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View Poll Results: March 2011 Mobile Read Book Club Vote
Tunnel People by Teun Voeten 8 12.70%
Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard 5 7.94%
Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne 2 3.17%
Progress and Poverty by Henry George 2 3.17%
Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton 11 17.46%
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 15 23.81%
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand 10 15.87%
Nobility of Spirit: A Forgotten Ideal by Rob Riemen 2 3.17%
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff 8 12.70%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-02-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
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March 2011 Mobile Read Book Club Vote

Help up choose a book as the March 2011 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. We will start the discussion thread for this book on April 20th. Select from the following books.


* [3] Tunnel People by Teun Voeten [lene1949, lila55, nimblem]
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Spoiler:
From Amazon:
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


* [3] Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard [snipenekkid, sun surfer, seagull]
Inkmesh search May not be available internationally
Spoiler:
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.



* [3] Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne [voodooblues, WT Sharpe, obs20]
Inkmesh search May not be available internationally
Spoiler:
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


* [3] Progress and Poverty by Henry George [VioletVal, WT Sharpe, beppe]
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Spoiler:
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.


* [3] - Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton [GA Russell, issybird, jgaiser]
Free in MR Library - upload by Patricia Clark | mobi/PRC | lrf | LIT | IMP | ePub upload by weatherwax | Also @ Project Gutenberg
Spoiler:
Chesterton wrote a book called Heretics. He was criticized for attacking the ideas of others without stating what his own beliefs were. So he wrote Orthodoxy in response.

What I found particularly interesting was that the ideas he was confronting a hundred years ago are alive and well, and perhaps more influential, today.


* [3] The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin [VioletVal, Hamlet53, jgaiser]
Free in the MR Library - uploaded by RWood - Eliot, Charles W. (editor), Harvard Classics 01: Franklin/Woolman/Penn mobi/PRC | IMP | lrf
Spoiler:

Every series has to start somewhere. For this series it is with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Perhaps one of the greatest US autobiographies ever written. I have read it too many times to count. There are not graphics in this version, there is stand alone version that has many graphics in it.

The Journal of John Woolman, also available as a stand alone version, is the account of an early Quaker and his journey to see the evils of slavery many years before the Civil War.

Some Fruits of Solitude by William Penn is a mine of pithy comment upon human life, which combines with the acute common sense of Franklin the spiritual elevation of Woolman.

Free in the MR Library uploaded by weatherwax ePub
Spoiler:
From Wikipedia:
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the traditional name for the unfinished record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790; however, Franklin himself appears to have called the work his Memoirs. Although it had a tortuous publication history after Franklin's death, this work has become one of the most famous and influential examples of autobiography ever written.



* [3] Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand [edbro, JSWolf, JaneD]
Inkmesh search May not be available internationally
Spoiler:
From Amazon:
From the 1936 Olympics to WWII Japan's most brutal POW camps, Hillenbrand's heart-wrenching new book is thousands of miles and a world away from the racing circuit of her bestselling Seabiscuit. But it's just as much a page-turner, and its hero, Louie Zamperini, is just as loveable: a disciplined champion racer who ran in the Berlin Olympics, he's a wit, a prankster, and a reformed juvenile delinquent who put his thieving skills to good use in the POW camps, In other words, Louie is a total charmer, a lover of life--whose will to live is cruelly tested when he becomes an Army Air Corps bombardier in 1941. The young Italian-American from Torrance, Calif., was expected to be the first to run a four-minute mile. After an astonishing but losing race at the 1936 Olympics, Louie was hoping for gold in the 1940 games. But war ended those dreams forever. In May 1943 his B-24 crashed into the Pacific. After a record-breaking 47 days adrift on a shark-encircled life raft with his pal and pilot, Russell Allen "Phil" Phillips, they were captured by the Japanese. In the "theater of cruelty" that was the Japanese POW camp network, Louie landed in the cruelest theaters of all: Omori and Naoetsu, under the control of Corp. Mutsuhiro Watanabe, a pathologically brutal sadist (called the Bird by camp inmates) who never killed his victims outright--his pleasure came from their slow, unending torment. After one beating, as Watanabe left Louie's cell, Louie saw on his face a "soft languor.... It was an expression of sexual rapture." And Louie, with his defiant and unbreakable spirit, was Watanabe's victim of choice. By war's end, Louie was near death. When Naoetsu was liberated in mid-August 1945, a depleted Louie's only thought was "I'm free! I'm free! I'm free!" But as Hillenbrand shows, Louie was not yet free. Even as, returning stateside, he impulsively married the beautiful Cynthia Applewhite and tried to build a life, Louie remained in the Bird's clutches, haunted in his dreams, drinking to forget, and obsessed with vengeance. In one of several sections where Hillenbrand steps back for a larger view, she writes movingly of the thousands of postwar Pacific PTSD sufferers. With no help for their as yet unrecognized illness, Hillenbrand says, "there was no one right way to peace; each man had to find his own path...." The book's final section is the story of how, with Cynthia's help, Louie found his path. It is impossible to condense the rich, granular detail of Hillenbrand's narrative of the atrocities committed (one man was exhibited naked in a Tokyo zoo for the Japanese to "gawk at his filthy, sore-encrusted body") against American POWs in Japan, and the courage of Louie and his fellow POWs, who made attempts on Watanabe's life, committed sabotage, and risked their own lives to save others. Hillenbrand's triumph is that in telling Louie's story (he's now in his 90s), she tells the stories of thousands whose suffering has been mostly forgotten. She restores to our collective memory this tale of heroism, cruelty, life, death, joy, suffering, remorselessness, and redemption.


