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Tome & Folio - Books: Third Edition

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johobbit
(@jo)
SO mod; WC captain Moderator
Posted by: @snowangel

Oh, dear...I made the mistake of listening to a podcast episode with book recommendations. Daydream And not just any books, but nonfiction on topics I am highly interested in and the library doesn't have a single one of them. D\'ohOh, well, I hope the librarians are ready for what's coming. Giggle  

LOL Yes, I can relate. I have a list of book recommendations written down that I am gradually working through, but the list only seems to get longer and longer. Giggle  

I'm about halfway through Wimpy Weak and Wokeby John L. Cooper

Oooh, I heard Cooper's interview with Alisa Childers: the book sounds very interesting! In his speaking and writing, he sure does not back away from truth, confronting our society's convoluted issues head-on with Biblical principles and wisdom.

@Valia, coming back to The Children of Húrin, I don't think I have ever read the original, as no doubt I would have been taken aback (and been disappointed) at anything untoward. On our Tolkien bookshelf, I do have the hardcopy that Christopher Tolkien edited, but now am apprehensive to read it, and appreciate this caution.


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Posted : February 7, 2024 4:09 am
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fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin

I haven't had a chance to come in and post about this until just now, but I actually read a couple books last year on my own time. (Shock!!!!)

The first one was called Sod and Stubble. I heard about it because at the time, filmmakers were adapting it into a movie at a place called Cowtown in Wichita, KS. To oversimplify, it's like a grown up version of Little House on the Prairie. It was good, but it was also very realistic and heartbreaking at times. And unfortunately I picked a bad time in my own personal life to read this one. I'll still recommend it though for people who are interested in true biographies of prairie settlers. 

The second one I'm sure you all have at least heard of because of Martin Scorsese/Leonardo Di Caprio's movie adaptation... Killers of the Flower Moon. I haven't seen the movie, nor do I have an interest in doing so, but the book was very good. And by good, I mean well-written and telling a story that absolutely needed to be told. The story itself is pretty awful. 
I'm not sure I've ever mentioned it on this site, but I'm a pretty big follower of true crime. Not because I like the awful stories, but I find the detective work intriguing, and I love seeing justice meted out (well, as much as one can get justice on this earth). This story is one where justice was only slightly granted, but there were so many other stories where that will not and cannot happen, and those who were left behind will be haunted by the ghosts of the past. As a result it's more of a cautionary tale than anything. 

Because I liked Killers of the Flower Moon so much, my mother-in-law felt I needed more David Grann in my life, and got me The Lost City of Z and The Wager for my birthday. They're sitting next to me on my desk right now, staring at me. Giggle We'll see if I can get to them at some point. 

In other news, my kiddos and I just finished up reading some of the Orphan Train Series books by Joan Lowery Nixon. Reading to my kids still takes up 99% of my reading time these days. 

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Posted : February 7, 2024 2:19 pm
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ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

@Varna, my dislikes of the story have very little to do with readability Giggle but I have a copy of the 2007 version too that I've never got around to. It's interesting to hear that it draws heavily from Finnish folklore - it's not that surprising, I suppose, but I'd never heard that before. Smile

@Jo, I thought I'd remembered that you'd preferred the Gregor books, so glad I was correct. Giggle
What are the other current nine favourite biographies?
I'm a little unclear now about if you've read it or if you've just looked up a little info no, so I'll put what I disliked about it in a spoiler box so you can choose to read or not read.

Spoiler
The Children of Hurin
I strongly dislike Turin himself with his pride and vanity and the fact that he never turns from his ways and continues to instead bring more and more grief and sin, from eschewing the elves in general due to one elf's insult to his manslaughter (I think? I can't remember if he intentionally kills, just that he did not intend to kill Beleg) of his best friend to purposefully belittling and putting down the leader of a group of men he ends up with to pursuing and wedding the woman whom the leader loved (with the horrible end result of it having been his sister, who then commits suicide when she realises who she's married to and whose child she is carrying). Everything about it is a tragedy and the exact elements make it hard to stomach, but Turin himself is part of the breaking point. It's even worse when one realises how good of a man Hurin was too.

All the best with your library non-fiction requests, @SnowAngel! Giggle The library has been pretty good about accepting my book requests of late, but a lot of them having been taking months to come in. Sad Well, even if you don't finish the third Drew Farthering book in four days, it sounds like you've got a good shot at finishing the series this month. Smile

Congrats on the reading time for yourself, @fantasia! I have yet to read Killers of the Flower Moon but my mom read it last year and had similar thoughts to you - she found it very sad but fascinating.
How did you and the children like The Orphan Train series? We collected those at book sales when we could find them and thus ended up reading them all out of order. I think we eventually got our hands on all of them, but I'm not positive. Giggle

Death is swallowed up in victory.

