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New Leaf Nominations for May 2018 • Doomed to Repeat It: History
#1  issybird 03-31-2018, 04:26 PM
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Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all those who are celebrating and stay wary today to all.

Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for May 2018. The theme is Doomed to Repeat It: History (fact and fiction).

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT April 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 May 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the April selection of the New Leaf Book Club, Making History, on April 15.

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore [issybird, CRussel, Alohamora]
Amazon US $9.99 | Amazon UK £0.99 | Amazon CA $17.53 | Amazon AU $10.99 | Kobo US $14.39 | Kobo CA $19.19 |Kobo UK £0.99 | Kobo AU $10.99 | OverDrive | Hoopla (ebook and audiobook)
Spoiler Warning below






From Goodreads, where it has a rating of 4.24 stars:

Quote
The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...


Willoughbyland by Matthew Parker [latepaul, issybird, Bookpossum]
Amazon UK £2.99 | Amazon US $13.99 | Amazon CA $14.99 | Amazon AU $14.99 | Kobo UK | Kobo US | Kobo CA | Overdrive
Spoiler Warning below






Summary from Amazon:
Quote
At the beginning of the 1650s, England was in ruins – wrecked, impoverished, grief-stricken by plague and civil war. Yet shimmering on the horizon was an intoxicating possibility, a vision of paradise: Willoughbyland.

Ambitious and free-thinking adventurers poured in, attracted by the toleration, the optimism, the rich soil and the promise of the gold of El Dorado. It was England's most hopeful colony.

But the Restoration saw the end of political freedom, and brought in its place spies, war, rebellion and treachery. The advent of racial slavery poisoned everything. What started out as a heaven was soon to become one of the cruellest places on earth.

The history of Willoughbyland is a microcosm of empire, its heady attractions and fatal dangers.


The Prestige by Christopher Priest [Bookpossum, bfisher, gmw]
Kobo: $US7.99, $C9.99, $A9.99 and GBP5.99
Spoiler Warning below






From Goodreads:
Quote
In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose one another.

Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magicians' craft can command--the highest misdirection and the darkest science.

Blood will be spilled, but it will not be enough. In the end, their legacy will pass on for generations...to descendants who must, for their sanity's sake, untangle the puzzle left to them.


Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky [Dngersone, gmw, Luffy]
Goodreads US$16.99
Spoiler Warning below






The doomed to repeat part falls into the much-anticipated apocalypse-- if our modern world goes down the tubes, it'll be the people with access to salt and other food preservation methods who will likely survive.

Writing on the Wall: Social Media - The First 2000 Years by Tom Standage [Bookworm_Girl, Bookpossum, Dazrin]
Amazon US $9.99 | Amazon UK £8.63 | Amazon Canada $9.99 | Amazon Australia $7.12 |Kobo | Overdrive | Scribd | Audio: Overdrive | Hoopla | Scribd
Spoiler Warning below






From Goodreads:
Quote
Papyrus rolls and Twitter have much in common, as each was their generation's signature means of “instant” communication. Indeed, as Tom Standage reveals in his scintillating new book, social media is anything but a new phenomenon.

From the papyrus letters that Roman statesmen used to exchange news across the Empire to the advent of hand-printed tracts of the Reformation to the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, Standage chronicles the increasingly sophisticated ways people shared information with each other, spontaneously and organically, down the centuries. With the rise of newspapers in the nineteenth century, then radio and television, “mass media” consolidated control of information in the hands of a few moguls. However, the Internet has brought information sharing full circle, and the spreading of news along social networks has reemerged in powerful new ways.

A fresh, provocative exploration of social media over two millennia, Writing on the Wall reminds us how modern behavior echoes that of prior centuries-the Catholic Church, for example, faced similar dilemmas in deciding whether or how to respond to Martin Luther's attacks in the early sixteenth century to those that large institutions confront today in responding to public criticism on the Internet. Invoking the likes of Thomas Paine and Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet, Standage explores themes that have long been debated: the tension between freedom of expression and censorship; whether social media trivializes, coarsens or enhances public discourse; and its role in spurring innovation, enabling self-promotion, and fomenting revolution. As engaging as it is visionary, Writing on the Wall draws on history to cast new light on today's social media and encourages debate and discussion about how we'll communicate in the future.



