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Happy 2017. Since Eva started the Best reads of 2015 thread, I thought I'd ask members what favorite books they read last year. Here's my list:

My favorite Lincoln Reads
Decapitating the Union by John Fazio
Lincoln's Melancholy by Joshua Wolf Shenk
Sidney Blumenthal's Lincoln biography

My favorite non Lincoln Reads
Killing The Rising Sun: How America Vanquished WWII Japan by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
The Presidents Gather by Eric Ebinger
American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise by Joe Drape
My Favorite Lincoln Reads for 2016

* That Nation Might Live by Jeff Openheimer
http://rogerjnorton.com/LincolnDiscussio...-2996.html

Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
Lincoln's Melancholy by Joshua Wolf Shenk
There I Grew Up by William Bartlett
Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination by Thomas Bogar
Prairie President by Raymond Warren

Non Lincoln books
A Higher Call by Adam Makos (very good WWII - non fiction)
Two I especially liked were Lincoln's Springfield by Bryon C. Andreasen and Lincoln's Springfield Neighborhood by Bonnie E. Paull and Richard E. Hart.
I second Roger. I like (and want to) to learn something new when I read (also the trivia), and from those I did. However, basically I liked all books I read, and couldn't determine an absolute favorite of this past year.
(Non-Lincoln books were all natural science ones.)
Because I am giving a paper at the annual meeting on Lincoln and wartime Reconstruction, these are some of the better volumes I consulted and hopefully some of you will find interesting, too: Eben G. Scott, Reconstruction during the Civil War (Boston: N.Pub., 1895); Charles H. McCarthy, Lincoln’s Plan of Reconstruction (McClure, Philips & Co., 1901); Lloyd Lewis, “If Lincoln Had Lived,” in Edward Wagenknecht (ed.), Abraham Lincoln: His Life, Work, and Character (New York: Creative Press, 1947), 533-40; William B. Hesseltine, Lincoln’s Plan of Reconstruction (The Confederate Publishing Company, 1960); and John C. Rodrigue, Lincoln and Reconstruction (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2013); William A. Blair, With Malice toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014); James Oakes, Freedom National:The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 (New York: Norton, 2013); Oakes, The Scorpions’ Sting:Anti-Slavery and the Coming of the Civil War (New York: Norton, 2014). A good review and synopsis of both volumes is in Andrew Delbanco, “The Civil War Convulsion,” The New York Review of Books, LII (March 19, 2015).
Good luck, Bill! Hope it goes well!

I own a signed copy of Wagenknecht's book. Lots of interesting material. Here's the editor's signature - hope it's as clear to everyone as it is to me...

[Image: signature.jpg]
Your best reads for 2017 ?

Here is my list
Echoes from Hospital and White House by Anna Boyden
Madness of Mary Lincoln by Jason Emerson
He Knew Lincoln and Other Billie Brown Stories by Ida Tarbell

Children's Books - That Lincoln Boy by Earl Miers

Non Lincoln - Shape of Illusion by William Barrett
Narrative of My Captivity Among the Sioux by Fanny Kelly
Washington's Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade
A friend gave me a copy of Abraham Lincoln - His Life and Times: An Illustrated History. The book was published in 2009 by Time Books, Time Inc. I enjoyed it very much. Another book I enjoyed is The President Is Dead!: The Extraordinary Stories of the Presidential Deaths, Final Days, Burials, and Beyond by Louis L. Picone.
The ones that stand out are:

Lincoln in the Bardo (still waiting to find another person who has made it through)
Lincoln's Melancholy
A Foreigner's Quest (highly recommend)
Trial by War
Grief by Andrew Holleran, which weaves Mary Lincoln into the story, also resonated a lot with me
The Trials of Mrs. Lincoln (reviews of this tend to dismiss it as inaccurate or non-historical, but while it has a certain narrative it is pursuing, I don't think it stretches or mistakes the facts more than other more well-received books, and I think it is a completely reasonable interpretation.).

I read way too many to list - almost all of them were very good.
(01-04-2018 05:46 PM)kerry Wrote: [ -> ]The ones that stand out are:
...
The Trials of Mrs. Lincoln (reviews of this tend to dismiss it as inaccurate or non-historical, but while it has a certain narrative it is pursuing, I don't think it stretches or mistakes the facts more than other more well-received books, and I think it is a completely reasonable interpretation.).
I totally agree - I absolutely like it and have often recommended it, to not much avail, so I am glad you liked it too. I think it offers a different and valid/reasonable perspective/interpretation in line with the facts.
(01-04-2018 05:46 PM)kerry Wrote: [ -> ]The ones that stand out are:

Lincoln in the Bardo (still waiting to find another person who has made it through)
Lincoln's Melancholy
A Foreigner's Quest (highly recommend)
Trial by War
Grief by Andrew Holleran, which weaves Mary Lincoln into the story, also resonated a lot with me
The Trials of Mrs. Lincoln (reviews of this tend to dismiss it as inaccurate or non-historical, but while it has a certain narrative it is pursuing, I don't think it stretches or mistakes the facts more than other more well-received books, and I think it is a completely reasonable interpretation.).

