Well Read – Channel 44 – 6 p.m.

Found this show which seems to be on every week night and features a book plus titles that give you additional background on the topic.  They were discussing the depression and Nazi’s today – one of the recommendations was In the Garden of the Beasts.  The schedule looks as if they will be discussing Enon on March 6 – Paul Harding, the author, will be our speaker at the 3rd annual Maynard Book Festival on April 12



5 Years of reading organized by category – certainly something for everyone.

WW II  Non-fiction

*The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million Daniel Mendelsohn (non-fiction); amazing story

Marching Home Kevin Coyne (non-fiction)

Gertruda’s Oath; A child, a Promise, and a Heroic Escape during WW II    Ram Oren (non-ficiton)

*The Hare With Amber Eyes Edmund de Waal (non-fiction)

*Unbroken Lauren Hillenbrand (non-fiction), also wrote Seabiscuit *Any book by 

*Lost in Shangri-La Mitchell Zuckoff (non-fiction)

*In the Garden of the Beasts Erik Larsen

*TheLady in Gold:the extraordinary tale of Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece portrait of Adele Bloch_Bauer Ann-Marie O’Connor (non-fiction)

**The spy who loved:the secrets and lives of Christine Granville   Clare Mulley (non-fiction)

*The Long Way Home   David Laskin   (non-fiction)

*The Avengers:A Jewish War Story   Rich Cohen  (non-fiction)

**The Boys in the Boat   Daniel James Brown  (non-fiction)

*The Boy on the Wooden Box   Leon Leyson   (Memoir)

*The family : three journeys into the heart of the twentieth century / David Laskin.

      *The monuments men : Allied heros, Nazi thieves, and the greatest treasure hunt in   history / Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter.

       *Dancing With The Enemy: My family’s Holocaust Secret   Paul Glasser (non-fiction)

 American History

Sea Biscuit  Laura  Hillenbrand Non-fiction

*In the Heart of the Sea Nathaniel Philbrick (non-fiction); the best of his books

*The Immortal Life of Henrietta Slacks Rebecca Skloot, non-fiction

*Thunderstruck Erik Larson non-fiction  

*Isaac’s Storm  Erik Larson  non-ficiton

*The Warmth of Other Suns Isabel Wilkerson  (non-fiction; quite an achievement)

*Mayflower Nathaniel Philbrick (non-fiction)

*Rin Tin Tin Susan Orlean, non-fiction

*Destiny of the Republic Candice Millard (non-fiction)   About President McKinley

Steve Jobs Walter Isaacson (bio)

*Judgement Ridge   Mitchell Zuckoff   (non-fiction)

12 Years a Slave   Solomon Northup  (non-fiction, memoir)

*Hellhound on his trail   Hampton Sides   (non-fiction)


After Visiting Friends:a son’s story   Michael Hainey  (non-fiction)

The World’s Strongest Librarian   Josh Hanagarne   (nonfiction)

The Death of Santini   Pat Conroy  non-fiction/memoir

 * I Am Malala   Malala Yousafzai    

  *Wild   Cheryl Strayed   (non-fiction memoir)

*Eat Pray Love Elizabeth Gilbert  (non-fiction)

*The Dream, The Invisible Wall    Harry Bernstein (non-fiction)  Wrote 1st books in his 90’s!   (Memoir)

The Golden Willow Harry Bernstein(non-fiction, memoir continued)

* Without a Map Meredith Hall  (memoir)

*Townie Andre Dubus III (memoir)

*Yes Chef   Marcus Samuellson (memoir)

Elsewhere   Richard Russo (memoir)

*The End of Life Book Club   Will Schwalbe  (non-fiction)

 *Extraordinary An End Of Life Story Without End  Michele Tamren, Michael Wittner  (very moving), non-fiction


The Magnesium Miracle  Carolyn Dean (non-fiction)

*The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, A Soul Noelle Oxen Handler  (non-fiction)

*The Inner Pulse Marc Siegel (non-fiction)

*Spontaneous Happiness Dr. Andrew Weil (non-fiction)

The Mind’s Eye Dr. Oliver Sacks (non-fiction)

* Brain on Fire  – My Month Of Madness    Susannah Cahalan   (memoir

*The vitamin D solution : a 3-step strategy to cure our most common health problems / Michael F. Holick ; foreword by Andrew Weil. 


Longitude   Dava Sobel  (non-fiction) 

*The Black Count   Tom Reiss   (nonfiction)

*Strength in What Remains, House,  Soul of a New Machine,  Home Town, Mountains Beyond Mountains,  Non-fiction  all by Tracy Kidder

The Man who Loved Books Too Much Allison Hoover Bartlett, non-fiction

Behind the beautiful forevers Katherine Boo (non-fiction)

The Swerve   Steven GreenBlatt  (non-fiction)

*The Lost City of Z   David Grann  (non-fiction)

Feedback from February discussion of non-fiction books (and Lynette’s list is still to come)


Smoking Ears and Screaming Teeth – Trevor Norton – a look at medical history through the lens of people who experimented on themselves.

 The InformationJames Gleick  – a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the big ideas of the modern era: Information, communication, and information theory. 