The Appointment by Herta Müller [astrangerhere, Luffy, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon $9.99 / Kobo $9.99
Spoiler Warning below






From the description:
Quote
"I've been summoned. Thursday, ten sharp." Thus begins one day in the life of a young clothing-factory worker during Ceaucescu's totalitarian regime. She has been questioned before; this time, she believes, will be worse. Her crime? Sewing notes into the linings of men's suits bound for Italy. "Marry me," the notes say, with her name and address. Anything to get out of the country.

As she rides the tram to her interrogation, her thoughts stray to her friend Lilli, shot trying to flee to Hungary, to her grandparents, deported after her first husband informed on them, to Major Albu, her interrogator, who begins each session with a wet kiss on her fingers, and to Paul, her lover, her one source of trust, despite his constant drunkenness. In her distraction, she misses her stop to find herself on an unfamiliar street. And what she discovers there makes her fear of the appointment pale by comparison.

Herta Müller pitilessly renders the humiliating terrors of a crushing regime. Bone-spare and intense, The Appointment confirms her standing as one of Europe's greatest writers.


The Soul of a New Machine Tracy Kidder [CRussel, bfisher, latepaul]
AmazonUS: $9.99 | AmazonUK: £3.99 | AmazonAU: $12.99 | KoboCA: $12.99 | AudibleUS
Spoiler Warning below






Goodreads:
Quote
The computer revolution brought with it new methods of getting work done—just look at today's news for reports of hard-driven, highly-motivated young software and online commerce developers who sacrifice evenings and weekends to meet impossible deadlines. Tracy Kidder got a preview of this world in the late 1970s when he observed the engineers of Data General design and build a new 32-bit minicomputer in just one year. His thoughtful, prescient book, The Soul of a New Machine, tells stories of 35-year-old "veteran" engineers hiring recent college graduates and encouraging them to work harder and faster on complex and difficult projects, exploiting the youngsters' ignorance of normal scheduling processes while engendering a new kind of work ethic.

These days, we are used to the "total commitment" philosophy of managing technical creation, but Kidder was surprised and even a little alarmed at the obsessions and compulsions he found. From in-house political struggles to workers being permitted to tease management to marathon 24-hour work sessions, The Soul of a New Machine explores concepts that already seem familiar, even old-hat, less than 20 years later. Kidder plainly admires his subjects; while he admits to hopeless confusion about their work, he finds their dedication heroic. The reader wonders, though, what will become of it all, now and in the future. —Rob Lightner
Amazon description:
Quote
Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder memorably records the drama, comedy, and excitement of one company's efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market.
Computers have changed since 1981, when The Soul of a New Machine first examined the culture of the computer revolution. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations.
The Soul of a New Machine is an essential chapter in the history of the machine that revolutionized the world in the twentieth century.


Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-Made Material by Robert Courland [gmw, Dazrin, issybird]
Amazon US - $12.99 | Amazon UK - £10.44 | Amazon CA - CDN$9.99 | Amazon AU - AUD$10.97 | Kobo US - USD$12.99 | Kobo UK £8.99 | Kobo CA - CAD$10.69 | Kobo AU AUD$15.06
Spoiler Warning below






From Goodreads:
Quote
Concrete: We use it for our buildings, bridges, dams, and roads. We walk on it, drive on it, and many of us live and work within its walls. But very few of us know what it is. We take for granted this ubiquitous substance, which both literally and figuratively comprises much of modern civilization’s constructed environment; yet the story of its creation and development features a cast of fascinating characters and remarkable historical episodes. This book delves into this history, opening readers’ eyes at every turn. [...]
A relevant quote from the introduction explains what to expect: "This is not a technical book [...] it is the human story of concrete, with emphasis on the people who discovered—and rediscovered—this building material, and who also pioneered novel ways of using it."

Most of us will have read fantasy stories where the ancients held great secrets, with concrete that has been true: for centuries it appeared the secret of making strong concrete had died with the Romans. We do now know how they did it, but the author laments that - unlike the Romans - we continue to make buildings, and even memorials, that may not long outlast the generation that built them.

All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka [JSWolf, Dngrsone, CRussel]
Goodreads | Hoopla Digital | Overdrive: | Kobo US | Kobo UK | Kobo CA | Kobo AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA
Spoiler Warning below






It was made into the movie Edge of Tomorrow.

[quote]There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again… When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known
Reply 

#2  issybird 03-31-2018, 04:28 PM
The format will be slightly altered this month so that once a book has received three nominations, it will appear only in the list of official choices above. This will eliminate the redundancy between the two lists and make it easier to see which books haven't been fully nominated. Or that's the theory, anyway.

