Keep Reading June 2017
I know this is the second posting with June in the title. Don’t be fooled. It is just because I am lazy that I did not correct the last posting and change it to May.
The real June was a good month for reading. It is going to be hard to select a few favorites. Although I have collected a lot of new books by well-known authors, for my summer reading list I really have not dug into them at this point. Maybe summer will start in July. It is hard not to keep going back and reading earlier books by recently enjoyed authors.
Coming into the Country by John McPhee was written in the eighties so some of it may have changed. This is a wonderful book about Alaska and the people who love it like it is and some who might want to see parts of it change. Having Alaska as part of the United States is a gift we need to treasure and preserve.
A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles is a wonderful book from last year. I found myself casting the movie as I was reading but I am not sure I will want to see the film and damage my impression of the book. Starting in 1922 a wealthy gentleman is sentenced to spend his life in the Metropole hotel in Moscow. He is already living there but he must move to an attic room taking only a very few of his treasured possessions. The book covers several decades and the world changes outside his hotel. You will laugh and cry and want to join these characters in the world slightly behind the glamorous city life.
Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
I am copying the book description directly from the Book Share web site because I could not say it better myself. I am trying to understand the true nature of America and I found this book very interesting and at the same time kind of fun.
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis–that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
The Black Widow by Daniel Silva
I am not really a big reader of spy novels but now and again I find one that makes me want to take them more seriously. I have read other Silva books and liked them. He often uses Israel as his base as he does in this fast paced thriller. A young woman infiltrates ISIS and you can imagine where it could go from there.