OLLI Reads - Updated  12/12/2017

Title  The Jesus Cow  
Author Michael Perry
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Brooks McDaniel
Date 12/12/2017
A great deal of humor, but serious issues in small towns every where.  When the 4-lane comes through and Wall-Marts.  A bit of a glance at different styles of religion, as well.  Hope you find it a good read.
Title  The Silence of Trees  
Author Valya Dudycz Lupescu
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Elly Peterson
Date 12/7/2017
As a teenager during WWII, Nadya snuck out of her Ukrainian home and returned to find her village ransacked and her family killed.  To escape and survive the war on her own, she must make big decisions and learn some hard lessons.  Decades later, from her comfortable family life in Chicago, she privately reminisces on her harrowing journey and the many secrets she kept from her husband and family all these years.  Beautifully written war story from the less commonly discussed Ukrainian perspective.
Title  Healer  
Author Rudy Reed
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Ted E. Lewis
Date 5/18/2016
The book, "Healer" written by Rudy Reed about his brother, Dr. James Reed.  Dr. James Reed Practiced Medicine in Farmington for about 40 years.  He died while still practicing at age 83 years.   Rudy was a classmate of my sister Jill at Farmington Comm. High School.  I believe that they both graduated in 1957.  Dr. Reed replaced both Dr Dimmit and Dr Williams in Farmington, Trivoli  and Canton.  If anyone should be interested in this book, I have a copy, signed by Rudy, that I will loan to a person that I know.  foundrydoctor@comcast.net  309 370 4457
Title  Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying   
Author Maggie Callahan and Patricia Kelley
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Mary Anne Michelet
Date 2/23/2016
 The authors are hospice nurses and though the book is about dying, it is very uplifting and gives a sense of empowerment as well.  Most of us OLLI-ers have been through deaths of parents, siblings, friends, but this book opens our eyes to some communication issues that can make the transition from this life more meaningful and more peaceful for all concerned.
Title  Man's Search for Meaning  
Author Vikor Frankl
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Don Wagner
Date 2/9/2016
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
Title  The Murrow Boys: Pioneers in the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism  
Author Lynne Olson, Stanley Cloud
Genre History
Rating  4 stars out of 5
Submitted   Keith Butterfield
Date 2/7/2016
Tells the story of the legendary band of correspondents who, under Edward R. Murrow’s direction, formed CBS’s pioneering World War II news team, and in doing so, invented modern broadcast journalism.  An excellent history of the emergence of the still new medium of radio and later on, television.  Offers interesting, and to large extent, unique perspectives of the U.S. and the world before, during and after World War II— shared through the personas and egos of those who comprised the first wave of broadcast news talent.  
Title  A Higher Call  
Author Adam Makos
Genre History
Rating  5 stars out of 5
Submitted   Keith Butterfield
Date 2/7/2016
True story of two WWII pilots — one American; one German — whose lives collided and were changed — in the skies four days before Christmas 1943.  What happened would be classified by the American Eighth Air Force as top secret, and it was act that the German pilot could never mention without facing a firing squad.  The  encounter haunted both pilots for 40 years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that would change their lives forever.  While their amazing story is the “hook” that draws the reader in, this book, written by a longtime World War II air history magazine journalist, offers many other deep insights into the day to day lives — and eerily similar perspectives, hopes and aspirations — of the air combatants from both Allied and German sides. 
Title  The Righteous Mind  
Author Jonathan Haidt
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Greg Peine
Date 2/4/2016
Haidt's hope is that this book gives the reader a new way to think about 'two of the most important, vexing, and divisive topics in human life: politics and religion.'   His insights helped me come to terms with current political scrums and religious extremes by offering, what seemed to me to be, usable answers to the question 'Why?'.     Future Study Group material I think.
 
