Author Archives: Bookshelf


The Wrong Side of Goodbye

Suggested by Brad Nelson • Two cases confront Harry Bosch. As a part-time detective in the SFPD, he’s after a serial rapists. As a private investigator, he’s been hired by a billionaire to track down an old flame. Nineteenth in the series of 21, the series shows no signs of getting old.
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Wanderings: Chaim Potok’s History of the Jews

Suggested by Kung Fu Zu • A history of the Jews from their obscure beginnings, before they were Jews, to the last quarter of the 20th century. It should be required reading for anyone who wishes to have a better understanding of this people.
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Adventures of an Elephant Boy

Suggested by Timothy Lane • Political satire by the author of The Mouse That Roared. A simple elephant boy is selected to be a personal guest of a large nation. Hari learns that in order to have liberty and happiness in the rest of the world, you need lots of laws.
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Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939

Suggested by Kung Fu Zu • A modern comprehensive biography on Hitler up to the age of 50. Although his youth is covered, it concentrates on the period after the end of WWI and Hitler’s amazing and unlikely rise to power.
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The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street

Suggested by Timothy Lane • A study of the early years of Wall Street with a focus on the infamous Erie Wars between Cornelius Vanderbilt and his nemesis, Daniel Drew, who was assisted by Jim Fisk and Jay Gould. The title comes from the Wall Street nickname for the Erie.
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The River of Doubt

Suggested by Brad Nelson • After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt (accompanied by his son and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Rondon) set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon.
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The Lost City of Z

Suggested by Brad Nelson • In 1925, British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years, dozens perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called The Lost City of Z.
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Into Thin Air

Suggested by Brad Nelson • A tale of the train-wreck of people, places, and circumstances that led to the death of eight climbers caught in a blizzard near the top of Mount Everest. This is written by a journalist, Jon Krakauer, who made the trip to the top and lived to write the story.
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A Vision of Light

Suggested by Brad Nelson • A 14th century Englishwoman enlists the help of a skeptical but hungry monk to help her put down her life’s story. We learn that during a stint as a midwife she is given a special gift. But the 14th century is a rough time, particularly for women, gift or no gift.
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Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928

Suggested by Kung Fu Zu • Takes the reader from Stalin’s birth up to his fiftieth year. Kotkin interweaves Stalin’s story with that of Tsarist Russia of the same period. An excellent read.
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The Pointing Man: A Burmese Mystery

Suggested by Kung Fu Zu • The young assistant of a Burman curio shop owner goes missing. A banker, a vicar, and the wife of a high-ranking bureaucrat all seem to be hiding something. An old friend who works for the Indian Government, Coryndon, happens along and sets about to solve the mystery.
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The Struggle for Mastery in Europe

Suggested by Kung Fu Zu • This book deals with the diplomatic history of Europe from 1848 — when Europe and European powers held primacy in world affairs — through 1918, by which time Europe had receded into secondary or tertiary importance in world politics.
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