Tag Archives: books

The Great American Read

PBS begins a quest this evening to find “America’s Best Loved Novel” with the Great American Read.

The series will look at 100 books with conversations with their ardent fans and scholars.  I took a minute to look over the list of the top 100 books and I’ve got to admit I’ve got a couple of exceptions with it (as will most readers, I assume).

I wasn’t honestly expecting one of my favorite books, Lake Wobegon Days, to make the list.   And while it’s nice to see Stephen King represented with his tome, The Stand, I’ve always felt like The Shining is a stronger novel. (And it’s also about six-hundred pages shorter).

I will admit I’m perplexed by some of the more recent choices on the list.  Look, I’ll admit that Gone Girl was a great read, but I’m not quite sure it’s been around long enough to declare it one of the best 100 books ever written.  Sure, it’s ignited new interest in a the unreliable narrator niche, but I’m still not sure it’s one of the best books ever published.

I’m not quite sure how The Twilight Saga or Ready Player One made the list, unless it’s an ardent fan base that voted a lot for them.  Look, I fully accept that the Twilight novels aren’t for me, but I did read them a couple of years ago (OK, I listened to the audiobooks) and, quite frankly, I found them to be less than stellar. The first half of Twilight is a good book, but once Bella falls for Edward and she sublimates her entire personality and world to worshiping the sparkly ground he walks on, I lost interest quickly, wanting to reach into the audiobook and smack some sense into her.

And while Ready Player One was fun eight years ago, re-reading it for a book group showed it hadn’t really stood the test of time (at least for this reader).

All that said, I’m curious to watch this series and find out more about all the books.  But if the Twilight novels win the best book ever, I may have to call shenanigans on this whole thing.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book I Could Re-Read Again and Again

TOPTENTUESDAY

Time for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl).  This week’s topic is the books we could read multiple times.

I’m going to include some old favorites and some new ones that I love reading to Shortcake. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Themed Book Covers

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While our weather hasn’t turned much cooler yet, fall is finally here!  To celebrate the return of my favorite season, Top Ten Tuesday this week (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) is all about book covers that reflect the season.

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An Interview With J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark

 

ronaldyorkWhile cleaning out his childhood home, Nashville’s  J. Ronald M. York discovered a box of letters and news clippings that uncovered a long-held family secret.  For several months in the fall of 1955, Ron’s father was held in the Dade County Jail awaiting trial on charges of sexual abuse of a minor.  During that time, Ron’s father and mother wrote daily letters to each other.

After the death of his father, Ron discovered the saved letters and clippings held in a box.  Ron had uncovered a secret that his family had held for close to sixty years.  His new book, Kept in the Dark, publishes those letters and follows Ron’s journey toward finding out what happened to his family when he was just three years old.

Ron has graciously agreed to talk to me about his book.

Question: How did you begin to pull the story together of what happened to your family?

J. Ronald M. York: Once I came to terms with what the letters revealed, I wanted to know more. The newspaper articles helped explain the charges, while the letters gave me insight to what my parents were going through. Still, there were blanks and even a couple things they had code words for that needed to be explained. I checked with the few remaining people connected although no one would know the whole story. However, those bits and pieces of information gave me leads to follow in my research. Google and Ancestry dot com became my closest friends. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Reading

autumn leaves.jpgThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us what books are on our fall to-be-read list/pile.  Here are the books I’d like/hope to read this fall.

  1.  Razor Girl by Carl Hiassen
  2. The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Carl Hiassen
  3. Star Trek: Legacies: Best Defense by David Mack
  4. Star Trek: Legacies: Purgatory’s Key by Kevin Dilmore & Dayton Ward
  5. The Fifty Year Mission, Volume 2 by Mark Altman and Edward Edward Gross
  6. Annie Russo: Tenacity Born by J.L. Baumann
  7. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
  8. Night School by Lee Child
  9. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  10. Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks (audio book) by Terrance Dicks

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Musing Monday: My Collection Is So Big….

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Welcome to this week’s Musing Monday, a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

As I complete this week’s meme, I am celebrating my birthday.  I’m now officially as old as the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  If you haven’t read the book or listened to the original radio show, I highly encourage you to add it to your TBR or TBL immediately!

How many books, approximately, do you think you have in your personal collection?

Honestly, I’ve lost count of how many books I have.  We’re fortunate to live close to a great used book store and so we make a trip once a quarter or so to exchange one round of  books for another.

I do have some books that I’ve kept for various reasons.  Some are autographed copies of books (I’ve got a couple of books autographed by Garrison Keillor,  one by Peter David (should be two, but my ex-wife kept my autographed copy of one of my favorite, first-edition TNG novels…no, I’m not bitter, why do you ask?) and a few others).   I’ve kept some books that I enjoyed or are on my favorite list (To Kill A Mockingbird, for example) or that we wanted to have a full set.

But a lot of books I read and put onto a shelf that is the transition shelf.  They may be kept, they may go to the used book store as a trade credit for more books or donated to our local library or VA for others to enjoy.

So, needless to say the exact number of books in my personal collection varies and can be a bit fluid.

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Top Ten Tuesday — Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

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It’s Tuesday and time again for the Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s subject is your top ten books from 2014.

I’m going to go ahead and post my list, but I reserve the right to revise it in a few days if some of the things on my to-be-read pile jump up and demand inclusion.

If I’ve published a review of the selection, I’ll link to it.

1.  The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep And Never Had To by D.C. Pierson
2.  Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
3.  The Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters
4.  Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
5.  Revival by Stephen King
6.  Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell
7.  Lock In by John Scalzi
8. Sex Criminals, Volume 1: One Weird Trick
9. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
10.  Breathe, Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

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