Favorite Quotes

"Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, thought and speculation at a standstill."


— Barbara Tuchman


Washington Post, Feb 7, 1989

Reader's Link - September 2010 Staff Picks Archive


The Petty Bringing Down the Great

Hellhound on his Trail

Title: Hellhound on his Trail
By: Hampton Sides

I am not one to read history for pleasure, but I found reading "Hellhound on his Trail" is like reading a thickly plotted novel. This engrossing tale is all the more interesting because it is based on true events. Hampton Sides shows us the little known, gritty bits about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassin, following him from his petty criminal beginnings through the international manhunt following the assassination. Along the way there are fascinating portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr., J. Edgar Hoover, and also of our country in the 1960s. The amount of research that Sides did is staggering, and it shows in the detail he provides. What people wore, what they said and how they said it, what they ate, and who they slept with is all woven into this fantastic tale. No matter what you believe happened on April 4, 1968, and who was responsible for it, this account is worth reading.

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction,history,biography
Posted by Abbey on Sept. 30, 2010 at 1:55 p.m.
0 Comments

The End is Coming?

Good Omens

Title: Good Omens
By: Terry Pratchett

Discworld’s Terry Pratchett and Sandman’s Neil Gaiman teamed up to develop one of Gaiman’s short story ideas into an engaging funny novel about Armageddon. If you are familiar with either of these authors, you are not surprised. Yes, strictly speaking, the Divine Plan does seem to be developing as written but with some appropriate updates…the four Horsemen are now four Bikers hitting the road to the center of the United States. Armageddon has a remarkably hopeful twist that I will not give away…I’ll just say that Good Omens celebrates what it is to be human but doesn’t pull any punches about the bad. This collaboration was first published in 1990, but be sure to pick up a copy of the 2006 edition which includes commentary from the two authors.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction,fantasy
Posted by Ruby Boggs on Sept. 23, 2010 at 1:42 p.m.
3 Comments

Such A Pretty Face

The Wife's Tale

Title: The Wife's Tale
By: Lori Lansens

On the eve of her Silver Anniversary, Mary Gooch is 43-years old and weighs in at 302 pounds. Except for a brief period in high school when she is slender, carefree, and infected with an intestinal parasite, Mary has been uncontrollably hungry, victim of a monster, The Obeast, a term she overheard in whispers from childhood. Mary has grown complacent suffering the ridicule of her nasty boss, and the world has nearly shrunk to the universe between her bedroom and the refrigerator. When her loving husband, Jimmy Gooch, fails to arrive home one evening, and it slowly dawns on Mary that he isn’t returning, she begins an adventure that lifts her beyond a limited and habitual existence. Readers will cheer for Mary as she blossoms, rediscovers self-worth, friendship, authentic family ties, and the humanity of strangers.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction
Posted by Wildruby on Sept. 16, 2010 at 4:01 p.m.
0 Comments

Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack

Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack

Title: Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack
By: Charles Osgood

The book is subtitled "A Boyhood Year During World War II." It is Osgood's memoir of 1942 when he was nine years old. The war was touching lives of those at home - victory gardens flourished, scrap metal was collected for the war effort, schoolchildren memorized the silhouettes of Japanese and German planes just in case, and everyone had maps of Europe and Africa to follow the progress of the war. It was also a much simpler time. Families listened to radio programs together. Whole neighborhoods followed their baseball team on the radio when they couldn't get to the ballpark. School children were polite most of the time and didn't have ready excuses when they were punished. Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack is a delightful snapshot of one boy's memories of school, paper routes, baseball, family, and friends and a nine year old's perceptions of World War II.

At just over 150 pages, it is well worth reading for laughs as well as a look at growing up in a special time in our history.

View similarly tagged posts: biography
Posted by ogradyj on Sept. 9, 2010 at 2:46 p.m.
0 Comments

Melting Pot of Gods and Goddesses

American Gods

Title: American Gods
By: Neil Gaiman

American Gods offers an answer to the question: What happens to the gods of different cultures when their followers emigrate to the United States? Do the gods follow them? Do they have influence here? How do Norse gods get along with Aztec gods? Gaiman describes the journey of Shadow, traveling the line between human and myth in a wonderful epic story. I warn you that it is a story that begs to be reread but will not disappoint with each reading. If you are intrigued with mythology you will enjoy this book and you will find truth. As Gaiman says, “it goes without saying that all of the people, living, dead, and otherwise in this story are fictional or used in a fictional context. Only the gods are real.”

View similarly tagged posts: fiction,fantasy
Posted by Ruby Boggs on Sept. 2, 2010 at 8:22 a.m.
2 Comments

Book Kits

To help your book discussion group, we've gathered a collection of popular paperback titles and sorted them into kits which can be sent to you upon request.

Learn more... Browse titles...

Upcoming Book Events...

Sun, July 27