Title  Six Months in 1945: FDR, Stalin, Churchill, and Truman--from World War to Cold War  
Author Michael Dobbs
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Carol May
Date 2/4/2016
For those OLLI folks who savor World War II and Cold War history, this Michael Dobbs book is a must read.   Dobbs takes us back to the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences and helps readers understand how Post-War Europe and the rest of the world were impacted by the decisions of Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt, and Truman.   When you read about Uncle Joe Stalin, it's hard not to think a guy named Putin.
Title  The Roberts Court: The Struggle for the Constitution  
Author Marcia Coyle
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Carol May
Date 2/4/2016
As preparation for the Landmark Supreme Court Decisions Study Group, I have started to read and learn about the Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.    Since his appointment in 2005, some of the Court's most controversial decisions have been handed down by what some historians call the most conservative Supreme Court that most Americans alive today can remember.  Marcia Coyle, the author, appears on the PBS NewsHour regularly to summarize the decisions of the Court for viewers.
Title  The Boys in the Boat  
Author Daniel James Brown
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Andrea Wygle
Date 2/4/2016
Great story of rowing team from Washington state that competed in  Summer Olympic in Germany during Hitler’s reign.  Shows real character, perseverance and determination in spite off great odds.
Title  Just Mercy  
Author Bryan Stevenson 
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Helen Martin
Date 10/4/2015
Even though I highly recommend the book, JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson, and even though Stevenson writes simply and coherently, the book is difficult to read; difficult because it is based on true stories which defy one's possible disbelief.  It is basically a storied report on the criminal justice system in the United States as that system exists in certain localities.  Bryan Stevenson is a Harvard Law School Graduate who has worked for many years defending the poor and the wrongly condemned, and he has founded the Equal Justice Initiative which continues that effort.  The book is a New York Times best seller with good reason.  Nothing in the legal system can change until we are educated to know and understand the problems which exist in that system.  For this reason I would urge everyone to read the book.  You will be hooked from the very first chapter.
Title  Dark Lies the Island: Stories  
Author Kevin Barry
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Greg Peine
Date 9/28/2015
 When character dialogue in Irish literature reflects the sensibilities of OLLI folks it might be an indicator of a good read started:  “Or would we chance a scone, Kit?  It would hardly put us in the ground, Ernestine.”   Elsewhere throughout the 13 short stories in Kevin  Barry’s latest book , “Dark Lies the Island” the common vernacular of the isle intensifies the descriptions of life being lived hard and OLLI sensibilities fade; “…a good class of pelt…”, “brass monkey weather”, “well, this is a nice bag of sticks”, “fartin’ through silk here”, “strange what comes over as hilarious when hangovers are general”, “ Mo was down a testicle..”, “dogs-dying-in-parked-cars weather” , and one of my favorites, “So that was enough with the mushrooms.  Next thing Patrick took a wrong signal off one of the crustie women and dropped a hand that shouldn’t have been dropped.  That ended up in a row involving a crowbar and a fella with dreadlocks from Gloucester and a three-legged pit bull.”  In many of the stories I sensed a tip of the fedora to the gonzo of Hunter Thompson.  Barry used the vernacular of the isle to expose deeper insights about the varied characters that all endured in their own way the arrow of time.  For me, entertainment.  Please look for an upcoming study group on Irish writers that will include at least one Kevin Barry short story.
Title  The New Jim Crow   
Author Michelle Alexander
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Arlene Davis 
Date 9/22/2015
 
Title  Inferno  
Author Dan Brown
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Bliss Philips
Date 9/18/2015
I hope you read this book and enjoy it as much as I did!
Title  Plainsong  
Author Ken Haruf
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Janet Lange
Date 9/16/2015
 
Title  Eventide  
Author Ken Haruf
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Janet Lange
Date 9/16/2015
 
Title  Benediction  
Author Ken Haruf
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Janet Lange
Date 9/16/2015
 
Title  Our Souls at Night.  
Author Ken Haruf
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Janet Lange
Date 9/16/2015
 
Title  My Thoughts Be Blody  
Author Nora Titone
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Carol May.
Date 9/9/2015
 
