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Thread: [Book Club]: August Book List

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    The Truth Is Out There ixcrisxi's Avatar
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    [Book Club]: August Book List

    Well, the time has come yet again for us to dive into the world of books. In a short time, schools will open and classes will start (not to mention all the major sports). So, let's see what's made the list this time.

    Good Grief : A Novel by Lolly Winston
    Stalin : The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    Hidden Prey by John Sandford
    Slightly Sinful by Mary Balogh
    Kiss of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Caddy For Life : The Bruce Edwards Story by John Feinstein
    The Official Handbook of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy by Mark W. Smith
    Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror by Thomas McInerney, Paul E. Vallely
    Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study by Thomas Sowell
    The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
    The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) by Alexander McCall Smith
    The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America by Russell Shorto
    Windrider's Oath by David Weber
    Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet by Jim Mann, James Mann
    A Loving Scoundrel: A Malory Novel by Johanna Lindsey
    Broken Dishes by Earlene Fowler
    Summer of the Sea Serpent (Magic Tree House #31) by Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca
    The Ribbajack by Brian Jacques
    The Ironwood Tree (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 4) by Tony Diterlizzi, Holly Black
    The Master Quilter: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel (ELM Creek Quilts) by Jennifer Chiaverini
    In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat by Rick Atkinson
    Flames and Fire from Africa, Poems by Macauley Oluseyi Akinbami (contact the author maccaulay_usa@yahoo.co.uk)


    Just so you get a taste of the books above, I am also posting an editorial review of the first few books in the following post. Enjoy! I may also add more of the reviews as the days go on.
    Last edited by ixcrisxi; 07-31-2004 at 03:31 PM. Reason: incorrect link
    MULDER: It's still there, Scully. 200,000 years down in the ice.

    SCULLY:
    Leave it there.

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    The Truth Is Out There ixcrisxi's Avatar
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    From Publishers Weekly
    Smart, playful and deliciously satisfying, Balogh's newest Regency-era romance takes a popular romance formula-the marriage of convenience-and gives it a creative twist. In the author's previous Bedwyn family installment, Slightly Tempted, diplomat Alleyne Bedwyn disappeared during the Battle of Waterloo and was presumed dead. As readers soon learn, however, he's merely injured. Alleyne owes his life to Rachel York, a well-bred young woman who's down on her luck-so down that she's taken refuge in a Belgian brothel run by four lively Englishwomen. To make matters worse, Rachel and the women have been cheated out of all their money by a fake clergyman. Alleyne wakes in the brothel where Rachel has been nursing him with no idea who he is, but he nevertheless devises a madcap scheme to help the women regain their fortune: he'll pose as Rachel's husband so that she can claim her inheritance, which is due to her upon her marriage. As the two engage in their merry charade, they fall in love, but they also come to terms with what's important in their lives. Balogh once again delivers a clean, sprightly tale rich in both plot and character. Rachel's colorful brothel companions steal almost every scene, and silver-tongued Alleyne easily charms his way into the reader's heart. With its irrepressible characters and deft plotting, this polished romance is an ideal summer read.
    Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Amazon.com
    Some widows face their loss with denial. Sophie Stanton's reaction is one of pure bafflement. "How can I be a widow?" Sophie asks at the opening of Lolly Winston's sweet debut novel, Good Grief. "I'm only thirty-six. I just got used to the idea of being married." Sophie's young widowhood forces her to do all kinds of crazy things--drive her car through her garage door, for instance. That's on one of the rare occasions when she bothers to get out of bed. The Christmas season especially terrifies her: "I must write a memo to the Minister of Happier Days requesting that the holidays be cancelled this year." But widowhood also forces her to do something very sane. After the death of her computer programmer husband, she reexamines her life as a public relations agent in money-obsessed Silicon Valley. Sophie decides to ease her grief, or at least her loneliness, by moving in with her best friend Ruth in Ashland, Oregon. But it's her difficult relationship with psycho teen punker Crystal, to whom she becomes a Big Sister, that mysteriously brings her at least a few steps out of her grief. Winston allows Sophie life after widowhood: The novel almost indiscernibly turns into a gentle romantic comedy and a quirky portrait of life in an artsy small town. At all stops on her journey from widow to survivor, Sophie is a lively, crabby, delightfully imperfect character. --Claire Dederer

    From Publishers Weekly
    Montefiore (The Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin) is more interested in life at the top than at the bottom, so he includes hundreds of pages on Stalin's purges of top Communists, while devoting much less space to the forced collectivization of Soviet peasants that led to millions of deaths. In lively prose, he intersperses his mammoth account of Stalin's often-deadly political decisions with the personal lives of the Soviet dictator and those around him. As a result, the reader learns about sexual peccadilloes of the top Communists: Stalin's secret police chief Lavrenti Beria, for one, "craved athletic women, haunting the locker rooms of Soviet swimmers and basketball players." Stalin's own escapades after the death of his wife are also noted. There's also much detail about the food at parties and other meetings of Stalin's henchmen. The effect is paradoxical: Stalin and his cronies are humanized at the same time as their cruel misdeeds are recounted. Montefiore offers little help in answering some of the unsettled questions surrounding Stalin: how involved was he in the 1934 murder of rising official Sergei Kirov, for example. He also seems to leave open the question of Stalin's paranoia: he argues that the Georgian-born ruler was a charming man who used his people skills to get whatever he wanted. Montefiore mainly skirts the paranoia issue, noting that only after WWII, when Stalin launched his anti-Semitic campaigns, did he "become a vicious and obsessional anti-Semite." There are many Stalin biographies out there, but this fascinating work distinguishes itself by its extensive use of fresh archival material and its focus on Stalin's ever-changing coterie. Maps and 24 pages of photos not seen by PW.
    Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    From Publishers Weekly
    Det. Lucas Davenport has battled some real demons over the past 15 Prey novels and drifted in and out of lust and love with a host of women. But now he's happily married to the lovely Weather; has a nine-month-old son, Sam; and takes care of his 12-year-old ward, Letty West. Sure, he's got a measure of the old angst, but he's growing accustomed to the good life, spending quality time alone on the couch drinking beer and watching TV golf. His new job is running the Office of Regional Research at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension where he looks into various crimes and "fixes shit" for the governor. So when a dead Russian shows up on the docks in Duluth, Lucas is assigned to shepherd the lady investigator, Nadya Kalin, being sent by the Russian government. From the very first pages, the reader knows it's teenager Carl Walther who has killed the Russian. What makes the book intriguing is the manner in which the sagacious Davenport goes about uncovering the rest of the co-conspirators-a gang of Minnesota-based Communist spies headed by Carl's grandpa, 92-year-old ex-KGB colonel Burt Walther. That Sandford makes this unlikely plot believable is a mark of his mastery of the technical aspects of the mystery form and a testament to his overall writing skills. Readers will be pleased with this relaxed version of the moody Minneapolis investigator. In past novels, the womanizing Davenport would have romanced the good-looking Russian lady, but the new Davenport is content to play the part of friend and protector and go back to his cozy family with an unstained and remarkably contented soul.
    Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    MULDER: It's still there, Scully. 200,000 years down in the ice.

    SCULLY:
    Leave it there.

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