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Posted : February 7, 2024 8:05 pm
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Meltintalle
(@mel)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @valiantarcher

@Mel, did The Ordinary Acrobat finish strong?

It did. I now know more about French circuses than I ever expect to need. Giggle I am continuing in a semi-athletic theme and reading The Victor's Crown: A History of Ancient Sport from Homer to Byzantium. I'm still in the section discussing ancient Greece and it is fascinating to come at events sideways (Xerxes invading Greece, for example) and read about how it shows up in the record of the games that year. 

Speaking of the Kalevala, I read Tolkien's translation a few years ago and was primarily struck by the way it shared a rhyme scheme with The Song of Hiawatha.

I am equally guilty of putting books on my TBR list and then not reading them later. Sometimes it is because I can't get them from the library but mostly it's because I get distracted. Blush Giggle  

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 2 times by Meltintalle

We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago! -- G. K. Chesterton

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Posted : February 8, 2024 11:49 am
johobbit
(@jo)
SO mod; WC captain Moderator

Oohhh yes, Valia, I can totally see why that tale is hard and discouraging, especially as there seems to be no break in the awful grimness.

I had not heard of Killers of the Flower Moon, but am now very curious to read the book. Sod and Stubble sounds really interesting, not comfortable, and important. It's good to see you in the Books topic, @fantasia. I completely understand why you don't get many books read for your own pleasure these days!

Posted by: @valiantarcher

What are the other current nine favourite biographies?

That is such a tricky question, as under every top ten number, there are a few titles, at least. Giggle It is a challenge to rate them in order, because I really appreciate each work, along with the authors' research and detail. And much relates to the subject itself. For example, if there is a biography on any of the following—William Wilberforce (and contemporaries), Winston Churchill, Joni Eareckson-Tada, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Corrie Ten Boom, the majority of anything on WW2, Harriet Tubman, and more—I will get it, and in 99% of the cases, consider the book A-1+.

Here is a try, though, to write down my 'Top Ten' Wink , in no particular order. These are bios I have read in the past decade. There are others, as well, in that timeframe, plus more prior that are tops for me too. 

Well, you asked for it! LOL

To the Golden Shore: the life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson. (bio)

Fierce Convictions: the extraordinary life of Hannah More: poet, reformer, abolitionist by Karen Swallow Prior. More was a close friend of Wilberforce's. (bio)

As noted above, any Wilberforce or John Newton bio (or autobio, for the latter); also Olaudah Equiano's story (autobio), and anything else related to the slave trade and slavery, whether British or in the USA. The Wilberforce/Newton/Equiano stories are also told by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. Excellent, all three of them! I only wish each one was longer.

The same goes for any books written about Winston Churchill that I have read—fascinating and so well written. A top favourite, which is not as in depth as some of them, and is from a unique perspective is Winston Churchill by his personal secretary, Elizabeth Nel. And a standout on his wife, Clementine, is by Sonia Purnell, The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill, as, compared with her husband, little is written about Winston's backbone, Clemmie.

The Radium Girls: the dark story of America's shining woman by Kate Moore. (bio)

Starlight Nights: the adventures of a star-gazer by Leslie C. Peltier. (autobio)

The Boys in the Boat: nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (bio; apparently there is a film about this now, but I have not yet seen it)

The Pianist: the extraordinary story of one man's survival in Warsaw, 1939-45 by Wladyslaw Szpilman (autobio; also a difficult, excellent film)

A more recent biography on Corrie Ten Boom has been released, as more information has come to light, The Watchmaker's Daughter by Larry Loftis

The King's Speech: how one man saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi. (bio; also a really good film)

Wounded Tiger: the transformational true story of the Japanese pilot who led the Pearl Harbor attack by T. Martin Bennett. This is a WW2 nonfiction novel. I so wish this amazing story was made into a faithful film adaptation; apparently there has been some discussion towards that end.

There are so many WW2 bios in my 'top ten', but a couple of especial noteworthys: Village of Secrets: defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead

and

The Volunteer: the true story of the Resistance hero who infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather. We just discovered this one in the past couple of years. What a tale!!!

Dancing With Max: a mother and son who broke free by Emily Colson, Chuck Colson's daughter as she writes with raw candor in hope about her beloved autistic son, Max.

Anything by or about the White Rose, Hans and Sophie Scholl. We can't get our hands on enough about this young courageous brother and sister, along with the rest of the White Rose members, many of whom were executed because they stood up to the horrors of Hitler and Nazism. They were all such thinkers, and refused to compromise truth. (bios and autobios; also an excellent film, Sophie Scholl: the final Days)

Just Mercy: a story of justice and redemption by lawyer, Bryan Stevenson (autobio; also an excellent film)

Evidence Not Seen: a woman's miraculous faith in the jungles of WW2 by Darlene Deibler Rose (autobio; this is a special book to me, as there are people in the book that I knew growing up)

Me, Myself, and Bob: a true story about dreams, God, and talking vegetables by Phil Vischer (autobio)

The Soloist: a lost dream, an unlikely friendship, and the redemptive power of music by journalist Steve Lopez (partly bio; partly autobio; there is a film by the same name: many parts are great; other parts are meh.)

