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Eagle Harbor Book Group, 2013

Recommendations from our 'Favorite Book Night', 2013

Posted 9-2-2013: The following list was compiled on July 28, 2013 by attendees at Eagle Harbor Book Groupʼs “Favorite Book Night”. Members and several guests shared titles and descriptions of books they have enjoyed. Most said that it was impossible to choose an all-time favorite but all had fun sharing some memorable selections from a lifetime of reading. They are listed in the order in which we went around the room, with the contributing memberʼs name following the title and author. If you would like a description, check Amazon, Google or contact the recommending member through Jo-Jo, who has all e-mail addresses.

Sabbathʼs Theater by Philip Roth; Sue Church

Copper Country Journal edited by Philip P. Mason; Larry Molloy

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa; Jack Marta

The Kindness of Strangers: Penniless across America by Mike McIntyre; Nancy Molloy

The Immigrants by Howard Fast; Ellie Dahlstrom

Caravans by James Michener; Ann Harding, Ellieʼs guest

Diary of an Isle Royale Schoolteacher by Dorothy Simonson; Sue Werner, Ellieʼs guest

The Klondike Fever by Pierre Berton; Dave Owens
The Dancing Man by Ruth Bornstein; Dave Owens

Willa Catherʼs body of work; Marcia Mason

The Two-Ocean War and others by Samuel Eliot Morison; Phil Mason

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; Kathy LaVanway
Kings of the Earth by John Clinch; Kathy LaVanway
Proof of Heaven by Evan Alexander; Kathy LaVanway

Defending Jacob by William Landay; Paul LaVanway
The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 by Rick Atkinson: Paul LaVanway

The Empathy Factor by Marie Miyashiro; Harlan Johnson (Petersonʼs guest)

The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods by Julia Butterfly Hill; (Petersonʼs guest)

A Conspiracy of Paper by Daniel List; Polly Peterson

The Farmerʼs Daughter by Jim Harrison; Jean Ryan

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel; Pat Ryan

Catʼs Eye by Margaret Atwood; Elaine Rysiewicz

Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee; Jo-Jo Bollinger

Beloved by Toni Morrison; Jo-Jo Bollin

Books, Refreshments, and Meeting Schedule, Summer 2013
7-11-2013: Here's the refreshment schedule for ths summer:
June 30: Jack and Louise Marta, Bonnie Hay
July 7th: Nancy and Larry Molloy, Clarice Ruppe, Jean Ryan
July 21: Sue Church, Mary Metler Thomas, Elaine Rysiewicz
July 28: Elaine Wildman, Kathy LaVanway...need one more
August 11: Mary Lou Lenz, Jo-Jo, Mary Strohl
August 18: (Poetry Night) Ellie Dahlstrom, Nancy Wakeman, and Pat Bjorseth
Sept. 8: ?????

Also, if anyone can host any of the remainng session please call Jo-Jo at 207-751-3364 or e-mail her at

4-30-2013: Here is the schedule of meeting dates, places, and topics for Summer, 2013. Jo-Jo will be sending an email asking for folks to volunteer for refreshments and to explain why some books seem back to back.
If you are like me, it's time to open a book and turn a few pages.

June 30: Rez Life..., Jack Marta leading. Jack and Louise Marta hosting
July 7: Windward Shore..., Pat Ryan leading. Community Building
July 21: The Boy Who Harnessed...., Bonnie Hay leading. Community Building
July 28: Favorite Book Night, Elaine Wildman leading. Community Building (OK, this does not have to be your all-time favorite book, just one of your favorites that you think others might like to read.)
August 11: Hotel on the Corner..., David Owens leading. Community Building
August 18th: Poetry Night. Community Building
September 8: Flight Behavior, Jo-Jo Bollinger leading. Community Building

Voting 2013

4-4-2013 - Nominations are closed and we have 20 candidates. Voting will begin on Friday, April 5, 2013 and should close on Saturday April 14, unless a run-off is necessary. Here are the nominations listed in alphabetical order. Remember that all the information about each book is found below on the page in the Nominations section. You can vote for up to six titles, including Kathy LaVanway's idea of a favorite book night. To vote send an email with up to six nominations to Nancy Molloy at We will update the voting grid periodically as votes come in to us. Larry

4-4-2013 Per an email from Joanne Bollinger the The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf was changed from a separate choice to a possible companion book to go with The Founding Gardners book.

