Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Jan 21, 2017 7:51 pm

:D SA, most of my non-fiction has been WWII as well. Though I haven't read anything about the Band of Brothers and I tend to go more towards biographies/accounts written by women, for some reason (maybe because I feel like I've gotten more of the overview of the battlefields through school). But I go in waves: several years back I read several books about the occupation and the Holocaust, a few years ago I read a lot about women in the military, and last year I read mostly about women in the Resistance. ;))
I'm glad you liked Leepike Ridge, though I agree it's a bit rough, which makes sense as a first (I believe) book.
Oooh, I didn't know Michael Card had written any books! I love his music. :) Do let me know how the commentary is, please.
Hope you like the Ranger's Apprentice series. :) How old are your younger sisters? And what books do they enjoy?
I agree about January being a good time to read books and drink tea. ;)) If only I had more time to sit...

Thanks, Jo! :) I hope you enjoy Wounded Tiger. What did your husband think of it? ;))

There was a little discussion among a few of us recently about Charles Dickens' works, especially whether A Tale of Two Cities was great or terrible. ;)) I haven't read it, though I've enjoyed most of the few Dickens I've read (Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations---exception was Hard Times). I've got Dombey and Son on my to-read shelf, as well as Oliver Twist. The latter I'm fairly familiar with, while the former I know very little about. ;))

This week, I finished reading The Rithmatist, The Scoop & Behind the Screen, and The Documents in the Case.
The Rithmatist: I enjoyed, though I don't think I was as enamored by the idea of chalkings as a number of other folks. But I liked the main characters and loved the tension between Joel's technical talent (and lack of ability) and Melody's creativity (and lack of interest), so Melody and Joel working together in the melee made me very happy. :D
The Scoop & Behind the Screen: This book was a collection of two short stories written by members of the Detection Club, with each author writing a chapter (or two). The authors included Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, so that was pretty fun. ;)) The story themselves were pretty interesting too. :)
The Documents in the Case: This was written by Dorothy L. Sayers and Robert Eustace. It's another mystery story, written almost entirely in the form of letters, along with a few statements. It was pretty interesting and clever how the story unfolded. :)

Not sure what book(s) I'll pick up next. May have some more time than usual to read over the weekend/start of next week, so hopefully I'll get through a couple of books (...or maybe just a long book, like Dombey and Son or Middlemarch ;))).
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Jan 26, 2017 12:42 pm

Valia wrote:Thanks, Jo! :) I hope you enjoy Wounded Tiger. What did your husband think of it? ;))

He really liked it. A powerful biography, he said. The only complaint, as I mentioned above, was the editing was quite poor in places. Which can certainly be distracting. :P

As many of you already know, biographies/autobios are my favourite genre, by far. Even though the fiction I love I really love with a passion (Tolkien & Lewis, and a few select others), but aside from that, I could live without most of the reads in that genre ... unless it's well-written historical fiction, such as the Thoene books or The Lemon Tree, for a couple of examples.

I finished God and Churchill last night. It is now one of my (many, ha) favourite books. Excellent, excellent: historically, theologically, and a strong statement on leadership ... of course, being The Bulldog! There is nothing forced about the book, which my hubby and I both really appreciated. We have my dad's copy, but we're going to have to get our own!

Hoping to start Wounded Tiger tonight!

P.S. This isn't a book, per se, but I am having a re-listen to the audio drama of "C.S. Lewis at War", which is the story of how Mere Christianity came to be, as it was developed from Lewis' talks for the BBC during some of the most horrific days of WW ll. So, so good.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jan 27, 2017 6:22 pm

I like hearing about the different biographies you've been reading, Jo! That's a genre that I've been neglecting in recent years, so I appreciate hearing about good titles. :)

I forgotten to mention this in my last post, Valia, but Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates was actually one of my favorite books as a kid. Looking back, I'm having kind of a hard time pin-pointing why. ;)) I believe it was one of the first books I read that was set in a real country where English was not the dominant language, and I think it made an impression on me because of that. (Another one of my childhood favorites was Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, set in the Amazon, so I think I may be onto something there... the Amazon and Holland were on my shortlist of places to visit when I was young, entirely due to reading those books.) I think I also liked the characters; I can remember admiring Hans. Anyway, I'm inspired to reread it again sometime and see if I enjoy it as much as I did so many years ago!

