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Old 07-01-2018, 07:48 AM   #1
issybird
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Nominations for August 2018 What is It Good for? Absolutely Nothin': War


Happy Canada Day to our Canadian members!

Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for August 2018. The theme is What is It Good for? Absolutely Nothin': War

This year is the centenary of the Armistice that ended the war to end all wars. To quote Pete Seeger, "When will they ever learn?" But the topic is wide-ranging as usual; people can make of it what they will. Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, July 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on August 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the July selection, Dandelion Wine, on July 15.

Any questions? See below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara [bfisher, Bookpossum, issybird]
Amazon US $7.99 | Kobo CA $8.99 | Kobo UK 4.79 | Kobo AU $8.13 | OverDrive
Spoiler:
Quote:
In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fought for two dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty were also the casualties of war. The Killer Angels is unique, sweeping, unforgettable—a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny.
345 pages

One of Ours by Willa Cather [astrangerhere, bfisher, Dazrin]
Gutenberg free | LibriVox free
Spoiler:
Quote:
One of Ours is Willa Cather's 1923 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the making of an American soldier. Claude Wheeler, the sensitive but aspiring protagonist, has ready access to his family's fortune but refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his uncaring father and pious mother, and rejected by a wife whose only love is missionary work, Claude is an idealist without ideals to cling to. Only when his country enters the Great War does he find the meaning of his life.
250 pages

Station X: The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park or The Secrets of Station X by Michael Smith [Bookpossum, CRussel, Dazrin]
Amazon US $7.99 | Amazon AU $8.55 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo US $10.59 | Kobo AU $12.31
Spoiler:
Quote:
A melting pot of Oxbridge dons, maverick oddballs and more regular citizens worked night and day at Station X, as Bletchley Park was known, to derive intelligence information from German coded messages. Bear in mind that an Enigma machine had a possible 159 million million million different settings and the magnitude of the challenge becomes apparent. That they succeeded, despite military scepticism, supplying information that led to the sinking of the Bismarck, Montgomery's victory in North Africa and the D-Day landings, is testament to an indomitable spirit that wrenched British intelligence into the modern age, as the Second World War segued into the Cold War. Michael Smith constructs his absorbing narrative around the reminiscences of those who worked and played at Bletchley Park, and their stories add a very human colour to their cerebral activity. The code breakers of Station X did not win the war but they undoubtedly shortened it, and the lives saved on both sides stand as their greatest achievement.
240 pages

The Great Halifax Explosion by John U. Bacon [CRussel, astrangerhere, gmw]
AmazonUS: $14.99 | AmazonCA: $12.74 | AmazonAU: $14.99 | AmazonUK: 0.00 | Overdrive: (ebook) (audiobook)
Spoiler:
Quote:
After steaming out of New York City on December 1, 1917, laden with a staggering three thousand tons of TNT and other explosives, the munitions ship Mont-Blanc fought its way up the Atlantic coast, through waters prowled by enemy U-boats. As it approached the lively port city of Halifax, Mont-Blanc's deadly cargo erupted with the force of 2.9 kilotons of TNT—the most powerful explosion ever visited on a human population, save for HIroshima and Nagasaki. Mont-Blanc was vaporized in one fifteenth of a second; a shockwave leveled the surrounding city. Next came a thirty-five-foot tsunami. Most astounding of all, however, were the incredible tales of survival and heroism that soon emerged from the rubble.

This is the unforgettable story told in John U. Bacon's The Great Halifax Explosion: a ticktock account of fateful decisions that led to doom, the human faces of the blast's 11,000 casualties, and the equally moving individual stories of those who lived and selflessly threw themselves into urgent rescue work that saved thousands.

The shocking scale of the disaster stunned the world, dominating global headlines even amid the calamity of the First World War. Hours after the blast, Boston sent trains and ships filled with doctors, medicine, and money. The explosion would revolutionize pediatric medicine; transform U.S.-Canadian relations; and provide physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who studied the Halifax explosion closely when developing the atomic bomb, with history's only real-world case study demonstrating the lethal power of a weapon of mass destruction.

Mesmerizing and inspiring, Bacon's deeply-researched narrative brings to life the tragedy, bravery, and surprising afterlife of one of the most dramatic events of modern times.
410 pages

And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alan Riding [issybird, Bookpossum, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon US $9.99 | Kobo UK 5.63 | Kobo AU $9.89 | OverDrive
Spoiler:
Quote:
In the weeks after the Germans captured Paris, theaters, opera houses, and nightclubs reopened to occupiers and French citizens alike, and they remained open for the duration of the war. Alan Riding introduces a pageant of twentieth-century artists who lived and worked under the Nazis and explores the decisions each made about whether to stay or flee, collaborate or resist.We see Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf singing before French and German audiences; Picasso painting and occasionally selling his work from his Left Bank apartment; and Marcel Carne and Henri-Georges Clouzot, among others, directing movies in Paris studios (more than two hundred were produced during this time). We see that pro-Fascist writers such as Louis-Ferdinand Celine and Robert Brasillach flourished, but also that Camus's The Stranger was published and Sartre's play No Exit was first performed-ten days before the Normandy landings.Based on exhaustive research and extensive interviews, And the Show Went On sheds a clarifying light on a protean and problematic era in twentieth-century European cultural history.
416 pages

Goodbye Sarajevo: A True Story of Courage, Love and Survival by Atka Reid and Hana Schofield [Bookworm_Girl, gmw, bfisher]
Amazon US $8.95 | Amazon UK 6.71 | Amazon CA $9.02 | Amazon AU $8.58 | Kobo, Overdrive, Scribd
Spoiler:
Quote:
May, 1992. Hana is twelve years old when she is put on one of the last UN evacuation buses fleeing the besieged city of Sarajevo. Her twenty-one-year-old sister, Atka, staying behind to look after their five younger siblings, is there to say goodbye. Thinking that they will be apart for only a few weeks, they make a promise to each other to be brave.

But as the Bosnian war escalates and months go by without contact, their promise to each other becomes deeply significant. Hana is forced to cope as a refugee in Croatia, far away from home and family, while Atka battles for survival in a city where snipers, mortar attacks and desperate food shortages are a part of everyday life. Their mother, working for a humanitarian aid organisation, is unable to reach them and their father retreats inside himself, shocked at what is happening to his city. In Sarajevo, death lurks in every corner and shakes the foundation of their existence. But when Atka finds work as a translator in an old, smoky radio station, and then with a photojournalist from New Zealand, life takes an unexpected turn, and the remarkable events that follow change her life, and those of her family, forever.
352 pages

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond [issybird, CRussel, Dngrsone]
Amazon US $9.18 | Amazon UK 7.99 | Amazon AU $4.99 | Amazon CA $14.15 | OverDrive
Spoiler:
Quote:
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed writing, technology, government, and organized religion—as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war—and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California's Gold Medal.
528 pages

The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts [Catlady, Bookworm_Girl, gmw]
Amazon US $13.99 | Amazon UK 8.99 | Amazon CA $13.99 | Amazon AU $9.99 | Kobo U.S. $13.99 | Kobo UK 11.03 | Kobo CA $13.99 | Kobo Au $9.99 | Overdrive, Scribd, Axis360, RB Digital
Spoiler:
Quote:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II

In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.

With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.

Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender.

A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.
368 pages

Last edited by issybird; 07-06-2018 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Through post #58
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