Help us select the next book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for November, 2017.
The nominations will run through midnight EST October 26 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.
The book selection category for November is History.
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) The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 by Ian Kershaw Goodreads | Amazon US / Kobo Print Length: 596 pages
From the preeminent Hitler biographer, a fascinating and original exploration of how the Third Reich was willing and able to fight to the bitter end of World War II
Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost the Second World War, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital questions of how and why the Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Drawing on prodigious new research, Ian Kershaw, an award-winning historian and the author of Fateful Choices, explores these fascinating questions in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the death of Adolf Hitler and the German capitulation in 1945. The End paints a harrowing yet enthralling portrait of the Third Reich in its last desperate gasps.
A thrilling, cinematic account of the siege of Malta as it's never been told before.
Suleiman the Magnificent, the most powerful ruler in the world, was determined to conquer Europe. Only one thing stood in his way: a dot of an island in the Mediterranean called Malta, occupied by the Knights of St. John, the cream of the warriors of the Holy Roman Empire. A clash of civilizations the likes of which had not been seen since Persia invaded Greece was shaping up. Determined to capture Malta and use its port to launch operations against Europe, Suleiman sent an armada and an overwhelming army. A few thousand defenders in Fort St. Elmo fought to the last man, enduring cruel hardships. When they captured the fort, the Turks took no prisoners and mutilated the defenders’ bodies. Grand Master La Vallette of the Knights reciprocated by decapitating his Turkish prisoners and using their heads to cannonade the enemy. Then the battle for Malta began in earnest: no quarter asked, none given.
The Great Siege recalls a clash of civilizations, the likes of which had not been seen since the time of Alexander the Great. This detailed and accessible narrative will delight readers of history as well as fans of films such as Braveheart and Ben Hur.
(3) One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson Goodreads Print Length: 528 pages
In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.
The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet.
Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history.
In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation.
Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record.
The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption.
The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry.
The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.
All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.
(4) Wounded: A New History of the Western Front in World War I by Emily Mayhew Goodreads Print Length: N/A pages
The number of soldiers wounded in World War I is, in itself, devastating: over 21 million military wounded, and nearly 10 million killed. On the battlefield, the injuries were shocking, unlike anything those in the medical field had ever witnessed. The bullets hit fast and hard, went deep, and took bits of dirty uniform and airborne soil particles in with them. Soldier after soldier came in with the most dreaded kinds of casualty: awful, deep, ragged wounds to their heads, faces, and abdomens. And yet the medical personnel faced with these unimaginable injuries adapted with amazing aptitude, thinking and reacting on their feet to save millions of lives.
In Wounded, Emily Mayhew tells the history of the Western Front from a new perspective: the medical network that arose seemingly overnight to help sick and injured soldiers. These men and women pulled injured troops from the hellscape of trench, shell crater, and no man's land, transported them to the rear, and treated them for everything from foot rot to poison gas, venereal disease to traumatic amputation from exploding shells. Drawing on hundreds of letters and diary entries, Mayhew allows listeners to peer over the shoulder of the stretcher bearer who jumped into a trench and tried unsuccessfully to get a tightly packed line of soldiers out of the way, only to find that they were all dead. She takes us into dugouts where rescue teams awoke to dirt thrown on their faces by scores of terrified moles, digging frantically to escape the earth-shaking shellfire. Mayhew moves her account along the route followed by wounded men, from stretcher to aid station, from jolting ambulance to crowded operating tent, from railway station to the ship home, exploring actual cases of casualties who recorded their experiences. Both comprehensive and intimate, this groundbreaking book captures an often neglected aspect of the soldier's world and a transformative moment in military and medical history.
(5) The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home by Denise Kiernan Goodreads | Overdrive Print Length: 384 pages
The fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.
The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.
Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House.
Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy.
The Last Castle is the unique American story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.
(6) The Soul of A New Machine by Tracy Kidder Goodreads | Amazon US Print Length: 297 pages
Computers have changed since 1981, when Tracy Kidder memorably recorded the drama, comedy, and excitement of one companys efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations. The Soul of a New Machine is an essential chapter in the history of the machine that revolutionized the world in the twentieth century.
In this compelling, powerful book, highly respected writer and commentator Jack Holland sets out to answer a daunting question: how do you explain the oppression and brutalization of half the world's population by the other half, throughout history?
The result takes the reader on an eye-opening journey through centuries, continents and civilizations as it looks at both historical and contemporary attitudes to women. Encompassing the Church, witch hunts, sexual theory, Nazism and pro-life campaigners, we arrive at today's developing world, where women are increasingly and disproportionately at risk because of radicalised religious belief, famine, war and disease. Well-informed and researched, highly readable and thought-provoking, this is no outmoded feminist polemic: it's a refreshingly straightforward investigation into an ancient, pervasive and enduring injustice. It deals with the fundamentals of human existence -- sex, love, violence -- that have shaped the lives of humans throughout history.
The answer? It's time to recognize that the treatment of women amounts to nothing less than an abuse of human rights on an unthinkable scale. A Brief History of Misogyny is an important and timely book that will make a long-lasting contribution to the efforts to improve those rights throughout the world.
'Anne Enright is a dazzling writer of international stature and one of Ireland’s most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering, a moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family and a shot of fresh blood into the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with the shock of the new.
The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him—something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light. The Gathering is a daring, witty, and insightful family epic, clarified through Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is a novel about love and disappointment, about how memories warp and secrets fester, and how fate is written in the body, not in the stars.'
The Gathering is the winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize and was chosen unanimously by the jury.
This is the MR Literary Club selection for October 2017. Whether you've already read it or would like to, feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time, and guests are always welcome! So, what are your thoughts on it?
Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read in October 2017!
The options this month are courtesy of our rotating nominator, Bookworm_Girl.
Voting will run for four days. The vote will close exactly four days from this ; even if the final tally doesn't occur immediately after voting closes, no votes made after that time will count.
Votes will be made by post. Each person has SEVEN votes to use.
You may give each nominee one or two (or no) votes. You may vote all at once in one or vote in separate at different times, so long as you have more votes remaining to cast. You may use any number of your possible votes up to the maximum. Any extraneous votes per person (past their maximum or more than two for one nominee) won't count. Votes cannot be changed once they are cast.
The rotating nominator may not vote. Once voting is complete, the count will be tallied and a winner declared. In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day run-off vote, also in this thread. If the run-off also ends in a tie, then the tie will be resolved by the nominator.
We hope that you will read the selection with the club and join in the discussion.
Initial voting is closed. Run-off voting is closed. Final results-
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry Post / Goodreads / 259 Pages / Votes- 4 / Run-off- 1
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey Post / Goodreads / 386 Pages / Votes- 3
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes Post / Goodreads / 445 Pages / Votes- 4 / Run-off- 1
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith Post / Goodreads / 374 Pages / Votes- 0
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain Post / Goodreads / 241 Pages / Votes- 0
The Gathering by Anne Enright Post / Goodreads / 261 Pages / Votes- 4 / Run-off- 2
Transatlantic by Colum McCann Post / Goodreads / 304 Pages / Votes- 2
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford Post / Goodreads / 344 Pages / Votes- 3