A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the great betrayal by Ben MacIntyre. (I'm about to read this on the high recommendation from my hubby)

Not Without My Daughter: the harrowing true story of a mother’s courage by Betty Mahmoody (autobio; also an excellent film)

A Chance to Die: the life and legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot (bio)

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot (2020) and Being Elisabeth Elliot (2023) by Ellen Vaughn; Joni Eareckson-Tada wrote both Forwards. (bios)

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers and Maria, both by Maria Augusta Von Trapp (autobios; obviously there is a film about the first book, the well-loved The Sound of Music, but when you read the book, you will note that key bits/characters in the film were changed ... I guess to make it more film-worthy??) A sidenote here: we met the real Maria Von Trapp at the Trapp Family Lodge in the gorgeous Vermont hills in the 70s. Such a bright, keen, no-nonsense, fun, twinkling-eyed elderly woman.

Alive: the story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read (bio; also a gripping film)

I have no doubt that there are more, but that is enough to go on for now. Giggle (Pardons for the length of this!)


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Posted : February 8, 2024 12:27 pm
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

The Victor's Crown sounds intriguing, @Mel. I hope it continues strong. Smile

@Jo, that's not a top 10 list, that's a top 30 list! ROFL (I counted 26 distinct titles and far more than 4 for general topics. Giggle ) Sad to say I've only read one, though I started (and put down) another. How special that you got to meet Maria Von Trapp! Grin

I just finished reading The Purloined Paperweight by P.G. Wodehouse. I think it might be about the only Wodehouse I've read that shows a brother-sister relationship that isn't an overbearing sister and elderly brother, so that was fun. Also amusing was the fact that the edition I read was actually published by a press that focused on paperweights and the introduction explained that Wodehouse was wrong in his dating of the titular paperweight. Giggle

Death is swallowed up in victory.

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Posted : February 10, 2024 7:30 pm
fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin
Posted by: @valiantarcher

How did you and the children like The Orphan Train series?

I had read the first four when I was a kid and enjoyed them. I only read A Family Apart out loud and got quite a reaction from my kiddos who struggled with the idea of children being sent away by their mother. I can't say that they liked it, but I think it certainly made an impression for sure! My older two read the second and third books to themselves and I think they were pleased with the outcome of those particular kids. 

I didn't know until I started reading this series to my kiddos that later on Nixon wrote three more books a few years after the first four. Looking up reviews online they didn't seem quite as well received. Have you read them @Valiantarcher?

Due to illness hitting our house this past week, I ended up having time to read The Lost City of Z. It was certainly an interesting read, though I didn't like it quite as well as Killers of the Flower Moon. But mostly I want to know how this particular author has this uncanny ability to access historical documents that are locked away from the majority of other human beings? Giggle  

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Posted : February 11, 2024 8:09 am
SnowAngel
(@snowangel)
Maiden of Monday Madness Moderator
Posted by: @jo
Posted by: @snowangel

I'm about halfway through Wimpy Weak and Woke by John L. Cooper

Oooh, I heard Cooper's interview with Alisa Childers: the book sounds very interesting! In his speaking and writing, he sure does not back away from truth, confronting our society's convoluted issues head-on with Biblical principles and wisdom.

I'm "enjoying" (doesn't like the best word for this kind of book Eyebrow ) John Cooper's book, there have been a couple of minor points that I disagree with, but overall it's an excellent book. He definitely did a ton of research before writing this book, and it shows in a good way. I'm reading 10-15 pages at a time, my goal is just to finish it before the end of the month. I think my brother who was also reading it already finished it, but we haven't had a chance to talked out it recently. I'll looking forward to hearing his take on the whole book. Smile  

Wow, that is quite the list, @jo! Grin  

Posted by: @valiantarcher

All the best with your library non-fiction requests, @SnowAngel! Giggle The library has been pretty good about accepting my book requests of late, but a lot of them having been taking months to come in. Sad Well, even if you don't finish the third Drew Farthering book in four days, it sounds like you've got a good shot at finishing the series this month. Smile

I've only done interlibrary loans at this library, so it seems a good time to see about some requests for the locals.