In other news, I finished The Hobbit, and I decided to read Kenneth Oppel's Airborn for a change of pace before starting The Fellowship of the Ring. I'm about 4/5 of the way through and I've been enjoying it! I'll probably read the rest of the trilogy at some point.

I can't decide if I admire Kate's single-minded determination or find her annoying, although I suppose that doesn't have to be an either/or situation. ;)) I was searching for concept art of cloud cats because I was having a hard time picturing them, and I kept coming up with things like this and this. Not exactly helpful. :P Now this is more like it! :D

Part of the reason why I picked up Airborn to read is because it has a steampunk setting, and recently the setting of one of my novel ideas has shifted from slightly steampunk to significantly steampunk, and I figured I ought to get more familiar with the genre. ;)) Anyone have any recommendations on good novels with steampunk settings?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Jan 28, 2017 6:03 pm

ValiantArcher wrote::D SA, most of my non-fiction has been WWII as well. Though I haven't read anything about the Band of Brothers and I tend to go more towards biographies/accounts written by women, for some reason (maybe because I feel like I've gotten more of the overview of the battlefields through school). But I go in waves: several years back I read several books about the occupation and the Holocaust, a few years ago I read a lot about women in the military, and last year I read mostly about women in the Resistance. ;))
I have stuck mostly to books my brother has read, but I am looking to branch out more this year. Do you have any books about women during WWII that you recommend?

VA wrote:Oooh, I didn't know Michael Card had written any books! I love his music. :) Do let me know how the commentary is, please.
Oh, yes, Mr. Card has written quite a few books. My Dad and brother both love his books, I think my Dad has most if not all of his books. We have actually meet Mr. Card and have several autographed books including that commentary.

VA wrote:Hope you like the Ranger's Apprentice series. :) How old are your younger sisters? And what books do they enjoy?
One's an almost a teen that acts like a teen and mid teens. Everything! One teen sis has read The Count of Monte Cristo twice, I settled for watching the 1934 movie. They love Gilbert Morris, Michael Phillips, George MacDonald, L.M. Montgomery, J.R.R. Tolkien, the Nancy Drew books, etc. Basically anything they are allowed to read, they will read and enjoy. :)

Every time I have tried to sit down and read lately my brother interrupts me just because he can, it took me four days to read The Ruins of Gorlan.

I finally finished The Ruins of Gorlan on Wednesday, then I started and finished The Burning Bridge Thursday. I'm not sure if the teen siblings should read them or not, there were several d--ns and one h-ll in it. Not any worse than a John Wayne movie, but I am not really comfortable being the one to introduce them to language in their reading.

I picked up books 3-6 of the Ranger's Apprentice at the library today, I am definitely not reading my new books until February. :D I started The Icebound Land on the way home for the library.

I haven't yet finished the first chapter of Bunker Hill, so far it has been a lot about Boston before Bunker Hill.

Rose, I haven't read much that's steampunk, but I think Curio by Evangeline Denmark counts. And I enjoyed it.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Meltintalle » Jan 29, 2017 12:07 pm

SA, when my family started reading Ranger's Apprentice, my dad read them out loud--and the language was easy to edit out that way. (So unnecessary in this context.) I... feel like it got better after book two but I may be misremembering. :ymblushing:

I recently finished Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (and yes, that's the book that inspired the movie). It was very readable, doing an excellent job of grounding what was happening in the larger context of the era and also explaining the significance of the work the ladies did.

Valia, I read The Floating Admiral, which was also a group effort by the Detection Club. I remember how the story twisted and turned with each author's style. ;))

Rose, I've read a few steampunk-type stories...
  • G.K. Chesterton's The Ball and Cross is an early example and has more meat on its bones than some. Airships! Duels! Frenemies!
  • The Tripods Attack! by John McNichol is another one with a neat concept. Airships! Alien invasion! Plucky hero(es)! Escapades! (Unfortunately, I was not as fond of the formatting in the book. It was a bit dense and hard to read so... :( )
  • Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series (Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, etc) does a fun job of dividing the genre up into types and giving you a slightly different flavor in each installment while furthering an overarching story.
  • Curio by Evangeline Denmark and Incarceron by Catherine Fisher are different takes on the puzzle-box prison, the first going more Old West and the other Baroque
I feel like I'm probably missing some super obvious example from my reading list, but that's a start. ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Jan 30, 2017 2:20 pm

Mel wrote:I recently finished Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (and yes, that's the book that inspired the movie). It was very readable, doing an excellent job of grounding what was happening in the larger context of the era and also explaining the significance of the work the ladies did.

