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Old 12-11-2016, 12:54 AM
 
6,904 posts, read 7,599,549 times
Reputation: 21735

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I just finished Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith. It's the most recent book in his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I so love these books that I own them all in hardback. Gentle, sweet, thoughtful, loving and interesting about Botswana.

This one ended in a fascinating way. A character who is an antagonist of Precious and Grace throughout the series wins an award. Smith writes:

"How could it be that Botswana of all countries - the country that paid more attention to doing what was right than so many other countries - choose as it's Woman of the Year a person as self seeking as Violet Sephotho? Did people not realize? Were people such poor judges of character as to be unable to see Violet for what she was?
She expressed these thoughts to Mma Ramotswe, who listened carefully.
Mma Makutsi, she said, her voice quiet and even, there are many things in this world that are not right. You only have to look about you and you see them.
But, Mma, everybody should know about Violet Sephotho.
I'm afraid they don't, said Mma Ramotswe. Or if they do, they don't care, or they even admire qualities like that.
Selfishness? Wickedness? Is that what you're saying, Mma?
Mma Ramotswe thought for a few minutes. They might not see them as that. They might think that people who are flashy -
She's definitely that, interrupted Mma Makutsi.
... Or shallow ...
And that too, said Mma Makutsi forcefully . . .
And so people might vote for somebody like that because they think that's what a woman of the year should be - ruthless, Mma. They think that a woman of the year should be a real go-getter, determined to succeed.
Mma Makutsi shook her head again. How can this be, Mma? How can people be so wrong?
Mma Ramotswe smiled. Fortunately, nobody will pay much attention. I don't think that Violet will be remembered for long.
I wouldn't be so sure about that, muttered Mma Makutsi. I wouldn't be surprised if she gets Woman of the Year painted on the side of her car.
Mma Ramotswe laughed. I hope she does that, Mma. Imagine how we'll all laugh when we see that car go by.
Mma Makutsi looked outraged, but only for a short time. Then she started to grin. It is funny, isn't it, Mma? Violet Sephotho elected Woman of the Year because she probably paid people to vote for her. And all those officials fooled into thinking she deserves it. There is a funny side to it, isn't there?
Just, said Mma Ramotswe. But even when there's a very small funny side to something - very small in this case - it makes it easier to bear, don't you think, Mma?
Mma Makutsi did think that, and her mood lifted.

The book was published in October, 2016. Was Smith prescient? At any rate, my mood HAS been lifted.
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,018,915 times
Reputation: 28903
I'm reading The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau.

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Jonas-No...as+stephen+dau

Although I'm not on Facebook often, I noticed mention (and rating) of it on a post by LookinforMayberry (hi, LFM, if you're reading this forum!).

She and I don't often agree on book preferences but it was available at my library so I stopped in to get it while running some errands. After the last two books that I tried on my own (both duds), I thought that I'd give this 5-star (according to LFM) one a shot, even though we don't usually agree on what makes for a good story.

Oh my god, what a fabulous book!! I'm savoring every word and each one is so good. It's a short book (less than 300 pages; my favorite kind!) but it's going to take me a longer time than it should -- I'm reading it so slowly, just to savor it.
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:48 AM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,975 times
Reputation: 14770
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
I'm reading The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau.

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Jonas-No...as+stephen+dau

Although I'm not on Facebook often, I noticed mention (and rating) of it on a post by LookinforMayberry (hi, LFM, if you're reading this forum!).

She and I don't often agree on book preferences but it was available at my library so I stopped in to get it while running some errands. After the last two books that I tried on my own (both duds), I thought that I'd give this 5-star (according to LFM) one a shot, even though we don't usually agree on what makes for a good story.

Oh my god, what a fabulous book!! I'm savoring every word and each one is so good. It's a short book (less than 300 pages; my favorite kind!) but it's going to take me a longer time than it should -- I'm reading it so slowly, just to savor it.
LOL! It's our differences that make us stronger.
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Old 12-11-2016, 12:29 PM
 
Location: prescott az
6,957 posts, read 12,055,958 times
Reputation: 14244
Bill Rancic, the winner of the first season of "The Apprentice" can write !!! Am reading his fiction work,First Light and am having a hard time putting it down. The end is revealed in the first chapter, which I wish he would not have done, but oh well.

Also finished Neely Tucker's Only the Hunted Run, which is snappy dialogue, real fast and down to earth from Sully, the reporter hero. Loved it and will find another one by him.

Sick with bronchitis and now ear infection this week so am glad I have a stack of books ready.
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:22 PM
 
Location: prescott az
6,957 posts, read 12,055,958 times
Reputation: 14244
Just finished Bill Rancic's book, (above). The end is NOT revealed in the first chapter, as I thought. My mistake !!!
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:02 PM
 
3,493 posts, read 7,930,850 times
Reputation: 7237
I just started a re-read of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I recommended it for my college-aged daughter who loved The Alchemist. I had read it long, long ago when I spent summers with my hippie grandparents. My daughter cant wait for me to read it again and now with the fourth chapter (added just a few years ago).


Not sure if I'll love it as much as I did when I read it the first time knowing that my grandfather said I was too young for it...
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:12 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
1,492 posts, read 1,617,489 times
Reputation: 2343
I am almost done ready "The Quartet" by Joseph Ellis, which documents the role James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington played in creating the constitution of the United States. Reading about how the role of a national government was shaped from widely different views seems particularly in todays political climate.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:40 AM
 
16,579 posts, read 20,701,290 times
Reputation: 26860
I was going to read Masters of Atlantis but a friend loaned me Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. It's a memoir of his growing up as part of a working class Appalachian family and making his way to college and Yale Law School. It's been touted as a must-read to understand the frustrations of the people in the Rust Belt and how that affected the recent election.

I'm about halfway finished and so far, it's interesting but I don't think it's offering any great insight into anything. I'm wondering if that's not because, even though I'm not from the Rust Belt, I had many relatives like his when I was growing up and know people like that now. At this point he has not provided any cogent analysis of current events, but maybe that comes later in the book.

In any case, it's an easy read so if you're interested in the topic, you can read it without feeling like it's a big commitment of time or brain power.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,018,915 times
Reputation: 28903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
I was going to read Masters of Atlantis but a friend loaned me Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. It's a memoir of his growing up as part of a working class Appalachian family and making his way to college and Yale Law School. It's been touted as a must-read to understand the frustrations of the people in the Rust Belt and how that affected the recent election.

I'm about halfway finished and so far, it's interesting but I don't think it's offering any great insight into anything. I'm wondering if that's not because, even though I'm not from the Rust Belt, I had many relatives like his when I was growing up and know people like that now. At this point he has not provided any cogent analysis of current events, but maybe that comes later in the book.

In any case, it's an easy read so if you're interested in the topic, you can read it without feeling like it's a big commitment of time or brain power.
I'm waiting for Hillybilly Elegy to be available to me from the library.

Okay, I'm still not finished this book because I'm reading it so slowly to make it last, but I'm pushing it on everyone because I'm finding it so good. So please read it next: The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:54 AM
 
16,579 posts, read 20,701,290 times
Reputation: 26860
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
I'm waiting for Hillybilly Elegy to be available to me from the library.

Okay, I'm still not finished this book because I'm reading it so slowly to make it last, but I'm pushing it on everyone because I'm finding it so good. So please read it next: The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau.
I'll put it on my list right now.
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