Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Salon: Lisa See & Abraham Lincoln

Lisa See and Abraham Lincoln might be a bizarre combination, but those are two of the people currently lurking in the literature side of my brain.  I need some help sorting it all out and getting suggestions...what do you think? Are you up for helping me out?

My dilemma with Lisa See is simple.  I've refrained from reading her because she seems to be so popular, and the topic didn't pique my curiosity.  However, Dreams of Joy is the next pick for book club.  So now I need to know: should I read Shanghai Girls first?  Dreams of Joy is the sequel, right?? I actually own Shanghai Girls (someone passed it on to me) so the answer should seem obvious, but then enters my moderate lack of interest and my limited time frame...decide for me??



I'm currently in the middle of a personal Junior Lit challenge, and I think I need a break from quick books.  They're making me impatient!  That seems a little backwards to me, but there it is.  I read enough on a topic to get me interested, and then it's over and I'm off to the next book.  I read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, and it reminded me of the story about  wolves in My Antonia...next thing you know, My Antonia is on my nightstand begging to be read.

Likewise with Abraham Lincoln.  I read Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman and really enjoyed it.  The information was familiar to me, but I loved how it was written, and the photos were a wonderful bonus.  I'd recommend this for children wanting to learn about Lincoln, as well as adults interested in a peek beyond the legend.  However, it was so good that it left me wanting to know more, more, more!

Do you have a book (fiction or nonfiction) about Lincoln that you would recommend to me?  I've read (a couple times) Love is Eternal by Irving Stone: a biographical novel about Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and that also left me wanting more.  I recently bought Lincoln: Life Size, which will help stall my urge a bit, but I'd like something meatier.  Suggestions?



I may change the structure of my Junior Lit challenge...instead of plowing through all 15 books in April, perhaps I'll pause to add in some extension reading and then finish in May.  The more I think about that idea, the more I like it.  Rereading My Antonia....mmmm...sounds good to me.


14 comments:

  1. I haven't read it, but my boyfriend did and he loved Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer. Apparently the history part is quite accurate, and the fiction part is very enjoyable. Have a nice week!

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  2. I love Lincoln. You could read Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Also, there's Lincoln's Melancholy by Joshua Wolf Shenk. Both are nonfiction.

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  3. Absolutely. Here's my new favorite: Maira Kalman's new book about Lincoln. It's for children, too.

    Here's my
    Sunday Salon: TLA Conference.
    I hope you'll stop by!

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  4. Hi. I'd say b/c you don't have time, just read of Dreams of Joy first and see what you think of her writing (you can always go back to the other one later if interested). I also love My Antonia (great choice!) And thirdly, I'd recommend David Herbert Donald's bio of Lincoln or "Manhunt" by James Swanson. Cheers. http://www.thecuecard.com/

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  5. I read a lot of Lincoln bios. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of the best. Others which I really like include: Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills, The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner, Abraham Lincoln Redeemer President by Alan Guelzo, and Lincoln by David Herbert Donald.

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  6. Have you read Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase to Catch Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson and/or Mary Todd Lincoln: A biography by Jean Baker. Liking to approach subjects from alternative viewpoints, I found I learned a lot about Lincoln, the man, from these two books.

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  7. I'd say go with Dreams of Joy and skip Shanghai only because you're not even that into Lisa See. I bet that you will catch on just fine to the 2nd book w/o the benefit of the 1st. Publishers these days like to keep all their bases covered and I'm sure you'll get a fine recap in the 2nd book.

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  8. I'm enjoying all the suggestions, thank you so much (and keep them coming!) And I'm glad to hear that reading Shanghai Girls first isn't likely to be a necessity. :)

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  9. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin is excellent. It is long and very detailed but I loved it because I felt like I knew Lincoln after I finished it...like he was a personal friend. It was my favorite book of last year and I've never had a nonfiction book as personal "best of".

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  10. I really want to read the most recent bio of Lincoln. He's such a fascinating historical figure, and I've heard great things about it.

    And as BookBelle mentioned, Manhunt is AMAZING.

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  11. You need to read Shanghai Girls first in my opinion and I think it's the better of the two books. Both are great reads, I love Lisa See.

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  12. I requested Team of Rivals from my library...I'll look into Manhunt too. Sounds good!

    Sam, I'm glad to know that you're a fan of Lisa See! That makes me a little less skeptical. :) I am thinking, though, that I'd better find out if the other girls in my group know it's a sequel!

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  13. Hmm, haven't read books about Lincoln...or Lisa See books. I have avoided her for the same reasons you mentioned: too popular!

    Does that make me weird? Well, maybe, but that's okay, too.

    Here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST

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  14. I have to tell you, the title of this post definitely drew me in! I have no experience with Lisa See, so I won't be any help there. I won't be much help on the Lincoln side either except to say, I really want to snatch Lincoln Life Size away from ya! Totally fascinated.

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