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Eagle Harbor Book Group, 2018

Welcome to the web site for the Eagle Harbor Book Group. This site is designed to allow members a chance to nominate books for discussion, display the current voting status of books once voting opens, and to list the schedule of books and locations once the voting closes. The appearance of this page will change as readers nominate books, vote, and a schedule is created with the most current activity appearing near the top of the page.

The menu at the top allows members to review the books discussed in past seasons so that they can recall what was discussed and when as well as to review books that were nominated but not discussed. You can use this 'past years' menu to see what we discussed last summer, who lead the discussions, etc.

Books, Refreshments, and Meeting Schedule, Summer 2018

Voting 2018
The polls will open on April 6, 2018 and will close at midnight, eastern standard time (as listed on your email) on April 16, 2018. Here are the votes for the 23 voters we have as voting closed.

Books Suggested for 2018
Votes Book
15 Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, suggested by Jean Ryan
10 The Klondike Fever, suggested by David Owens
10 Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky Industry-Changing Egg Farm from Scratch, suggested by Ellie Dahlstrom
9 Small Great Things, suggested by Mary Beyers
8 Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World, suggested by Ruth Mohr
5 The Enchanted April, suggested by Leslie DuTemple
4 Lincoln in the Bardo, suggested by Patricia Van Pelt
4 Homegoing, suggested by Jo Jo Bollinger
4 The Elephant's Journey, suggested by Sue Church
3 Waiting for Snow in Havana, suggested by Leslie DuTemple
3 Teaching the Trees:Lessons from the Forest suggested by Bonnie Hay
3 Prague Winter , suggested by Sue Church
2 Death and Life of the Great Lakes, suggested by Carl Kikuchi
1 Hamilton, suggested by Sue Church

 

 

Nominations/Discussion for 2018

This list appears in the sequence in which I receive the nominations. Thus the first nomination will appear at the bottom of the list and the last nomination received at the top. Nominations will be accepted from March 19 through April 4, 2018. JoJo's email of 3-18-2018 had some suggested guidelines, including:

Please send your nominations to Larry Molloy at ljmolloy@ameritech.net .

Here are the books that have been nominated for this summer's readings:

4-2-2018 It must have been the chocolate the Easter Bunny left behind or perhaps JoJo's email but something spurred several nominations over the past two days:

On April 4, 2018 Mary Beyers suggested that we read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Mary wrote "She's one of my favorite authors who is excellent at character development and whose stories revolve around important social issues. This book's main character is a well educated African American nurse working in a hospital and trying to raise her son alone, hoping he can become all he can be regardless of race. Her experience with prejudice in everyday situations resonates with today's racial issues and was very thought provoking."

On April 4, 2018 Ruth Mohr nominated Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World by Nancy Langston (2017). Langston is professor of environmental history at Michigan Tech and lives in the Keweenaw Peninsula. This is a fascinating and important look at the Big Lake that is so much a part of all our lives. Langston starts by painting a picture of drinking her morning coffee on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior accompanied by a pileated woodpecker, bald eagles, and eight young loons paddling by. She then reminds us that by the 1960s, the lake was at a tipping point, with the possibility of irreversible pollution – and then how to everyone’s great surprise, Lake Superior made significant recoveries (essentially in our lifetimes). The book she writes offers a rich portrait of the (our) Lake’s environmental and social history and asks what lessons we should take from its recovery and rebirth from the resource extraction and industrial exploitation that caused nearly irreversible degradation, even as this extraordinary lake today faces new environmental threats. In her conclusion, she reminds us that “One lesson from history is that people, fish, and wildlife are deeply interconnected in the Lake Superior basin.” 235 pages + 40 pages of notes. (If we vote to discuss this book, perhaps we could invite her to be part of that meeting? It would be a neighborly thing to do, yes?)

On April 2, 2018 Ellie Dahlstrom came up with another of her suggestins that adds a different look at life. She's suggested we read Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky Industry-Changing Egg Farm from Scratch by Lucie B. Amundson From Amazon: " How a Midwestern family with no agricultural experience went from a few backyard chickens to a full fledged farm and discovered why local chicks are better." Their farm won a contest to have a commercial during a Super Bowl. It is a true story of their struggles to keep the livestock alive told with a great deal of humor. Still does not answer the question of which came first: The Chicken or the Egg. 317 pages.

