New Leaf Nominations for October • The Times They Are a'Changin': Revolution
#1  CRussel 09-01-2020, 12:22 AM
Hello and Welcome to the New Leaf Book Club's October Book Nomination thread where we nominate the books that we'd like the New Leaf Book Club to consider reading in October, 2020. The theme is The Times They Are a'Changin': Revolution .

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. Also, don't sweat the links. Yes, it's helpful to check availability and prices before nominating in order to eliminate anything that's out of the question, but ultimately our global members with different gadgets and preferences will have to check for themselves.

The nominations will run through 9 AM PST, September 7, 2020. Each nomination requires a second to make it to the poll, which will remain open for three days. The discussion of the selection will start on October 15, 2020.

And don't forget to join us for the discussion of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days , our September selection. That discussion starts on Tuesday, September 15th.

Any questions? See the FAQ below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with two nominations:

#2  CRussel 09-01-2020, 12:22 AM
Nominations awaiting a second:

#3  gmw 09-01-2020, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the head start, but I'd forgotten it was even coming up . And now I'm staring at the theme with Dylon and the Beatles competing for who wants to be the biggest ear worm.

#4  Victoria 09-01-2020, 05:28 PM
I’ve chosen a book that focuses on birth of the information age, so nominate The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The WWII Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women Who Worked There, by Sinclair McKay.

From Amazon:
Bletchley Park has played a vital role in British history. This Victorian country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was was where one of the war’s most famous – and crucial – achievements was made: the cracking of Germany’ s 'Enigma' code in which its most important military communications were couched. It was home to some of Britain’s most brilliant mathematical brains, such as Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology – indeed, the birth of modern computing. The military codes deciphered there were instrumental in turning both the Battle of the Atlantic and the war in North Africa.

But, though plenty has been written about the boffins, and the codebreaking, fictional and non-fiction – from Robert Harris and Ian McEwan to Andrew Hodges’ biography of Turing – what of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked there during the war? What was life like for them – an odd, secret territory between the civilian and the military? This is the first oral history of life at Bletchley Park, an amazing compendium of memories from people now in their eighties – of skating on the frozen lake in the grounds (a depressed Angus Wilson, the novelist, once threw himself in) – of a youthful Roy Jenkins, useless at codebreaking, of the high jinks at nearby accommodation hostels – and of the implacable secrecy that meant girlfriend and boyfriend working in adjacent huts knew nothing about each other's work.

Kindle: $8 US; $10 CA
Kobo: $13.50 CA; $10.79 US; $18.74 AUD; £6.49 UK
Overdrive: it appears to be available, though not at my library.

I’m sorry the cost is so high in Australia, but have decided to suggest it anyway, based on library availability.

#5  Catlady 09-01-2020, 06:17 PM
I was trying to decide among several books on women's suffrage, but since one of the contenders is on sale today in the U.S. and Canada (Amazon and Kobo), I decided to go with it so anyone even vaguely interested can pick it up now: The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss (2018, 417 pp.).

The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.

"With a skill reminiscent of Robert Caro, [Weiss] turns the potentially dry stuff of legislative give-and-take into a drama of courage and cowardice."--The Wall Street Journal

"Weiss is a clear and genial guide with an ear for telling language ... She also shows a superb sense of detail, and it's the deliciousness of her details that suggests certain individuals warrant entire novels of their own... Weiss's thoroughness is one of the book's great strengths. So vividly had she depicted events that by the climactic vote (spoiler alert: The amendment was ratified!), I got goose bumps."--Curtis Sittenfeld, The New York Times Book Review

Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis"--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel's, and the Bible.

Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, along with appearances by Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Woman's Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.
Available as both ebook and audiobook. It can be borrowed through Overdrive and Axis360.

Amazon U.S., $1.99

#6  Catlady 09-01-2020, 06:25 PM
Quote Victoria
I’ve chosen a book that focuses on birth of the information age, so nominate The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The WWII Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women Who Worked There, by Sinclair McKay.
Victoria, it looks like there's an alternate title: The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park. The audiobook (which is in Overdrive) uses this alternate title.

#7  Victoria 09-01-2020, 06:39 PM
Quote Catlady
Victoria, it looks like there's an alternate title: The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park. The audiobook (which is in Overdrive) uses this alternate title.
Oh great - thanks Catlady. And thanks for the heads up in the sale. It looks like a really neat book! I second it. And just picked it up.

#8  CRussel 09-02-2020, 12:13 AM
OK, with a theme like this, I pretty much have to go with:

10 Days that Shook the World, by John Reed. It's in the public domain in the US, Canada, the EU, and Australia, given that it was published in 1919 (so OK in the US) and the author died in 1920, so good everywhere else. It's a reasonable length, ~300 pages. And the book had a profound impact.
“Ten Days That Shook the World” is American journalist and socialist John Reed’s first-hand account of the Russian October Revolution of 1917. First published in 1919, Reed died soon after the book was released and was buried at the Kremlin in Moscow, one of only three Americans interred there, in tribute to his friendship with Vladimir Lenin and his important contribution to the new Soviet regime. While it was intended as an impartial and unbiased account, by Reed’s own admission, “in the struggle [his] sympathies were not neutral.” While Reed sided with the Bolsheviks and the Communist Revolution, his account of this pivotal time in world history is riveting, detailed, passionate, and brutally honest. “Ten Days That Shook the World” remains one of the most important and consequential works of American journalism and continues to influence the modern understanding of this violent and transformative time. An important historical document by an eyewitness of an event that would change the political landscape for most of the 20th century, “Ten Days That Shook the World” is a must read for those interested in communism, socialism, and how the October Revolution shaped Russian history.

#9  CRussel 09-02-2020, 12:25 AM
Quote Victoria
I’ve chosen a book that focuses on birth of the information age, so nominate The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The WWII Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women Who Worked There, by Sinclair McKay.
Darn, I was hoping you might have gone for Michael Smith's The Secrets of Station X, which I read after it was nominated a couple of years ago. And which I really liked. But hey, this will give me a reason to read another. (I also read and very much like Between Silk and Cyanide that month.)

#10  gmw 09-02-2020, 03:12 AM
So I'm going to cheat and nominate the book I am currently reading: Factfulness by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling & Anna Rosling Rönnlund. The subtitle for this is: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

The blurb from Goodreads
Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how many young women go to school; how many of us live in poverty - we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.

In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and a man who can make data sing, Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens, and reveals the ten instincts that distort our perspective.

It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.

Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world.
342 pages according to Goodreads, 235 ADE.

My scan of the first page of reviews on Goodreads seems to be reflecting my early impressions: good but not without fault. Lots to talk about in it, and it definitely fits the theme: the book is all about trends and how things really have been getting better by many important measurements. The author is very upbeat, so the cheerful message makes for a pleasant change in these interesting times.

Example prices: Kobo US $9.99, Kobo CA $10.99, Kobo UK £4.99, Kobo AU $14.99.

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