Pending Nominations:

**The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian [Catlady, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon US $11.99 | Amazon Canada $13.99 | Amazon UK £5.99 | Amazon Australia $11.99 | Kobo U.S. $11.99 | Kobo Canada $13.99 | Kobo UK £5.99 | Kobo Australia $11.99 | Overdrive (ebook and audiobook) | Scribd (audiobook)
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
A haunting love story set during the First World War amidst the horrors of the Armenian Genocide

One woman's journey into her family's past reveals a shocking story that has never been told.

1915, Aleppo, Syria.When Elizabeth Endicott steps off the boat from Boston, armed only with a crash course in nursing, nothing could have prepared her for the atrocities she is about to face. For Aleppo is the arrival point for the hundreds of thousands of Armenians who have been forced to march out of Turkey and through the desert to die.

There Elizabeth gets to know Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter in the Genocide. When Armen travels to Egypt to join the British army, he begins to write to Elizabeth, and slowly realizes that, unless he can find his way back to her, he risks becoming lost forever.

Present day, New York.Laura Petrosian has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought until an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a photo of Laura's grandmother advertising a museum exhibition. As Laura embarks on a journey back through her family's history she'll find a tale of love, loss - and the hidden story of a nation in mourning.

'Chris Bohjalian is at his very finest in this searing story of love and war. I was mesmerized from page one. Bravo!' Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

'The Sandcastle Girls is deft, layered, eye-opening, and riveting. I was deeply moved." Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed

'Powerful . . . Bohjalian's storytelling makes this a beautiful, frightening, and unforgettable read' Publishers' Weekly


*Everyone Brave Is Forgivenby Chris Cleave [Catlady]
Amazon U.S. $11.99 | Amazon CA $4.99 | Amazon UK £4.99 | Amazon AU $11.99 | Kobo U.S. $11.99 | Kobo CA $4.99 | Kobo UK £4.99 | Kobo AU $11.99
Spoiler Warning below






Quote
The instant New York Times bestseller from Chris Cleave—the unforgettable novel about three lives entangled during World War II, told “with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion…a powerful portrait of war’s effects on those who fight and those left behind” (People, Book of the Week).

London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

Set in London during the years of 1939–1942, when citizens had slim hope of survival, much less victory; and on the strategic island of Malta, which was daily devastated by the Axis barrage, Everyone Brave is Forgiven features little-known history and a perfect wartime love story inspired by the real-life love letters between Chris Cleave’s grandparents. This dazzling novel dares us to understand that, against the great theater of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs that change us most.
Reply 

#3  gmw 04-01-2018, 03:01 AM
I decided to go non-fiction for my nomination, it gets me away from all those historical fiction novels I looked at for the time-ly theme. Following is a book I discovered during research for one of my projects, and I was impressed with how well it was done.

Concrete Planet by Robert Courland
The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-Made Material

Amazon US - $12.99 | Amazon UK - £10.44 | Amazon CA - CDN$9.99 | Amazon AU - AUD$10.97 | Kobo US - USD$12.99 | Kobo UK £8.99 | Kobo CA - CAD$10.69 | Kobo AU AUD$15.06

From Goodreads:
Quote
Concrete: We use it for our buildings, bridges, dams, and roads. We walk on it, drive on it, and many of us live and work within its walls. But very few of us know what it is. We take for granted this ubiquitous substance, which both literally and figuratively comprises much of modern civilization’s constructed environment; yet the story of its creation and development features a cast of fascinating characters and remarkable historical episodes. This book delves into this history, opening readers’ eyes at every turn. [...]
A relevant quote from the introduction explains what to expect: "This is not a technical book [...] it is the human story of concrete, with emphasis on the people who discovered—and rediscovered—this building material, and who also pioneered novel ways of using it."

Most of us will have read fantasy stories where the ancients held great secrets, with concrete that has been true: for centuries it appeared the secret of making strong concrete had died with the Romans. We do now know how they did it, but the author laments that - unlike the Romans - we continue to make buildings, and even memorials, that may not long outlast the generation that built them.

Prices of non-fiction tend to be inconsistent and often high. When I bought this book four years ago I got it for under AUD$10 from Kobo, but now they are asking AUD$15 (Amazon.com.au is better). I see the UK costs are quite high, but hopefully you can get it at a library or shop around for a better deal.
Reply 

#4  Bookpossum 04-01-2018, 06:49 AM
I would like to nominate a book I am interested to read, having heard good things of it:

The Prestige by Christopher Priest.

