Skip to comments.Free Republic Book Club, Week of 2/26/05
Posted on 02/26/2005 5:14:03 PM PST by Tanniker Smith
This is the place to discuss any book under the sun.
First of all, my apologies for not getting to this thread until Saturday evening.
Second, as has been suggested by several people on the previous threads, we're only going to make one thread per week, starting on Saturdays. We'll see how that works out.
Third, let's try to pick a topic for the week. Granted, "off-topic" posts are to be expected (and practically mandatory, if reading other threads is any indication).
Fourth, I pulled a lot of names from the previous threads to add to a ping list. As a result, I have a very lengthy ping list. So at this point, I'll add people who ask to be added (and remove those who ask to be removed). My apologies if you don't get added right away.
And, finally, here are the links to the previous two threads. Please! Do NOT add new messages to the older threads! Move on to this one (and the ones to follow in the weeks to come). Thank you.
Free Republic Book Club
Free Republic Book Club, 2/24/05
..saw him on C-Spam "Book TV", sounds like a good book.. :^)
Too many of the medieval-style sword/sorcery fantasy stuff is just so horrible to read. So much of it is either based on Tolkien, based on a roleplaying game, based on a *computer* game, based on a *card* game or just poorly written. (It's even worse with the fanfic -- and this is coming from someone who used to write fanfic). And they tend to go on forever without resolution.
Actually, there is one series that I did like based on a single book I picked up for 39 cents at a Odd-Job: Ann Marston's "The Western King". It was the second book in a trilogy, but worked well as a standalone book. A few years passed before I thought to get the first book from the library ("Kingmaker's Sword"), excellent book, explained a couple of things in TWK that I missed. By the way, I reread the second book and loved it again.
THen I got the third book in the first trilogy. I couldn't believe the letdown, and not just because the word "First" was inserted before the word "trilogy". It seemed to have been written by an entirely different person. Instead of a third-person account, it went to a first-person narative (who had to comment on events from before she was born and do some of the exposition -- badly and repeatedly). Instead of the action taking place over a period of years (10-20), it happened pretty much in the span of a week. And much of the action happened "off-camera". Very frustrating.
I read the 4th and 5th books, but neither the Brooklyn nor NY Public Libraries have book six, and I'm so disappointed that I won't pay Amazon plus shipping for it.
But if you find the first two books, grab 'em. Good reads.
book club ping
bump for later
Sir Walter Raleigh...excellent. Thank you!
Another great biography-which was just recently published-is "Lincoln's War", by Geoffrey Perret, one of my favorite military historians.
It traces the leadership of Abraham Lincoln-and to a lesser extent, his entire war cabinet, including Sec'y Stanton-from before Lincoln's inauguration-when Ft. Sumter was being menaced-all the way to the conclusion of the war.
A very fascinating-and engrossing-read, in my estimation.
I read a huge variety of books, but tend to lean toward (1) Horror; (2) Mystery; and (3) General Fiction.
I just finished reading Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz. Very funny book.
"In My Hands" by Irene Gut Opdyke
I've read that- great book.
Can anyone suggest a good book or series of historical fiction appropriate for a third-grade boy? The books should be at least 100 pages (but better if not more than 200). His class does a different genre each month. He reads at (or above reading level).
We've had some problems in the past. Last year, he was assigned a class library book at a Civil War nurse that was a bit tedious to read and not very interesting.
I thought about the Little House series, but I don't know if that will interest him. (He's not opposed to reading about girls, but he'll be less interested.)
Thanks in advance, and apologies for the digression.
We now return you to our regularly scheduled topic.
(by the way, I'm starting a new grad school class tonight, so I won't be able to tally the votes I've gotten for next week's topic until tomorrow.)
See if you approve of any of these, Mom. They may be a tad too "old" for a 3rd Grader, but you know your kid's capabilities. These were force-fed to me as a grade schooler, as my Dad is a History Buff and a Biblican Scholar. There was no escape for me, but they were well worth it to me in the long run. :) (Reviews c&p'ed from Amazon.)
The Slave Dancer - Paula Fox
"Snatched from the docks of New Orleans, thirteen-year-old Jessie is thrown aboard a slave ship where he must play his fife so that captured slaves will "dance," to keep their muscles strong and their bodies profitable for their owners' use.
Jessie is sickened as he witnesses the horrible practices of the slave trade. But even those horrors can't compare to the one final event awaiting Jessie's witness. Can the cruelty to his fellow human beings be stopped? And will it be too late when it finally does stop?"
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
"This story of a tragically injured young silversmith who ends up hip-deep in the American Revolution is inspiring, exciting, and sad. Winner of the prestigious Newbery Award in 1944, Esther Forbes's story has lasted these 50-plus years by including adventure, loss, courage, and history in a wonderfully written, very dramatic package. It's probably not great for little guys but mature 11-year-olds or older will find it a great adventure."
