Thread: MobileRead July 2013 Book Club Nominations
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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July 2013 Book Club Nominations

MobileRead Book Club
July 2013 Nominations


Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for July, 2013.

The nominations will run through midnight EST
June 30 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.

Book selection category for July is:

Non-Fiction

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.


Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden
No Links Provided
Spoiler:
Originally Posted by Amazon.com
The heartwrenching New York Times bestseller about the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped

North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.

In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.
...


(2) The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer
Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

“[Eric Hoffer] is a student of extraordinary perception and insight. The range of his reading and research is vast, amazing. [The True Believer is] one of the most provocative books of our immediate day.”—Christian Science Monitor

The famous bestseller with “concise insight into what drives the mind of the fanatic and the dynamics of a mass movement” (Wall St. Journal) by Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Eric Hoffer, The True Believer is a landmark in the field of social psychology, and even more relevant today than ever before in history. Called a “brilliant and original inquiry” and “a genuine contribution to our social thought” by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The True Believer is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the machinations by which an individual becomes a fanatic.


(3) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
No Links Provided
Spoiler:
Starred Review. Science journalist Skloot makes a remarkable debut with this multilayered story about faith, science, journalism, and grace. It is also a tale of medical wonders and medical arrogance, racism, poverty and the bond that grows, sometimes painfully, between two very different women—Skloot and Deborah Lacks—sharing an obsession to learn about Deborah's mother, Henrietta, and her magical, immortal cells. Henrietta Lacks was a 31-year-old black mother of five in Baltimore when she died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her knowledge, doctors treating her at Johns Hopkins took tissue samples from her cervix for research. They spawned the first viable, indeed miraculously productive, cell line—known as HeLa. These cells have aided in medical discoveries from the polio vaccine to AIDS treatments. What Skloot so poignantly portrays is the devastating impact Henrietta's death and the eventual importance of her cells had on her husband and children. Skloot's portraits of Deborah, her father and brothers are so vibrant and immediate they recall Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family. Writing in plain, clear prose, Skloot avoids melodrama and makes no judgments. Letting people and events speak for themselves, Skloot tells a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society's most vulnerable people.


(4) A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
Amazon UK
Spoiler:
From HarryT:

This is the classic account of the sinking of the Titanic from the eye-witness accounts of the survivors. A simply amazing book which everyone should read.


(5) What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist—the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England by Daniel Pool
Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Sony Reader Store
Spoiler:
Amazon Book Description:
Publication Date: October 2, 2012

For every frustrated reader of the great nineteenth-century English novels of Austen, Trollope, Dickens, or the Brontės who has ever wondered whether a duke outranked an earl, when to yell "Tally Ho!" at a fox hunt, or how one landed in "debtor's prison," here is a "delightful reader's companion that lights up the literary dark" (The New York Times).

This fascinating, lively guide clarifies the sometimes bizarre maze of rules, regulations, and customs that governed everyday life in Victorian England. Author Daniel Pool provides countless intriguing details (did you know that the "plums" in Christmas plum pudding were actually raisins?) on the Church of England, sex, Parliament, dinner parties, country house visiting, and a host of other aspects of nineteenth-century English life -- both "upstairs" and "downstairs."

An illuminating glossary gives at a glance the meaning and significance of terms ranging from "ague" to "wainscoting," the specifics of the currency system, and a lively host of other details and curiosities of the day.


(6) The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Spoiler:
From the Boston Globe:

For a century the question of the origins of World War I has bedeviled historians, who have struggled to determine whether a conflict that claimed 20 million lives and prompted the death of three empires could have been avoided and, if not, who was to blame.

That question won’t be settled by the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand a year from this summer. There are too many factors, too many moving parts and, alas, too many (contradictory) documents to produce an ironclad answer. But no one who examines the question will be able to ignore “The Sleepwalkers,’’ the monumental new volume by Cambridge University historian Christopher Clark that addresses this issue.