I made it through Murder At The Mikado in four days, but I'll finish Dressed For Death tonight that will be day five for it. Still definitely on target to finish the series this month. Smile  I am so enjoying reading this series again, I should have done it sooner. I was looking back at when I read the series before and I read most of them in two days the first time, I must have been crazy or else didn't have enough other things going on. Giggle  

Oooh, I need to put Wodehouse on my reading list for this year. Smile  

@fantasia, I've read the later Orphan Train books...it's been quite a while, but I recall not enjoying them like I did the first half of the series  I would say the first half of the series was really good, second half not so much, and so if you can't find the later books especially the last one, you're not missing out on anything.

SnowAngel


Christ is King.

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Posted : February 12, 2024 7:38 pm
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ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

@fantasia, the ones I know I've read are A Family Apart and In the Face of Danger. Based on the covers, I'm pretty sure I've read Caught in the Act, A Dangerous Promise, and Circle of Love. I think I may've read A Place to Belong too, and I'm drawing a blank on Keeping Secrets. That said, I remember only vague impressions of half of them and next to nothing on the rest, so I can't help you on whether the second half of the series is worth reading. Blush Giggle
I'm sorry to hear about the illness, but I'm glad you got some more reading time in! That sounds like quite the question about the author, though. Giggle

Congrats on the good progress on the Drew Farthering series, @SnowAngel! HA, isn't it crazy how sometimes one can get through a book so fast and then be so slow at others? Tongue
Oh, any particular Wodehouse for this year or just any?

I'm currently working on a reread (Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin) and a new read (another Patricia Wentworth); both are in the early stages still, but they've been pretty enjoyable so far.

Death is swallowed up in victory.

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Posted : February 12, 2024 8:08 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Guru

I am enjoying Black Fire by Sonni Cooper. It is a Star Trek novel which seems to be quite well written. Since many of the Star Trek novels based on the original series are out of print and libraries don’t always have them I have often purchased used copies, which have quite easy to find. It’s kind of sad that they could not have used in the original series so many years ago, but at least the books are still available to read. I have recently purchased a Star Trek comic book in which the text was written by David Gerrold, Diane Duane, Will Wheaton, and others who drew the illustrations. I think it will probably be very good because the people who created the book were previously involved in Star Trek. I have some other hardcover comic books based on Gerry Anderson’s puppet shows. I think well written comic books are good for children and adults and they are worthwhile reading for those who like nostalgic entertainment. Some of the better comic books from decades ago have been reprinted in well bound paper and hardcover editions, which make fine reading. 🙂

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Posted : February 14, 2024 4:13 am
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Guru

Web of the Romulans by M. S. Murdock is quite a good Star Trek novel. The Romulans are much like Vulcans in appearance, but they are more warlike than the peaceful Vulcan way of life. I think they are good characters and there is much to admire in them. I am not sure if  Star Trek could have survived without them.  The Klingons were usually portrayed as villains in the original series so they had to create a more worthy adversary in the Romulans. They were certainly fine characters.

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Posted : February 18, 2024 4:48 am
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

I occasionally use our local online auction site. I recently bought a copy of Dickens's Christmas tales, after wanting A Christmas Carol for years. I'm collecting it today, and I'm looking forward to reading all the other short stories too! I rather think I haven't read 'Christmas Carol ' in decades.

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : February 19, 2024 11:52 am
johobbit
(@jo)
SO mod; WC captain Moderator

Oooh, I love Dickens' A Christmas Carol. My father was a massive Dickens' fan, and I rather think his love of those brilliant writings was passed on to me. I read A Christmas Carol every year the week prior to Christmas from a volume that belonged to my paternal grandfather. The date written inside by Grandpa's hand is January 19, 1907. What a treasure!

I'm thinking The Cricket on the Hearth novella might be in your volume too, @coracle? Possibly The Chimes, and Dickens' other two Christmas tales. Or maybe the book is not strictly Christmas-related, plus possibly having other authors, as well?

Whichever the case, enjoy, coracle! Smile

This post was modified 2 weeks ago 2 times by johobbit


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Posted : February 19, 2024 2:37 pm
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coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

@jo They're all by Dickens, and the title is Christmas Books. There's a short 'survey' of Dickens by G.K.Chesterton, an introduction by D.N.Brereton (not known to me) and then in the following order:
A Christmas Carol
The Chimes
The Cricket on the Hearth
The Battle of Life
The Haunted Man

It was a Collins Classics edition, printed on thin paper and bound with a softish leather/faux leather cover stamped with gold letters. There is a box slipcover in the same colour, olive, which makes it part of The Olive Classics that Collins had reprinted.

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : February 19, 2024 5:55 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Guru

I have the Christmas Books by Charles Dickens in a nice hardcover edition that I bought over ten years ago. I always liked the stories in the book and I think they are great reading for the holiday season.  🙂

This is the edition that I have:

https://images.app.goo.gl/5RDZAy1XuNFvFBmZ9  

It doesn’t have pictures, but it is very nice book. It cost me much less than the price that is shown on Amazon! 🙂

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Posted : February 19, 2024 6:39 pm
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