Entwined Vines top reads for the coming year

25 Jul

Tammy and I both really find a great pleasure in reading. We hardly ever have time to read everything we would like to but figured we would put together our top picks for the coming year. Enjoy 🙂

Tammy:

1.) Illuminatus triology — started it but realized I needed a timeframe that I could dedicate to reading without distractions

Quote from the book: “My ethical leanings are reasonably anti-consequentialist. That is, I don’t think what makes shoplifting a soda right or wrong is a matter of the unhappiness it causes..”

2.) The Cornered Cat

Quote from the book: “Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness. — Erica Jong”

3.)  Guns, Germs and Steel

Quote from the book: “Perhaps our greatest distinction as a species is our capacity, unique among animals, to make counter-evolutionary choices.”

4.) More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott

Quote from the book: “If the rest of the country had adopted right-to-carry concealed-handgun provisions in 1992, about 1,500 murders and 4,000 rapes would have been avoided.”

5.) Finish What you Start by Craig Copeland

Quote about the book: “Craig’s Book and Program give you five fast, effective strategies to succeed at
a higher level than ever before.”
– Brian Tracy

6.) The E-myth by Michael E Gerber

Quoted description of the book: “In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding
starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business
whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.”

7.) The 4-hour workweek by Timothy Ferriss

The title really says it all…

8.) Shanghai Diary  By Ursula Bacon

Book description: ” By the late 1930s, Europe sat on the brink of a world war. As the holocaust approached, many Jewish families in Germany fled to one of the only open port available to them: Shanghai. Once called “the armpit of the world,” Shanghai ultimately served as the last resort for tens of thousands of Jews desperate to escape Hitler’s “Final Solution.” Against this backdrop, 11-year-old Ursula Bacon and her family made the difficult 8,000-mile voyage to Shanghai, with its promise of safety. But instead of a storybook China, they found overcrowded streets teeming with peddlers, beggars, opium dens, and prostitutes. Amid these abysmal conditions, Ursula learned of her own resourcefulness and found within herself the fierce determination to survive.”

9.) Ghost Walk By Rebecca Stott

Quote from the book: “Beyond this point on the river Cambridge became a kind of miniature Venice, its river water lapping up against the ancient stone of college walls, here mottled and reddened brick, there white stone. Stained, lichened, softened by water light. Here the river became a great north-south tunnel, a gothic castle from the river, flanked by locked iron gates, steps leading nowhere, labyrinths, trapdoors, landing stages where barges had unloaded their freight: crates of fine wines, flour, oats, candles, fine meats carried into the damp darkness of college cellars.”

10.)  The Wayfinders:  Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World By Wade Davis

” In Polynesia we set sail with navigators whose ancestors settled the Pacific ten centuries before Christ. In the Amazon we meet the descendants of a true Lost Civilization, the people of the Anaconda. In the Andes we discover that the Earth really is alive, while in the far reaches of Australia we experience Dreamtime, the all-embracing philosophy of the first humans to walk out of Africa. We then travel to Nepal, where we encounter a wisdom hero, a Bodhisattva, who emerges from forty-five years of Buddhist retreat and solitude. And finally we settle in Borneo, where the last rainforest nomads struggle to survive. Understanding the lessons of this journey will be our mission for the next century. For at risk is the human legacy — a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination. Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of the human spirit, as expressed by culture, is among the central challenges of our time.”

11.)  Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation by Charles Glass

” In Americans in Paris, tales of adventure, intrigue, passion, deceit, and survival unfold season by season, from the spring of 1940 to liberation in the summer of 1944, as renowned journalist Charles Glass tells the story of a remarkable cast of expatriates and their struggles in Nazi Paris. Before the Second World War began, approximately thirty thousand Americans lived in Paris,
and when war broke out in 1939 almost five thousand remained. As citizens of a neutral nation, the Americans in Paris believed they had little to fear. They were wrong. Glass’s discovery of letters, diaries, war documents, and police files reveals as never before how Americans were trapped in a web of intrigue, collaboration, and courage.