I will be definitely be buying this book. Good to hear a report from someone who has read it. Thanks, Mel! :)

I am also currently reading Amazing Dad: Letters from William Wilberforce to his children. I can hardly imagine a father today writing letters such as these, but I sure wish they did. The beauty of the language back then, alone, was a treat, but add the great depth of wisdom and insight into each, along with his eternal perspectives and ... what wonderful and timeless treasures! These were written after his kids had left home to pursue further formal education. The letters soundly give the reader a glimpse into Wilberforce's strong love and concern for his children—most of all for their moral and spiritual lives. Plus, Wilberforce was a most practical, compassionate, highly-motivated man, his wisdom being replete with 'hands on' suggestions, often accompanied by relevant Scripture. A favourite read, indeed! And one I can glean so much as a parent.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Feb 04, 2017 4:26 pm

Jo, I'm glad he liked Wounded Tiger (minus the poor editing :P). Have you finished it? :)

Rose, the abridged version of Hans Brinker was a favourite when I was growing up too. ;)) I would love to hear if you like it as much now as you did then!
re: Airborn: I also remember Kate being an interesting character and I was conflicted about whether I actually liked her or not. ;))
Steampunk, mmmmm...I actually am not sure what beyond Airborn (and Mel's listing of Keys of the Kingdom) I've read is steampunk. ;)) I kind of think the Wax & Wayne series by Brandon Sanderson might qualify as having a steampunk-western flavor, but you should really read the Mistborn trilogy first... Oooh. Not sure if the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy by D.M. Cornish is quite steampunk, but it's good. ;)) Mel, any thoughts?
OH. Also, The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson probably doesn't quite fit steampunk either, but it has gears and chalk drawings that come to life and high-speed trains while trams cost a penny a ride. ;)) Airman by Eoin Colfer might not quite fit steampunk either, but maybe...?

SA, I have found pretty much every book I've read about women in WWII interesting. ;)) That said, if you want a pared-down list of recommendations, I'll give you one (disclaimer: It's been a few years since I read most of these books):

    Dance with Death by Anne Noggle (a collection of short interviews with WWII Soviet Airwomen)
    An Officer and a Lady by Lt. Col. Betty Bandel, one of the first WAAC officers (mostly a collection of letters)
    Winning My Wings by Marion Stegeman Hodgson (I believe she was a WASP, or at least a precursor to one)
    Navy WAVE: Memories of World War II by Lt. Helen Clifford Gunter
    Victory Harvest by Marion Kelsey (a Canadian woman follows her husband to England and joins the Land Army)
    When I was a German by Christabel Bielenberg (an English ex-pat's account of life in Germany under Hitler)
    Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945 by Marie Vassilitchikov (a White Russian in Germany during WWII)
    An American Heroine in the French Resistance: the Diary and Memoir of Virginia d’Albert-Lake by Virginia d’Albert-Lake
I've got more recommendations, including some about women in WWI, Resistance & Holocaust accounts, and some non-fiction (mostly letters and first-person accounts) about women in the first half of the 20th century. If you want more. ;))

:D SA, about meeting Michael Card and the autographed books. That's very cool!
I'm trying to think if I have any suggestions for books for your sisters. Would they be interested in any Elizabeth Gaskell, perhaps North & South or Cranford? The books might be geared a bit younger than your sisters (especially the older one), but I've enjoyed some of Phyllis Whitney's mysteries and the Three Investigator mysteries. Not sure either if they'd like the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy (Mel, would that be the right age?), as it's rather full of monsters, but it's good and has some lovely Christian themes poking through.
Have they read all of L.M. Montgomery's books? :) I just finished rereading three of her short story collections.

