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New Leaf Nominations for July 2018 • Some Like It Hot: Summer
#1  issybird 06-01-2018, 07:27 AM
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Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for July 2018. The theme is Some Like It Hot: Summer.



I love summer! I'm looking forward to lots and lots of nominations this month for my summer reading list. Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, June 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on July 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the June selection, The Three Musketeers, on June 15.

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

I Never Had it Made by Jackie Robinson [Dazrin, issybird, CRussel]
Amazon US $7.99 | Amazon CA | Amazon UK (paper only) | Kobo CA $9.99
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues.

I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson's early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete; his army stint during World War II, when he challenged Jim Crow laws and narrowly escaped court martial; his years of frustration, on and off the field, with the Negro Leagues; and finally that fateful day when Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers proposed what became known as the "Noble Experiment"—Robinson would step up to bat to integrate and revolutionize baseball.

More than a baseball story, I Never Had It Made also reveals the highs and lows of Robinson's life after baseball. He recounts his political aspirations and civil rights activism; his friendships with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Buckley, Jr., and Nelson Rockefeller; and his troubled relationship with his son, Jackie, Jr.

Originally published the year Robinson died, I Never Had It Made endures as an inspiring story of a man whose heroism extended well beyond the playing field.
320 pages

The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden [Bookpossum, bfisher, Bookworm_Girl]
Kobo: $US9.89, $C12.09, £6.47, $A2.99 | Amazon US $8.99
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
Soon after the end of the terrible Great War, Mrs. Grey brings her five young children to the French countryside for the summer in hopes of instilling in them a sense of history and humility. But when she is struck down by a sudden illness and hospitalized, the siblings are left to fend for themselves at the lovely, bullet-scarred hotel Les Oeillets, under the suspicious, watchful eyes of its owner, Mademoiselle Zizi.

The young ones find a willing guide, companion, and protector in charming Englishman Eliot, a longtime resident at Les Oeillets and Mlle. Zizi’s apparent paramour. But as these warm days of freedom, discovery, and adolescent adventure unfold, Eliot’s interest becomes more and more focused on the eldest of the Grey children, sixteen-year-old daughter Joss. The older man’s obsession with the innocent, alluring, heartbreakingly beautiful woman-child soon threatens to overstep all bounds of propriety. And as Eliot’s fascination increases, so does the jealousy of his disrespected lover, adding fuel to a dangerously smoldering fire that could erupt into unexpected violence at any moment.

Told from the point of view of Cecil, Joss’s sharp-eyed younger sister, The Greengage Summer is a beautiful, poignant, darkly tinged coming-of-age story rich in the sights, smells, and sounds of France’s breathtaking Champagne country. It remains one of the crowning literary achievements of Rumer Godden, acclaimed author of beloved classics Black Narcissus, The River, and In This House of Brede.
196 pages

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson [Bookworm_Girl, Bookpossum, gmw]
Amazon US $8.99 | Amazon UK £3.79 | Amazon CA $6.29 | Amazon AU $6.15 | Kobo | Overdrive
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer—its sunlight and storms—into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia’s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. “On an island,” thinks the grandmother, “everything is complete.” In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.

Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world.
170 pages

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury [latepaul, gmw, astrangerhere]
Amazon UK £3.99 | Kobo US $12.99 | Kobo Aus $5.99 | Overdrive
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
The summer of '28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma's belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding—remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury.
338 pages

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West [astrangerhere, Catlady, CRussel]
Free: Manybooks | Gutenberg | LibriVox (Audio)
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
Writing her first novel during World War I, West examines the relationship between three women and a soldier suffering from shell-shock. This novel of an enclosed world invaded by public events also embodies in its characters the shifts in England's class structures at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The book's events take place almost exclusively during the summer months, and there are some beautiful descriptions of the weather and countryside. 110 pages

