Monday, May 01, 2023

Book Club Selections and suggestions, for 2023-2024

Each May our book club selects nine titles for the next September through May reading period. And today was that day.   This year’s selection list was very strong, so I’ll list them all, but first the nine choices. And who would have thought there was anything left to be said about Abraham Lincoln?  I don't know much about flowers, but look forward to reading about the flower designer at the White House who served many first ladies. Having just survived Covid, the Pale Rider about the 1918 pandemic will probably be riveting. Or maybe not. . .  I didn't recommend any titles.

The winners

September 11   And there was light (biography of A. Lincoln) by Jon Meacham (leader undesignated)

October 2    To America; personal reflections of an historian (memoir) by Stephen Ambrose (Peggy)

November 6    House in the sky (hostage memoir) by Amanda Lindhout (Gail)

December 4    Once upon a wardrobe (historical fiction, C.S. Lewis) by Patti Callahan (Linda)

January 8    My first ladies (memoir) by Nancy Clark (Mary Lou)

February 5   Sisters of Sinai (history, 19th c.) by Janice Soskice (Carolyn)

March 4     Pale rider (history, 1918 flu) by Laura Spinney (Isala)

April 1     Soul Survivor (selections of writers) by Philip Yancy  (Marti)

May 6    Fifth Avenue story society by Rachel Hauck (leader undesignated)

Other suggestions, not selected

Home for Christmas (anthology) published by Plough

The burning pages (mystery, Scotland) by Paige Shelton

So help me God by Mike Pence

The important thing about Margaret Wise Brown (children’s book)

Holdout by Graham Moore

The Spy and the traitor by Ben Macintyre

1 comment:

MI6 said...

Ben Macintyre’s Spy and Traitor is a must read for espionage genre cognoscenti and has even been lauded by none other than John le Carré as "the best true spy story I have ever read". John le Carré certainly knew a ton about writing high quality espionage thrillers and Ben deserved that accolade in this instance.

However, as a spy in his own right David Cornwell was an extraordinarily long chalk behind Oleg Gordievsky. Mind you, as the son of a fraudster, a known associate of the infamous London gangsters the Kray Brothers, David Cornwell was not necessarily as good at spying as he might have thought when looking in the mirror. Indeed, it seems that posthumously he had admitted he has more Achilles heels than toes!

An intriguing brief News Article dated 31 October 2022 about all that (and about Pemberton’s People in MI6 et al) is well worth reading in TheBurlingtonFiles website. If you liked the Spy and Traitor by Ben of the Times you should read the epic non-fiction spy novel, Beyond Enkription in TheBurlingtonFiles series.

Don’t expect John le Carré’s delicate diction, sophisticated syntax and placid plots but Beyond Enkription has been described as ”up there with My Silent War by Kim Philby and No Other Choice by George Blake”. So if you want to experience raw espionage written by a real secret agent give it a go. After all, in real life its protagonist was one of the mavericks in Pemberton’s People in MI6 and John le Carré turned down their offer of a collaboration.