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Old 02-23-2011, 11:15 PM   #1
pilotbob
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March 2011 Book Club Nominations

Help us select the next book that the Mobile Read book club will read for March 2011.

The nominations will run through Feb 28 or until 10 books have made the list.
Voting (new poll thread) will run for 5 days starting Feb 28.

Book selection category for March per the "official" club opening thread is:

March 2011
Nonfiction


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 pool 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 poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations.


Official choices each with three nominations:
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:18 PM   #2
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Sorry it's a bit of a late start this month.

BOb
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:19 AM   #3
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I nominate The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey and Dannzy Danziger. It has been on my TBR pile for a long time and I have not yet gotten to it, but it sounds really interesting. Blurb from Amazon:

Although daily dangers were many, housing uncomfortable, and the dominant smells unpleasant indeed, life in England at the turn of the previous millennium was not at all bad, write journalists Lacey and Danziger. "If you were to meet an Englishman in the year 1000," they continue, "the first thing that would strike you would be how tall he was--very much the size of anyone alive today." The Anglo-Saxons were not only tall, but also generally well fed and healthy, more so than many Britons only a few generations ago. Writing in a breezy, often humorous style, Lacey and Danziger draw on the medieval Julius Work Calendar, a document detailing everyday life around A.D. 1000, to reconstruct the spirit and reality of the era. Light though their touch is, they've done their homework, and they take the reader on a well-documented and enjoyable month-by-month tour through a single year, touching on such matters as religious belief, superstition, medicine, cuisine, agriculture, and politics, as well as contemporary ideas of the self and society. Readers should find the authors' discussions of famine and plague a refreshing break from present-day millennial worries, and a very stimulating introduction to medieval English history.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:36 AM   #4
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I nominate Gomorrah by Robert Saviano.

Wikipedia:
The book describes the clandestine particulars of the business of Camorra, a powerful Neapolitan mafia-like organization. In this book Saviano employs prose and news-reporting style to narrate the story of the Camorra, exposing its territory and business connections.

Since 2006, following the publication of the book, Saviano has been threatened by several Neapolitan “godfathers”. The Italian Minister of the Interior has granted him a permanent police escort, but he's often attacked by politicians of Berlusconi's government and also his escort has been questioned
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:17 AM   #5
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This one sounds interesting, but I haven't been able to find it as an ebook... Is it available as such?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
I nominate The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey and Dannzy Danziger. It has been on my TBR pile for a long time and I have not yet gotten to it, but it sounds really interesting. Blurb from Amazon:

Although daily dangers were many, housing uncomfortable, and the dominant smells unpleasant indeed, life in England at the turn of the previous millennium was not at all bad, write journalists Lacey and Danziger. "If you were to meet an Englishman in the year 1000," they continue, "the first thing that would strike you would be how tall he was--very much the size of anyone alive today." The Anglo-Saxons were not only tall, but also generally well fed and healthy, more so than many Britons only a few generations ago. Writing in a breezy, often humorous style, Lacey and Danziger draw on the medieval Julius Work Calendar, a document detailing everyday life around A.D. 1000, to reconstruct the spirit and reality of the era. Light though their touch is, they've done their homework, and they take the reader on a well-documented and enjoyable month-by-month tour through a single year, touching on such matters as religious belief, superstition, medicine, cuisine, agriculture, and politics, as well as contemporary ideas of the self and society. Readers should find the authors' discussions of famine and plague a refreshing break from present-day millennial worries, and a very stimulating introduction to medieval English history.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:21 AM   #6
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I would like to nominate City of Dust

From Amazon:

Quote:
Nearly a decade after the destruction of the World Trade Center towers in the Sept. 11 attacks, the toxic legacy of the dust cloud that covered the neighborhood endures. DePalma (Here), a former New York Times reporter who covered the attacks and their aftermath, dissects the policy mistakes and bitter medical and legal clashes over the health problems suffered by rescue workers, cleanup crew, and survivors. The political and economic necessity of getting New York up and running again left "no time for the great city to dwell on what the long-term impact of the dust might be." DePalma methodically if occasionally awkwardly traces the efforts of scientists and doctors to assess the effects of the contaminated dust on the tens of thousands exposed, and the methods used to determine compensation. The scope of the aftereffects remains so vast that DePalma's account doesn't always retain a sense of narrative urgency, but he does convey how outrageously bureaucracy has stalled appropriate care for survivors and rescue workers. "Trust collapsed with the towers, and dust buried the truth," he writes, and the path to retribution remains obscured.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:40 AM   #7
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I would also like to nominate Tunnel People