Mel, please see the two questions above about Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy. ;))
Glad to hear you enjoyed Hidden Figures. :D And The Floating Admiral was mentioned in the forward as the first of these group compilations, but I haven't found a copy yet.

I ended up picking up Middlemarch by George Eliot and am now about halfway through. I'm finding it more interesting than Mill on the Floss but everyone is still getting themselves into bad situations and I don't see how it will end happily without some deaths and/or changes in heart. :P
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Meltintalle » Feb 06, 2017 8:31 pm

The premise behind Amazing Dad was excellent, but my reading list notes that I ended up being more than slightly dissatisfied with it in the end. :( I wanted more of the actual letters and not as much commentary--or at least the opportunity to read the letters in their entirety instead of a quote here and an extract there.

re: steampunk classifications: The Rithmatist seems like an acceptable addition to the list, though I have yet to start Wax & Wayne. Airman is a good thought! (I tend to think of it as 'similar to Princess Bride and Count of Monte Cristo', so it would not have sprung to mind. ;)) )

I'd say Monster Blood Tattoo (also known, less dramatically, as the Foundling Trilogy) is more Dickensian Fantasy. There's not nearly enough mechanical shenanigans for steampunk in my opinion. SnowAngel, if your sister(s) are willing to read classics like Count of Monte Cristo or anything as verbose and vocabulary rich as Lord of the Rings there's some really lovely prose and story in the series. It's got fantasy violence but no significant romantic content. :)

I just finished Is That Really You, God? by Loren Cunningham (the story of the first fifteen years or so of outreach by Youth With a Mission) as a refresher before starting Ships of Mercy by Don Stephens.

...aaaaand I'm still working on Ben Hur. :p I'd forgotten that our hero faked his death after the chariot race! It's... almost an anti-climax, though. He gets set up and then there's more description of the room where he waits and waits than the fight and explanation of who tried to kill him and why. =))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Feb 08, 2017 11:01 pm

Sorry for not replying sooner, ladies. I have been running a little behind on everything lately, had the flu last week (Scarlet won't let me in the kitchen or anything yet - I haven't had coffee since Friday morning :( ).

I am 81 pages into The Sorcerer of the North (book 5), recently when I tried to read it was one of my sisters that interrupted. I did read one other book while I was sick, a book by Victoria Bylin which I didn't enjoy.

Thanks for the recommendations, Valia! I checked my library's catalog and I found three that I believe I can ILL (Winning My Wings, Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945, and An American Heroine in the French Resistance: the Diary and Memoir of Virginia d’Albert-Lake). If it is not too much trouble I would love more recommendations, my library may or may not have them. Although one of my sisters thinks I have too many books (both from the public library and in my personal library), I still want more. :)

Oh, I hadn't thought about Elizabeth Gaskell's books; I have never read any of them, but younger Sis has read North and South. They have read most of L.M. Montegomery's books. They just finished reading The Stonewycke Legacy by Michael Phillips, I grabbed those for my library reading stack before they could sent them back.

I will look for the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy at the library.

I am going to trying to buckle down and finish several of my library books this week. I expect my next book (maybe 2 books) to review in the mail next week, I want to be able to concentrate on it when it arrives.

Oh, one book that I didn't get to review and was seriously wanting to order from CBD was Murder on The Moor by Julianna Deering. Today I won a copy in a giveaway! Talk about awesome! :D

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Feb 09, 2017 6:01 pm

Oooh, Valia, thanks for that women in WW II list, good stuff! :)

Valia wrote:Jo, I'm glad he liked Wounded Tiger (minus the poor editing :P). Have you finished it? :)

I'm finding the mess-ups in editing not as jarring as he did, because he wasn't expecting it, whereas I was duly warned. ;)) There is not as much as I thought, plus what there is is usually where a better word has been inserted, but the editor did not remove the original word. So, it could read like this: "but the editor did would not remove the original word." Kind of takes you out of the story for a brief second. :P Anyway, what a fascinating book, indeed. And I am staying up far too late most nights because I have trouble putting it down. ;))

Mel wrote:The premise behind Amazing Dad was excellent, but my reading list notes that I ended up being more than slightly dissatisfied with it in the end. :( I wanted more of the actual letters and not as much commentary--or at least the opportunity to read the letters in their entirety instead of a quote here and an extract there.

