Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Buried in Snow and Fire and Fury and Other New Books

An Alberta Clipper that was supposed to provide us with 5 inches of snow has unloaded 14 inches instead. Believe me, we're not complaining. Magnificent snowshoeing today under a crystal-clear cobalt blue sky.  Wednesday will provide us with another significant storm.

I am nearly smothered by an avalanche of books. My February days are destined to have every spare second devoted to reading. As we all know, library holds always seem to drop at the same time, so my current reads are as follows:

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (2017), the February selection of the "Now Read This Book Club." I'm awe-struck by this historical/true crime nonfiction selection. Members of the  Osage Tribe, who had been removed to north-central Oklahoma in Osage County, became astoundingly wealthy in the early 20th century when oil was discovered on their territory. So wealthy, in fact, that they were able to afford grand houses, servants, top-of-the-line automobiles, and extravagant lifestyles. This altered status made them the totally unprotected targets of vengeful whites.  And therein lies this remarkable, true saga. I knew nothing about this stunning and alarming chapter in Native American history, as so many readers have commented about this eye-opening book.

I'm reading the final chapter of Peter May's 2015 novel Runaway, which is about a group of teens who flee their lives in Glasgow for what they hope will be rock 'n roll fame in London in 1965. More on this soon.

Still reading the fascinating Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Oh, gosh!! Here's how the following bit of news happened.  I needed to purchase an Audible audiobook before they took one of my book credits away, and on an impulse, I selected Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.

I'm 25 percent through and this is my verdict so far: Fire and Fury is sheer political entertainment. And because I listen while I'm knitting, I feel exactly like Madame DuFarge in A Tale of Two Cities.

Lots of the events presented in Fire and Fury, which Wolff says are fact, are already believed by the vast majority of Americans, save for the 30 percent of those who are "Trump's base." The rest of the stuff Wolff reports is believable, I suppose, based on public knowledge about the characters involved, though I will take nothing Wolff says as strict, unadulterated fact.
One of the tip-offs for me was a scene with dialogue between Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon that supposedly occurred at a so-called dinner party at Roger Ailes's home in Greenwich Village. Entertaining dialogue, of course. But reality? Doubtful, even though anyone who knows anything about Ailes and Bannon could certainly imagine such a conversation taking place. 

I've been trying for two days to complete this post, so I'll post it tonight, and post another very soon with the rest of the avalanche. Too many books descending all at once.


  1. I'm on the library hold list for Killers of the Flower Moon. If I finish Portrait of a Lady any time soon (which seems doubtful given its 23 hour duration) I may use an audible credit and go that route instead.

    Have been waffling on Fire and Fury, but I think you've got it right with the political entertainment label... and LOL at Madame DuFarge!!

    1. JoAnn, I was so lucky to find a copy of Killers of the Flower Moon in a library that's located on our way to our "big little city." I'm 80 pages in--quite surprising, I must say.

  2. Yes LOL at Madame DuFarge - but I want to know what you're knitting. I quite fancy reading about the Osage Murders too.

    1. Yes, Madame DuFarge is knitting a "throw." This one caught my interest--it's composed of 16 knitted squares, each about ten inches square, each in a different decorative stitch, and each block in a pizazz color. Sunflower yellow, spring green, cobalt blue, fuschia, hot red pepper, and aqua or a bluesy turquoise. The cable patterns have been no problem, because I've knitted lots of different kinds of cables in the past. But, omg, the lace patterns are difficult for me. I've been studying these stitches on YouTube and in books and am still trying to get it. I struggle onward, as we all must, in the era of the demented POTUS.

    2. Katrina, I forgot to say that the reading about the Osage murders has been fascinating, yet has made me extremely angry, once and again, at the huge, overwhelming weight of the injustices against Native Americans. It's sometimes just so unbelievable.

    3. Ah I remember now that you mentioned you were knitting a 'throw' or 'afghan'. It sounds like it'll be gorgeous with all those colours. I'm not great with lace patterns either, you have to concentrate so much on them, and like you I enjoy knitting whilst doing something else so it's easy to be distracted at a crucial point. I'm going to be reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee soon, Jack read it years ago and was really moved by it.

    4. I think I'm going to knit up lots of samples of the lace patterns as homework before I go and make the actual squares with the yarn.
      Oh, and Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee is a definite American classic. It's still to this day required reading in many schools and colleges. And I haven't read it--oh, dear! Not too late, though.

  3. Our book group will be reading: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI , later this year. I hear it's very good.

    My husband bout my Fire & Fury and do you know, I cannot stomach the thought of reading any more about Trump right now. I feel bad as he paid full price. LOL

    I may skim it when I'm feeling better.

    1. Hi Diane,
      I think you'll find a lot to fascinate and shock/surprise you in Killers of the Flower Moon. It's a book that deserves broader circulation.
      I'm stunned and surprised by the revelations.
      You are so smart and wise, Diane, to avoid Fire and Fury like the plague. So far I've listened to the 52 percent point, and I feel I'm done. I don't think it enlightens anything that most consciously news-literate Americans know already. So, you're not missing anything.
      And yes!! Skimming a print book would be so ideal, because audio forces to listen along to everything.

    2. Thanks for your feedback LOL

      Judith, what type of email is zip link.com? Overtime I try to comment on a post of yours I get these annoying emails returned saying "my comment can't be delivered?? I use blogspot for blogging like you and gmail for email?

    3. Oh my gosh, Diane--I'm so sorry that you're getting that error notice. Please do feel free to email me at juditheharper@gmail.com
      Ziplink has been gone for years and years now. I'll have to check online to see where it still gives that address.
      Thanks so very much for letting me know about this.

    4. Diane, by the way, do note the letter "e" after Judith in my email address. I needed my middle initial to get a unique gmail address. Take care and have a walloping Valentine's Day!!