Subject: Free For All, Your Pick

The Historians by Cecilia Ekback
This book is one of few books about Scandinavia in WW2. The Germans had conquered Denmark and Norway, Sweden was neutral and Finland waffled back and forth with the only certainty that they wanted nothing to do with the Russians. This is a tale of five multicultural students.

The White Nile by Alan Moorehead
Our reader finished the book he started last month. It goes into early Africa and tribal areas before the coming and habitation by Europeans.
This book is available at the Grover Beach Community Library

Some Assembly RequiredDecoding Four Billion Years of Life from Ancient Fossils to DNA by Neil Shubin
A book about the history of life on Earth. This is a  fairly technical recipe of sorts of the progression of DNA.

Extraterrestrial Civilization by Isaac Asimov
Are we alone?

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This book was recommended by the reader’s daughter. A water dancer was a woman who danced with a jug of water upon her head. The story is told by the enslaved Hiram Walker, whose mother was sold off when he was five. He only has a fuzzy memory of her, but she comes to him in visions. Hiram marries a woman who also is a water dancer. Later he finds out his father was his master. He escapes and begins working with the Underground Railroad.
This book is available at the Grover Beach Community Library

The Affair of the Jade Monkey by Clifford Knight
This book was written as a fundraiser for the development of Yosemite National Park. This is a mystery involving hikers who find a body. People are murdered, but why? The root of all evil is money. Who had it?  Read it and find out.

Flyboys A True Story of Courage by James Bradley
By the author of Flags of Our Fathers, this nonfiction book illustrates man’s inhumanity to man or the horrors of war. The heroes are real, the victims are real and they were on both sides. Our reader had not realized that there were war trials afterwards regarding the Pacific War in Guam, and that the reports in that trial were recently released. Duty was the name of the game.  The firebombing of Tokyo had more fatalities than Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined.

This book is available at the Grover Beach Community Library

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The only book written on the Dresden firebombing. The author was an American prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany at the time. The narrator spent most of the novel saying he should write a book since he was there. The story follows the life and experiences of Billy Pilgrim including what happened to him during the war, much of which is described by the refrain “and so it goes” that is used constantly and to distraction. Finally, he describes the firebombing of which he was in a bunker and not released until days afterwards.
The reader swore never to read another book by Vonnegut.

This book is available at the Grover Beach Community Library