From Goodreads:
Quote
In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose one another.

Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magicians' craft can command--the highest misdirection and the darkest science.

Blood will be spilled, but it will not be enough. In the end, their legacy will pass on for generations...to descendants who must, for their sanity's sake, untangle the puzzle left to them.
The prices given by Kobo are $US7.99, $C9.99, $A9.99 and GBP5.99.
Reply 

#5  drofgnal 04-01-2018, 07:04 AM
The classic 'doomed to repeat' novel would be War and Peace concerning Napoleon's invasion of Russia which Hitler decided to repeat with the same disastrous results of Napoleon. I've read it 3 times so I won't nominate it, but I'm looking....
Reply 

#6  issybird 04-01-2018, 09:25 AM
Quote drofgnal
The classic 'doomed to repeat' novel would be War and Peace concerning Napoleon's invasion of Russia which Hitler decided to repeat with the same disastrous results of Napoleon. I've read it 3 times so I won't nominate it, but I'm looking....
I'd love a goad to reread War and Peace, but I would expect participation to be very low indeed if somehow it made it past the goalpost!
Reply 

#7  Catlady 04-01-2018, 09:38 AM
Quote issybird
I'd love a goad to reread War and Peace, but I would expect participation to be very low indeed if somehow it made it past the goalpost!
I have never read it. I would, if goaded.
Reply 

#8  issybird 04-01-2018, 09:43 AM
Quote Catlady
I have never read it. I would, if goaded.
Hmm. Well, we'd have a long lead time....
Reply 

#9  Catlady 04-01-2018, 10:24 AM
I am nominating The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.

Quote
A haunting love story set during the First World War amidst the horrors of the Armenian Genocide

One woman's journey into her family's past reveals a shocking story that has never been told.

1915, Aleppo, Syria.When Elizabeth Endicott steps off the boat from Boston, armed only with a crash course in nursing, nothing could have prepared her for the atrocities she is about to face. For Aleppo is the arrival point for the hundreds of thousands of Armenians who have been forced to march out of Turkey and through the desert to die.

There Elizabeth gets to know Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter in the Genocide. When Armen travels to Egypt to join the British army, he begins to write to Elizabeth, and slowly realizes that, unless he can find his way back to her, he risks becoming lost forever.

Present day, New York.Laura Petrosian has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought until an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a photo of Laura's grandmother advertising a museum exhibition. As Laura embarks on a journey back through her family's history she'll find a tale of love, loss - and the hidden story of a nation in mourning.

'Chris Bohjalian is at his very finest in this searing story of love and war. I was mesmerized from page one. Bravo!' Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

'The Sandcastle Girls is deft, layered, eye-opening, and riveting. I was deeply moved." Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed

'Powerful . . . Bohjalian's storytelling makes this a beautiful, frightening, and unforgettable read' Publishers' Weekly
Amazon US $11.99 USD
Amazon Canada $13.99 CAD
Amazon UK £5.99
Amazon Australia $11.99 AUD

Kobo U.S. $11.99 USD
Kobo Canada $13.99 CAD
Kobo UK £5.99
Kobo Australia $11.99 AUD

Audiobook version also available. The book can be borrowed through Overdrive (ebook and audiobook) and Scribd (audiobook).
Reply 

#10  latepaul 04-01-2018, 11:26 AM
I would like to nominate Willoughbyland by Matthew Parker. It's the story of a 'lost colony' in the 17th century.

Summary from Amazon:
Quote
At the beginning of the 1650s, England was in ruins – wrecked, impoverished, grief-stricken by plague and civil war. Yet shimmering on the horizon was an intoxicating possibility, a vision of paradise: Willoughbyland.

Ambitious and free-thinking adventurers poured in, attracted by the toleration, the optimism, the rich soil and the promise of the gold of El Dorado. It was England's most hopeful colony.

But the Restoration saw the end of political freedom, and brought in its place spies, war, rebellion and treachery. The advent of racial slavery poisoned everything. What started out as a heaven was soon to become one of the cruellest places on earth.

The history of Willoughbyland is a microcosm of empire, its heady attractions and fatal dangers.
Prices on this vary quite a bit:

Amazon UK £2.99
Amazon US $13.99
Amazon CA $14.99
Amazon AU $14.99

It's also at Kobo:
Kobo UK
Kobo US
Kobo CA

And Overdrive
Reply 

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