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Topic: Something old, something new

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Subject: Something old, something new
Date Posted: 1/3/2015 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2011
Posts: 56
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Something old:

Before getting wrapped up in your 2015 list, I wonder if anyone might like to share their favorite Biography from 2014.

My favorite was the Call the Midwife trilogy by Jennifer Worth:  The Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse, and Farewell to the East End.  The books were even better than the PBS series.  Each chapter was a beautifully written story of unforgettable characters.  There were mothers and babies, of course, but also stories of elderly patients, the nuns of Nonnatus House, and the nurses.  Highly recommended!

Something new:

With what book will you begin your 2015 challenge?

I think I will start with Shirley Temple: American Princess by Anne Edwards.  Not long after she died last year, I stumbled across this book in an antique mall and decided it would become one of my challenge titles for 2015.  When I was a child I loved Shirley Temple!  All her old movies were frequently rerun on TV in the '50's and I watched every one.

Mary

Date Posted: 1/4/2015 1:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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Last Edited on: 2/4/15 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2015 2:16 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
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My favorite is more memoir than biography. After you, Marco Polo by Jean Bowie Shor. This was a fascinating travel narrative. Jean traveled with her husband and local guides and porters. She had clearly done some research on Polo and his trip from Venice to China and tried to re create that earlier trip. The trip was done around 1950. There were some difficult political situations in some of the places they went. I would like to read Marco Polo's account of his trip.

I haven't chosen what I will read next. I've got too many choices really.

Date Posted: 1/5/2015 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,857
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My best read for this challenge was without a doubt:  The Story of Ernie Pyle by Lee G. Miller, 12/2/2014, 5 stars  Pyle was a humble but outstanding writer.  His dedication to the common soldier and reporting the war is outstanding.  What a great man.  I highly recommend this one.  I have this book and would be happy to send it to anyone who wants to read it, FREE, as it's an older copy.

A close second for me was Living History by Hilary Clinton, 10/30/2014, 5 stars   No matter what your politics are one cannot help but admire this woman and the life she leads.  

Two other wonderful reads:  Marie Antoinette by Stefan Zweig, 11/11/2014, 4.5 stars  I was so wrapped up in her story as documented by this author that I felt like crying so many times.

Truman by David McCullough, 1/11/2014, 4.5 stars  This president had so many difficult decisions to make but his honesty served him true.  Probably his most difficult decision was dropping the atom bomb on Japan.



Last Edited on: 1/5/15 4:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 6
Date Posted: 1/5/2015 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2007
Posts: 1,106
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I'm enjoying "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown. (Sports Figure category: the entire US heavyweight crew team in the 1936 Berlin Olympics)

I gave it to my son for Christmas, since he rowed crew as a walk-on in an eastern college, and was regularly beaten by the likes of Harvard and Princeton.  He says the grueling, body-breaking scenes are pretty much the case, and had the bleeding blisters and calluses to prove it.  Centering thus far on the life story of a boy who was still alive when Brown began writing. Who knew that crew was big-time American sports in the 20's and 30's? The story also includes the history of the coaches and a boat building company still building racing shells today.  Haven't gotten past the depression yet, but the Olympics are on the horizon.

Date Posted: 1/5/2015 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
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"The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown

I would like to read this book but it is still too new. There are about 227 people wishing for the pbk and the price is a little too high for me to buy it. I'll wait  a while.

Date Posted: 1/5/2015 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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Last Edited on: 2/4/15 2:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: The Boys in the Boat
Date Posted: 1/5/2015 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2011
Posts: 56
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After hearing all the recommendations for The Boys in the Boat, I'm sorry I did not put it on my list for this year!  I'll make room for it in 2016!

My list of books to read never shrinks!

Mary

Date Posted: 1/5/2015 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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I plan to read The Boys in the Boat, too.

My favorite bio was "Reading the Man:  A portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters."