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Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer.


Thank you for continuing the Reader’s Circle @FleurdeLisa. I’m glad we’re doing fiction next.

Here is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, Tracy Chevalier’s ‘Remarkable Creatures’ . 352 pgs.

It’s the story(historical fiction) of Mary Anning, set in 1810, who had a talent for finding fossils and whose discovery of ancient marine reptiles such as that of ichthyosaur shakes the scientific community and leads to new ways of thinking about the creation of the world.

Making Anning’s story is all the more remarkable because her dinosaur discoveries took place nearly 50 years before Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, during an era when scientists were still trying to figure out what a fossil was.

Mary Anning was completely self-taught, never had any formal education, was very poor and found these things for a living, including sea shells.

Here’s an author interview and review by NPR


Grapevines, I second your recommendation. I’m currently reading the non fiction work, The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology by Simon Winchester. The book is a fascinating look at a man who doggedly pursued a line of inquiry that paved the way for Darwin’s theories of Evolution and especially Natural Selection. It should be required reading for all Creationists…

I’m only a third of the way through the book and I’d like to continue in this vein. Remarkable Creatures seems the perfect segue. Mary Anning was thirty years younger than Smith and they were born in towns 100 miles apart. They would have been interested in each other’s discoveries had they met.


I haven’t read Birth of Modern Geology yet but would love too..its going on my list of reads for its essential history of the earth sciences…in my opinion William Smith has been, sadly, far too overlooked. Looks like I’ll have to order this one thru a larger library than the one in my small town. It would make a great winter read, but I could break down and read it this summer.

It does sound like it would dove tail nicely with the Mary Anning book.
Thanks 🙂


An excellent suggestion.


I am currently reading Barkskins by Annie Proulx. It’s excellent but it is 713 pages. I can’t put it down. The book traces the lives of two characters and their descendants starting in the early 17th century and moves forward until we reach the present day. It is about the “forests of the world.” I particularly like the focus on marginalized groups such as the indigenous, women, orphans, etc.


I’m also interested in reading the new book by Ben H. Winters. He wrote The Last Policeman trilogy which I really enjoyed. He’s new book is Underground Airlines and here’s part of what Goodreads says:

“It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.”

It seems to be an alternate history that, like all literature, sheds light on our times.


In honor of the Kaine choice in subservience to Wall Street, I nominate David Dayen’s Chain of Title, New York and London: The New Press, 2016, about 320 pages plus notes. It tells the story of the massive and ongoing title fraud through the lives of three people who tried to fight back. Turns out that with all the slicing and dicing of CDOs and other financial “products,” it looks as if no one is really sure who owns what. Not even now. With people still undergoing foreclosure, this book warns that the suing bank or other financial entity probably won’t be able to produce the actual mortgage or note. The financial “industry” has disrupted the concept of title, a stable and reliable evidence of ownership of real property for centuries. I can really get going on this one. Even if it doesn’t sound like a good group read, I recommend it highly. It’s a decent financial read in the vein of Michael Lewis.


…humm, this one sounds interesting. I’ll see if I can order it thru our little library. The nearest bookstore is a 4 hour, one way drive from where I live…I’m in a very rural area in the boonies.


Might I suggest The Shelf by Phyllis Rose, subtitled Adventures in Extreme Reading, The conceit is that she chose a library shelf at random and read through the books. I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for a while, but have yet to tackle it. It clocks in at a mere 238 pages. Many years ago I read her Parallel Lives:Five Victorian Marriages in a book group, enjoyed her writing style immensely and recall that it engendered a lively discussion.
I would love to read Barkskins, perhaps as a longer term project.


Oh, how funny! The Shelf describes my reading methodology growing up. I’d find a book I liked, and then I’d read everything on the shelf around it. Sometimes I’d expand to a shelf above or below it. It never occurred to me that that was odd until I was in college…. <:-)


I did that a bit myself when I was younger and a faithful patron of the bookmobile. The librarian would let me take home as many books as I could carry and those were happy reading days!


Me, too. My bike baskets could carry up to 13 books, and my friend’s up to 9, depending on the size of the books. Halfway through the week, we’d trade. We don’t see each other often these days, but when we do, we still sometimes read together!

I had favorite shelves in the bookmobile, my junior high library, and the downtown public library — all different parts of the alphabet, but there were some I missed.

Linda Thieman

I saw an interview on CSPAN2 yesterday on this book, sort of a group memoir, called Rise of the Rocket Girls, about the large group of women who were employed by the JPL as part of the space program in the 40’s and 50’s. They were called Computers and they were instrumental in the development of space flight. A largely forgotten group of people.



That looks like an interesting read.


How about “The Boy Kings of Texas” by Domingo Martinez. I heard about it through “This American Life” where the author read out his short story about his two sisters, whom he dubbed “The Two Mimis”.


I heard that story! It was a good one. 🙂


There are so many wonderful and intriguing books out there–I’d be happy to read any of the ones that have been suggested. It would be nice to alternate between non-fiction and fiction. Just my 2 cents worth.

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