Across Five Aprils - Irene Hunt
"This beautifully written novel offers valuable insights into the difficulties faced by families and communities caught up in the political, economic, and personal upheavals of war. The events of the Civil War unfold Across Five Aprils (Berkley Pub., 1986) in this moving story by Newbery Award winner, Irene Hunt. It is set in southern Illinois where Jethro Creighton, an intelligent, hardworking boy, is growing into manhood as his brothers and a beloved teacher leave to fight in the Union and Confederate armies. Hunt presents a balanced look at both sides of the conflict, and includes interesting information on lesser-known leaders and battles. Of course, Abraham Lincoln is a frequent topic of conversation, and Jethro even receives a letter from his fellow Illinoian."
Rifles for Watie - Harold Keith
"Jeff Bussey walked briskly up the rutted wagon road toward Fort Leavenworth on his way to join the Union volunteers. It was 1861 in Linn County, Kansas, and Jeff was elated at the prospect of fighting for the North at last.
In the Indian country south of Kansas there was dread in the air; and the name, Stand Watie, was on every tongue. A hero to the rebel, a devil to the Union man, Stand Watie led the Cherokee Indian Na-tion fearlessly and successfully on savage raids behind the Union lines. Jeff came to know the Watie men only too well.
He was probably the only soldier in the West to see the Civil War from both sides and live to tell about it. Amid the roar of cannon and the swish of flying grape, Jeff learned what it meant to fight in battle. He learned how it felt never to have enough to eat, to forage for his food or starve. He saw the green fields of Kansas and Okla-homa laid waste by Watie's raiding parties, homes gutted, precious corn deliberately uprooted. He marched endlessly across parched, hot land, through mud and slash-ing rain, always hungry, always dirty and dog-tired."
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred D. Taylor
"In all Mildred D. Taylor's unforgettable novels she recounts "not only the joy of growing up in a large and supportive family, but my own feelings of being faced with segregation and bigotry." Her Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry tells the story of one African American family, fighting to stay together and strong in the face of brutal racist attacks, illness, poverty, and betrayal in the Deep South of the 1930s. Nine-year-old Cassie Logan, growing up protected by her loving family, has never had reason to suspect that any white person could consider her inferior or wish her harm. But during the course of one devastating year when her community begins to be ripped apart by angry night riders threatening African Americans, she and her three brothers come to understand why the land they own means so much to their Papa. "'Look out there, Cassie girl. All that belongs to you. You ain't never had to live on nobody's place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you'll never have to. That's important. You may not understand that now but one day you will. Then you'll see.'"
There are also some great kid-age books written about the more famous of our Presidents. Those might be interesting for him, too.
And, Um...I don't know where you grew up, so if any of these "Pro-Northern" Civil War titles offend you, please disregard! :)
Thanks. By the way, I'm a New Yorker, but don't hold that against me.
I keep reading about "ping" lists and keep feeling I need to be on one or two ;-) but have NO idea of what they are or how they work. Can someone fill me in?
I love books and would very much enjoy being part of this discussion. Recommended reading from this group would be more than welcome.
When you "ping" someone on a thread, they'll get the message, "New Messages for You" on the main screen, and the message will appear on the "My Comments" page.
A "ping list" is something one person keeps of people that he/she knows are interested in a particular topic (either broad or narrow). If I had, say, a Brooklyn ping list, and someone posted an article about Brooklyn and I saw it, I would ping everyone on the list. I would want to let everyone know that it's there because in an hour, that thread will be buried under a stack of newer articles and they might not have seen it.
Anyway, if you want to be on anyone's ping list, ask anyone that you see pinging a bunch of people.
I have a list of names. When I start the new book thread, I will Post a Reply, but I'll erase my name and cut and paste all the other names. They'll be able to find the thread that much easier.
Hope this helps.
Thanks!! I wondered how that worked and your response is much appreciated.
So . . . please add me to the book club ping list.
I tried to combine the entries I received as best I as I could. There's a bit of a learning curve for doing this. For one thing, there's a bit of any overlap on some entries, and some extra specificity in others. I tried not to split too many hairs.
Anyway, I awarded 3 points to a 1st choice, 2 pts for a 2nd choice a 1 pt for a 3rd choice. (I'm not thrilled with this because it takes three 3rds to equal one 1. Of course, for math teachers, maybe that is't a bad thing, but it doesn't seem right to me.)
In any case, it seems that there are two clear winners. So if there are no major objections, we should talk about historical novels next week and mysteries the week after.
Here are the results:
Historical novels (including historical mystery) 7 points Mystery (non-historical) 5 points History nonfiction 4 points Horror 4 points Biographies 3 points Crime Drama - fiction or non-fiction 3 points Fantasy/science fiction (general) 3 points Humor (Fiction or Non-Fiction) 3 points Political/Current Events 3 points Romantic Suspense (including Christian romance) 3 points Science Fiction (Military, Hard Sci.) 3 points Science Fiction (Preferably Military) 3 points General Fiction (non-genre) 2 points Military Fiction (Current or Historical) 2 points Political non-fiction 2 points Political/social commentary 2 points Politics (Conservative, Republican, Libertarian) 2 points Religious Fiction 2 points Science Fiction/Paranormal 2 points Political fiction 1 point Travel writing 1 point
Any comments? Fire away. Thanks to all who posted and emailed.
Wow thanks for the hard work!
My suggestions would have been fiction/nonfiction? but I suppose that's to broad.