I do see what you mean, but I'm still finding the book so inspirational and helpful. It has even changed how I write to our own kids with the urgency of keeping their hearts on eternal things, seeking after God with their whole heart. I'd love to find other volumes where his letters are printed in full.

Has anyone here read Wilberforce's Real Christianity, published in 1797? What a heart of conviction and grace God gave that man!! Excellent, solid stuff. Btw, the full title of said book is A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes in This Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. :-o I am not sure at what point this was shortened. ;)) Apparently it was the custom in those days to have rather long and explanatory titles. Anyway, it's amazing that this was written over 200 years ago, and yet sounds like it was written for our modern day. Human nature never really changes. :P

Yay for Ben Hur! I need a re-read. But for now, I am listening to FotF's radio theatre, which is excellent!

I forget if I mentioned this then, but last year I read an excellent biography on the little-known (but amazing) philanthropic lady of great influence in the late 1700s/early 1800s, Hannah More (by Karen Swallow Prior, 2014) entitled Fierce Convictions. More was a close friend of Wilberforce and the entire Clapham sect. Her writings even rivaled Jane Austen's at the time! Highly, highly recommended.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Feb 10, 2017 8:18 pm

Thanks for your thoughts on the steampunk classifications, Mel! :) When you read Wax & Wayne, you'll have to let me know if it actually squeaks by or not. :P ;)) (Well, I can see your classification of Airman making sense too. ;)))
But my copies call it Monster Blood...all except the third one, which was only released under The Foundling Trilogy. :P Again, your classification makes sense; Dickensian Fantasy is a much better description than steampunk. :)

No worries, SA! Hope you're recovering well. :ymhug: (And been getting time to read. ;) )
You're welcome for the recommendations! I hope you can get copies of those three books, and that you enjoy them. Winning My Wings was probably my least favorite of the three, but it was still good and has a lovely ending. :) It's not a problem! (Are you kidding? I usually have to sneak recommendations in sideways. ;) ) I'll post some more recommendations below. :)
North and South is good! I also remember Cranford being good. I liked Mary Barton too, but it's definitely her first book (just less refined storytelling), and is kinda odd in that it can't seem to decide between romance or legal drama. ;)) It's definitely got more romance than Cranford and there's a murder, but I don't remember anything being too much, so take that as you will.
Congrats on winning the giveaway! :D

No problem, Jo. :) Gotcha re: Wounded Tiger editing. Glad it's not bugging you that much, though! :)
I know the name Hannah More (Moore?) but can't remember where from. Maybe she was in Amazing Grace...

More nonfiction book recommendations:
WWI:
    American Women in World War I: They Also Served by Lettie Gavin (A broad overview of various wartime activities women were involved in in WWI)
    The First, the Few, the Forgotten by Jean Ebbert and Marie-Beth Hall (This one was specifically about women in the military during WWI)
The Holocaust:
    Clara’s War by Clara Kramer (Based on diaries kept by the author as girl during WWII while she and her family were hidden in the basement of their home, along with several other families. It's an incredible story, and I also saw it as a striking picture of how God can use rather flawed and sinful people for merciful acts.)
    Until We Meet Again by Michal Korenblit and Kathleen Janger (an account of two Jewish teenagers in Poland, first hiding from and then undergoing the concentration camps; it can be a hard read but is well worth reading)
    I Remember Nothing More by Adina Blady Szwajger (an account by a Jewish student doctor of surviving Warsaw, and the terrible things she both underwent and did; again, a hard read, but worth reading)
    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (You've probably read this, but if not, you should! An account of a middle-aged Christian woman and her family in WWII Netherlands, who get involved in the Resistance and hiding Jews, and count the cost.)
Miscellaneous nonfiction:
    Mama's Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes (It may be slightly fictionalized, but the author's account of growing up in a family of Swedish immigrants in the early 1900s
    Letters from a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart (pretty much would it sounds like; letters from a woman homesteading in Wyoming in the 1910s)
    No Time on My Hands by Grace Snyder (an account of growing up and living in Nebraska from the 1880s or so onward)
    Miracle at Carville and its sequel, No One Must Ever Know, by Betty Martin (the author was diagnosed with leprosy in the 1920s (I think), which was a life sentence at a leper asylum at that time; this is her account of it)
It's been a while since I've read some of these, but if you have any questions (on concerns?) about the recommendations, let me know and I'll try to answer. :)

Closer to two-thirds of the way through Middlemarch. It's progressed, but not sure it's improved much. ;)) That said, I like how James Chettam's affection for Dorothea transferred to brotherly care.