Artists, writers, scientists, playboys, musicians, cultural mandarins, and ordinary businessmen-all were swept up in extraordinary circumstances and tested as few Americans before or since. Charles
Bedaux, a French-born, naturalized American millionaire, determined his alliances as a businessman first, a decision that would ultimately make him an enemy to all. Countess Clara Longworth de Chambrun was torn by family ties to President Roosevelt and the Vichy government, but her fiercest loyalty was to her beloved American Library of Paris. Sylvia Beach attempted to run her famous
English-language bookshop, Shakespeare & Company, while helping her Jewish friends and her colleagues in the Resistance. Dr. Sumner Jackson, wartime chief surgeon of the American Hospital in Paris, risked his life aiding Allied soldiers to escape to Britain and resisting the occupier from the first day. These stories and others come together to create a unique portrait of an eccentric, original, diverse American community.”

12.)   The Hole in the Universe:  How Scientiis Peered Over the Eddge of  Emptiness and Found Everything By K.C. Cole

An adventure into the heart of Nothing by bestselling author K. C. Cole.

Once again, acclaimed science writer K. C. Cole brings the arcane and acad-

emic down to the level of armchair scientists in The Hole in the Universe,

an entertaining and edifying search for nothing at all. Open the newspaper

on any given day and you will read of a newly discovered planet, star, and

so on. Yet scientists and mathematicians have spent generations searching

the far reaches of the universe for that one elusive state-nothingness.

Although this may sound like a simple task, every time the absolute void

appears within reach, something new is discovered in its place: a black hole,

an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or time-even another universe. A fascinating and literary tour de force, The Hole in the Universe is a virtual romp into the unknown that you never knew wasn’t there.

We BOTH are waiting for this one:

Notorious Nineteen

Tina:

1)  The Bride Wore Black Leather

“In the secret heart of London, under the cover of endless darkness, the Nightside caters to anyone with any unusual itch that needs to be scratched. But enter at your own risk. The party animals who live here may be as inhuman as their appetites…

My name is John Taylor. The Nightside is my home. I didn’t plan it that way. In fact, I once tried to get away. But I came back. And now it seems I’m settling down, with a full-time job (in addition to my work as a very private eye) as Walker-the new Voice of the Authorities in the Nightside-and a wedding in the offing.

I’m marrying the love of my life, Suzie Shooter, the Nightside’s most fearsome bounty-hunter. But nothing comes easy here. Not life. Not death. And for certain, not happily-ever-after. Before I can say “I do,” I have one more case to solve as a private eye-and my first assignment as Walker.

Both jobs would be a lot easier to accomplish if I weren’t on the run, from friends and enemies alike. And if my bride-to-be weren’t out to collect the bounty on my head…”

2) Night of the Jabberwock

“Born in 1906, Fredric Brown was an American science fiction and mystery writer. In early life he attended the University of Cincinnati and Hanover College, Indiana, before working as a newspaperman and magazine writer in the Midwest. His first foray into the mystery genre was The Fabulous Clipjoint (1947) which won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for outstanding first mystery novel. As an author he wrote more than thirty novels and over three hundred short stories, and is noted for a bold use of narrative experimentation, as exemplified in The Lenient Beast (1956) Many of his books employ the threat of the supernatural or occult before concluding with a logical explanation, and he is renowned for both original plots and ingenious endings. In the 1950s he moved to Tucson and wrote for television and film, continuing to submit many short stories that regularly appeared in mystery anthologies. A cultured man and omnivorous reader, Brown had a lifelong interest in the flute, chess, poker, and the works of Lewis Carroll.”

3) Rachel Morgan series

” The alternate history is built upon two premises: the recent open existence of magical and supernatural species, primarily witches, vampires, and werewolves, with the human population; and the historical investment of Cold War military spending in genetic engineering as opposed to the Space Race, which resulted in the accidental release of a virus via a genetically modified tomatoin the 1960’s that killed a significant portion of the human population. The series is set approximately forty years after this plague, referred to as ‘The Turn’ within the series.

The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Rachel Morgan, a detective witch who works with local law enforcement agencies and faces threats both mundane and supernatural in origin. The series also focuses on Rachel’s relationships with her partners, a living vampire and a pixy, as well as her personal relationships with males of different species.”

4) The Wolf Gift

“The time is the present. The place, the rugged coast of Northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest. A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer . . . An older woman welcoming him into her magnificent family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . An idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence, the young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation, as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing what he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

5) The John Rain Series

John Rain kills people.  For a living.  His specialty: making it seem like death by natural causes.  But he won’t kill just anyone.  The target must be a principal player.  And never a woman.  Half American, half Japanese-but out of place in both worlds-Rain is filled with opportunities.  John Rain may not be a good man, but he’s good at what he does…”

6) FLEDGLING by Octavia Butler

“is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted—and still wants—to destroy her and those she cares for, and how she can save herself.
Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.

