Category Archives: My Favorite Book

My Favorite Book: The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family, by Martha Raddatz

No matter what your politics, read this book!   It is an account of what an American Army platoon faced on a day in 2004 while on patrol in Sadr City.    Confronted with a massive assault while on a “peace keeping mission” the men found themselves in a bloodbath.   You’ll read about the men, their rescuers, medical support personnel and the families left behind.   A stunning description of sacrifice.

Reviewed by: Nancy J.

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Filed under My Favorite Book, Non Fiction, Staff Picks

My Favorite Book: The Solitude of Thomas Cave: A Novel, by Georgina Harding

This the first novel by Georgina Harding, a British travel writer. It tells the story in beautiful, haunting language of a 17th century whaler who bets his crewmates that he can spend a winter alone on the shore of Greenland. The descriptions of the physical environment and challenges will hold your attention. The mental process that Thomas Cave endures is even more captivating.

This story makes me wonder if I could survive a winter alone on a distant island off the coast of Maine.

Reviewed by: KLM

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Filed under Historical Fiction, My Favorite Book, Staff Picks

My Favorite Book: The Future of American Politics, by Samuel Lubell

I don’t recall whether it was a college professor or a friend who recommended the Lubell book to me in the early 1960’s. I didn’t know that it had won the distinguished Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book on government and democracy in 1952.

However, after nearly 50 years, I still recall the insight that the thin book gave to me as I later read book, newspaper, and magazine articles on politics and current events. Lubell had been surprised by the unexpected Harry Truman re-election win in 1948. His path-finding book recounts his investigation to learn how Truman won and, just as importantly, why Thomas Dewey (the overwhelming favorite of the professionals) had lost the election.

Many generations of news analysts, pollsters, political professionals, college students, and the general public who have an interest in politics are indebted to Samuel Lubell for his insightful work, which influences writers and readers to this day. The 1952 volume is not dated and still can be read for its great analysis of what happened in a monumantal, never-to-be-forgotten Presidential race.

Reviewed by: Ernest J. Webby, Jr., Reference Librarian (PT), Newton Free Library

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Filed under Award Winners, My Favorite Book, Non Fiction, Staff Picks

My Favorite Book: Nectar in a Sieve, by Kamala Markandaya

This is a moving story of a peasant woman’s struggles, endurance, and ever-present hope for a better future.  The novel portrays village life in India as the characters confront poverty, loss, and changing times and values.  Although published in 1954, the modern reader will find it both timeless and touching.

Reviewed by: N W Perlow

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Filed under General Fiction, My Favorite Book, Staff Picks

My Favorite Book: Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner is my favorite author.  All of his books are excellent. But Angle of Repose is the first that I read, and I have always loved it the most.  It is a beautifully written book about a New England woman marrying and moving west with her mining engineer husband. Stegner really captures the mind of a woman in her struggle to cope with a new culture, dimished resources, marriage, children and her own professional career.  She maintains her sanity!

Reviewed by: Sandy

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My Favorite Book: Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin

One summer during the early 1960’s civil rights movement, I would be drawn daily to my window, hearing and seeing a gathering from the black community sing outside the residence of the Governor of Ohio, Pete Seeger’s song, “We Shall Overcome.”  Also made popular by Joan Baez, this was the signature song of the civil rights movement.  But it was the book, however, Black Like Me, which informed me of the meaning of racism in America at that time.  A memoir published in 1961, it was written by journalist and race issues specialist John Griffin, who wanted to live first hand life as a Negro in the South in order to understand the civil rights movement from the Negro’s perspective.  He underwent elaborate procedures to alter his appearance.  He left his comfortable life as a white Southerner and began his research in New Orleans, later traveling to other states. Reading of his experiences as a young teen opened my mind, leading to a visceral understanding of why the civil rights movement was so strong, and why the black community gathered to spread their message with that poignant song.

Reviewed by: CB

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Filed under Biographies and Memoirs, My Favorite Book, Non Fiction, Staff Picks

My Favorite Book: Citizen of the Galaxy, by Robert Heinlein

The first book of Heinlein’s science fiction that I read and hugely enjoyed, leading me to read every one of his many novels.

Reviewed by: kh

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Filed under Children's, My Favorite Book, Staff Picks