Week 1 – 2017

Hi All! I’ve been slacking off since finishing out 2016. On the other hand, I have been devouring books for the past month and a half, so I have tons of material to share with you. As always, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

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War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. This was actually one that I recommended to the library. Unfortunately, I think I read this too soon after Moonglow by Michael Chabon. These are the same type of books. The grandson writes a fictional account of their grandfather’s actual life. It’s good. I like the concept. I just shouldn’t have read these so close together. I’m giving it 3 stars.

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It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. It is sort of incredibly insightful satire. Not only does it seem to predict the Hitler nonsense to an unbelievable degree (published in 1935 before the reign of terror was in full swing), but it also seems to predict the Trump election. The parallels are really hard to believe. This is a book that everyone should read, regardless of your politics. I’m giving it 5 stars.

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Conclave by Robert Harris – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This is another that I recommended. This author is great. You can tell that he does extensive research. In this one he writes about the selection of a new pope. All of the cardinals in the running for the position are deeply corrupt and the pope that has just died has set into motion a plot to unveil these indiscretions that go against the preachings of Jesus, and also against some of the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. In many ways, the church itself is deeply corrupt. I cannot wait for you to find out who ultimately wears the mantle. I’m giving it 3 stars.

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This book is incredible. It’s the story of a boy whose mother has cancer. But it is also written by an amazing author based on the story concept proposed by another author (Siobhan Dowd) who died of cancer before she had time to write this. It’s really the story of a boy who is dealing with the imminent death of his mother. This may actually be the best book I have read in a long time. I highly recommend it. I’m giving it 5 stars.

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Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This is Discworld #17. I don’t normally enjoy the Rincewind series as much as the others. He’s kind of dumb and he’s known for being a coward. But this was good. It’s sort of a satire of ancient China. I was reading it concurrently with Do Not Say We Have Nothing which is also about China, but not a comedy. That may have made it a lot more entertaining. I do love the Discworld. This just isn’t my favorite character. He’s still quite awesome. And the luggage. I think that stands alone as a sentence. I’m giving it 4 stars.

That’s it for the first week of 2017. Let me know if you have any suggestions about the books I should be reading this year. I have quite a head start.

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