Sunday, July 5, 2015

June Books

*The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle returns to his trademark description of  destructive misfits with individualism as a central theme. A seventy-year-old Vietnam vet  returns home after killing a Costa Rican  armed robber to find that his  schizophrenic fragile son  Adam is involved with an older woman dedicated to a right-wing anarchist group.  Adam imagines himself a modern mountain man and shoots two people, leading to a major, eerily contemporary, manhunt. My favorite Boyle book since Tortilla Curtain

*The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America by James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn is a political biography of the intertwined lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who emerged New York's Knickerbocker elite to become the most prominent American political family of the twentieth century. While building on Burns’ concept of transformational leadership, there is little new insights on leadership or history in its  almost thousand pages.  Still,  it is an interesting view of how the Roosevelt family dominated the first half of the 20th century with more impact than the Bush’s and Clinton’s managed in more recent times.

**Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lufthansa  by Eric Larson, “ one of the modern masters of popular narrative nonfiction”--.a resourceful researcher and a subtle storyteller places the world’s fastest and most opulent passenger ship and the deadly German U-boat as protagonists in a thrilling suspense tale even if you already know the outcome.  Larson draws on telegrams, war logs, love letters, and survivor depositions to provide  intriguing details about things you didn't know you need to know...”Thrilling, dramatic and powerful."

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle explore the capacity for self-discovery at any age (from twelve-year-old Abby to eighty-five-year-old Sadie). The residents, staff, and neighbors of a North Carolina retirement center  share their secret memories and life’s  profound discoveries in a somewhat disjointed meditation on life, death, and dying.

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