From Amazon:

Quote:
First published in the Netherlands in 1996, this book chronicles Voeten’s five-month exploration of the society that exists underneath the streets of Manhattan. Voeten, an accomplished war photographer and reporter, didn’t write about the people who lived in the tunnels under New York from the point of view of an observer. He lived in the tunnels, grew to know the people who lived there, and came to understand not just how they got there but also the society they have created. Like Jennifer Toth’s Mole People (1993) and Matthew O’Brien’s Beneath the Neon (2007), Voeten’s book captivates readers with its compassionate portraits of the people and their surroundings, while exploring the surprisingly varied reasons why these men and women wound up living just beneath the surface of the reader’s world. --David Pitt
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:58 AM   #8
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My recommendations are really easy this time:

Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard: Outstanding look at the confluence of events that brought these two very driven and very different explorers together to make real history. Inkmesh Link
Quote:
It is rare when a historical narrative keeps readers up late into the night, especially when the story is as well known as Henry Morgan Stanley's search for the missionary and explorer David Livingstone. But author and adventurer Dugard, who's written a biography of Capt. James Cook among other works, makes a suspenseful tale out of journalist Stanley's successful trek through the African interior to find and rescue a stranded Livingstone. Dugan has read extensively in unpublished diaries, newspapers of the time and the archives of Britain's Royal Geographical Society; he also visited the African locations central to the story. Together these sources enable him to re-create with immediacy the astounding hardships, both natural and manmade, that Africa put in the path of the two central characters. Dugard also presents thoughtful insights into the psychology of both Stanley and Livingstone, whose respective responses to Africa could not have differed more. Stanley was bent on beating Africa with sheer force of will, matching it brutality for brutality, while Livingstone, possessed of spirituality and a preternatural absence of any fear of death, responded to the continent's harshness with patience and humility.
American Prometheus by Martin J. Sherwin and Kai Bird: The life and times of Robert Oppenheimer basically birth through death. Lots of insight into the mind of the genius as well as his fragile humanity. Inkmesh Link
Quote:
In American Prometheus , Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin delve deep into J. Robert Oppenheimer's life and deliver a thorough and devastatingly sad biography of the man whose very name has come to represent the culmination of 20th century physics and the irrevocable soiling of science by governments eager to exploit its products.
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson: Basically the same as the Oppie book as it's a look into the the man beyond the myth and how just like anyone else he was. Far from a perfect man, flawed and at times quite cruel. But walk in his shoes before judging him. Inkmesh Link
Quote:
As a scientist, Albert Einstein is undoubtedly the most epic among 20th-century thinkers. Albert Einstein as a man, however, has been a much harder portrait to paint, and what we know of him as a husband, father, and friend is fragmentary at best. With Einstein: His Life and Universe , Walter Isaacson (author of the bestselling biographies Benjamin Franklin and Kissinger ) brings Einstein's experience of life, love, and intellectual discovery into brilliant focus. The book is the first biography to tackle Einstein's enormous volume of personal correspondence that heretofore had been sealed from the public, and it's hard to imagine another book that could do such a richly textured and complicated life as Einstein's the same thoughtful justice. Isaacson is a master of the form and this latest opus is at once arresting and wonderfully revelatory. --Anne Bartholomew
Every one of these books is very accessible to the non-scientist. They are written for the layperson. There are a few people who come into the story that someone with a science background will recognize but a fast Wiki search and *poof* you will know the person.

Last edited by snipenekkid; 02-24-2011 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:17 AM   #9
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I would like to nominate:

Remember Why You Play

One of the very few non-fiction books that I could finish. And while I'm not religious and this book does have religious overtones, the story that comes out of it goes far beyond that, and for me, kind of changed the way that I percieved things.

FROM B&N
Quote:
Quote:
If you enjoyed Friday Night Lights, this book is a must-read. Remember Why You Play documents the lives, struggles, and triumphs of the players and coaches of Faith Christian School in Grapevine, Texas.
Sports columnist and author David Thomas followed the team for a full season, recording a story that will inspire readers to understand that relationships are more important than winning.
One of the key events was a game that Faith Christian played against the Gainesville State Tornadoes, a school for convicted juvenile offenders. The story of this spectacular game is being made into a movie, titled One Heart, with an anticipated release in November 2010. Reminiscent of Hoosiers and Remember the Titans, this true story makes a strong statement about the impact of compassion and sportsmanship.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:06 AM   #10
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I would like to nominate Every Breath You Take by Ann Rule.

