Sunday, October 27, 2013

Middle of the night reading

Room by Emma Donoghue

A 19 year old college student is abducted and put in a sound proof shed for 7 years. She is allowed to keep her kidnapper's child. This little room is her son's entire room. He is the  5 year old narrator of the book. Ma's teeth have rotted out. The kidnapper is losing his house due to foreclosure. What will happen to them?

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

A long story of 2 generations of family struggling. Lots of political intrigue. Evil Republicans versus ecological concerns. Betrayals.

Talk before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg

A woman takes care of her 42 year old best friend dying of breast cancer. Very sad but interesting. How to keep hope alive in a hopeless situation.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

A young adult raises his young brother after both parents die of separate cancers in a short period of time. Meanwhile he is trying to find himself as a writer.

The River Midnight by Lilian Nattel
 Life in a shtetl in late 19th century Russian partitioned Poland. Lots of overlapping stories. Steve's grandparents came from similar villages from the same area.

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

To keep the peace, the President agrees to send one thousand white women to the Cheyenne. Women go there voluntarily to escape all sorts of hell back home. Most of it is narrated through the eyes of a former Chicago socialite whose parents threw her in a mental hospital after she married and had a child with a working class person. Anything would be better than the mental hospital where she is routinely raped. Her fellow wives have similar stories. By luck, she is to be married to the Chief. But lots of culture shock and as usual, the white men don't keep their promises..

Sea of Glory by Nathaniel Philbrick

This is a true account of the U.S.  Exploring Expedition aka The Ex.Ex. of 1838-1842 which had several purposes: to hopefully claim new lands (late in the game for that) map out Antarctica, map all the islands they can find in the Pacific and to collect flora and fauna from said lands. The collections ended up being the basis of the Smithsonian Institutes. However, the head of the Ex. Ex. is a maniac who makes everyone miserable. On land,Charles Wilkes seemed to be fine but when the going got tough, he goes crazy. There were many witnesses to this and he ended up being court martialled after the trips were over. He is the basis of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick as Melville read everything he could about the exploits. Some of the details of this book were boring (like most of Moby Dick)and it took me almost a year to finish but I learned a lot.

This is just part of a huge stack of books I have in the spare room. Need to clear them out for my guests next week unless one of them would like to read any of them.

Waiting for it to be warm enough not to freeze my ass off biking (as if).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through Daria's (may she forever rest in sweet peace) and just happened to see the different books that you were reading :)
Just a quick mention that my newest title is on's called Letters to Saint Timothy by Martha McAfee. You might like it.


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