Hugh

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2012)

The author revisits Homer’s Iliad, and allows Patroclus to tell of his close friendship with Achilles before and during the Trojan War. Yes, she finds a love story in this ancient tale of heroes. Trouble comes from Achilles’ mother Thetis, who detests Patroclus and expends much effort in keeping Achilles from him and out of the war. She sends Achilles to Scyros disguised as a lady in waiting to the local princess; fate intervenes and Achilles becomes married to the princess and a father (of Pyrrhus) before he is joyfully found by Patroclus and unmasked by Greek generals looking for recruits.

At Troy, Achilles proves to be the best of the Greek warriors until he is killed by Paris and later joined in his grave by Patroclus’ ashes. Readers unfamiliar with Greek legends will be pleased to find a character glossary at the end of the novel. Some may be disappointed at so little told of the Trojan horse and the dipping of the baby Achilles in the river Styx.

Read more at the New York Times.
Check out a copy of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller today.

 
 
Hugh

Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James (2011)

P. D. James helps the reader by beginning with an introduction to the Bennetts of Longbourg, the family of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. For those of us who struggled through that earlier work, this introduction was essential. I enjoyed this mystery about this family set in the early 19th century with strong values of duty, honor and family integrity (as well as some outright scoundrels).

Unlike James’ other novels, there is no keen detective work; the reader must seek the solution from testimony (some incomplete or misleading) at inquest, trial and later statements made by the players. I was surprised to learn who the real killer was and like one of the principals (Darcy), very happy to see the troublemaker off to America.

Pick up a copy of Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James today.

 
 
Hugh

Firebird by Jack McDevitt (2011)

Firebird is not just fantasy, but an adventure-mystery story about what may have happened to an imaginative scientist when he disappeared 40+ years ago from the time of the story. There are business problems in selling artifacts from his estate and frustrating government inaction in giving help to the investigators. Also the reader gets a glimpse of what it might be like to get caught in a time warp. An enjoyable read; I like McDevitt’s books.

 
Hugh

Rounding the Horn by Dallas Murphy (2004)

Excellent mixture of a 1990s trip to the southern tip of South America with tales of past voyages, beginning with Magellan through missionary journeys in the early 20th century. The stories bring in current friction between Chile and Argentina as well as conflicts among the English, Spanish, and the Aborigines in Terra de Fuega. These adventurous explorations leave a salty taste for all of us would be sailors.

Start your adventure with Rounding the Horn by Dallas Murphy today!



800x600



Normal
0




false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE











MicrosoftInternetExplorer4




























































































































































/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}


Rounding the Horn: being a story of williwaws and windjammers, Drake, Darwin, murdered missionaries and naked natives--a deck's-eye view of Cape Horn by Dallas Murphy (2004)
Excellent mixture of a 1990s trip to the southern tip of South America with tales of past voyages, beginning with Magellan through missionary journeys in the early 20th century. The stories bring in current friction between Chile and Argentina as well as conflicts among the English, Spanish, and the Aborigines in Terra de Fuega. These adventurous explorations leave a salty taste for all of us would be sailors.

Nonfiction, travel, history, adventure

Hugh

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs  (1914)
Tarzan is not at all timid about telling he is a mighty warrior, killer of beast and men, but he is utterly confused by lessons in French speech when he speaks only Ape and reads only English. It’s a fun read and well written.
Hugh

Seldom Disappointed by Tony Hillerman

Seldom Disappointed by Tony Hillerman (2001)
I enjoyed his straightforward style guiding me through his WWII days, his military career, and how he wrote. It’s hard to imagine anyone would go AWOL from a hospital to go back to the war front.

For more about the renown mystery writer listen to this story about his life on NPR or read an interview with the author in Wild West magazine.
Hugh

Attila by John Man

Attila: the Barbarian King who challenged Rome by John Man (2006)
Attila provides an interesting look in on those dark times in history that have not been well documented. The book includes ideas on how the Huns used advanced bow technology and mounted archery to raise havoc. Great insight on who the Nibelungs of Wagner’s ring cycle were. Good illustrations.

Take a look at this fascinating bio.
Hugh

New York by Edward Rutherfurd

New York by Edward Rutherfurd (2009)
This book traces New York history from the 16th century to 9/11 by following three or four fictitious families. Their ambitions, loves, and disappointments involve the reader, making it hard to put down.

Visit the author's website and view the YouTube trailer for the book.
Hugh

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich (2001)
The novel begins with a genealogy chart to help keep track of the characters. Sure enough there are miracles (that the down to earth can explain) and a rich flow of almost musical storytelling.

Learn more about this prolific author, view a reading group guide, and preview the book.
Hugh

The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (2008)
A young man is torn among loyalty to his English family, his Chinese grandfather, and his Japanese Aikijujitsu mentor during the Japanese occupation at Malaya, 1939-1945. To many he was a collaborator, to others a hero. He first tells his story 50 years later to a Japanese woman who had loved his mentor during their youth. Reincarnation and moral ambiguities drift through the story. It kept my attention.

The Gift of Rain was nominated for the 2007 Man Booker Prize. Check out the review in USA Today.
Hugh

Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. Beach

Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. Beach (1955)
Beach writes a great adventure about World War II with a lot of technical details about submarines. Also, the ending has a moral question that makes you think and really wonder what is “the right way.”

The library also has the 1958 movie of the same name starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster.
Hugh

The Wandering Hill by Larry McMurtry

The Wandering Hill by Larry McMurtry (2003)
This is the second in a series of novels about the Berrybender family’s adventures in the American West during the mid-19th century. I especially enjoyed listening to the CD version as each part is read in the character’s voice, and this book is full of characters. It is especially entertaining to watch the father pursue his two main loves: hunting buffalo and young women.
Hugh

No Graves as Yet by Anne Perry

No Graves as Yet by Anne Perry (2003)
This is the first in a five book series on World War I. This series is Anne Perry’s best work. It follows one family, telling of their feelings toward each other, the war, and how their faith is affected by the turmoil. It also is a good spy mystery. The other books in the series are Shoulder the Sky (2004), Angels in the Gloom (2005), At Some Disputed Barricade (2007), and We Shall Not Sleep (2007).
Hugh

Dog Days by Jon Katz

Dog Days by Jon Katz (2007)
Dogs live on a farm with other animals and an understanding owner. Working dogs, pet dogs, and dogs helping people live life appear in the story. Some of the dogs herd sheep and other animals. Others solve problems, find lost people or animals, and serve as magnets or diplomats in people to people relations. Dogs that can be shared and dogs belonging to only one master appear. For all who love dogs and rural life on a farm, this book is a must.

On the author's website, find blogs, pictures, videos, and information about all of his books. 
Hugh

Einstein (2007) and Kissinger (1992) by Walter Isaacson

Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007) and Kissinger: a biography (1992) by Walter IsaacsonEinstein and his earlier book, Kissinger, should be read one after the other to see how Isaacson deals with two professionally different, but similar, persons who have had great effect on the US and the world. Both left Nazi Germany to escape persecution and rose to the top of their fields. As a bonus, the two biographies challenge the reader in physics and world politics, as well as generate new interest in these fields.

Listen to any or all of three interviews with Isaacson on NPR: there's a 2007 interview following the publication of Einstein; a 2003 interview following the publication of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and a 2002 interview discussing Kissinger's background.