 The Professor and the MadmanSimon Winchester – story of the beginning of the Oxford English Dictionary

 Longitude Dava Sobel – story of the solving of the problem of ships that left the dock and had no idea where they were.

 A Walk in the WoodsBill Bryson – less than athletic man walks the Appalachian Trail and tells funny stories about it

 Servant’s Hall Margaret Powell – set in England at the time that the big houses with many servants are beginning to be unsustainable.

 Riding with Reindeer – Robert M. Goldstein – unusual tale of man who bikes above the arctic circle in Finland.

 Scratching the Woodchuck: Nature on an Amish FarmDavid Kline – a gentle nature story recommended after heavy shoveling.

 Forty Plus and Fancy Free, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, Water, Water EverywhereCornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough – stories of the travel adventure of two women between the world wars.

 Steve JobsWalter Isaacson – biography of the brilliant and arrogant creator of Apple.

 My Beloved WorldSonia Sotomayor -memoir by the Supreme Court Justice.

 Prague WinterMadeleine Albright – subheading is A Personal Story of Remembrance and War – 1937 – 1948 – (hope this is the one you intended)

 The Devil in the White City, Isaac’s Storm, Thunderstruck Erik Larson (books about the 1893 World’s Fair, the storm that decimated Galveston Island, and Crippen – a famous murderer and the chase to apprehend him.)

 Wheat Belly William Davis – book suggesting that removing wheat from our diet is a good thing.

 Destiny of the Republic – Candice Millard – About President James A Garfield, the assassin who shot him and the power struggle that ensued as his doctors tried to save his life.   (Candice Millard is also the author of The River of Doubt – the story of Teddy Roosevelt’s travel on the Amazon after he lost his bid for re-election)

 The Youngest Science – Lewis Thomas – memoir of his doctor father and the history of medicine when no drugs were available.

 Home Town Tracy Kidder – about Northampton and the people who live there. (Also The Soul of a New Machine – about Data General and their development of a computer in their attempt to catch up with DEC and the VAX)

 The Race Underground: Boston, New York and the Incredible rivalry that Built America’s First Subway – Doug Most

 From Good to Great: Why some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’tJim Collins

 Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates UsDaniel H Pink (Also A Whole New Mind and To Sell is Human)

 The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, My Soul Noelle Oxenhandler – Oxenhandler records a journey that is at once comic and poignant, light and dark, earthy and spiritual. Above all, she is amazed to find that there is, indeed, both power and danger in the act of wishing. For soon her wishes begin to come true–in ways that meet, subvert, and overflow her expectations. And what started as a year’s dare turns into a way of life.

 Spontaneous Happiness: A New Path to Emotional Well-BeingAndrew Weil (and others – Healthy Aging, Eating Well for Optimum Health)  (also recommended his website www.drweil.com)

 Brain on Fire: My Month of MadnessSusannah Cahalan – Far more than simply a riveting read and a crackling medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity and to rediscover herself among the fragments left behind. Using all her considerable journalistic skills, and building from hospital records and surveillance video, interviews with family and friends, and excerpts from the deeply moving journal her father kept during her illness, Susannah pieces together the story of her “lost month” to write an unforgettable memoir about memory and identity, faith and love. It is an important, profoundly compelling tale of survival and perseverance that is destined to become a classic.

 Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New EnglandTom Wessels, Ann H. Zwinger – A full and wholly original portrait of New England’s forests, tracing their evolution from pre-colonial days to the present through a study of the patterns we see today. Read this book, is many fans have said, and no walk in the woods will ever be the same.

 Last Child in the WoodsRichard Louv – a plea to let our kids have time in the outdoors to be a part of and understand nature.















Our next meeting will be Saturday, February 22 at 10:30 and I’ll make a sincere effort to insure that the bagels actually show up – although those cinnamon buns were pretty tasty.   Subject is non-fiction. Looking forward to March – which will be our final session of this series – when we will be open to all subjects – get ready to share your favorite books of all time with us.



I am really looking forward to hearing what titles you have to suggest since non-fiction isn’t my first reading choice and I am sure there is much out there that I shouldn’t be missing.  But I do have a few that I have really enjoyed.



First two:   House by Tracy Kidder and Walden by Jeffrey Cramer.  Kidder is an excellent writer and his titles span a wide range of topics.  This one is about the building of a house in Amherst.  One of his best known is Mountains Beyond Mountains which is about  Paul Farmer’s work – much of it in Haiti.  Walden is a lovely annotated edition by a local author.



David is very well known for his biographies but this title is a little different – it is the story of the building of the Panama Canal – not, as most of his are not, a short read.



Dava Sobel is the author of one of my favorite non-fiction titles – Longitude – an absolute gem of a book.  In this one she looks at Galileo’s daughter who was sent to a nunnery – a look at the options open to brilliant women in that time period



If you are a birder and you are obsessed and willing to spend a year of your time and lots of money, you can attempt to see more bird species than anyone else in a single year.  I don’t think the winner gets anything except bragging rights but this is a fairly light read – made into an amusing movie with Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, Jack Black and John Cleese.



My final suggestion is an unusual biography by Peter Ackroyd – instead of writing about a person he is giving you the biography of an entire city.  It’s a slightly different = and interesting – take on history.