4-16-2013 Here are the vote counts for the 27 people who have voted as of 8:30 A.M today. Stay tuned for some emails about what we do next.

4-17-2013 We have our six books and our discussion leaders! OK, make that 5 books and one "Favorite Book Night". I've marked the final six with an "*" in the table below. (JoJo thought we needed another fiction title and since we already had a leader for "Hotel" and none for "Founding Gardner" she skipped over "Founding Gardeners". Keep it in mind for next year.) We'll post the schedule of who, what, when and where later. Thanks to all of you for your votes. Nancy and Larry

Books Suggested for 2013
Votes Book
16* Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life , David Treuer, suggested and led by Jack Marta by Jack Marta
16* The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Energy and Hope, Michail Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, suggested and lead by by Bonnie Hay
16* Windward Shore, Jerry Dennis, suggested and led by Pat Ryan
11* My Favorite Book Night, suggested by Kathy LaVanway
10* Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver, suggested by Marcia Mason and led by Joanne Bollinger
10 Founding Gardeners -- The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation, Andrea Wulf, suggested and led by Joanne Bollinger . Joanne also recommened The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf as a possible companion book.
9* Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford, suggested by Nancy Molloy and led by David Owens
9 Last Runaway, Tracey Chevalier, suggested by Mary Strohl
9 The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, Jan Sendker, suggested by Lesley DuTemple
8 Magnetic North, Sara Wheeler, suggested by Lesley DuTemple and led by Ruth Mohr
7 Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Mario Vargas Llosa, suggested by Lesley DuTemple
6 Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes, by Sue Church of Copper Harbor
4 The American Nations, Colin Woodward, suggested and lead by Elaine Wildman
4 Things Fall Apart, Chenua Achebe, suggested and lead by Jean Ryan
3 Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand, suggested Mary Lou Lenz.
2 Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton, suggested by Jack Marta
2 Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann, suggested by Joanne Bollinger
2 Still Alice, Lisa Genova, suggested by Mary Strohl
2 The Last Lion---Winston Spencer Churchill---Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 , William Manchester and Paul Reid, suggested by Paul LaVanway
  Death With Interruptions, Jose Saramago, suggested by Lesley DuTemple


Nominations/Discussion for 2013

Note: 4-1-2013 I decided to put the most recent nominations at the top of the list to make it easier to see what's been added recently. Larry

April 2nd From Kathy LaVanway. I do not have a specific book recommendation to make, but want to throw out an idea for one of the possible meetings. Perhaps everyone could bring a favorite book that they have recently read and do a little 2 or 3 minute book talk about their book and why they would recommend it to others..........something a bit different, but a way to see what books others are reading that we might find interesting. What do you think of that idea?

April 2nd Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Suggested Mary Lou Lenz.
Set during WWII, this is the story of world class runner, Louis Zamperini , who as a young lieutenant in the Army Air Force is shot down  over the ocean.  Because of his strong sense of survival and unbelievable optimism, he survives floating in the open shark-infested waters , enemy aircraft, and torture that few of his contemporaries lived through.  Written by Laura Hillenbrand, the same author, as Seabiscuit,  she uses the same combination of factual history illuminated by some creativity to keep the dialogue immediate.  Footnoted and indexed .

April 2nd Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver. Suggested by Marcia Mason.
It’s a transfixing drama about the flight migration of monarch butterflies woven into the story of an Appalachian family’s struggle to survive, love and respect each other. It deals with the complex and contentious subject of climate change as viewed by rural farmers, scientists and developers. I believe this could engender good discussion, and Kingsolver’s lyrical prose, of course, only adds beauty to the subject matter.

