family members, persons interested in justice, and other prisoners since prisoners could not speak to each other. Unfortunately, he never had the understanding and support from his parents. Mr. Hamilton makes many important points in this book.

I am disappointed that none of the letters are dated, and they skip around in time. Also, the recipients are identified the first time they are sent a letter, but not after that. An appendix identifying the recipients would be useful.

elokuu 17, 3:20 pm

1st ROOT for August and 26th (out of 40) overall: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Last night at our book club meeting we discussed Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, a novel based on two actual murder cases. In the end, Ms. Atwood does not say whether or not she thinks that Grace Marks is guilty. It's interesting because all the women in the group thought that Grace was guilty although there was not enough evidence to keep her permanently in jail; the three men thought she was not guilty. There was some question as to whether or not Grace planned the murders or whether she was an accessory. I was surprised by whom some of our members thought actually committed the murders; it was not James McDermott who was found guilty and hanged.

Personally, I thought that this book was too long as did some others, but we could not agree on what should have been cut out.

elokuu 20, 5:20 am

Hi Allison, just catching up on threads

Wasn't there a film or a series made after Alias Grace?

elokuu 21, 12:33 pm

>39 connie53: There was a TV mini-series made of it. During December instead of discussing a book, our book club usually watches a film of a book we have read. We have not decided to watch this or Pride and Prejudice which is our November book.

elokuu 25, 1:24 pm

2nd ROOT in August and 27th (out of 40) for the year: My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song by Emily Bingham
For pleasure I recently read My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song by Emily Bingham, a woman who was reckoning with the fact that her ancestors had owned slaves in Kentucky. The home in the song refers to slave quarters rather than plantation mansions, and is about a slave being sold down-river (Mississippi) to the cotton plantations in the deep South. Ms. Bingham traces the history of the Stephen Foster song which he wrote prior to the Civil War through current times. Of special interest to me is the connection of the song with the Kentucky Derby and the Stephen Foster memorial in Pittsburgh, his hometown. Although this book was published in 2022, I notice that the tune was played but not sung for this year's (2023) Kentucky. Also, the statue of Stephen Foster in Pittsburgh has been removed; I remember seeing that statue at the Stephen Foster memorial.

Ms. Bingham includes black people's reaction to the song, even with its changed words. Many black entertainers sung it at some point in their careers.

elokuu 25, 1:49 pm

3rd ROOT for August and 28th (out of 40) for the year: Cat Watching by Desmond Morris.
I (re)read Cat Watching by Desmond Morris. I first read this book in the mid 1980s shortly after it was published, and really enjoyed it then. However, probably because I have read a number of cat books since then, I found it interesting but not as enjoyable as the first time around. Also, some of the information was dated; for example, I think that pet cats have a considerably longer life span than back then when 12 was considered old.
Mr. Morris gives a brief history of the cat, but most of the book consists of questions which he asks and then answers. I was particularly interested in his comments about older cats since our cats are getting elderly.

syyskuu 6, 1:23 pm

1st ROOT for September and 29th (out of 40) for the year: Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout.

For my retirement community book club I read Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout. Lucy's ex-husband William took Lucy from New York City to a cottage by the sea in Maine to isolate themselves from the covid. In my opinion, this was a very unsatisfying book: Lucy just could not understand what the covid was in the beginning, and she was very whiny throughout the book.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 13, 8:36 pm

2nd ROOT for September and 30th (out of 40 for the year): Holsinger's Charlottesville: A Collection of Photographs by Rufus W. Holsinger by Cecile Wendover Clover and F.T. Heblich, Jr.
Rufus Holsinger was a photographer in Charlottesville, VA, from the mid 1880s to until around 1925. He took numerous photographs of the town and its people during this time. His collection is preserved in the archives of the University of Virginia.
Although this collection shows a history of Charlottesville, it is focused on the buildings and the men who owned various businesses rather than the more common people. This was disappointing to me since I've seen various exhibits of people of all backgrounds over the past 30 years or so. However, this book was published in the mid 1970s. The descriptions of the photographs talk about what the buildings, many but certainly not all of which are no longer standing, were near or would have been near in the 1970s.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 13, 8:49 pm

3rd ROOT for September and 31st (out of 40) for the year: Poetry Matters: For Better and For Verse: Essays on the Art and Craft of Writing Poetry by Sara M. Robinson.
This book is obviously aimed to help poetry writers, especially beginning poetry writers, practice their craft. I am definitely not in this category. However, Sara comes weekly to our retirement community to lead a discussion of poetry. We critique the poetry of various poets. I found that a lot of these essays, which Sara had earlier published in a poetry magazine, lined up very well with what we look at in our sessions. Since these essays were originally columns, they are all about the same length, and often refer to each other.