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Caro

Non-Fiction for our Book Club

Our book club chooses a mixture of non-fiction and fiction and these are the non-fiction ones we have chosen this year.  We only get to read about a third of the books chosen and don't know which ones will come which month.
But here is what we have asked for:

Sleeping Arrangements by Linda Shaine Cunninghan about growing up in the Bronx.
Purple Heart by Ta'afuli Andrew Fiu of a young Samoan growing up in NZ with a heart defect.
Nickel and Dimes by Barbara Ehrenreich.  A journalist going under cover into low paid work in the USA.
The Water Thieves by Sam Mahon. A NZ crusader for his river.
Riding the Bus With my Sister by Rachel Simon. An intellectually disabled woman's life written by her sister.
Cave in the Snow by Vicki MacKenzie. The only woman in a monastery in India.
Deep Sky Waits on the Outskirts of Town by Annette Lees.  NZ travel, natural history and fiction exploring our sense of place.
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by TE Carhart.  Paris memoir.
Years of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.  A widow and mother's grief after losing her husband to death and her daughter to illness needing life support.
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Memoir of unconformist parents.
Never Have your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda. Memoir.
Infidel: My Life by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  A Somali raised a Muslim but becoming a Dutch Parliamentarian championing the reform of Islam.
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah.  War through the eyes of a child soldier in Sierra Leone.
The Twelve Little Cakes by Dominika Dery. Prague village life with Czech dissendent parents during the turbulent years.
True to Both My Selves by Katrin Fitzherbert. The daughter of a Nazi Party official repatriated to England.

Have any of you read any of these and if so what did you think of them?  

Cheers, Caro.
Ann

I don't know any of them, Caro, but some of them look very intriguing. I'd read a review of the Nickel and Dime one but it is the only one I've even heard of. Infidel-my life, especially appeals, I don't know why!
Evie

I haven't read any of them, but have had it in mind for quite a while to read The Piano Tuner of the South Bank - partly because I love Paris (and pianos!), but also because it looks interesting.  

I also heard Joan Didion talking about her memoir some time ago, and she seemed interesting - but I don't like family memoirs.

Not sure I've heard of any of the others.
MikeAlx

I think it's actually called "The Year of Magical Thinking". I remember her talking about it on Radio 4's "Front Row" a year or so back, when it was being performed as a play.
Caro

Oh, yes, you are right.  I tend to the careless with names of things, sorry. I don't know that I would classify this as family memoir.  They call it "an account of her grieving through the year to follow".  

By the way, on looking at the list of authors at the back of the catalogue, I see the most books by one author are 6 from Patricia Grace, well-known NZ Maori writer of traditional rural Maori life novels mostly, and five books from Maurice Gee, also NZer novelist, and four each from Bill Bryson, Ian McEwan.  Three each from Rose Tremaine, Colm Toibin, Zadie Smith, Margarte Forster, Margaret Drabble, Amy Tan, Margaret Atwood, Sue McCauley, Ann Pratchett, and from NZers Janet Frame, Witi Ihimaera, Laurence Fearnley, Ck Stead.  

Cheers, Caro.
Chibiabos83

I echo E/V's sentiments. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is on my actual tbr (because of Paris and pianos) and looks interesting, and Joan Didion seems a fascinating woman - I remember a good discussion on a recent Good Read about one of her books, though can't remember which at the time of writing.
Caro

I came across this looking for something else.  So I thought I would add our non-fiction choices for 2013:

The Memory Palace – Mira Bartok (NF)
Purple Dandelion – Farida Sultana (NF)
A Life Like Other People’s – Alan Bennett (NF)
Born on a Blue Day – Daniel Tammet (NF)
Navigation – Joy Cowley (NF, NZ)
Miracle in the Andes – Nando Parrado (NF)
In Moral Danger – Barbara Biggs (NF)
Escape from Bosnia: Aza’s Story – Sue McCauley (NF, NZ)
Station Life In New Zealand – Lady Barker (NF, NZ) (Written in 1883)
Castorboy

Caro wrote:
I came across this looking for something else.  So I thought I would add our non-fiction choices for 2013:
A Life Like Other People’s – Alan Bennett (NF)
Station Life In New Zealand – Lady Barker (NF, NZ) (Written in 1883)

The latter has been quoted over the last few years as a unique record of the pioneering families in Canterbury in the 19thC when the country was being established and laying down the source of the farming industry we have today. The Bennett autobiography I made a few comments on when it was a World Book Night choice and Sandraseahorse sent me a copy which I in turn passed on to an acquaintance http://bigreaders.myfastforum.org/about1586.html

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