April 2nd Still Alice, by Lisa Genova. Suggested by Mary Strohl.
It is the true story of a 50 year old woman's descent into early onset Alzheimer's disease.

April 2nd Last Runaway, by Tracey Chevalier is the same author who wrote Girl with a Pearl Earring. Suggested by Mary Stohl.  It's the story of an English Quaker girl (named Honor Bright) who is stranded far from home in 19th century rural America.   There is a family tragedy and she is forced to rely on strangers in a new, untamed landscape.  She is drawn into the activities of the Underground Railroad.

April 2nd Cry, the Beloved Country. Written in 1948 by Alan Paton. Suggested by Jack Marta.
A novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law.

April 2nd Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life , by David Treuer. Suggested by Jack Marta . A non-fiction book about reservation life, past and present. The author is a member of the Ojibwe of northern Minnesota.

April 2nd Things Fall Apart by Chenua Achebe, the Nigerian writer,who died in March. Suggested by Jean Ryan. I just finished and enjoyed it very much. Easy to read-a page turner-and not a big book about the colonization of Africa. I could lead the discussion. I checked to see what Kindle had his works.

April 1st Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann Suggested by Joanne Bollinger
This was suggested by Sue Church some time ago. I read it one winter and it's one of those that has stayed with me. Several of the characters have remained vivid ever since, rather unusual in that my brain has been rather sieve-like over the past few years. It's more than a light read but not dauntingly so and it does run 368 pages in the hardcover edition. I know: "Jo-Jo, why do you suggest such long books?! " It won the National Book Award for Best Fiction in 2009. Available in paperback.
The plot of the book revolves around two central events. The first, laid out clearly in the book's opening pages, is the sensational real-life feat of the Twin Towers tightrope walk of Philippe Petit 110 stories up, performed in 1974. This lays the groundwork for the author's description of the human ability to find meaning, even in the greatest of tragedies, for which the Twin Towers serve as a sort of allegory.
The second central event, which is only revealed halfway through the book, is the fictional courtroom trial of a New York City prostitute. This serves as a point of balance, bringing the book back down to its more earthly, and therefore more real basic story lines. Follow this link to see Frank McCourt's brief review.

April 1st Founding Gardeners -- The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation by Andrea Wulf Suggested by Joanne Bollinger
A very unique take on several of our founding fathers, their near obsession with agriculture and botany, and the crucial role that they felt gardening and farming should play in the development of our new nation. It is replete with fascinating facts, very well researched and a great pleasure to read -- especially if you enjoy American history and/or horticulture. Follow this link for a concise review.

April 1st The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf Suggested by Joanne Bollinger
If you like more science but again, great readability, a good companion title this is it."the story of how six men [think Linnaeus and Joseph Banks] created the modern garden and changed the horticultural world in the process". It also details how important a "simple" American farmer was to the development of the English garden landscape in the first half of the 18th century. I foresee an interesting discussion if folks choose the title that interests them more and we compare our responses to both books. Follow this link for a review from the New Yorker. There are extensive reviews of both of Wulf's books online if you wish to go in search of them but I feel reviews so often reveal too much -- I like to be surprised.

April 1stThe Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan Sendker (fiction) Suggested by Lesley DuTemple . A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

April 1st Death With Interruptions, by Jose Saramago (fiction) Suggested by Lesley DuTemple. Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant new novel poses the question—what happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration—flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots. Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?

April 1st Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, by Mario Vargas Llosa (fiction - also Nobel Laureate):Suggested by Lesley DuTemple. Mario Vargas Llosa's brilliant, multilayered novel is set in the Lima, Peru, of the author's youth, where a young student named Marito is toiling away in the news department of a local radio station. His young life is disrupted by two arrivals. The first is his aunt Julia, recently divorced and thirteen years older, with whom he begins a secret affair. The second is a manic radio scriptwriter named Pedro Camacho, whose racy, vituperative soap operas are holding the city's listeners in thrall. Pedro chooses young Marito to be his confidant as he slowly goes insane. Interweaving the story of Marito's life with the ever-more-fevered tales of Pedro Camacho, Vargas Llosa's novel is hilarious, mischievous, and masterful, a classic named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review.