* [3] Nobility of Spirit: A Forgotten Ideal by Rob Riemen [beppe, Latinandgreek, SameOldStory]
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Spoiler:
"Written with such elegance, erudition and skill, a singular reflection of fundamental problems, virtues and vices, of our time."-Ivan Klima (Ivan Klima 20081022) "Rob Riemen's essays spring from a deep and firm conviction-they are like water from artesian wells and this is, I think, the main reason why they are so important and refreshing."-Adam Zagajewski (Adam Zagajewski ) "The author's … more »vast cultural knowledge, his firm commitment to liberal ideals and the agility of his pen make these essays an invaluable guide to orient us amid the great political and cultural problems-and the ideological confusions-of the world in which we live."-Mario Vargas Llosa (Mario Vargas Llosa ) "Rob Riemen has written a rare and much needed book, one which we appreciate not because we necessarily agree with its views, but for its commitment to ideas and its passion for imagination. It is a timely reminder of how imaginative knowledge can become a way of questioning, connecting to and changing the world as well as ourselves."-Azar Nafisi (Azar Nafisi ) "Mr. Riemen's Nobility of Spirit is intended as a meditation on the forces that threaten civilization and, no less important, on the forces that are desperately needed to sustain it."-Darrin M. McMahon, Wall Street Journal (Darrin M. McMahon Wall Street Journal ) "Agree or disagree with Riemen's profound, ambitious and high-minded plea, you will be thinking about his words for a long time. It's been ages since a work of non-fiction moved us this way. Read it."-The Elegant Variation (Blog) ( The Elegant Variation (Blog) ) In the pages of this slim, powerful book Rob Riemen argues with passion that “nobility of spirit” is the quintessence of a civilized world. It is, as Thomas Mann believed, the sole corrective for human history. Without nobility of spirit, culture vanishes. Yet in the early twenty-first century, a time when human dignity and freedom are imperiled, the concept of nobility of spirit is scarcely considered. Riemen insists that if we hope to move beyond the war on terror and create a life-affirming culture, we must address timeless but neglected questions: What is a good society? Why art? Why culture? What is the responsibility of intellectuals? Why anti-Americanism? Why nihilism? Why the cult of death of fundamentalists? In a series of three essays, the author identifies nobility of spirit in the life and work of Baruch Spinoza and of Thomas Mann; explores the quest for the good society in our own time; and addresses the pursuit of truth and freedom that engaged figures as disparate as Socrates and Leone Ginzburg, a Jewish Italian intellectual murdered by Nazis. “The forces now aligned against humanistic values are manifold,” observes George Steiner in the foreword to the book. In this imaginative and compelling volume, Riemen addresses these forces and speaks to every reader who believes in the power of classical ideas to restore Western civilization’s highest values. (20080610) (from Amazon.com)



* [3] Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff [JaneD, voodoo_pepperweb, Latinandgreek]
Inkmesh search May not be available internationally
Spoiler:
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra the last queen of Egypt. Her palace shimmered with onyx garnets and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. Though her life spanned fewer than forty years it reshaped the … more »contours of the ancient world. She was married twice each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen however to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and--after his murder--three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since. Famous long before she was notorious Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo Tiepolo and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way Cleopatra's supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail epic in scope Schiff 's is a luminous deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life. (from Kobo)
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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Even though it probably won't win, "Progress and Poverty" is a public domain book and can be downloaded as a PDF at http://www.henrygeorge.org/pcontents.htm . I have the PDF on my Kindle. It has a decent sized font so it shouldn't be a problem for most people to read it on their readers. It doesn't have any hyperlinks, but the dictionary lookup and notetaking work on it.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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As I mentioned in the other thread, Progress and Poverty is also available at the Online Library of Liberty and at the Google eBookstore. Both sites have epub and PDF versions, and the OLL also has HTML versions.

