What are we reading?
1. “Plan of Attack,” by Bob Woodward: Plan of Attack is the definitive account of a turning point in history as President George W. Bush, his war council, and allies launch a preemptive attack on Iraq, toppling Saddam Hussein and taking over the country. From in-depth interviews and documents, Bob Woodward provides an authoritative narrative of the Administration’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering over two years and examines the causes and consequences of the most controversial war since Vietnam.
2. “Climb to Conquer,” by Peter Shelton: Few stories from the “greatest generation” are as unforgettable — or as little known — as that of the 10th Mountain Division. Today a versatile light infantry unit deployed around the world, the 10th began in 1941 as a crew of civilian athletes with a passion for mountains and snow. Currently featured as the Valley Read, adventure writer Peter Shelton follows the unique division from its conception on a Vermont ski hill, through training at Camp Hale near Leadville, through its dramatic World War II coming-of-age, to the ultimate revolution it inspired in American outdoor life.
3. “Soldiers on Skis,” by Flint Whitlock: A mostly pictorial history of the 10th Mountain Division, the only U.S. troops specially trained for mountain warfare. Vivid personal accounts, including a Foreword by 10th veteran Sen. Bob Dole, and an outstanding collection of rare photos breathe life into the memories and pay tribute to the heroes who fought and died in WWII.
4. “DaVinci Code,” by Dan Brown: When a curator of the Louvre turns up murdered, his body surrounded by enigmatic ciphers written in invisible ink, code-breaker Robert Langdon and a French cryptologist are called in to unravel the clues to the killing. They discover the riddles are linked to the works of da Vinci and to a clandestine sect within the Catholic Church.
5. “Angels and Demons.” by Dan Brown: When Harvard symbolist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist, he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood which has surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.
6. “Ida, Her Labor of Love,” by Carol McManus: The true, expanded biography of a woman living in Colorado in the late 1800s. Rich in details of what daily life was like during the pioneer times, the story enchants, amazes and illuminates the woman’s role in civilizing the raw wilderness frontiers of the West. Married at 15, Ida follows her husband from place to place including Eagle County, Colorado, while her growing family finds its way in rural Western Colorado at the turn of the century.
7. “Laughter in the Valley of Madness,” by Eric Herm: In pursuit of the quintessence of youth, Garrett Meek has found a festive home and decadent lifestyle in the world famous ski resort of Vail, where he dives into an endless supply of cocktails and neurotic behavior. Meek, a unique mixture of convivial friends, and temporal lovers all reveal enlightening philosophies of true lust, road trips, barroom schemes, tourists, avoiding the real world and much more juvenile comedy that highlights an entire season of mountain madness.
8. “Lost,” by Gregory Maguire: Winifred Rudge, a bemused writer struggling to get beyond the runaway success of her mass-market astrology book, travels to London to jump-start her new novel about a woman who is being haunted by the ghost of Jack the Ripper. Upon her arrival, she finds that her step-cousin and old friend John Comestor has disappeared, and a ghostly presence seems to have taken over his home. Is the spirit Winnie’s great-great-grandfather, who, family legend claims, was Charles Dickens’s childhood inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge? Could it be the ghostly remains of Jack the Ripper? Or a phantasm derived from a more arcane and insidious origin? Winnie begins to investigate and finds herself the unwilling audience for a drama of specters and shades — some from her family’s peculiar history and some from her own unvanquished past.
9. “Wicked, Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,” by Gregory Maguire: Now featured as a Broadway musical, Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
10. “Middlesex,” by Jeffrey Eugenides: The story of Calliope and three generations of her Greek-American family, who relocated to Prohibition-era Detroit from Greece, witnessing the glory days of the Motor City, and the race riots of 1967, before moving to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe. Calliope uncovers a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal.
The Bookworm of Edwards
1. “Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana,” by Haven Kimmel: When Kimmel was born in 1965, Mooreland, Ind., was a sleepy little hamlet of 300 people. Nicknamed “Zippy” for the way she would bolt around the house, this small girl was possessed of big eyes and even bigger ears. In this witty and lovingly told memoir, Kimmel takes readers back to a time when small-town America was caught in the amber of the innocent postwar period – people helped their neighbors, went to church on Sunday and kept barnyard animals in their backyards.
2. “Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story of WWII 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops,” by Peter Shelton
3. “Wicked, Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,” by Gregory Maguire: Now featured as a Broadway musical, Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
4. “Samurai’s Garden,” by Gail Tsukiyama
5. “Angels & Demons,” by Dan Brown: When Harvard symbolist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist, he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood which has surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.
6. “Solace of Leaving Early,” by Haven Kimmel: In her rich and nuanced debut novel, Haven Kimmel brings to life two irresistible people at odds with their small-town lives and with each other. Told with wit and surprising empathy, this is the story of finding our better selves through accepting the shortcomings of others.
7. “Plan of Attack: The Road to War,” by Bob Woodward
8. “Women of the Silk,” by Gail Tsukiyama: A rich portrait of one woman’s life in a China now lost. Her story is rendered with grace, with the clear dignity of legend or song. Tsukiyama lends her voice to figures of women emboldened by their dream of growth and personal power.
9. “Land That Moves, Land That Stands Still,” by Kent Nelson
10. “Dreaming Water,” by Gail Tsukiyama: Hana Murayama is dying of Werner’s syndrome – which is a genetic defect that causes premature aging. Murayama is very dependent on her mother, Cate. Cate is still dealing with the death of her husband, Max. Hana and Cate retrace their lives and Max’s.