The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley. [latepaul, issybird, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon UK £4.99 | Kobo US $10.99 | Kobo Aus$14.99 | Overdrive
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
When one long, hot summer, young Leo is staying with a school-friend at Brandham Hall, he begins to act as a messenger between Ted, the farmer, and Marian, the beautiful young woman up at the hall. He becomes drawn deeper and deeper into their dangerous game of deceit and desire, until his role brings him to a shocking and premature revelation. The haunting story of a young boy's awakening into the secrets of the adult world, The Go-Between is also an unforgettable evocation of the boundaries of Edwardian society.
344 pages

Atonement by Ian McEwan [Catlady, issybird, Bookpossum]
Amazon U.S. $11.99 | Kobo U.S. $11.99 |Amazon UK £4.99 | Kobo UK £4.99 | Amazon Ca $12.99 | Kobo Ca $12.99 | OverDrive | Scribd
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’ s incomplete grasp of adult motives–together with her precocious literary gifts–brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.
370 pages

Long Summer Day by R.F. Delderfield [CRussel, bfisher, Dazrin]
AmazonUK £4.99 | KoboUK | AmazonAU $12.99 |AmazonCA $5.99 | KoboCA | Overdrive | Kindle Unlimited
Spoiler Warning below






Quote Goodreads.com
1902-1911 An age of innocence and hope. Before the storm clouds roll over Europe. As Paul Craddock recovers from his Boer War injuries, he starts to plan a new life. As soon as he is able he invests all he has in a remote but beautiful estate in Devon, determined to make something wonderful of the place and to be at the heart of what is most real and most important. Then he meets Grace, beautiful and passionate, and mistress of the land he has so quickly grown to love. Equals in spirit and honour, their attraction to each other is undeniable, but she too has ambitions - and they may not be compatible with his. As Paul gains knowledge, contentment and stature in Shallowford it is at the price of heartbreak and bittersweet lessons learned.
The Amazon description:
[quote=Amazon.com]A great read for fans of PBS’s Poldark and Downton Abbey—first in the saga of a man returning from battle to an estate in the pre-WWI English countryside.

After serving his country in the Boer War, injured Lieutenant Paul Craddock returns to England to resume civilian life. But things have changed since he joined the Imperial Yeomanry three years ago. His father has died, leaving Paul as heir to a scrap metal business he has no intention of continuing. Instead, he purchases an auctioned-off thirteen-hundred-acre estate in a secluded corner of Devon. Neglected and overgrown, Shallowford becomes the symbol of all that Paul has lost—and a reminder of the gentle place his homeland once was. And here, on this sprawling stretch of land, he will be changed by his love for two women: fiercely independent Grace Lovell, and lovely, demure Claire Derwent.

Set in the English countryside in the first part of the previous century—from the long “Edwardian afternoon” following the death of Queen Victoria, to the gathering storm of World War I—Long Summer Day is the story of a man, his family, and a people struggling to adapt to life in a new world.688 pages

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams [Catlady, bfisher, orlok]
Amazon U.S. $11.99 | Kobo U.S. $11.99 | Amazon UK £3.99 | Kobo UK £3.99 | Amazon Ca $8.99 | Kobo Ca $8.99 | Amazon Au $3.99 | Kobo Au $9.99 | OverDrive | Scribd
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
As the 1938 hurricane approaches Rhode Island, another storm brews in this New York Times bestseller from the author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant and Along the Infinite Sea.

Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.

But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.

As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever...
369 pages

A Man's Got to Have a Hobby: Long Summers with My Dad by William McInnes [gmw, Dazrin, orlok]
Amazon US $10.99 | Amazon UK £4.49 | Amazon CA $11.99 | Amazon AU $11.99 | Kobo US $10.99 | Kobo UK £4.49 | Kobo CA $11.99 | Kobo AU $11.99
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
A tail-end baby boomer, William McInnes recalls summer holidays that seemed to go on forever, when he and his mates would walk down to fish in the bay, a time when the Aussie battler stood as the local Labor candidate and watched out for his mates, and a time when the whole family would rush into the lounge room to watch a new commercial on TV.

