October, 2017: What Are You Reading Now?
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This is the true crime story about the murder of Washington state resident James Stackhouse. Stackhouse was murdered in 2003 during the Christmas holidays outside his home and this is the story of the investigation and the eventual murder trial. Rule writes in detail about the murder and the multiple possible characters involved in the crime which took several years to solve and go to trial. Though the book is complete in regards to the trial, there was (is) still a lingering question about the motive of the defendants and a possibility that another person was involved in the murder. Hard to put down.
*This was my first Ann Rule book and it has gotten mixed reviews -mostly from people who love her books. I look forward to reading more of her because if this was her worse book, the others must be really good.
I happily dwell in the dirt.
Come, tell me how you live is a memoir by Agatha Christie of her life while on archeological expedition with her husband. That's on audio in the car and is full of humour. Her trying to buy a hat was brilliantly observed.
And in dead tree format, I'm reading The Shepherd's Life. He got off to a bad start, describing himself in such as way as to be exactly that type of boy in class that made my school years a severe trial. I'm not sure I'm warming to him much as we progress. I sense a chip on the shoulder.
Reading Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race and was surprised that it starts with WWII since the movie seems to only encompass the space race though I am enjoying it.
I hadn't realised that Agatha Christie such a lively person, with a keen sense of humour and a fine line in self deprecation. The joke is as often on her as anyone else.
It was somewhat sobering to hear of places like Alleppo and Raqqa which are, no doubt, completely unrecognisable.
by Jim Defede
This is the true story of the passengers of the 38 jetliners that were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11 when the US air space was closed and all planes were diverted away from the US. Defede tells an inspiring story of a community that opened their arms to all the passengers (including the animals on the planes) that could not return home.
Though I distinctly remember 9/11 and that horrible day, I had never heard of the community of Gander, who truly countered the horribleness of that disaster. This is definitely a wonderful read and is an inspiration to others.
When I was young, I fell in love with black and white films, mostly James Cagney films and The Thin Man series which led me into other films from the 30's and 40's including The Pride of the Yankees. When I found this book, I was excited to read about the making of the film. Who didn't cry at the end of this film when Gehrig/Cooper says his memorable line - "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." Sandomir does a nice job relating what is known about Gehrig and his death- unfortunately there is a lot of gaps in the story. No complete footage of the famous line was ever found if even recorded. There are even gaps in the story of the making of the film but still it was an interesting book about Gehrig, his relationships with his wife and mother and the making of the film and Sam Goldwyn’s involvement in getting the film produced. Definitely a book for film fans. I have ordered the film from the library since I haven't seen it in years and I think that it needs to be seen if you read the book or are contemplating reading the book.
China in the '30s to '50s by an Old China Hand.
Larsen is one of my favorite non-fiction authors and he does not disappoint in this book about the sinking of the ocean liner, Lusitania during WWI.
In 1915, WWI was raging in Europe but the United States still had not become involved. Submarines had evolved and now were roaming the oceans aiming at non-military and military watercraft. The Lusitania was on its way to Liverpool filled with non-military men, women and children and though there were warnings about submarines, many passengers were not concerned or did not know about the warnings and thought that their ship would have an escort during the most dangerous part of the trip.
Larsen does a wonderful job describing the time period, the passengers and the crews aboard the submarine and the ocean liner. He also discusses the games Churchill was possibly playing. Was he using the situation to get the US to enter the war? And what was President Wilson’s reluctance to enter the war and who was distracting him from his job.
Margot Lee Shetterly
This is the wonderful untold true story of the 4 African-American women mathematicians who broke barriers by working as human computers at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia. Starting with a shortage of staff to help during WWII at the lab, these smart, college educated women proved that they were reliable and as smart as the other women and men at Langley. Shetterly discusses the time period and the racial tensions going on in that era, all in the context around what was going on at Langley with the building and designing of aircraft for WWII and including their part in the space race. This book really fleshes out the story of these women and the lengths they and their families had to go to work in those industries and the sacrifices that they had to make to have a better life. A true inspiration to all women.