Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Citizens, World Order, Foundation, Beatles vs. Stones, and More!

Reported by Meygan

Nevermore opened with the discussion of Citizens: a Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama. This book discusses the French Revolution starting with the very beginning and ending with the Reign of Terror in 1794. Our Nevermore reader said this book was very readable and a good book about the French Revolution! 

World Order by Henry Kissinger was the next book discussed and I must say that this book was highly recommended! The reader stated this book should be book of the year and is certainly in his top ten books of all time. Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Kissinger is an expert on foreign policy and he explains there can’t be peace around the globe unless we (as a world) have sense of order. Kissinger doesn’t discuss every country, but he does focus on the big ones (Japan, United States, European countries, the middle east, etc.) and examines each country’s history and builds upon on how each country got to where they are. The author doesn’t offer an easy solution to creating world order, and one Nevermore reader questioned if we could truly ever achieve that sort of a settlement where there is complete world order. The Nevermore reader also stated that he enjoyed the author’s writing style, which was very simple and clear. When he finished speaking about the book, a member told him that every time he talks about a book, he makes her want to read it! What higher praise could a Nevermore reader receive than that?

Next, we discussed The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov, a science fiction novel that is easy to read! (Have you ever heard of such a thing?) The Nevermore reader enjoys the unique font which adds to the science fiction feel of the book. Within this trilogy are the books Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. Foundation introduces readers to Hari Seldon, a man who must create a new empire. The Nevermore reader said even though this book is science fiction, it is very believable! He felt that the author used the opportunity to select certain philosophies to tell within his stories that will assist the main character with building the new empire. 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, a New York Times bestseller, seemed to pique the interest of our Nevermore readers. The book takes place during WWII and tells two parallel stories about a blind girl who lives in Paris and a young German orphan boy who lives in an industrial part of Germany. The boy is extremely bright and he is offered the opportunity to attend a Nazi sponsored school. When the girl is twelve years old, the Nazis invade Paris causing her and her father to flee to Saint-Malo. When the Nevermore reader was asked how the boy and girl meet one another, she replied that she didn’t want to give anything away. However, she did warn us that once we started reading then we wouldn’t be able to stop! “I was caught up in it. I finished a 500 page novel in two days!” 

For all you music lovers out there, you may be aware of the music debate of who is better: The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Well lucky for you, John McMillian wrote Beatles vs.The Rolling Stones! Our Nevermore reader highly enjoyed the book, and he stated that he learned a lot about the mechanics of the music industry. However, the more he learned about John Lennon, the less he wanted to know! He stated that after reading about The Beatles, Ringo, who was his least favorite Beatles, ended up being the only one with any humanity. Still, maybe this is a good book for readers to solve the argument! Or maybe it will only fuel the fire. Either way, check out Beatles vs. Stones!

The last book discussed was The Ten Best Days of My Life by Adena Halpern. Alexandra is only 29 when she is struck by a car, and she finds herself in Heaven. And not just in Heaven, but the highest level of Heaven! However, there seems to be a mistake. She is asked to write an essay discussing the ten best days of her life to try and persuade the higher power why she should not be sent to a lower level in Heaven. In Alexandra’s Heaven, she can eat whatever she wants and she doesn’t have to worry about gaining weight! Also, she gets to choose from high-end name brand clothing and choose any car she wants. But she is told that the level she may be placed at is where all of the Rock n’ Roll stars are and even though she won’t have as much fancy clothing or be able to eat whatever her ravenous stomach desires, she will at least be surrounded by good music! The Nevermore reader described this book as being “cute”, but it doesn’t make the cut when comparing it to her favorite books. She also said the main character is spoiled and her ten days only prove how she doesn’t belong in the highest level of Heaven. She is certainly a character that if you were to be friends with her, you would have to love her for who she is or not love her at all!

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