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Old 02-11-2024, 04:34 PM
1,956 posts, read 902,494 times
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Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
Just finished In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. My wife and I are beginning to plan our two month retirement walkabout through Australia in four years.
One of my favorite authors. Bryson is brilliant AND funny! I think I've read all of his books and learned so much from each one. He must do a ton of research to support all the writing, much of which is historical or scientific in nature.
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Old 02-12-2024, 01:16 AM
3,327 posts, read 2,254,831 times
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Whose Names Are Unknown by Sanora Babb, another author mentioned in Ken Burns' documentary The Dust Bowl.
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Old 02-12-2024, 05:41 AM
Location: New York Area
34,768 posts, read 16,775,621 times
Reputation: 29894
Default The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson

I just finished reading The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson. Yes, that Boris Johnson, who was later a much less long serving or consequential British Prime Minister. Obviously, Winston Churchill was his hero, but he was many other people's heroes. For example, his grandson, who said: "You know, in many ways he was quite a normal sort of family man." After this quote, Boris Johnson states:
Originally Posted by Boris Johson, Author
Yes, I say, but no normal family man produces more published words than Shakespeare and Dickens combined, wins the Nobel prize for literature, kills umpteen people in armed conflict on four continents, serves in every great office of state including Prime Minister (twice), is indispensable to victory in two world wars and then posthumously sells his paintings for a million dollars. I am trying to grapple with the ultimate source of all this psychic energy.
What, indeed, do we mean by mental energy? Is it something psychological or something physiological? Was he genetically or hormonally endowed with some superior process of internal combustion, or did it arise out of childhood psychological conditioning? Or perhaps it was a mixture of the two. Who knows-depends on your answer to the mind-body problem, I suppose.
I am wavering on whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars. I suppose I will give it 4 stars. The book come of like many other biographies of great leaders, verges on hagiography. I suppose this is inevitable because cover unless you are writing about a criminal or a horrible person, you write it out people who you admire. The book does not have some of the ills of most such books, which is to spend an undue amount of time on early life, which is usually quite unexceptional.

Boris Johnson does an extremely good job of laying out his greatness, without ignoring some of the shortcomings of the subject personally, or the mixed results of some of his initiatives. He obviously“hit the English language to war” (my statement coming at the authors) and earned him himself a place in history. Arguably without him, the world would have been dominated by two ogres, Stalin and Hitler. To that, we owe an immense debt. Is the crystal clear in this book.

The book also makes clear his intense ties to the United States and his love of this country.
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Old 02-12-2024, 06:27 AM
Location: So Ca
26,664 posts, read 26,641,826 times
Reputation: 24712
Originally Posted by Mayvenne View Post
I just started The Bird Hotel by Joyce Maynard. I think it's my first of hers. I'm only on page 60 or so but it's very good.
It just came out last year. I love Joyce Maynard.
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Old 02-12-2024, 07:27 AM
823 posts, read 404,123 times
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Finished My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...-serial-killer

This was a 4 star read for me.
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Old 02-12-2024, 08:08 PM
35,524 posts, read 17,824,056 times
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The Deal of A Lifetime by Fredrik Backman. It's a short story, published in the form of a book, in 2016. This author wrote A Man Called Ove, Britt-Marie was here, etc. This book will take about an hour and a half to read.

I don't want to give too much away, since it's such a very short book. But it's about a somewhat heartless middle aged man who is on the cancer ward of a hospital for treatment, thinking back on his life and legacy, and what he will be willing to give to a delightful 5 year old girl with terminal cancer. His atypical embodiment of the "Grim Reaper" is a description I will never forget, and really appreciate.
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Old 02-13-2024, 09:19 PM
Status: "I have read 20 books this year!!!" (set 1 day ago)
424 posts, read 188,934 times
Reputation: 480

This book has lingered in my room since pre-COVID. It suits the moment, so close to Valentine's Day and all. A softcover edition from a brick-and-mortar shop or thriftbooks.com. I don't recall which.
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Old 02-14-2024, 03:44 PM
813 posts, read 399,209 times
Reputation: 2212
They Called Us Exceptional ... and other lies that raised us by Prachi Gupta.

Fascinating read but also very disturbing!

Great deal of success by South Asians but at a heavy price due to culture and society at large.
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Old 02-15-2024, 05:29 PM
Location: Henderson, NV
4,039 posts, read 2,900,554 times
Reputation: 38778
I just finished reading my book club's current read -- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde -- and give it a 4.5! A very engaging and clever science fiction literary detective thriller. Not my usual genre but enormously entertaining!

Last edited by KiwiKate; 02-15-2024 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 02-15-2024, 06:17 PM
1,956 posts, read 902,494 times
Reputation: 5853
A historical account of early Antarctic exploration: Hoosh by Jason C. Anthony.

"Hoosh" is/was a porridge put together with whatever ingredients were available, usually penguin or seal meat (sometimes dog or pony), melted snow, and maybe crumbled biscuits for bulk. Why these men embarked on these journeys in the late 1800s/early 1900s boggles my mind. The conditions were so bad: frostbite, scurvy, starvation, no communication, etc.

It wouldn't even interest me in modern day, with all the advancements in tools, gear, and foods.
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