From Booklist:
Well-told true-crime stories, a category that Rule's book certainly falls into, tend to pull readers in hook, line, and sinker. Rule, who has written 16 best-sellers over the past quarter-century, once again gathers her considerable resources, this time, to deliver a troubling but absolutely riveting account of the recent and horrendous murder of a young wife and mother, Sheila Bellush. As astonishing as it sounds, Sheila told her sister, Kerry, that she was in fear for her life and if anything should happen to her, Kerry was to contact Rule; Sheila did not know the author, but she felt Rule would successfully and truthfully investigate her story and broadcast it to the world. The result is a sober, nonsensational account of Sheila's murder, the mind-boggling series of events preceding it, and the nail-biting sequence of twists and turns in the investigation of the crime and the eventual prosecution of her volatile, violent ex-husband. As usual, Rule excels at painting psychologically perceptive portraits of all the characters in this stranger-than-fiction but nevertheless real-life drama. Expect high demand from her many fans. Brad Hooper
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:21 AM   #11
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I would like to nominate:

Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life by Frances Mayes

For the lovers of Under the Tuscan Sun there is more!

as described in goodreads:

Frances Mayes offers her readers a deeply personal memoir of her present-day life in Tuscany, encompassing both the changes she has experienced since Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany appeared, and sensuous, evocative reflections on the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. Among the themes Mayes explores are how her experience of Tuscany dramatically expanded when she renovated and became a part-time resident of a 13th century house with a stone roof in the mountains above Cortona, how life in the mountains introduced her to a "wilder" side of Tuscany--and with it a lively engagement with Tuscany's mountain people. Throughout, she reveals the concrete joys of life in her adopted hill town, with particular attention to life in the piazza, the art of Luca Signorelli (Renaissance painter from Cortona), and the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden. Moving always toward a deeper engagement, Mayes writes of Tuscan icons that have become for her storehouses of memory, of crucible moments from which bigger ideas emerged, and of the writing life she has enjoyed in the room where Under the Tuscan Sun began.

With more on the pleasures of life at Bramasole, the delights and challenges of living in Italy day-to-day and favorite recipes, Every Day in Tuscany is a passionate and inviting account of the richness and complexity of Italian life.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #12
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I would like to nominate Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne

From my TBR list

From Amason:
The vast, semi-arid grasslands of the southern Great Plains could be dominated by hunters and warriors on horseback. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the Comanches, often referred to as “lords of the Plains,” were the single most powerful military force in the region, to the frustration of both the Mexican and U.S. governments. In this engrossing chronicle, award-winning journalist Gwynne traces the rise of the Comanche people from their roots as primitive bands of hunter-gatherers to their mastery of the horse and emergence as the feared power brokers of the area. At the center of the narrative is the charismatic Quanah Parker, who skillfully navigated the gaps between his traditional culture and the emerging, settled culture of the late-nineteenth century. Quanah was the son of a Comanche warrior and a woman named Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped at the age of nine and chose to stay with the Comanches. Quanah was a brilliant, feared war chief who guided his people in adapting to new realities after their final suppression by the U.S. Calvary. An outstanding addition to western-history collections. --Jay Freeman
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:08 AM   #13
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I would like to nominate Progress and Poverty by Henry George.

From Wikipedia:
Progress and Poverty was written by Henry George in 1879. The book is a treatise on the cyclical nature of an industrial economy and its remedies.
Progress and Poverty seeks to explain why poverty exists notwithstanding widespread advances in technology and even where there is a concentration of great wealth such as in cities.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:04 AM   #14
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I'd like to nominate The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. It is in the public domain.

The Wiki blurb:

The Worst Journey in the World is a memoir of the 1910-1913 British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott. It was written and published in 1922 by a survivor of the expedition, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, and has earned wide praise for its frank treatment of the difficulties of the expedition, the causes of its disastrous outcome, and the meaning (if any) of human suffering under extreme conditions.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:17 PM   #15
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This one sounds interesting, but I haven't been able to find it as an ebook... Is it available as such?
Hmmm. I was when I bought it, but that was from Fictionwise. I am not seeing it in ebook now at Kobo or Amazon, so I withdraw the nomination.
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