Though he does not provide a verdict, Clark’s view nonetheless is revelatory, even revolutionary. His thesis is that World War I is not a hoary event shrouded in the mists and mysteries of another age, but a thoroughly modern affair, begun in a way familiar to us today: by a terrorist group that worshipped sacrifice and death, had no clear geographic moorings, and was scattered across a vast area of festering grievances and unrequited dreams.

To all that irrationality was added the most dangerous element of all in international relations — cool reason fed by national interest.


(7) We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch
No Links Provided
Spoiler:
Originally Posted by amazon.com
"Hutus kill Tutsis, then Tutsis kill Hutus--if that's really all there is to it, then no wonder we can't be bothered with it," Philip Gourevitch writes, imagining the response of somebody in a country far from the ethnic strife and mass killings of Rwanda. But the situation is not so simple, and in this complex and wrenching book, he explains why the Rwandan genocide should not be written off as just another tribal dispute.
The "stories" in this book's subtitle are both the author's, as he repeatedly visits this tiny country in an attempt to make sense of what has happened, and those of the people he interviews. These include a Tutsi doctor who has seen much of her family killed over decades of Tutsi oppression, a Schindleresque hotel manager who hid hundreds of refugees from certain death, and a Rwandan bishop who has been accused of supporting the slaughter of Tutsi schoolchildren, and can only answer these charges by saying, "What could I do?" Gourevitch, a staff writer for the New Yorker, describes Rwanda's history with remarkable clarity and documents the experience of tragedy with a sober grace. The reader will ask along with the author: Why does this happen? And why don't we bother to stop it?


(8) Gulp by Mary Roach
Amazon US / Google Play (ePub) / Kobo
Spoiler:
The alimentary canal—the much-maligned tube from mouth to rear—is as taboo, in its way, as the cadavers in Stiff, and as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. In Gulp we meet the scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks—or has the courage—to ask. How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? Can wine tasters really tell a $10 bottle from a $100 bottle? Why is crunchy food so appealing? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? We go on location to a pet food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal.

Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.

Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.


(9) Faust in Copenhagen by Gino Segrč
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Spoiler:
A physicist himself, Gino Segrč writes about what scientists do?and why they do it?with intimacy, clarity, and passion. In Faust in Copenhagen, he evokes the fleeting, magical moment when physics?and the world?was about to lose its innocence forever. Known by physicists as the miracle year, 1932 saw the discovery of the neutron and antimatter, as well as the first artificially induced nuclear transmutations. However, while scientists celebrated these momentous discoveries?which presaged the nuclear era and the emergence of big science?during a meeting at Niels Bohr?s Copenhagen Institute, Europe was moving inexorably toward totalitarianism and war. (from Amazon)


(10) Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Spoiler:
28th April 1870. The flamboyantly dressed Miss Fanny Park and Miss Stella Boulton are causing a stir in the Strand Theatre. All eyes are riveted upon their lascivious oglings of the gentlemen in the stalls. Moments later they are led away by the police. What followed was a scandal that shocked and titillated Victorian England in equal measure. It turned out that the alluring Miss Fanny Park and Miss Stella Boulton were no ordinary young women. Far from it. In fact, they were young men who liked to dress as women. When the Metropolitan Police launched a secret campaign to bring about their downfall, they were arrested and subjected to a sensational show trial in Westminster Hall. As the trial of 'the Young Men in Women's Clothes' unfolded, Fanny and Stella's extraordinary lives as wives and daughters, actresses and whores were revealed to an incredulous public. With a cast of peers, politicians and prostitutes, drag queens, doctors and detectives, "Fanny and Stella" is a Victorian peepshow, exposing the startling underbelly of nineteenth-century London. By turns tragic and comic, meticulously researched and dazzlingly written, "Fanny and Stella" is an enthralling tour-de-force.


The nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 06-22-2013 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Through post #61
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