Keep Reading August 2016

Keep Reading for August 2016
August was a special and somewhat challenging reading month for me. Instead of selecting my own books I chose from someone else’s book choices.
I will explain…
At the end of July I was vacationing in Maine and looking forward to a week of reading on my lovely screen porch. The first day into the week my Victor Stream died. I was spending the week alone so I needed to solve this problem myself. I have both the BARD App and Voice Dream on my I Phone so it was time to get up close and personal with using these Apps.
By the middle of the week I was convinced I could move forward without replacing my Victor. Other than a few little inconveniences I was fine using the Phone, honest I was.
Then I spent an evening with a friend who lost her husband last year. He was a wonderful, brilliant, and very well read blind man who also used the Victor. She offered me his Victor Stream and I was hooked once again.
This stream came with a memory card full of books including my all-time Favorite book ROME HANKS AND KINDRED MATTERS. I felt that if he was reading my favorite book I owed it to him and to me to read some of the books he had on the Stream while he was dying.
So, here goes a collection of books I probably would not have read but I am glad I did. I learned a lot about my friend and I like and respect him even more.
My favorite fiction was:
Let The Great World Spin
By Colun McCann
Imagine New York City in 1974. Mix a man who walks a type rope between the twin towers with 2 very different Irish immigrant brothers, a mother and daughter in the world’s oldest profession, and other interesting characters. You now have a book that is mostly fiction, other than the type rope walker. I loved this book, it made me laugh and cry and look for more. It won the national book award in 2009

The nonfiction list includes two books that took me places I never thought of going at least not in such detail.
BEFORE THE MAYFLOWER: A HISTORY OF BLACK AMERICA
By Lerone Bennett
This book was listed for high school and older users but I figured if my friend was reading it in his 80s I should read it.
I read the 5th addition of this book. I think the most recent is the 8th addition. Bennett covers classic black history from the great empires of West Africa through slavery and into the 1970s. I was stunned at how much I did not know. This book is easy to read and holds your interest. I am usually not up to reading appendixes but read them.

History

THE VIETNAM READER: A DEFINITIVE COLLECTION OF FICTION AND NONFICTION ON THE WAR
By Stewart O’Nan

I really tried to not read this book. It is long and I still struggle with my feelings on the Vietnam War. I have avoided most of the movies and books covering the subject. I decided to give myself a challenge. I am glad, very glad, I read it but it was tough going, at least emotionally.
I am going to use the description from NLS for this book because they sum it up pretty well.
Depicts the American war in Vietnam through fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, descriptions of films, and popular song lyrics. Collected works provide a historical reference tool and overview of the conflict and its impact on American culture.
Some of this book was very hard to get through. How did this war ever happen? My friends fought in this war and some of them died. They died to save one another.

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