Title  The Nightingale   
Author Kristin Hannah
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Marty Sprecher
Date 8/17/2015
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Title  All the Light You Cannot See   
Author Anthony Doerr
Genre Fiction
Rating   
Submitted   Marty Sprecher
Date 8/17/2015
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Title  The Alchemy of Air  
Author Thomas Hager
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Peggy Cornelius
Date 8/15/2015
yes, it does have a bit of chemistry but much much more.
Title  All the Light We Cannot See  
Author Anthony Doerr
Genre Fiction
Rating  One of the best ever. 
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
Annotation
Title  Lila  
Author Marilynn Robinson
Genre Fiction
Rating  So so good, like everything she writes
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
Marilynne Robinson's Lila, has been nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize, which will be announced October 13. There are several great books by Americans listed, but I'm crossing my fingers for Lila. The quiet, intense backstory of a character from Robinson's earlier Gilead and Home, Lila tells of a homeless young woman whose ragged unsure goodness catches the heart of a lonely, much older minister. As with all her fiction, Robinson's spare style and tender (but never sentimental)  handling of characters and plot make Lila a book you'll read and reread. Sigh! It's fabulous. Future study group?
Title  After Rain  
Author William Trevor
Genre Fiction
Rating  Fabulous short stories.
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  Foreign Affairs   
Author Alison Lurie
Genre Fiction
Rating  worth the Pulitzer Prize Lurie won
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  Bird by Bird   
Author Anne Lamott
Genre  
Rating  wonderfully funny; good writing advice
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  Winter Wheat   
Author Mildred Walker
Genre Fiction
Rating  reread - maybe for the 10th time
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  The Paris Architect  
Author Charlesz Belfour
Genre Fiction
Rating  Okay
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  The Nightingale   
Author Kristin Hannah
Genre Fiction
Rating  a predictable summer read, fodder for a plane trip. 
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry  
Author Gabrielle Zevin
Genre Fiction
Rating  just plain pitiful
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  Go Set a Watchman   
Author Harper Lee
Genre Fiction
Rating  am sorry it was published.   
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  The Green Road   
Author Anne Enright 
Genre Fiction
Rating  reading now
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  Our Souls at Night  
Author Kent Haruf
Genre Fiction
Rating  reading now
Submitted   Jane Hense
Date 8/12/2015
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Title  The Wright Brothers    
Author David McCullough
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Maryanne Rastatter
Date 8/11/2015
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Title  Being Mortal   
Author Atul Gawande
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Greg Peine
Date 8/11/2015
Gawande quotes from Philip Roth's Everyman: "Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre.”  And as my end of life approaches I wonder if reading through Gawande's Being Mortal will bring any comfort in an answer to my question, "Is this going to hurt, much?"  In the first half of the book he recounts stories of both others and himself that detail the current state of old age triage and establish, in my mind, Roth as an optimist.  So far fun is a no show in this read.  There is at least one positive here in that actionable items to improve the end of life experience are identified. That improvement comes in part via a hundred parakeets and an environment like home where you can eat m&ms anytime, help others, and have the freedom to make bad choices. So, what is the answer to my question?  It appears that answer is up to me and my caretakers.  The choice of enlisting palliative care and hospice earlier rather than later ensures the answer to "Is this going to hurt, much?"  will be "not much at all".   More affirmation here than enlightenment.
Title  The Train to Crystal City   
Author Jan Jarboe Russell
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Carol May
Date 8/11/2015
 
Title  German Boy  
Author Wolfgang W.E. Samuel
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Carol May
Date 8/11/2015
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Title  Goebbels  A Biography   
Author Peter Longeri
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Carol May
Date 8/11/2015
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Title  Racing for the Bomb  
Author Robert Norris
Genre  
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Submitted   Carol May
Date 8/11/2015
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Title  Creating a World Without Poverty  
Author Mohammed Yunus
Genre  
Rating   
Submitted   Carol May
Date 8/11/2015
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Title  The Boys in the Boat  
Author Daniel James Brown
Genre  
Rating  Very Good
Submitted   Shari Dearing
Date 8/11/2015
This is the story about the American Olympic crew team's triumph against all odds in Nazi Germany in 1936.  Daniel James Brown tells the passionate and heartwarming story of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers who never expected to beat the great teams of the East Coast, and yet they go on to shock the world.  This story revolves around Joe Rantz, a teenager without a family, who rows to regain his self respect and a place in the world!  I hope you read this book and enjoy it as much as I did!
For editing contact Elly Peterson
eepeterson@bradley.edu