April 1st Magnetic North, by Sara Wheeler (non-fiction): Suggested by Lesley DuTemple
Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title. More than a decade ago, Sara Wheeler traveled to Antarctica to understand a continent nearly lost to myth and lore. In the widely acclaimed, bestselling Terra Incognita, she chronicled her quest to find a hidden history buried in Antarctica’s extreme surroundings. Now, Wheeler journeys to the opposite pole to create a definitive picture of life on the fringes. In The Magnetic North, she takes full measure of the Arctic: at once the most pristine place on earth and the locus of global warming.

Inspired by the spiraling shape of a reindeer-horn bangle, she travels counterclockwise around the North Pole through the territories belonging to Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, marking the transformations of what once seemed an unchangeable landscape. As she witnesses the mounting pollution concentrated at the pole, Wheeler reckons with the illness of the whole organism of the earth. Smashing through the Arctic Ocean with the crew of a Russian icebreaker, shadowing the endless Trans-Alaska Pipeline with a tough Idaho-born outdoors woman, herding reindeer with the Lapps, and visiting the haunting, deceptively peaceful lands of the Gulag, Wheeler brings the Arctic’s many contradictions to life. The Magnetic North is an urgent, beautiful book, rich in dramatic description and vivid reporting. It is a singular, deeply personal portrait of a region growing daily in global importance.

April 1st-The Last Lion---Winston Spencer Churchill---Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 by William Manchester and Paul Reid Suggested By Paul LaVanway
Paul comments: This is the third volume in the Manchester trilogy on Churchill's life. I found it to be a wonderful "read" and suspect it would very much appeal to history buffs. That said, one of the real downsides of this book is that it is almost 1,100 pages in length---possibly WAY too long for an EH Book Friends book
Click this link for a review from and this link for one from The Christian Science Monitor

April 1st Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes Suggested by Sue Church of Copper Harbor
Sue comments: A beautifully written book of memory, aging, missed opportunity. We influence the life stories we tell ourselves and are influenced by them also. The unexpected can send us back to see the stories in a different light. A book that polishes new facets for us to understand the stories we tell ourselves about what our life has been. It reads like a mystery thriller as an unexpected event sends protagonist and reader to struggle with what really happened. And what is "really"?
It's a Man Booker Prizewinner 2011, available in paperback
Click this link for a good review from the New York Times, November 13, 2011 and this link for one from The Guardian, July 26, 2011.

March 27 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Energy and Hope by Michail Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer suggested by Bonnie Hay
The Amazon summary: “William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.”
From Bonnie: This true story is a very inspiring quick read that could generate some good discussion. Although difficult and painful experiences are related, it is generally upbeat in tone. There is also a children’s book version.

March 20th The American Nations by Colin Woodward, Suggested by Elaine Wildman
We all hold dearly to our ‘American Values’, but what are they? Are they the same for everyone? Woodward goes back to the early settlements and points out how the core values of the Pilgrims who insisted on a community to which everyone contributed and from which everyone benefited differed widely from the southern plantation areas where the aim was to create a haven for landed gentry with no concern for the welfare of the lower classes. The west was settled by pioneers for whom individual freedom was a primary value. And then we have the Left Coast . . . . well, read the book. In all, he describes 11 different ‘nations’ with different value constructs related to their historical roots and suggests how these value systems are reflected in modern politics.

March 20th Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford Suggested by Nancy Molloy
From the Amazon Review - I Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol. This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

March 20th Windward Shore by Jerry Dennis Suggested by Pat Ryan
The author wrote about the sights and insights from his time at Agate Harbor and near Lake Michigan at the Leelenau peninsula.