I just finished Fifty Missionary Heroes Every Boy and Girl Should Know by Helen Johnstone. It was published in 1913 and is, unfortunately, a product of its time a bit. It had a lot of missionaries in it that I didn't know about, which was nice, but a good portion of the telling rubbed wrong.

I'm also about halfway through Unspoken by Dee Henderson. It's interesting, especially since she threw in the marriage of convenience trope, which I'm a bit of a sucker for. ;)) But despite the premise being a bit boring to me, she made the book hard to put down even before somehow. Also interesting to me is that I like Paul and Ann a lot better in this book than I did in their own book. ;))

Edit: Forgot to say that the talk of buying books, ILL-ing books, building libraries and such reminds me of a talk a few of us have had about a NW lending library. Only problem is it would be long-distance, but it would also be a really fun idea. ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Feb 12, 2017 3:23 pm

johobbit wrote:I am also currently reading Amazing Dad: Letters from William Wilberforce to his children. I can hardly imagine a father today writing letters such as these, but I sure wish they did. The beauty of the language back then, alone, was a treat, but add the great depth of wisdom and insight into each, along with his eternal perspectives and ... what wonderful and timeless treasures! These were written after his kids had left home to pursue further formal education. The letters soundly give the reader a glimpse into Wilberforce's strong love and concern for his children—most of all for their moral and spiritual lives. Plus, Wilberforce was a most practical, compassionate, highly-motivated man, his wisdom being replete with 'hands on' suggestions, often accompanied by relevant Scripture. A favourite read, indeed! And one I can glean so much as a parent.


We were watching on TV some of Michael Portillo's Great Railway Journeys, in UK this time. He took us to the city of Hull, a port on the Humber estuary, which was where William Wilberforce came from, and where there is a statue in his honour. There is also a plaque in York Cathedral, commemorating this great man, who was instramental in getting Parliament to abolish slavery in UK, in 1806, and whose life changed the world, not only in UK. For example, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, considered one of our best early 19th century NSW governors, who established five new towns on the outskirts of Sydney, called one of them, Wilberforce. I can well believe that he was a great letter writer as well, and a kind and thoughtful father for his own children.

Yes, letter-writing in the 19th century was far more of an art than it is now, when travel has become so easy, when it doesn't take much effort to pick up a telephone or resort to messaging to contact someone, when TV news is almost instantaneous, and when TV productions "jazz up" and sensationalise the stories they depict. I sometimes wonder that despite so much progress, we have also lost much that was beautiful in the past.

There is nothing better during a heatwave, to stretch out, after a coldish shower, to then remain in one's cool air-conditioned room, or in front of a bucket of ice, accompanying a whirring fan, whilst reading a non-electricity consuming book. Currently, after seeing several episodes of the Outlander series on TV, I am reading Diane Galbadon's Drums of Autumn. Some of it is interesting, especially as she must have put a lot of research into her novel, about the then living conditions in Scotland and subsequently in North Carolina USA, subsequent to Culloden. But I'm not too sure about how the time travel works out. It seems quite too fantastical for my taste, in many ways.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Feb 14, 2017 9:14 pm

Still working through Middlemarch; I'm over 2/3 of the way now, though. Still not sure how things can work out well without another death or two. :P

I finished Unspoken, though. I realized it's a bit of a rarity as far as Dee Henderson books go in that neither of the romantic leads are involved in law enforcement, the military, or emergency services. ;)) The book was filled with more unbelievable things than usual (that much money, the never-ending stockpiles of stuff, all the coins and jewels, marrying someone so you can give their money away, marrying someone you don't know that well and being happy to just stay friend, etc.) I did like the careful thought about how to give the Estate away, though after I finished I was a bit disappointed to realize that World Vision and Samaritan's Purse weren't getting huge donations. ;)) Bryce's prayer journal was good, but his progression of prayer from Charlotte's relationship with God to providing art customers amused me a bit. I also was glad that there was no traumatic showdown where Charlotte had to face the last kidnapper. Overall, I enjoyed it more than I expected. :)