Here are the links:

http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php....php&title=328

http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=Cj...utput=acs_help
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:36 AM   #4
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I'm torn on whether or not to vote this month. On the one hand, I am very interested in the book I would choose, but on the other, I'm already reading 2 other books. Plus, I have at least two more I'm dying to get to, therefore, leaving little to no time for this month's selection.

I think I'll vote, as a JIC, and then see what happens.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:02 AM   #5
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Go for The Tunnel People.. At least that's available for people outside USA...
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:13 PM   #6
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I dont believe that I will vote either. I want to read them all, except the Ben Franklin book. About a year or so ago, I read either this or another recent bio of him. Very complicated man, lots of surprises to me.

I recommend it, but just personally don't need to read another bio of him.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:19 AM   #7
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Wow an author that shares my fairly rare surname......oops sorry OT!
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lene1949 View Post
Go for The Tunnel People.. At least that's available for people outside USA...
but is it available in Swahili? Same logic just teasing because I don't like the politicking in a vote thread. No single choice will make everyone happy.

If the book you want is not selected no reason not to startup a thread dedicated to that book for this month. It's not a measuring stick here to see whose is bigger, the idea is just to read something and given the wide range of great titles this time around, I'm pretty sure others would be more than happy to participate in a thread for any of the unselected titles even titles which are not in the pole but were recommended.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:29 AM   #9
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Go for Unbroken. It's supposed to be a really good book. I voted for it.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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The voting seems pretty comptitive thi time. No clear runaway yet. I like that tension.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by snipenekkid View Post
but is it available in Swahili? Same logic just teasing because I don't like the politicking in a vote thread. No single choice will make everyone happy.

If the book you want is not selected no reason not to startup a thread dedicated to that book for this month. It's not a measuring stick here to see whose is bigger, the idea is just to read something and given the wide range of great titles this time around, I'm pretty sure others would be more than happy to participate in a thread for any of the unselected titles even titles which are not in the pole but were recommended.



I already put a hold on American Prometheus (didn't make the final cut) at my local library. Cleopatra: A Life is on my to do list as well. That and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is already loaded onto my Sony reader. One can never read too many books.

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Old 03-04-2011, 11:12 AM   #12
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I think you'll enjoy American Prometheus. It's a very nice read. I am actually addicted to biographies of all the great minds of that era. The other title I recommened about Einstein was one of the best on him I've read to date. But American Prometheus has sort of a "Beautiful Mind" insight into what made Oppie, well, Oppie.

I too have added Cleopatra to my list. That is a book I might never have come across and I look forward to eventually reading it as well. I've started The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin several times and never stayed with it. It's not because it's poorly written or anything like that, just I really was in the mood for something different every time I've begun the thing. By all accounts it's a interesting read.

OT WARNING: If you end up enjoying American Prometheus there is another book that is really about the Institute for Advanced Studies in NJ but is titled "Who Got Einstein's Office" that's really a nice read. The first half really is about good old Albert but the second half is more about the Institute, it's internal politics (and there are ALWAYS politics in education and science) and it's evolution away from the pure sciences and into some experimental/applied stuff. But most of all it's a book about an institution which really gets no mention at all outside academia but has contributed an amazing amount to human knowledge over the decades it's been around. A funny part was as the place is supposed to be just for pure science, meaning theory only nothing applied, then should computers be allowed? And believe it or not, a compelling argument exists in both directions. Oh, if you watch the movie loosely involving Einstein called I.Q. the institute would have been The Institute for Advanced Studies but at that time they would NEVER would have allowed an experimental lab such as the psychology lab shown in the movie.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:47 PM   #13
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This month's list are all very interesting. Whatever the results of the vote, I'll be probably be adding a number of them to my reading list. I'm currently working my way through one of the most hefty (over 500 pages on my iPad at smallest font) non-fictions I've read in a while, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Need to finish it before I start this month's book.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
John F
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Vote for Orthodoxy. We can start a nice discussion and have it locked by the second page.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:18 PM   #15
JSWolf
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Just a quick note:

Unbroken is available at Waterstones in the UK. So no reason for those of you in the UK not to vote for it.
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