He writes about his father—a strong character who talks to the furniture, dances with William’s mother in the kitchen, and spends his free time fixing up the house and doing the best for his family. In William’s writing you can hear his father speaking, listen to his mother singing, and his sisters and brothers talking in the yard.

This is a book about people who aren’t famous but should be. It’s about cane toads and families, love and hope and fear, laughter, death and life. Most of all, it is a realistic, down-to-earth book by a man who had a great time growing up. His warmth and humour come through on every page.
288 pages
Reply 

#2  issybird 06-01-2018, 07:28 AM
Titles with one or two nominations:
Reply 

#3  CRussel 06-01-2018, 03:00 PM
I'd like to nominate R.F. Delderfield's Long Summer Day, the first of his Horseman Riding By trilogy, though it can certainly be read standalone without issue.

This was my final read of 2017, and a flat 5-star read for me. It's a delight in so many ways, and yet offers some real meat we can discuss around the Suffragette Movement in the UK, and around the radical tax law changes made by the Liberals and how those affected the class structure in England.

The time is the reign of King Edward from the Boer War up to just before World War I. The book is not short (688 pages), but is available as a Kindle Unlimited book right now at AmazonUS, or for: .
There is an Audible version, respectably read by Jonathan Oliver, but it doesn't appear to be available in the US.

As Books and Bookman said, when reviewing the book:
"It is always a pleasure to read R F Delderfield, because he never seems to be ashamed of writing well".

As a writer, I can think of few things that a reviewer could say that would please me more. The Goodreads description:
Quote Goodreads.com
1902-1911 An age of innocence and hope. Before the storm clouds roll over Europe. As Paul Craddock recovers from his Boer War injuries, he starts to plan a new life. As soon as he is able he invests all he has in a remote but beautiful estate in Devon, determined to make something wonderful of the place and to be at the heart of what is most real and most important. Then he meets Grace, beautiful and passionate, and mistress of the land he has so quickly grown to love. Equals in spirit and honour, their attraction to each other is undeniable, but she too has ambitions - and they may not be compatible with his. As Paul gains knowledge, contentment and stature in Shallowford it is at the price of heartbreak and bittersweet lessons learned.
The Amazon description:
Quote Amazon.com
A great read for fans of PBS’s Poldark and Downton Abbey—first in the saga of a man returning from battle to an estate in the pre-WWI English countryside.

After serving his country in the Boer War, injured Lieutenant Paul Craddock returns to England to resume civilian life. But things have changed since he joined the Imperial Yeomanry three years ago. His father has died, leaving Paul as heir to a scrap metal business he has no intention of continuing. Instead, he purchases an auctioned-off thirteen-hundred-acre estate in a secluded corner of Devon. Neglected and overgrown, Shallowford becomes the symbol of all that Paul has lost—and a reminder of the gentle place his homeland once was. And here, on this sprawling stretch of land, he will be changed by his love for two women: fiercely independent Grace Lovell, and lovely, demure Claire Derwent.

Set in the English countryside in the first part of the previous century—from the long “Edwardian afternoon” following the death of Queen Victoria, to the gathering storm of World War I—Long Summer Day is the story of a man, his family, and a people struggling to adapt to life in a new world.

Long Summer Day is the first novel in R. F. Delderfield’s saga A Horseman Riding By, which continues with Post of Honour and The Green Gauntlet.
As I said above, this was a 5 star read for me. Delightfully well written, and a pleasure to read. A perfect book for our Summer selection!
Reply 

#4  bfisher 06-01-2018, 03:38 PM
I'll second R.F. Delderfield's Long Summer Day.
Reply 

#5  Dazrin 06-01-2018, 04:41 PM
It wouldn't be summer without baseball!

I am nominating I Never Had it Made by Jackie Robinson.

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK (paper only) | Kobo CA

It is available through Overdrive and there are at least a couple different audio versions as well.

Approximate length: 320 pages

Quote
Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues.

I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson's early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete; his army stint during World War II, when he challenged Jim Crow laws and narrowly escaped court martial; his years of frustration, on and off the field, with the Negro Leagues; and finally that fateful day when Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers proposed what became known as the "Noble Experiment"—Robinson would step up to bat to integrate and revolutionize baseball.