On April 2, 2018 Bonnie Hay suggested we read Teaching the Trees:Lessons from the Forest by Joan Maloof (paperback 156 pages). Maloof is a forest scientist, nature writer, and founder and director of the Old-Growth Forest Network. Each chapter features a different tree species and and illustrates that tree's place in the intricate web of life around it. This is natural history and ecology for scientist and layperson alike. The engaging storytelling style makes it an enjoyable read.

On April 2, Jean Ryan recommended that we read Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. (Jean also sent a list of books for the "I've been reading' page) I found the following summary of this NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   -  NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST  on Amazon.com: In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
            Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. 
            As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

On April 1, 2018 David Ownens suggested we read The Klondike Fever, Pierre Berton, 1958, Alfred Knopf Publ., 445 pgs. One of the best books I have ever read. I bought it in Skagway around 1970. When gold was discovered in the Klondike in 1897, the country went crazy. (Much of the world too.) People with no conception of the difficulty and distance of the trip set out by all kinds of horrendous routes and by various conveyances. People tried to take boats UP the Yukon River 1700 miles, got stuck in the ice and nearly starved. Meanwhile, Dawson ran out of food, and the people nearly starved. This gave rise to the odd sight of people rushing off the boat thinking "Thank God I've made it to Dawson", while observing the locals rushing ONTO the boat thinking "Thank God I can get out of Dawson"! The only practical route was over the daunting Chilkoot Pass, which Ruth and I hiked years ago. (But in the SUMMER!) An absolutely fascinating story. Be advised that Berton also wrote a book called just "Klondike", which looks similar, but I haven't read it.

On April 1, 2018 Leslie DuTemple sent in two suggestions:
Waiting for Snow in Havana, by Carlos Eire. A memoir written by one of the 14,000 children evacuated to Miami when Castro came to power. Beautifully written in a unique style, an interesting slice of life before Castro’s coup. From being the son of a judge under Batista, he ended up in orphanages and foster homes in the U.S. because Castro, having said he would, did not allow the parents out once they sent off their children. Despite the subject matter and potential to dwell on the negative, the book is not doom & gloom. The author is now a professor at Yale.

The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim. A short and charming novel about 4 English women who pool their money and rent a castle in Italy for the month of April. Excellent characterization, written with a subtle and wry sense of humor. Written in the 1920s, the book is still very readable today, plus, the author led a rather amazing life, penning dozens of books and turning her life - from her first husband (a Prussian count whom she referred to as “The Man of Wrath”), to being the mistress of H.G. Wells - into print.

On March 28, 2018 one of our 'long-distance" members, Patricia Van Pelt, suggested that we read Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (it is in paper) A brilliant approach to an historical moment, mind stretching, deep, a gift of generosity, a reminder of true humanism, magnificent. A work of art! We live next to a large cemetery and I will never look at it again in the same way!!!

On March 24, 2018 Sue Church suggested that we read the following: The Elephant's Journey author Saramago...The NY Times gives a good review. This is a small, delightful book of an incident in history where an Elephant presently living at court in Portugal in the 1500'ds is sent to Austria to be a gift to the recently married royal. A nice relief from too many doom'n'gloom books that one might have been reading! True story lovingly told.

Hamilton author Ron Chernow A large book, a page turner, the basis for the hit Musical on Broadway currently... An exciting history, the exciting story of a lesser known (perhaps?) American revolutionary and founding father, and a real feel for the times lived in and the life he lived.

Prague Winter author Madeline Albright A fascinating biographywhich avoids writing a horror show that she could have written and tells her story so we know this woman and the times she lived in, the connections between the countries and people,and focusing on the year before and through the second world war.

March 20, 2018, Carl Kikuchi suggested that we read Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan.  Very interesting account of the mess we have made of the ecosystems in the Great Lakes, starting with sea lampreys and on through zebra mussels and Asian carp.  Egan is a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, so the reading is straightforward, and he manages to pick out some reasons to be hopeful for the future.   

Also on Mach 20, 2018, Jo Jo Bollinger recommended that we read  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. 2017 Paperback. The novel begins in eighteenth-century Ghana: Two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One marries an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the Cape Coast Castle. The other is captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery. The powerful narrative follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, to the Civil War and Jazz Age Harlem. Sounds as if it should be 1000 pages but is only 320. Too many awards to mention!

 

Winter Notes, 2017-2018

December 11, 2018: We've opened up the "I've Been Reading" discussion board for the 2017-2018 season. Paul Freshwater submitted the first book idea. I'll add them in the order they are received so that the most recent will appear first. The suggestions are all listed on the "I've Been Reading" section of the mater menu at the top of each page.