7) The Royal Spyness Series

“Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey. But when her brother cuts off her allowance, she leaves Scotland, and her fiance Fish-Face, for London, where she has:

a) worked behind a cosmetics counter-and gotten sacked after five hours b) started to fall for a quite unsuitable minor royal c) made some money housekeeping (incognita, of course), and d) been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son.

Then an arrogant Frenchman, who wants her family’s 800-year-old estate for himself, winds up dead in her bathtub. Now her most important job is to clear her very long family name.”

8) Marrying Mozart

Amadeus meets Little Women in this irresistibly delightful historical novel by award-winning author Stephanie Cowell. The year is 1777 and the four Weber sisters, daughters of a musical family, share a crowded, artistic life in a ramshackle house. While their father scrapes by as a music copyist and their mother secretly draws up a list of prospective suitors in the kitchen, the sisters struggle with their futures, both marital and musical… until twenty-one-year-old Wolfgang Mozart walks into their lives. Bringing eighteenth-century Europe to life with unforgiving winters, yawning princes, scheming parents, and the enduring passions of young talent, Stephanie Cowell’s richly textured tale captures a remarkable historical figure — and the four young women who engage his passion, his music, and his heart.”

9) Revenge of the Rose

“In the spring of 1199, Willem, a naive, poor young knight, is summoned to the magnificent royal court of Konrad, the Holy Roman Emperor, whose realm spans much of Europe. An audacious fighter, Willem wins great honours for his knightly prowess. His champion, friend, and guide to courtly life is the irrepressible, mysterious minstrel Jouglet,a longandndash;time admirer of Willem’s sister Lienor. Willem soon learns, to his dismay, that gossip, schemes, secrets, and lies are what really fuel courtly life andndash;andndash; and that not even a knight is immune andndash;andndash; or safe.

Transporting the reader to the magnificent, conniving heart of the largest empire of medieval Europe, REVENGE OF THE ROSE brings to vivid life a longandndash;ago time full of drama, intrigue, and sparkling wit in which colourful characters cunningly vie for power, wealth, and favour.”

10) The Concubine By Norah Lofts

“The king first noticed Anne Boleyn as a heartbroken sixteen-year-old, sullen and beautiful after a thwarted romance with the son of the Earl of Northumberland. “All eyes and hair,” a courtier had said disparagingly of her, but when King Henry VIII fell for young Anne, nothing could keep him from what he desired. Against common sense and the urgings of his most trusted advisors, Henry defied all, blindly following his passion for Anne, using the power he held over the bodies and souls of all who reside in his realm and beyond. Anne’s ascent to the throne elevates her from lady-in-waiting to the highest position a woman could attain, but her life spirals out of control when Henry is driven to desperate acts of betrayal and violence. The consequences of Anne’s rise to power and eventual demise are felt well beyond the inner circle of the court. Loyalties, to church, to queen, to country, are tested, and — in the wake of the king’s volatile passions — can be an unpredictable matter of life and death.”

11) Empire of Dragons

“Southern Anatolia, 260 AD The town of Edessa, a Roman outpost, is on its last legs, besieged by the Persian troops of Shapur I. Roman Emperor Licinius Valerianus agrees to meet his adversary to draw up a peace treaty, but it is only a trap and the Emperor and his twelve guards are chained and dragged away to work as prisoners in a solitary Persian turquoise mine. After months of forced labour the Emperor dies, but his guards make a daring escape lead by the heroic and enigmatic chief, Marcus Metellus Aquila. They meet a mysterious, exiled Chinese Prince, Dan Qing, and agree to safeguard his journey home to reconquest his throne from his mortal enemy, a eunuch named Wei. Thus begins the adventures of the Romans and the Prince as they journey to China. There they will discover that they aren’t the first of their kind to arrive in China: they were preceded centuries before by the survivors of the ‘lost legion’.”

12) Hannibal

” An epic vision of one of history’s greatest adventurers, the almost mythical man who most famously led his soldiers on elephants over the Alps. In Ross Leckie’s unforgettable recreation of the Punic wars, it is Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, who narrates the story, and who is carried by his all-consuming ambition through profoundly bloody battles against the great Roman armies of
early empire. In a breathtaking chronicle of love and hate, heroism and cruelty, one of humanity’s greatest adventurers is brought to life, and learns through suffering that man is but a shadow of a dream.”

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