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Better than Oprah - it's the Zevonian Book Club Discussion Group. What's on YOUR bookshelf?
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Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:16 pm

With a drawing of RAT!! (probably because nobody can read his autograph)

You're welcome.

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:52 am

I just read two very depressing books - Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman - the true story of Huguette M. Clark, her money, & her weirdness. She owned several mansions/apartments in NYC & elsewhere and yet, perfectly healthy, lived the last 20 years of her life in a hospital. (?) She died just short of her 105th B'day in 2011. Her dad made the family fortune in copper mining in Montana.

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink - a most harrowing story of what happened at Memorial Medical Center (formerly Baptist Hosp.) in NOLA during Katrina. OMG - they actually killed patients instead of evacuating them. Again, it's a true story.

Now I'm reading an early Tony Hillerman - A Dark Wind. This is kind of depressing, too. I need to put this down & pick up one of my Hiaasen's & re-read it. Or get another Pearls Before Swine Treasury - I swear, Pastis' comments are funnier than the strips.

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:42 am

Earlier in the year, I heard a fascinating radio documentary about a lady known as 'The Baroness' - and so intriguing was the story that I went out and bought the book on which the radio show was based. I've just finished reading Hannah Rothschild's 'The Baroness: The Search for Nica, the Rebellious Rothschild' and I wasn't disappointed – it's a great story.

Born in London, Nica (short for Pannonica) grew up in a privileged family – Rothschild is the clue there – marries a French diplomat and has five children and looks to be settling into the life her family line demands until she hears jazz – and in particular, the music of Thelonius Monk. She effectively leaves her husband and children and moves to New York to become a patron to Monk, Charlie Parker and the others, where she becomes a well-known figure on the jazz scene – the 'be-bop baroness' - a white English woman in fur coat and pearls driving an old Bentley around the jazz clubs of Harlem.

The book is written by Nica's great-niece Hannah, who interviewed many of the jazz musicians that feature in the story, but despite being a relative, didn't always get the full co-operation of the family.

Definitely worth a look – or listen to the radio doc if it's still available online.

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:35 am

Thanks! It's checked in at my library, so I'll go fetch it this afternoon!

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:41 am

I'll be interested to hear what you think, Lucy...

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:40 am

I've been waiting a while (I started off at #126 n the queue) for the latest Connelly/Harry Bosch and it came in, so I set Nica down while I whipped through Bosch.

Back to Nica:
Oh, what's not to love? Page 3: [Ii]306 cats[/i]. hahahaha. Page 64: widow Emma kept the children in splendid isolation... Hmmm...where have I heard that before?

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Fri May 01, 2015 5:42 am

Ha, I missed that!
I love the way the most extraordinary situations are casually dismissed - Nica gets thrown her out of her hotel room - because Charlie Parker is found dead there - oh, well...

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Thu May 07, 2015 3:42 am

I was horrified by the treatment they got in Delaware. I'd love to be able to say that kind of behavior is history, but, jeez, we seem to be seeing it every day on the news. Cops beating up black guys just because. Disgraceful.

I also thought it was extremely sad that the funeral abandoned Nica & her broken-down-Bentley at the side of the road.

Netflix doesn't have the documentary "The Jazz Baroness" but it does have "Straight, No Chaser," so that's in my queue now.

THANKS for this. It was an interesting read.

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Thu May 07, 2015 6:04 am

Lucy wrote:I was horrified by the treatment they got in Delaware. I'd love to be able to say that kind of behavior is history, but, jeez, we seem to be seeing it every day on the news. Cops beating up black guys just because. Disgraceful.


You would think, and hope, that we would be further down the road by now - still a way to go on that front, sadly.

Glad you enjoyed the book, Lucy - it sounds as though your local library is pretty comprehensive!

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:41 am

I'm not sure where I head about this book, but I never even put it on my list - I went straight to requesting it from the library and was up til 2 AM reading it yesterday...
The Art of Racing in the Rain.

http://www.garthstein.com/works/the-art ... -the-rain/

Could NOT stop reading it.

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:08 am

I am currently 'Lost in a Good Book' in more ways than one - and not even the engaging Thursday Next can jump in and get me out.

Thank you Charlene, for helping me into the wacky world of Jasper Fforde - here's to you...

Re: What's Currently on Your Nightstand?

Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:25 am

Last few months I have been going through first The Maritan by Any Weir and now Dictator by Robert Harris. I actually read Weir's old web comic Casey and Andy back in the day, back when his most famous accomplishment was working as a supplemental coder on WarCraft II. Seeing that he had now had a book made into a movie by Ridley Scott was a bit of a shock I have to admit, particularly since half of his old news posts were him bitching about how hard it is to get published. As for the book, well, its good ideas make up for his deficiencies as a writer, but hopefully having a proper editor for his next book will improve his craftsmanship. Oh, and better than the movie, naturally.

Dictator is set in the dying days of the Roman Republic, chronicling the life of Marcus Tullius Cicero from the perspective of his slave born secretary Tiro. It is a re-imagining of a lost history actually written by Tiro and cited by historians like Plutarch as one of the definitive pieces for the late Republican period. Currently just before the conflict between Mark Anthony and Octavian following Caesar's assassination. The book is quite good, although looking into the actual history can show that its depiction of Cicero is very much through rose tinted glasses, but the actual document the book is trying to replicate was probably similarly biased. Overall I have quite enjoyed it. Even thinking of naming our new bull Pompey. :P
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