Sunday, February 23, 2014

LIGHT BEFORE DAY by Christopher Rice

Finished Su 2/23/14

"A lot of moving parts"
Adam Murphy, protagonist
West Hollywood
The Central Valley


Finished Tu 2/18/14

Same author that wrote SNOWBLIND
This was a recommendation from SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME by Sara Nelson. Robert Sabbag lives in her neighborhood and she loved this book. So did I.

Alan Long
Will McBride
Frank Hatfield

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe That Ended the Outlaws' Bloody Reign by Stephan Talty

Finished Su 2/16/14

This book was loaned to me by Betty who is one of the members of the Classic Book Club. And, I loved the book.

Link to Amazon-


February selection for Classic Book Club

(The meeting was cancelled on Monday, 2/17 due to a bad ice storm. I did not leave the condo the entire day. A half inch of ice and sleet followed by a couple inches of snow. SMT even shut down by late morning.)

I also enjoyed the novel, but I can't remember any parts that I found particularly amusing, except for the fact that Mellors would inexplicably lapse into his local dialect, but that was more perplexing than humorous (Imagine Obama indulging in Ebonics). Although Mellors did seem to effectively use his slang as a kind of 'attack' against Connie's sister, Hilda before they left on their European tour.

Clifford's egotistical views on his god-given position in the aristocracy were positively medieval, and it's no mystery as to why Lawrence chose to have his 'crippled' character advocate these points of view. Clifford's take on Class, Religion, and Economics were truly horrifying, but I thought that they spoke volumes about how Lawrence really felt about the British caste system. I know that the book was by and large Connie's story, but Clifford and his class are shown to have all of the cards (politically and economically)and maybe Lawrence was trying to imply that their intransigence is the reason for the sexual frustration of modern society. 

After reading more about Lawrence's actual sociopolitical views,  I learn that he seemed to have more disdain for the common man than he did for the aristocracy, and he even advocated a benign form of dictatorship. And, he also seems a bit conflicted about basic heterosexual relationships. Now, I'm not sure what I feel about 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' because I'm remembering many of the less than satisfying sexual encounters between Oliver and Connie, and Mellor's abject racist comments about Black women, and his opinion that women are basically lesbian (although the thought of actual lesbians drives him (Mellors) to rage). I'm probably mistaken in saying that Lawrence blamed the upper class for sexual frustration, and Clifford's disability probably was not meant as a metaphor to underscore his twisted views. I guess I now see the novel as strangely uncomfortable, and the author as more or less of an odd duck. 

YouTube Outline of 'Character In Change'

Spark Notes

Politics of DH Lawrence

email for the leader of Classic Book Club
217-753-4900  ext. 219

Thursday, February 13, 2014

APRIL MORNING by Howard Fast

Finished We 2/13/14

This is a social history of a twenty-four hour period of a Massachusetts village. The day was April 19th, 1775, and this just happened to be the first battle of the American Revolutionary War. This is a slim volume but delivers real understanding of the everyday lives of ordinary 18th century Americans who were about to change history forever. And, probably the novel's biggest strength is how Howard Fast is able to offer real insight as to how ordinary people can entertain the idea of 'War' which is actually killing for social or political reasons.

It's a well written historical novel that can be read in a couple of sittings, and well worth the effort.

Link to Wikipedia Battles of Lexington and Concord

Monday, February 3, 2014