I've also picked up Thirteen Detectives, a short story collection of some of G.K. Chesterton's mysteries. Some of the stories are new to me, but a number are pulled from his books (such as two from The Club of Queer Trades and at least one from The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond, both of which I have read). But it's still been interesting so far. :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » Feb 16, 2017 1:39 pm

Valia wrote:I know the name Hannah More (Moore?) but can't remember where from. Maybe she was in Amazing Grace...

It is 'More'. And yes, she was a minor character in the Amazing Grace film. I do wish she had figured more prominently there. She and Wilberforce had a close relationship and accomplished much together with their complimentary gifts and talents. More's bio that I mentioned above is excellent! I see her as one of the best kept secrets from the late 18th/early 19th century. ;))

More nonfiction book recommendations:

Super, thank you! *copies and pastes into book file*

Ditto! The Hiding Place is excellent; a must-read. And not just once, it's so compelling and gripping. I reread it again last year again. The story of Corrie and Betsie absolutely blows me away. I am terribly eager to spent time with them (and their wise, godly, fun father) in the New Narnia. I just finished listening to the story again via FotF's Radio Theatre presentation. SO well done!!! And extremely moving.

That missionary heroes book sounds really interesting, as does the leprosy story. Wow! And all the other books, as well.
:D

reminds me of a talk a few of us have had about a NW lending library. Only problem is it would be long-distance, but it would also be a really fun idea.

Ooh, that would be so cool. Except, yeah, the long-distance bit is not exactly ideal. :P

wagga wrote:I can well believe that [Wilberforce] was a great letter writer as well, and a kind and thoughtful father for his own children.

Yes, letter-writing in the 19th century was far more of an art than it is now

Indeed! He is one of my greatest heroes. I can't read enough about him.

Too true. An art—that is really what it was. How things have changed, especially in this technologically-saturated age. Quite sad.

I'm on the Epilogue of Wounded Tiger. The horrible situations in this story are almost overwhelming—how mankind treats his own. :( But the book concludes with great hope, as Mitsuo Fuchida—who was the lead pilot in the Pearl Harbor attack—came before the cross of Christ with all his hatred and rebellion. The intertwining of various lives is amazing to read (Fuchida, Peggy Covell—the daughter of missionaries who were tragically murdered by the Japanese in the Philippines, Jake DeShazer—a brutally-treated POW in Japan for years), and how Peggy and Jake's lives influenced and changed Fuchida's life before they even met him.

Did I say earlier I finished God and Churchill? Loved it! It's my dad's book, so I'm returning it to him ... and immediately purchasing a copy of our own!

I'll be starting Kindertransport soon (Olga Levy Drucker). This is her recollection of being sent away by her parents from her home in Germany to England for protection when the war and holocaust was raging.

I've been trying to find a book about Irena Sendler—the Polish nurse and humanitarian who saved hundreds (2500 or so!) of Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto from the Nazis, and to great personal cost, eventually. I have seen the film (very good), and we have a children's book about her, but I have yet to find one for adults. I also want to track down a book on the White Rose youth movement in WWII. The film, Sophie Scholl: the final days is terribly moving, and I want to read more about this brave brother and sister and the resistant group with which they were so heavily involved, desperate to oppose the Hitler and his atrocities. Ooh, I think I just found one, called, appropriately The White Rose by Sophie and Hans' sister, Inge. Good!

I also have by my table Life Together: the classic exploration of Christian Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, another hero of mine, who was killed by the Nazis only a few months before WWII ended.

P.S. :D I just purchased Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly, God and Churchill by Jonathan Sandys (Churchill's great grandson) and Wallace Henley; also two books on the White Rose movement—the one by the sister I mentioned above, as well as another: Sophie Scholl and the White Rose by Dr. Jud Newborn and Annette Dumbach. Also, My Name is Mahtob, the story of Not Without My Daughter from the daughter's perspective.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Feb 18, 2017 11:16 pm

johobbit wrote:I also have by my table Life Together: the classic exploration of Christian Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, another hero of mine, who was killed by the Nazis only a few months before WWII ended.


