Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Nevermore: Distinguished Women, Deep South, Alaska, Social Lives of Dogs

Reported by Ambrea

Nevermore took a good look at the American history with The Book of Distinguished American Women by Vincent Wilson, a compilation of detailed profiles for more than 60 incredible ladies.  Our reader highly recommended checking out Wilson’s book, saying it was very interesting and equally fascinating for its depiction of women in history.  It highlights the ways these women influenced society and impacted history, while simultaneously allowing readers to get an accurate impression of the time period.  In short, it was a very good book for its fascinating and insightful view point of history.

Next, Nevemore shared at The Social Lives of Dogs:  The Grace of Canine Company by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.  A sequel to her bestselling book The Hidden Life of Dogs, The Social Lives of Dogs is equally illuminating for its in-depth depiction of pet behavior and their unusual adaptation to life with human owners.  As a classically trained anthropologist, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas provided incredible insight into the behaviors of pets—among people, among other dogs—and their impact in their owner’s lives.   Our reader sang praises for The Social Lives of Dogs, calling it “absolutely wonderful.”  For an animal lover, she said it’s an excellent book.

Nevermore also looked at Deep South by Paul Theroux.  An intriguing and insightful narrative, Deep South delves deep into southern culture and history in search of what the author terms the “real South.”  Theroux, a professional travel author with seventeen books under his belt, spent weeks traveling through the South—including Bristol and Big Stone Gap—in a quest to find the Deep South he envisioned.  Although our reader said Theroux’s book was interesting, he was a little troubled by Theroux’s view of the South as an impoverished, stagnating community still reeling from the devastating effects and consequences of the Civil War.  He enjoyed reading Deep South, but he said the South is “too complex to characterize it [in any one particular way]” like Theroux does.  The South contains a multitude of communities, different cultures influenced by the varied histories of each region, which he said Theroux didn’t always depict.  It was a great loss for a book that showed much promise and provided a lot of enjoyment.

Last, Nevermore presented a brand new book by Eowyn Ivey:  To the Bright Edge of the World.  In the deep, snowy wilds of Alaska, Colonel Allen Forrester is commissioned to navigate and chart the Wolverine River at the close of the 19th century.  Forrester leaves behind his pregnant wife, Sophie, who dreads the prospect of giving birth to their child alone—and she worries about the future they may no longer have together.  Beautifully depicted and incredibly detailed, To the Bright Edge of the World was a wonderful piece of historical fiction.  According to our reader, Ivey’s novel “really gives you insight into Alaska and its hardships” which settlers faced.  It kept our reader hooked from the first chapter, and she recommended it to other readers, along with Eowyn Ivey’s first book, The Snow Child.

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