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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Plucked from the Pages: Three Titles from the May 15 New York Times Book Review

Finally today I've gotten around to reading the Sunday New York Times Book Review. Lots of interesting material in this issue, with three books standing out above the rest.

To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild

The first book is also the cover story of this weeks book review.  Reviewed by the wonderful Christopher Hitchens the book is To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild.

Hochschild's examination of World War I is called a "moving and important book" by Hitchens; ". . . a book to make one feel deeply and painfully, and also to think hard."  This is high praise from Mr. Hitchens.  Frankly, no more need be said to get To End All Wars on my reading list.

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

Second is a book discussed in a review written by Jane Smiley, author of A Thousand Acres and many other works.  Ms. Smiley writes about Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks.  Brooks is also the author of March, a novel about the Civil War, as well as People of the Book, which I greatly enjoyed reading.  The new book is set in 1660 and is about a young woman living in a Puritan community in Massachusetts.  Smiley calls the book enlightening, involving and beautifully written.  As with To End All Wars, this recommendation is more than enough to get me interested in reading Caleb's Crossing.

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock  

Thirdly, I am very intrigued by a book called The Paper Garden:  An Artist (Begins Her Life's Work) at 72 by Molly Peacock.  The book is about a woman named Mary Delany (1700 - 1778) who became an artist in her 70s, making collage portraits of flowers and plants.  "Today the collages," according to reviewer Andrea Wulf, "reside in the British Museum."  Sounds inspirational, don't you think?

So there you have it:  Three book titles plucked from the pages of the New York Times Book Review.  If you are looking for something good to read, check them out and let us know your opinion on these works.     

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