More than a baseball story, I Never Had It Made also reveals the highs and lows of Robinson's life after baseball. He recounts his political aspirations and civil rights activism; his friendships with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Buckley, Jr., and Nelson Rockefeller; and his troubled relationship with his son, Jackie, Jr.

Originally published the year Robinson died, I Never Had It Made endures as an inspiring story of a man whose heroism extended well beyond the playing field.
Reply 

#6  issybird 06-01-2018, 08:01 PM
I love baseball lit, so I'll second I Never Had it Made.

(I'm currently in the middle of Bouton's infamous Ball Four, but I don't think it's aged well.)
Reply 

#7  CRussel 06-01-2018, 08:48 PM
Why not? I'll third Dazrin's nomination of I Never Had it Made, even though it's not easily available in the UK or Australia.
Reply 

#8  Catlady 06-01-2018, 09:32 PM
I'd been thinking about nominating The Boys of Summer, but one baseball book is probably enough.

I have two nominations: Atonement by Ian McEwan and A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams.

Atonement
Quote
Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’ s incomplete grasp of adult motives–together with her precocious literary gifts–brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.
Amazon U.S. $11.99
Kobo U.S. $11.99

Amazon UK £4.99
Kobo UK £4.99

Amazon Canada $12.99 CAD
Kobo Canada$12.99 CAD

Amazon Australia $14.99 AUD
Kobo Australia $14.99 AUD

A Hundred Summers
Quote
As the 1938 hurricane approaches Rhode Island, another storm brews in this New York Times bestseller from the author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant and Along the Infinite Sea.

Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.

But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.

As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever...
Amazon U.S. $11.99
Kobo U.S. $11.99

Amazon UK £3.99
Kobo UK £3.99

Amazon Canada $8.99 CAD
Kobo Canada $8.99 CAD

Amazon Australia $3.99 AUD
Kobo Australia $9.99 AUD

Ebook and audiobook for both in Overdrive, audiobook for both in Scribd.
Reply 

#9  Bookpossum 06-01-2018, 10:21 PM
I'm feeling warmer already, as our winter starts to kick in!

I would like to nominate The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden. From Kobo:

Quote
Soon after the end of the terrible Great War, Mrs. Grey brings her five young children to the French countryside for the summer in hopes of instilling in them a sense of history and humility. But when she is struck down by a sudden illness and hospitalized, the siblings are left to fend for themselves at the lovely, bullet-scarred hotel Les Oeillets, under the suspicious, watchful eyes of its owner, Mademoiselle Zizi.

The young ones find a willing guide, companion, and protector in charming Englishman Eliot, a longtime resident at Les Oeillets and Mlle. Zizi’s apparent paramour. But as these warm days of freedom, discovery, and adolescent adventure unfold, Eliot’s interest becomes more and more focused on the eldest of the Grey children, sixteen-year-old daughter Joss. The older man’s obsession with the innocent, alluring, heartbreakingly beautiful woman-child soon threatens to overstep all bounds of propriety. And as Eliot’s fascination increases, so does the jealousy of his disrespected lover, adding fuel to a dangerously smoldering fire that could erupt into unexpected violence at any moment.

Told from the point of view of Cecil, Joss’s sharp-eyed younger sister, The Greengage Summer is a beautiful, poignant, darkly tinged coming-of-age story rich in the sights, smells, and sounds of France’s breathtaking Champagne country. It remains one of the crowning literary achievements of Rumer Godden, acclaimed author of beloved classics Black Narcissus, The River, and In This House of Brede.
Prices on Kobo websites: $US9.89, $C12.09, Stg6.47, $A2.99. (So move to Australia!)
Reply 

#10  Bookpossum 06-01-2018, 10:23 PM
I meant to add how much I enjoyed the great and glorious Ella Fitzgerald singing Gershwin's Summertime. Thanks for that, issybird.
Reply 

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