I read way too many to list - almost all of them were very good.

Kerry:

I read “Lincoln in the Bardo”. Actually, I listened to the audiobook. It was a well done production. Each “ghost” character is read by a different reader, quite a few of whom are famous, like Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Susan Sarandon, Keagan-Michael Key, and many others.

I can’t say I loved the book, but I liked it enough to finish it. It is very strange and, as you said in an earlier post, not to everybody’s taste. I wouldn’t recommend it to most people, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it if they had an interest in the topic and were open to a different literary concept. I found some scenes quite moving. Others were very funny. Some were a bit too vulgar for my taste. And some were just plain weird. But they were all interesting. It was clever the way the author used excerpts from actual newspaper accounts and letters to help tell the story. And some of the “historical accounts” he made up were pretty amusing. I really liked the ironic twist at the end of the book. I won’t give it away for anyone who plans to read it, but let’s just say Mr. Lincoln is not entirely himself when he leaves the cemetery after visiting Willie's tomb for the last time.

The whole time I was listening to the book, I kept thinking it would make a great Tim Burton animated film. (Think “The Corpse Bride” or “The Nightmare Before Christmas.) Then I read that the film rights have been optioned by Megan Mullally and her husband, Nick Offerman (both of whom are part of the audiobook cast.) I honestly don’t know how they could make a live action movie of this, but I supposed CGI could work. But it would be better in Tim Burton’s hand, IMO.

George Saunders was on C-Span’s BookTV recently to discuss how the novel came about. Here’s the link if you’re interested in watching it online.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?436776-22/lincoln-bardo
Sally - So nice to have you back posting on the forum. Happy New Year!
(01-06-2018 12:06 PM)L Verge Wrote: [ -> ]Sally - So nice to have you back posting on the forum. Happy New Year!

Thanks, Laurie! It's good to be back. I only wish I could attend the conference this year. Sadly, my bank account won't allow it. Confused
(01-06-2018 07:23 PM)Sally Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-06-2018 12:06 PM)L Verge Wrote: [ -> ]Sally - So nice to have you back posting on the forum. Happy New Year!

Thanks, Laurie! It's good to be back. I only wish I could attend the conference this year. Sadly, my bank account won't allow it. Confused

I know that feeling. My car decided it wanted a two-day visit to the AAA "spa" this week - to the tune of $1300+. I think it thought it would be warmer inside that car care center than outside in Maryland's sub-zero nights and daytime temps in the teens. There's been a week of this, and I'm done!
(01-05-2018 09:17 PM)Sally Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-04-2018 05:46 PM)kerry Wrote: [ -> ]The ones that stand out are:

Lincoln in the Bardo (still waiting to find another person who has made it through)
Lincoln's Melancholy
A Foreigner's Quest (highly recommend)
Trial by War
Grief by Andrew Holleran, which weaves Mary Lincoln into the story, also resonated a lot with me
The Trials of Mrs. Lincoln (reviews of this tend to dismiss it as inaccurate or non-historical, but while it has a certain narrative it is pursuing, I don't think it stretches or mistakes the facts more than other more well-received books, and I think it is a completely reasonable interpretation.).

I read way too many to list - almost all of them were very good.

Kerry:

I read “Lincoln in the Bardo”. Actually, I listened to the audiobook. It was a well done production. Each “ghost” character is read by a different reader, quite a few of whom are famous, like Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Susan Sarandon, Keagan-Michael Key, and many others.

I can’t say I loved the book, but I liked it enough to finish it. It is very strange and, as you said in an earlier post, not to everybody’s taste. I wouldn’t recommend it to most people, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it if they had an interest in the topic and were open to a different literary concept. I found some scenes quite moving. Others were very funny. Some were a bit too vulgar for my taste. And some were just plain weird. But they were all interesting. It was clever the way the author used excerpts from actual newspaper accounts and letters to help tell the story. And some of the “historical accounts” he made up were pretty amusing. I really liked the ironic twist at the end of the book. I won’t give it away for anyone who plans to read it, but let’s just say Mr. Lincoln is not entirely himself when he leaves the cemetery after visiting Willie's tomb for the last time.

The whole time I was listening to the book, I kept thinking it would make a great Tim Burton animated film. (Think “The Corpse Bride” or “The Nightmare Before Christmas.) Then I read that the film rights have been optioned by Megan Mullally and her husband, Nick Offerman (both of whom are part of the audiobook cast.) I honestly don’t know how they could make a live action movie of this, but I supposed CGI could work. But it would be better in Tim Burton’s hand, IMO.

George Saunders was on C-Span’s BookTV recently to discuss how the novel came about. Here’s the link if you’re interested in watching it online.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?436776-22/lincoln-bardo

Glad to find someone else who read it, or rather, listened! The audiobook looks cool, but I'm not an audiobook person so I didn't listen to it. I'm very interested in what Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman will do - it seems impossible to do on screen, but they are far more imaginative than I am. I agree parts of it were too vulgar for my taste, but not enough to ruin the overall effect. I thought the impressions it made about the nature of the Civil War and Lincoln's mind were very good.
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