Did you read Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer's biography, written by Eric Metaxas, who also wrote Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery? Bonhoeffer: pastor, martyr, prophet, spy was a volume I obtained through a club library and which has departed on its merry way, into a church congregation associated with my definitely Orthodox Christian hairdresser. It was also difficult reading, in that I needed to concentrate, and think about what was being written, which is difficult when living with people who love to interrupt. But well worth it, since, in the first place, I finally learned how Hitler got so much power in the first place, and his cynical attitude to religion, as well as the activities of others in his association. I wonder if Bonhoeffer ever met C.S.Lewis, and think he did more than likely. And now I can't hear that English hymn, For all the saints, without crying. :((

johobbit wrote:But the book concludes with great hope, as Mitsuo Fuchida—who was the lead pilot in the Pearl Harbor attack—came before the cross of Christ with all his hatred and rebellion. The intertwining of various lives is amazing to read (Fuchida, Peggy Covell


Interesting that you should mention Mitsuo Fuchida who was a strong leader in the Pearl Harbour bombings of 6 December 1941, and whose biography relates how he became a Christian! I wonder if Wounded tiger also mentioned the 19 February Darwin bombings? As far as I know, he also led the Japanese forces, along with many of the same ships and crew as had been at Pearl Harbour. Today is the 75th anniversary of that WW2 incident.

Darwin's bombing - and my own dad was caught in it, his battalion having just returned from an expedition to East Timor, to try to relieve the Sparrow Force there - has often been called Australia's Pearl Harbour. As well as USS Peary, still submerged as a war grave in Darwin Harbour, other American ships were sunk, such as the USS Meiggs and USS Mauna Loa, as well as a lot of Australian vessels. My father was one of the infantry soldiers on the USS Meiggs. He wouldn't speak of it later, and no wonder. According to the Darwin military museum, which we visited in 2010, the two initial raids of 19th February, 1942 were like cannon directed against a household fly. Overkill, in fact, since Darwin was then little more than a country town with a distinctly unpleasant monsoon climate. And the same factors in unregarded early warnings and mistaken identity also played a part. Fortunately, Australia was too big, and too difficult a target to be a serious invasion option. :p

Otherwise, some of what I've learned about life in Germany during WW2 was gleaned from two books I bought at the Australian War Memorial bookshop, opposite our old Parliament House. These were:

1. Lebor, Adam and Boyes, Roger (1988) Surviving Hitler, corruption and compromise in the Third Reich. Pocket Books, London.

2. Engelmann, Bernt (1988) In Hitler's Germany: everyday life in the Third Reich. Methuen, London.

One of my daughters also had to study for school an autobiography written by Ilse Koehn, called Mischling Second degree: my childhood in Nazi Germany. This was published around 1990, but I think my daughter was using the school's copy she was issued with. It was one book she really admired.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby shastastwin » Feb 21, 2017 7:07 am

I was having a discussion with a couple of the mods about a trilogy I read years ago that was obviously in the tradition of Tolkien but not quite a Tolkien derivative. I failed to mention the title, though, so I'm amending that here.

The series is Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, which comprises The Dragonbone Chair, The Stone of Farewell, and To Green Angel Tower (which is published in two volumes if you get the paperback editions). Williams is one of the best post-Tolkien fantasists to take a Tolkienesque world and do his own thing with it. There are certainly familiar sights and people groups, but don't make the mistake I did of assuming this was going to follow Tolkien's story patterns (like, for instance, R.A. Salvatore's Icewind Dale trilogy or Dennis McKiernan's Iron Tower trilogy). This is Osten Ard, not Middle-earth, and the world is a bit grimmer than Tolkien's (though not nearly to the level of Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire). It's a very good trilogy and I'm hoping to reread it this year because Williams is finally continuing the story after over a decade of waiting. He's already released a short novel, The Heart of What was Lost, which sets the stage for this new trilogy, collectively titled The Last King of Osten Ard (very ominous!). The first book in the new trilogy is called The Witchwood Crown and releases in June.
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